Pennies and Dimes

OK, this is serious: we'll need a logo for the GreyWorld project, and we'll need it FAST!

OK, this is serious: we’ll need a logo for the GreyWorld Game, and we’ll need it FAST!

Working on my new novel (wow, does that sound like something a real writer would say or what?) is subtracting a lot of time from my work on the first GreyWorld story (you get a progress bar here on the right) – and yet I hope I’ll still make it for the second decade of the month.
I’ve got my story, I’ve got my characters, now it’s just a matter of writing the thing down – mechanics, more than creativity1.

But in the meantime something else popped up – and I’ve been asked to do a preview of GreyWorld for the Italian Savage Worlds gamers.
After all, the final GreyWorld book will be in English, it’s just right the local savages get a little compensation.

So I’ve prepared a small preview of a very small sector of the GreyWorld world – a brief intro (300 words), a quick description of one of the nations in play (about 2500 words), a typical character from that culture, with a new edge and a new hindrance, and a single piece of equipment.
I’m currently revising this text in my spare time.

And I’ll also do a scenario, a one-sheet adventure.
And I’ve decided to base it on my first story for the series.
It makes sense – I already have a plot and some characters, and Untouchable is, after all, an introductory story, designed to give a glimpse of the universe and kindle the curiosity of both readers and gamers.

apjpg-e1334722140611Now this got me thinking about the old Deadlands Dime Novels.
Well, this, and a reference made by the esteemed Steve Turnbull2 in a comment to a previous post.

For the uninitiated, the Deadlands Dime Novels were small booklets, published back in the time of teh first edition of Deadlands – each booklet featured a short story and a scenario based on that same story.
Wikipedia tells me that nine Dime Novels were published between 1996 and 1999, including three crossovers with Werewolf: Wild West and the all-time fave Adios A-Mi-Go!, a crossover with Call of Cthulhu.

Now Dime Novels were good because they were cheap, packed a lot of bang-per-buck and were different3.

What I am thinking now is – what of my Italian promotional material for GreyWorld?
Granted, I could recycle – and will recycle – it all for my final handbook… but what about publishing it in English, as a teaser for the general public?

No, there will be no Spring Heeled Jack in my story. Sorry guys!

No, there will be no Spring Heeled Jack in my story. Sorry guys!

And considering there is a story coming out anyway, and there will be a scenario based on that story, why not go the dime novel way?
Who knows, considering the pseudo-Victorian setting, it might be more of a Penny Dreadful sort of thing.

Well, my misgivings on the subject are the following

  • I don’t like pilfering Steve’s idea – he spoke of his plan here in the comments, now going and doing the same would be at least inelegant on my part

  • I’m not sure that bundling story and scenario together might work – after all, I think a few readers might just want a new steampunk short story, and would not care for the scenario, and consider it a waste of space

  • I wonder if offering story and scenario separately might not increase the circulation of my material – people might discover my work through one of the two, and then go for the other

So what?
Well, first things first – I have to write the whole stuff.
Once it’s written, and considering times and what else, I’ll make a decision.

But I’d like to get some opinion about this?
What do you guys think?
Bundle story and scenario together, or do two separate products?


  1. but it’s not really like that – there is a connection between the mechanical act of writing, the fingers dancing (or plodding) on the keyboard and invention… hmmm, I’ll have to write a post about that. 
  2. no, seriously – get Steve’s Maliha Anderson stories, and read them. They are absolutely great! 
  3. and, incidentally, they are still available – check out your favorite retailer. 
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Categories: GreyWorld Design Musings, Savage Setting | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Pennies and Dimes

  1. Well, for the logo… I’m not sure I can help! 😀
    I make brochures and posters for my theatre works on my own, but I’m not a graphic expert and my skills won’t be enough for this… Sorry! ^_^”
    About the dime novel/Penny dreadful thing…
    Can’t help about Steve’s idea…Maybe you cank ask him? And quote him in credits…sort of.
    I think that bundling story and scenario together could be a good idea… Obviously it depends on the story, but I think it would work.
    First question: could you sell the two things separately? I mean, Deadlands dime novels were short stories and little scenarios… If it was for me, probably I wouldn’t buy the sotry alone, nor the scenario. But bundled together…Who knows. Not being a Deadland player (but a weird western fan! :D) I probably could be lured by the story, and maybe I could have adapted the scenario for something different. In fact, I think this last thing is the best reason to go for the bundle thing: if separated, who’ll buy the scenario? Players, obviously. Players that probably (hopefully) will buy even the story. Why should I buy the scenario if I’m not a player?
    Bundling story and scenario you’ll sell both products to a reader. If that reader is also a player, he/she’ll probably read, play, use, modify the scenario. If he/she’s not… Well, the scenario will be just something “more”. You said “waste of space”… But I don’t think you have a “page limit”, do you? So the story will have a sort of “attachment” that could turn useful… Or just not.
    That’s my two cents, in a very questionable english. XD

    Like

    • Thanks for your suggestions.
      I’m currently seeing what can be worked out; much also depends on the format – a story would be published in epub & moby… a scenario is better in pdf because it needs maps, tables and other graphical elements.

      Like

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