On Earnings

It’s mid April which means that another tax year has come and gone. While it will probably be months before I file my taxes I’ve been looking over my gaming income from the year and it looks like I made a total profit of…


which really isn’t much, especially when you consider my profit last tax year (21/22) was £1139. I paid more in tax on it than I made in profit this year.

Of course those numbers don’t really tell the whole story and to do that I want to dig a little deeper. During the 21/22 tax year my total revenue was £2415, of which £1652 was deferred income from the Project Cassandra kickstarter. The remainder was primarily from drivethruRPG and itch. My costs that year were pretty low though. For the kickstarter I paid for editing, printing and postage but almost everything else I handled myself. This was helped considerably by the fact I could use stock art for the game, all I had to do was apply a few filters. Outside of the kickstarter though and my business spending was low. Looking at my accounts a lot of it was actually advance payments for Signal to Noise, income for which wasn’t registered until the next year.

Compared to that this past year was very different. My revenue was up slightly at £2646 while my expenditure rose to £2468. The bulk of my income was more evenly split between the campaign for Signal to Noise, Dragonmeet and my first royalty payment from IPR. The switch to a different platform for the Signal to Noise campaign meant it brought in only half of what Project Cassandra did while commissioning Val’s fantastic art meant the project only really broke even during its initial run. But that’s ok. Yes, I think it deserved to do better and would have loved for it to get more attention but those are the whims of crowdfunding – some things just take off, others don’t. I’m really thankful to the backers that made it possible and post campaign sales have meant it has now turned a small profit.

The other really big cost of the last year was Dragonmeet. Technically I lost money on the event but that was largely due to it being the first time I had attended as a trader, requiring me to invest money in things such as a banner and a card reader that I’ll be able to reuse year after year. I also printed about twice as much as I needed but that stock is (slowly selling) and will mean I don’t need to print as much next time round. The other big cost of Dragonmeet was simply the travel and hotel room but the fact I was able to pay for that via my gaming earnings is the reason I do this. I don’t ever expect to be in a position where I’m making a living from it but the fact it’s able to cover my attendance at events is a fantastic position to be in.

I would, obviously, love to grow my sales numbers. It would be fantastic to be in a position where I could commission more art or hire writers to support a project. Returning to Kickstarter for Hopes and Dreams of the Orbital Bound meant that my 2023 accounts have started off well and I have another royalty payment from IPR due soon. I’m all too aware of how hard growing those numbers will be thought and that so far this year I’ve been struggling to engage with the online community as much as I’d like so I’m not going to set myself a fixed goal to aim for. That wouldn’t be the best approach if I was reliant on the income but I’m not and I’m not interested in adding any more stress to being a creator than is necessary.

So yeah, 22/23 was a yeah of investment and development. I don’t know where the next year will take me but I’m looking forward to finding out.

Craig Avatar

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One response to “On Earnings”

  1. […] On Earnings @ LunarShadow Designs – I really like LunarShadow Designs’ posts in which they reflect on their business. It’s an interesting insight into being a small publisher. I really appreciate that they share this information and their experiences. […]

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