Getting back into publishing: Halfbeard Press

After spending 15 months developing Godsbarrow, getting to actually start up a campaign in this setting was the spark I needed to convince me to give publishing another shot.

Today I founded Halfbeard Press, the company I’ll be using to publish Godsbarrow material.

Halfbeard Press has a logo, an incredibly spartan website, a (currently empty) DriveThruRPG publisher page [paid link], and a plan: I’m about 50% done writing its first product, a gazetteer of the Unlucky Isles.

Feel the hand-coded-in-Notepad energy!

Many, many thanks to my wife, Alysia, my kiddo, Lark, and my friends Alice, John, Reagan, and Renee, who consulted on numerous iterations of the logo and made it so much better than my first draft (with special thanks to Reagan for suggesting the half-beard be on the left, and merged with part of the H).

I don’t regret selling Engine Publishing in 2019. It was the right choice. But I have missed publishing (or aspects of it, anyway), and I always suspected I’d be giving it another shot at some point.

Like Yore, which is more personal, barebones, and eclectic than my more focused ventures (Treasure Tables, Gnome Stew, Engine Publishing), I’m taking a smaller, quieter approach with Halfbeard Press.

I’m trying to do as much of it as I can myself, even the parts of it (cough cough graphic design) where I’m, at best, a clumsy dabbler with decent ideas. I’m not taking out thousands of dollars in loans to fund upfront publishing costs (as I did for Engine Publishing books). I don’t have a marketing budget, or an established readership like the gnomes had when we published Eureka [paid link] back in 2010.

Hell, this might not work out at all. Like Engine Publishing back in 2009, this venture is far from being a sure thing. But no matter what happens, I’m excited to be working on a short book about a campaign setting I love.

As soon as I have more to share about the Unlucky Isles gazetteer, and Halfbeard Press, you’ll hear about it here!

6 thoughts on “Getting back into publishing: Halfbeard Press”

  1. Matthew Neagley

    So how do we get on a mailing list? I’ve been following your posts on Godsbarrow since it was a doodle of some bug people and definitely want to know when products become available!
    Congratulations on your new endeavor and impending product line!

    1. ScottM

      Congratulations and good luck with the writing and the new campaign both!

      1. Martin Ralya

        Thank you, Scott! It’s been a lot of fun so far. It’s been ages since I worked on a solo project — hell, it’s been ages since I worked on an Engine book with y’all, too! Those were fun times.

        (I’m sorry I missed your comment. The site is supposed to notify me, but for some reason it didn’t.)

    2. Martin Ralya

      Thanks, Matt! I’m not planning a mailing list at the moment, but if you follow the HBP publisher page on DriveThruRPG (and don’t have publisher emails entirely turned off there) you’ll get an email as soon as The Unlucky Isles is published.

      Affiliate link to that page:

      It’s funny that you mention the Bleakstone material that preceded / evolved into Godsbarrow. Some of that stuff has worked its way into the setting, some of it hasn’t — but there wouldn’t be a Godsbarrow without it. I miss working with Steve Zieser on the artwork (RIP).

      I’m sorry I missed your comment. The site is supposed to notify me, but for some reason it didn’t.

      1. Matthew Neagley

        Thanks Martin! That’s exactly the info I needed. Also just a handy tidbit about DriveThruRPG that I didn’t know!

        1. Martin Ralya

          Of course! I use it for some publishers, but often forget about it myself. It’s a good reminder that I should go spruce up my list of subscribed publishers!

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