Since the start of the pandemic, there was a surge in new products released every week on most of the Community Content Programmes [CCP]. This gave them a good vibe as there was always something new, and some of it was innovative.
Since then I have noticed a real downturn in both numbers of new releases and the general levels of sales in all but the biggest.
Many of the creators I know who were putting stuff out in the CCPs a year ago are either now moved up to full publisher, or are looking for freelancing gigs.
It confuses me why anyone would want to be a freelance writer, but we won’t go there. It isn’t my thing, so I have never looked into it. The rates of pay seem to be atrocious for all by the top flight, and the chances of you landing one of those gigs is slim to non-existent.
Far more have moved over to publishing their own stuff under their own publisher account.
When you first start, this is tough. You have no reputation, no brand, and it takes time to build that. But, once you do start to build that brand up, then the rewards for being a self-publisher massively outweigh writing for a CCP.
The more you release the more emails you get on your customer release, and these can be emailed to tell them about new releases, driving more sales, and getting more exposure on hottest lists, and that gains you more customers to help build your mailing list.
You can/should build your own list away from DTRPG. This will make you more robust again. You can also link to your own products using affiliate links, earning 8% extra in your own list, you cannot do this within DTRPG.
I suspect that the migration from CCP to publisher explains part of the decrease in new releases for the CCPs. That is combined with people who were not working during the lockdowns in 2020 going back to work.
Because there are less new things in the CCPs, this makes checking them as a GM/Player less urgent, and that leads to declining sales.
Declining sales can either discourage people from releasing anything else in the CCP, or encourage them to branch out into becoming a full publisher. And so the cycle goes around again.
I cannot see an end to this cycle. I also have no suggestions on how to fix it. My only suggestion would be to migrate to becoming a publisher if you are currently reliant on CCP income. It is a long haul to build the your brand, but it is worth it.