How do I set up GM Screens?

Jeff Montgomery -

Offering a Game Master Screen title on DriveThru works a bit differently than with other types of titles.

Why should I offer a GM Screen on DriveThru?

High Margin. When a customer buys the vinyl screen along with your inserts, you share in the profit margin on the screen itself, not just your inserts. Thus, on a landscape-format screen sale, you can earn $11.89 per sale.

Easy to Create. Each GM Screen requires just 8 pages of art, tables, and text you can lift right out of your existing rulebooks.

Good Quality. Your customer ends up with a very nice, durable screen product, so they look good playing your game!

How does this all work?

If you have yet to check out the product pages for GM Screens, please give one a quick look (opens in new window). The rest of this page assumes you have read that product page information.

You can set up GM Screen title on DriveThru that is eight (or more) pages. Your product is actually the inserts a customer will slide into the pockets of the vinyl screen. We recommend you offer the screen inserts both as digital downloads, which customers can print at home, and as printed cardstock inserts (printed through our card printing program).

  1. Set up your new title, e.g., "World of Dork-Mess Game Master Screen."
  2. Upload the digital file version of the screen inserts as usual for PDF titles.
  3. Create the file to print specification for card printing. Upload that with the Upload and manage printed card files tool. This process will add a GM Screen Insert printed format option to your title.
  4. Proof your card inserts to make sure they look good to you!
  5. Make the title public for sale.

How do royalties work for GM Screens?

As with other titles in both digital and print, your GM Screen title will have digital, print, and digital + print options for the customer to purchase. Once your title is available for public sale, customers will have the choice to add only your inserts to their Cart or to "Add to Cart with GM Screen."

It's often easier to show than to tell, so if you visit this page (opens in new browser window) and select the printed format instead of "watermarked PDF" format, you can see the Add to Cart options there.

Image of Add to Cart Options

On the Cart page, a customer can toggle the screen addition on and off, and the price changes accordingly.

Image of Cart Options

No matter what price you set for your printed screen inserts alone, if the customer chooses to buy your inserts with the screen, then the price of the screen + inserts is automatically adjusted to $29.95 (portrait) or $31.95 (landscape). This is the same price as the screen's base cost, empty of inserts, so in essence the customer is getting your screen inserts for free with the purchase of the screen.

This means you also get a great deal because now you share in the greater earnings of the screen purchase, not just the purchase of your screen inserts.


Ready for some math? Of course you are: You're a game designer.

The print cost per printed cardstock page is 37 cents. The cost of the screens is $11 for portrait format and $12 for landscape.

If you sell your printed inserts for $7.99, then your profit margin per sale might be $7.99 - (8 pages x .37) = $5.03 gross margin x 70% earnings rate = $3.52 per sale.

If a customer adds that insert to his or her cart and selects to add in the landscape screen, then the MSRP jumps to $31.95. Your earnings on the sale then become $31.95 - $12 screen cost - (8 pages x .37) = $16.99 gross margin x 70% earnings rate = $11.89 per sale


How much should I charge for GM Screens?

We recommend that you price your digital (print-at-home) screen inserts in the $2 to $5 range. You could charge more if you plan to include digital extras like a short adventure or other content, of course.

The printed inserts price point must accommodate the print cost, which is typically about $3.00 USD. We recommend keeping the printed screen price closer to the digital price, though, to encourage customers to get the nicer printed inserts rather than printing them at home on inferior copiers. All that said, printed insert prices should be in the $5 to $9 range. Remember that your biggest margin comes from a customer buying the screen along with your printed inserts.

As usual, when you sell a title in both digital and print formats together, you can also set the "Add-On" cost, the extra amount a customer pays to get the digital version when buying the print version. Normally, we encourage you to set some add-on price so as not to devalue the work that goes into creating a nice digital version.

In the case of GM Screen inserts, however, we want to encourage customers to get the print version (which benefits you as well), so minimizing the add-on cost lets them still get the digital version along with their screen and screen inserts. Many publishers are choosing a zero add-on cost—i.e., a free digital version with print version—for GM Screen titles. Also note that when a customer purchases inserts with the screen and the cart page sets the price to $29.95 (portrait) or $31.95 (landscape), the price is reset to those fixed prices even if you had a PDF Add-On cost.

How do I prepare my print file?

The information for card print PDF preparation can be found here. Please note these common issues related to GM Screen inserts:

  • Print files for landscape screens should still be rotated to portrait orientation in your print PDF file. Your text will end up running up (or down) the screen when you view your Print PDF on screen.
  • Please leave every even page of your print PDF file blank. The inserts are printed single-sided, with the blank page as the empty back of each insert. A print file for 8 insert pages should thus be 16 pages long, with images on odd-numbered pages and blank pages for each even-numbered page.

When uploading your card print file, please be sure to select the correct "GM Screens Insert" type, either landscape or portrait, as your "Card Type." Do not select the generic 8.5"x11" card page as your card type.

GM Screen Card Type Selection

FAQ

Can I buy screens for conventions or direct sales?

Yes, as when you buy any of your own printed book or card titles, when you add "screen inserts + screen" to your cart while logged in as a publisher, the Cart page will adjust the prices down to just your base cost. We have an agreement with Hammerdog games not to undercut their MSRP. We would appreciate your extending hobby retailers the same courtesy if you resell the screens you purchase.

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