(This is the second post. See Introduction and Proposal for the first post.)
Part 1: Membership Entry & Exit
Membership must allow for both entry and exit from the co-operative. Membership will inevitably turn over as publishers largely operate as a “spare time” activity.
Entry requirements will require both a vetting process from existing members and/or founders, and at least one existing product to begin.
The vetting process will involve a vote either by member body or committee. Evaluations will be based on perceived viability of the product within the marketplace and confidence level of reciprocal activity from the member-elect. (Vetting will inevitably be a problematic issue; the cooperative needs clear rules to evaluate product and members, as well as means to resolve disputes during evaluation.)
Additionally, the cooperative could consider “associate members” who participate without a product – likely members who offer specific skills. Again, this requires explicit processes for member entry and exit, much like those of publisher-members. (The co-operative charter will also need to specify how an associate could become a publisher member should the participant choose to become a publisher later.)
The co-operative requires members to:
- Fund the cooperative: This proposal version does not specify funding. Possible funding options include: One-time member feeds, annual fees, quarterly fees, or monthly fees;
- Represent the cooperative: Represent the cooperative, its brand, and its member products while interacting with RPG hobbyists;
- Participate in and/or volunteer for duties and tasks for marketing activities. Tasks will be outlined by member proposals and strategies, and assigned by member committees or member vote;
- Write marketing proposals for any new product for which the member seeks representation by the co-operative;
- Possibly modifying or amending product to improve market viability. This is also a potentially problematic requirement, and may require discussion and means to resolve disputes.
The co-operative offers members the following benefits:
- Improved visibility and sales;
- Voting and input on co-operative decisions and activities;
- Representation on co-operative marketing activities (promotions, web site, newsletters, convention appearances, etc.);
- Team-written marketing proposals and critiques;
- Collective bargaining with distributors;
- Inclusion in marketing research, including online surveys;
- Metrics for products (web traffic for product pages, sales, comparative data, etc.) .