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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 83 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Got it!  (Read 4749 times)
Ian O'Rourke
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« on: August 22, 2001, 02:23:00 AM »

My HB Sorcerer book arrived this morning - this means international orders are fulfilled very quickly.

Since it was only sent out a few days ago?
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Ian O'Rourke
www.fandomlife.net
The e-zine of SciFi media and Fandom Culture.
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2001, 06:34:00 AM »

Ian,

Yes, it was mailed with the others just a few days ago. Although in your case and other early international orders, mailing was speeded up (and its higher cost absorbed) in partial apology for the lateness. In the future, international orders will take longer to arrive.

Best,
Ron
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Supplanter
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Posts: 258


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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2001, 07:06:00 PM »

I had a values clarification episode today. I discovered that Dream Wizards in Rockville, MD actually had Sorc right up front with the new stuff (Talislanta 4, etc.), so I bought it. My $10 PDF purchase shall go forever unamortized now, but I was moved to reward the store for actually bothering to order something. The cashier was amused when I told him, "This proves you suck less than Game Parlor" (the Chantilly, VA store that I am coming to consider The Locus of All Evil, per previous thread in this forum).

I like Raven's cover a lot. I like the layout of the table of contents. I haven't had a chance to read everything yet. Putting the stuff about independent publishing at the front of the book seems like maybe a bit much inside baseball for the new buyer/browser, but I could be wrong. And I'm deeply honored to be included on the acknowledgements page!

More as I get a chance to read the new material. For the part I have been able to read, though, I am struck anew by how direct, unpretentious and practical it all is. (I have run into the occasional person who is put off by the "An Intense Role-Playing Game" subhead, thinking it pretentious. I wish they would open the book and see just how far from pretentious the work itself actually is.)

I like the character sheets too.

Best,


Jim
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Zak Arntson
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2001, 08:00:00 PM »

My copy arrived in the mail on the way out the door to a camping trip.  I was so busy taking care of a niece & nephew (and little things, like building a fire with damp, mossy wood ... gave me a BIG appreciation for the time before matches & newspaper Smiley I didn't get to open it 'til today!!

Soooo ... I had already seen Clinton's copy but I was once again impressed by how legit the thing looks.  Not legit as in RPG industry, but legit as in a PRODUCT.  All RPGS have this big-coloring-book-size standard that gets them stuck with graphic novels at the bookstore.  Sorcerer looks like you could find it in the "real" section of the bookstore.

Other than the outside, I love the simple writing, the clear rules, and the proliferation of mini-essays.  I think, Ron, the gift you've given me is your ability to write clear and thoughtful essays on our hobby.  The entire game feels like one really good proof-of-concept.

I also dig your ability to give props where they're due (citing references left and right).
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2001, 07:38:00 AM »

Jim, Zak, everyone ...

This is what I need to hear. Thank you.

Minor but Good: in the midst of the Horror That Is Indexing, the news that someone likes all my referencing is really important. Sword, as you know, is loaded with lit and authors, and indexing it is driving me crazy.

Major and Very Good: that the thing is actually moving in the stores. I'm beginning to hear more and more people talking about seeing and buying it there.

Jim, I can't BELIEVE you paid the extra $10 ... but thanks, as the "store thing" is important too, especially at the places that are NOT the Pits of Evil. As for the acknowledgment, it was deserved.

Best,
Ron
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Zak Arntson
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2001, 09:29:00 AM »

Quote

Jim, I can't BELIEVE you paid the extra $10 ... but thanks, as the "store thing" is important too, especially at the places that are NOT the Pits of Evil. As for the acknowledgment, it was deserved.


That raises a question ... you get more money through internet sales, right?  But more store-presence through store sales.  So which would you recommend?

I went through the Internet to give you a bigger cut, but now I'm wondering if it would've helped you more to get them to carry a copy (or two, it's not a very enterprising rpg shop, they make most of their money from wargaming).
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2001, 09:38:00 AM »

Zak,

This is the eternal conundrum for small press ... yes, my profit margin is higher on a direct sale, but also, yes, it's good to have the "store turnover" happening too.

So my call is: either one. It's an individual customer choice, and I'm happy either way. If you want to know any value-preference of mine, then it's this: if you buy it from a store, make sure to tell the store owner how amazing and wonderful they are for carrying it, and that a store demo would be even more so.

Previous PDF customers mostly direct-order due to the savings, but they are of course welcome to use the store option too if they want (like Jim).

Best,
Ron
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Jason L Blair
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2001, 09:59:00 AM »

I just wanted to second Ron on this. Direct sales are sweet, because it's a fatter check... however, getting a store interested can get distributors interested... in the end, it's a tough call. More direct cash vs. Even more potential cash.

Eternal conundrum,* indeed.


*Not to be confused with Immortal Enigma.



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Jason L Blair
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Key 20 Publishing
http://www.key20.com">www.key20.com

[ This Message was edited by: Key20Jason on 2001-08-27 14:00 ]
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Jason L Blair
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2001, 10:05:00 AM »

Hi all,

I decided to clarify my take on the whole store/direct issue once more.

As I've said many times, a role-playing game is alive insofar as it is being played. Thus Marvel Super Heroes, in its 1980 form, is alive and kicking. Sure, it's out of print and not to be found in a game store. But the GAME is alive.

But the issue at hand, for me, is keeping Adept Press alive. That means profit, and it breaks down into two parts.

1) When the game hits the stores. Here, the profit in question is really not about me, but about the distribution chain - THEY need to profit, or the game vanishes from the stores.

The tricky part about this issue is that sales do not necessarily lead to re-orders. Yes, your game can sell out of the stores and delight every single customer, but then vanish anyway, because the assumption that consumer demand instantly translates into store re-orders is not correct.

Ideally, for me, a customer serves me well by reinforcing the store guy's perception of that demand. Of course, this can't be faked; I'm not suggesting that anyone inflate anything out of what it is. And ultimately, so many factors influence a store owner (not the least of them being whatever the OTHER ones are doing), that I cannot count on its occurring - even if every Sorcerer copy in every store sells out tomorrow.

2) If the game survives, after its first printing. At this point, the profit is more direct and unit-by-unit. If the publisher has made back the print costs so far, then it's strictly a matter of the game living through PLAY, and a few people latching onto it every year, "growing into it" as it were. Marvel Super Heroes is a game that does this without releasing new product; Call of Cthulhu is a game that does this and has a company "riding" on the culture of play (however well or badly; opinions differ).

At this point, it's mainly a matter of (a) keeping the direct sales alive enough to cover the website cost, (b) supplying the stores with the few copies they need to satisfy "discover Sorcerer" customers, and (c) most importantly, reinforcing the existence of the In-Play culture.

IN CONCLUSION
I am following a "spike" business model - the first round of orders by stores/distributors is the spike, and after that it's a matter of establishing a plateau. If the spike generates enough profit to pay for the print run, and if the plateau has a high enough Y value, then Sorcerer can last forever, if the In-Play culture is reinforced.

I'm in the middle of the spike right now, so I'm interested in the stores and what's happening in them. I'm of course happy to take direct sales, and my only real goal is getting the game to someone who wants to play it (which a sale to a distributor does not do). Still, if someone wants to be an activist about the game, then this activism needs to be aimed at the spike.

They might consider:
- expressing their support of it to a retailer - many of you have already done this, and it's worth real gold to me.
- writing and/or running a demo at a store - apparently this is already happening (!), and I'd like to get some documentation going, as I posted in another thread.
- turning someone else onto the game - as far as I can tell, retailers are generally unimpressed by ONE person liking a given RPG, but are quickly impressed by two or three people liking it.

Best,
Ron

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