I’m like that co-worker who drives an old junker. When you ask them, “How do you keep that thing running?”, the advice you get will be useful…but probably no replacement for hiring a real mechanic. View all Jalopy Articles here.
You designed your game, wrote some adventures, laid out a zine, filled it with artwork, funded and printed it. Your backers got their copies and everyone is happy.
That is incredible work, and you should be proud of all you’ve accomplished. Time for a nap…
Now you have a bunch of surplus games sitting in your basement. You could try to sell them yourself, but that’s gonna be tricky. You may not be equipped to handle things like…
- Growing an Audience
- Customer Service
That’s a LOT! You’d be signing up for a part-time job just to sell the remaining copies of your game. And what about when they finally sell out? Will you order another reprint and keep selling copies? Can you handle all of this?
If the answer is yes, then I want you to sell my books too! The rest of us will pitch our games to an online retailer.
This article will cover the basics of getting your games into online retailers and celebrate some of the incredible storefronts that fuel our hobby.
At the end of the article is an in-depth series of interviews with a bunch of these storefronts. Even if you don’t have a book to pitch, you should check out some of these storefronts and fall in love with a new game.
We will NOT be discussing brick and mortar stores or big-box retailers like Barnes and Noble or Amazon. There’s a wealth of info about how to navigate those waters.
Instead let’s focus on pitching to an indie online retailer.
Making the Pitch
Interacting with these smaller storefronts is a great way to refine your pitch, make connections, and meet some really cool people. The online retailers mentioned in this article are talented, hard-working, and passionate about our hobby. They regularly take risks on newer creators and help us find bigger audiences.
Thankfully, the retailers in our hobby are friendly and approachable. However they are also busy and professional, so treat their time with respect and put some effort into your communication.
Step 1: Visit their store. Take an hour and browse their site. See what kinds of game they sell. How do they present their stock? What is their vibe? And lastly find the right email to contact them. Some stores have different email addresses for different reasons. If they have a contact form on their site, USE IT!
Step 2: Consider your Pitch. Advice for pitching and marketing is everywhere, but you REALLY want to make sure you have it down-pat before you pitch to a retailer. They’ll be a major customer and will echo your pitch to their own customers.
Step 3: Set Your Price. It’s not the job of a retailer to decide how much to charge for your game. Be direct about your prices and if the store has any questions they’ll ask. Don’t make them figure it out. Some lingo about prices:
- Retail Value: How much a customer will pay for your book.
- Wholesale Cost: How much the store pays for your book.
Usually the Wholesale is 50% of the Retail price. So if you want to sell your game to customers for $30 then your Wholesale cost is $15. The store will buy X copies from you for $15 and sell them to customers for $30.
Step 4: Draft your email. Do this ahead of time and let it simmer for a bit before you send it. Don’t rush this, first impressions matter. Here’s a basic template to get you started:
My name is YOUR NAME and my newest game, GAME NAME, might be a good fit for your store.
A GENUINE COMPLIMENT (1 sentence, talk about something you like about their store)
GAME PITCH (2-3 sentences. shorter is better)
BOOK DETAILS (page count, size, hardcover/softcover, retail price, etc)
IMAGE (Optional, keep it small so it doesn’t clutter the email)
GAME PDF LINK (Or attached to the email. Make sure you mention it is attached)
PRESS KIT LINK (optional, but VERY useful in case they want to learn more. Here’s a good guide to Press Kits)
Would you be interested in carrying any copies of GAME NAME in your store?
Thanks for taking the time to consider my request,
Step 5: Send it! Once you’re confident that you’re putting your best foot forward, click SEND. Breathe. Whew. Good work. I guess its’ time for a nap…
Step 6: No naps! Review your pitch, your email, and wait for the store to respond. If they haven’t responded after a week or two, send a gentle followup email like:
Hello STORE NAME
I was curious if you were interested in carrying copies of GAME NAME. If it isn’t a good fit I completely understand and I thank you for your time.
Step 7: If they responded positively then be prepared to package up your boxes and ship them the games they requested. You’ll likely be responsible for shipping your books to them.
Whether they responded positively or negatively, you should start working on the pitch for another store. It’s not rude to pitch to multiple retailers and get your books in multiple stores. Unless you have some kind of special deal with a retailer, then you should try and get your book in as many stores as possible.
Step 8: Watch the store. Check on it every so often and follow their social media channels. When they announce your game is available, echo it far and wide! Bring your audience to their store. It helps both of you.
Along with the general advice above, I reached out to some of the wonderful stores that bring us together. Their answers are packed with valuable information and some fun trivia. Simply click a store name to view their answers to each question.
Tell us about your store! Where did you come up with the name?
Store Page: https://iglootree.com/
The name has existed for a long time. Back in University, we tried to find an English name for ourselves. ( We used to get our first English name when we started learning English, but obviously I abandoned that one). I looked up and just thought Igloo was an interesting word and also fits my personality. It's also a form of architecture, which relates to me more. I tried to use Igloo when I did my masters. Back then even my tutor called me that. When I started my first job after graduating, I just felt like it's more appropriate to ask people to call my real name. It's more professional, also it is self awareness and to be confident about my identity. Igloo was pushed to be a brand name for myself. 'Tree' is a part of my Chinese name, so I just combined them together to be my brand. I may use Igloo again in the future for something else. Who knows! If I feel like being anonymous again.
Knave of Cups
Store Page: https://knaveofcups.com/
Knave of Cups is an online shop based out of Portland, Oregon, dedicated to supporting inclusion and creativity in the tabletop roleplaying community. We stock indie TTRPGs, unexpected gifts, and all manner of unique gameplay accessories. We launched in April 2022, started by Ayo and Jen, two friends who share a mutual love of excellent objects. Knave of Cups views TTRPGs as immersive art and believes art is for everyone.
Usually known as the Page of Cups, the Knave of Cups is a tarot card representing unexpected inspiration from the unconscious mind. The Page is usually depicted holding a cup with a fish inside, a symbol of communication and creativity. While the Page may be a bit of a daydreamer, they are also intuitive, empathetic, and idealistic, and they greet the fish in their chalice gladly, as if to converse with it, facing the unexpected with grace and delight.
Monkey's Paw Games
Store Page: https://monkeyspawgames.com/
My name's Noora and I run Monkey's Paw Games, a publisher/distributor based out of southern Ontario, Canada! I started making, printing and selling games in early 2018. Right now we're exclusively web-based but I'll hopefully be doing some local pop-ups in 2023.
I'd like to say the primary inspiration for the name was the W.W. Jacobs short story "The Monkey's Paw" but anyone who knows me will tell you it's maybe 10% the Jacobs story and 90% The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror II.
Store Page: https://rattiincantati.com/
The shop was created out of our desire to make indie RPGs more accessible to folks living north of the US. And isn't it ironic, don't you think, that our US customers still pay less for shipping than people with a canadian address? (Population density and geography factor in higher postage rates). The shop is operated by me (Drago), my partner Tess, and is supported by our rat mischief (The rats live in a separate space from our inventory. Although they are the cleanest of animals, some people might be allergic so we keep them separate).
We wanted a name that sounds a bit whimsical, that could also be a name of a crust-punk or a black metal band, or the name of some magical creatures you encounter within a game you're playing. The worry was that "ratti incantati" sounds too foreign to a primarily English-speaking audience but all the friends from our RPG circle loved it so we went with that one. Chaos Matriarch was a close contender but we decided that one sounded a tad too pompous.
Store Page: https://spearwitch.com/
Well, a few years ago, I did a small favor for an artist friend of mine, and he spontaneously gave me a little drawing of a witch holding a spear and shield and riding a broom. He told me I could do whatever I wanted with it. So later, when I needed a name and logo for the store, I called it Spear Witch and made that image into a workable logo! I've since gotten a more professional logo design package done, but we still use that original illustration in several of the badges. I love it!
Store Page: https://twentysidedstore.com/
Twenty Sided has been bringing people together through games since 2011. We are a boutique retail store and premiere event location in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Our name is inspired by the icosahedron and 20-sided die used in many roleplaying games.
What do you NEED to know from a product pitch?
Normally I won't ask a lot of questions when people come to propose to have their books in my shop.They will come with some information and I may ask them if they didn't provide key points. If it was not enough for me, I do go to search for what they are and if the content is interesting to me, or may be interesting to others. However I do need to know what this product is. As you can see we have different catalogues in the shop, and I'm not a specialist on each single topic, I need the proposal to be as clear and short as possible to explain what the book is about.
For example, let's say it's a roleplay game, I will need to know what system it is, or if it is a stand alone game, what is the story/adventure, for how many players. The size of the book, the printing/binding method and how many pages. Picture of the book is always good as it's much easier to understand the volume. Some of this information is not very important, but it's good to have. Other things we have to know are the wholesale price and RRP, and shipping price, which can determine how many copies I may get.
Knave of Cups
We NEED to know a brief summary of the concept, whether or not you have the physical product on-hand or are ordering it, and what the suggested retail price and the wholesale price are. Some photos would be ideal too.
Monkey's Paw Games
Page count, page size (8.5x11, A5, etc), binding (staplebound, perfect bound, casebound), color or B&W, retail price.
Tell us something about you (and other people involved). We need to know what your game is about. What's the name of it? What's the MSRP/retail price? Number of pages? Is it a zine or a paperback or a hardback? Is it ready? What's the minimum quantity? Are complimentary digital files included (I forget to ask this 99% of the time). What game system does it use?
Really I just need to know (briefly) what it is, and how much it costs. Oh, and what your actual name is. You'd be surprised at how many folks forget to put the wholesale price in their initial email! Also how often people forget to include the name of the book!
I also generally ask if the book went to Kickstarter, though it's fine if it's not in the initial email. I'm prioritizing books that weren't funded through Kickstarter, at the moment (money is limited, I have to choose where I put it), so I'm going to need to know before I commit to ordering any regardless.
What does your game art and packaging look like? What is your game about? Who is your game for? How much does your game cost? What is the suggested retail price? Do you offer free shipping / delivery? Do you have a price break for ordering a certain amount? What is the best way to place an order and how easy is it to reorder? Do you offer terms or require payment upfront?
What would you LIKE to know?
Above information should be more than enough, but some background information would be helpful as well. I do have some stock that never gets sold, which I think it's probably a good idea to know when this product has been produced, how popular it was, how many copies have been printed. I need to evaluate the popularity among my audiences to make sure they can be sold someday. I'm more than happy to take risks to stock some unpopular products as long as I like them personally. Sometimes we just have to give it a try. Also it's cool to have some niche products in the shop. I won't necessarily ask the people who come to me about this information if they didn't provide it already, a quick search would solve most of the questions.
Knave of Cups
We’d LIKE to know more about the origins of the project, what you hope your audience to experience, how you hope audiences interact with it, what it looks or feels like in your hand. We’d like you to send us a PDF of books or at least have one available on request.
Monkey's Paw Games
Some ad copy, if you want me to distribute a PDF with it, things like genre/theme are very helpful.
We'd like to know if a game is a good fit for our store. Most of the games we carry empower the players in one way or another. It's less likely we'll carry a game that makes the players feel utterly hopeless, or puts them in the role of murder hobos. It's doubtful we'll carry a game that puts the players in the role of cops or in situations where they'll be helping law enforcement. We won't carry a game that promotes hate, uses NFTs, or AI "art". Browsing around our store before sending us a pitch is generally a good idea.
Format (hardcover/softcover, A5/letter/whatever), suggested retail price, page count. If you have any prewritten ad copy, I'd love to see it—but don't go out of your way if you don't have any written, I'm almost certainly not going to use it directly. What credits you'd like on the product page. Maybe a PDF of the book, so I can give it a once-over.
Can we offer a free PDF of your game with purchase of the physical copy?
What should NOT be included in a pitch?
I never thought about what should not be included. So far I feel the more information the better. I can filter out the information I do not need naturally.
Knave of Cups
We’re pretty open here. If you send us too much stuff, we’ll ignore the stuff we don’t need. The big reason we’d reject a pitch is content. Basically, if we feel the project isn’t something we’re willing to full-throated shout about from the rooftops, we’ll pass. That of course means no bigotry, full stop. However, in the rare cases we’ve had to pass on stuff so far, it’s usually been a lot of casual microaggressions in the text: projects that in our opinion could have benefitted from sensitivity readers.
Also, we don’t carry board games at this time. Don’t pitch us on board games. We love board games. We don’t sell board games.
Monkey's Paw Games
If it was recently crowdfunded (it is very difficult to sell something that has recently been crowdfunded; the target audience has already bought it!). I very infrequently pick up books that are crowdfunded and only from people I know.
I don't think there's anything that would keep me from buying a book just because the publisher included it in a pitch email. But I do feel bad when people put a lot of energy into including a bunch of information that they didn't need to. I specifically don't need long lore dumps, or broad explanations of the book—a couple of sentences of ad copy is plenty.
A pitch should be short and to the point, making it as easy as possible to purchase your game with the least amount of time and effort. Include links where we can learn more about you and your game, but do not include your life story and entire world lore in the pitch.
Should we pitch only when we have the printed books in hand? Or earlier?
Either way is ok, but based on the size of the shop, we can only purchase when the printed books are in hands. If they come with a book under production, we can only consider having them in the shop, but it would be hard to say how many copies we may need due to lack of information. For example, if it's a crowdfunding project, I tried to get them in the campaign, but it may not be a good idea for us since we simply may not be able to afford to pay upfront for a product. We do distribution services for crowdfunding projects and only this way we will promise to get the book beforehand, as our service profit can turn into these prepaid books. So the conclusion is that we prefer already printed books with full information.
Knave of Cups
We just need you to be upfront about where you are in the process of printing. We may not be able to order until you have them in hand, but we might still be able to commit to buy (or carry via consignment) a number of copies at a later date.
Monkey's Paw Games
Much like crowdfunded books, I very infrequently pick up books that aren't already in-hand and only from people I know. Otherwise it's carrying a cost for an extended period without being able to recoup it; delays happen, printers get overwhelmed and backed up.
Your zine/book does not have to be ready for print when you send us your pitch but you should probably have a realistic time-frame on when your game is going to come out.
As far as I'm concerned, if you can show me a complete PDF and provide a wholesale price, then it's not too early to pitch to me. I don't mind committing to books before they're done being printed. Now, if the writing, layout, etc., isn't done, that's probably too early to try selling it to anyone, but if you've sent it to the printer, or you're about to? Go for it.
It is ok to pitch earlier, especially if that means we can get preorders up and promotions out to our customers prior to the release date. Plan ahead when setting release dates. Ideally we would have physical copies in our hands prior to release so we have enough time to ship out preorders to our customers so that they arrive on the day of release.
Should pitches include images, files, videos, and ad copy?
It's not necessary for us. I make those pictures/videos myself so we don't really need them for the shop. But it would be good to have the digital book if they can provide them. Not all books can provide a digital version as we have comics/occult/literature which won't have a digital book. Only roleplay games customers would ask for PDF, so the digital book is more for them than us. However, being able to preview the content could help us to understand the book much easier.
Knave of Cups
More is better as long as the basics are easy to find and understand. I wouldn’t worry about video content, though. If you have it, sure, include it, but it definitely will not be a primary deciding factor for us.
Monkey's Paw Games
Ad copy and any digital files to be included yes, but I take my own photos and typically don't include videos.
Include whatever media you have. Or give us a link to it.
Images are great, digital files of the book are great, ad copy is great. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to watch your video, and I'm not going to read any writeup you got in Dicebreaker or whatever. I just don't have that kind of time or energy to devote to every pitch I get—I'm one guy. Again, you're welcome to include those things, I won't get mad. I just hate to imagine people spending all that time and energy on a thing I'm likely going to ignore.
Yes absolutely! Other than the cost sheet, everything you send to us should be marketing materials aimed at the consumer that we can use to sell your game.
How can we feature your store in our marketing?
Link our webpage/ the product page in your ads/social media and your publishing website would be very helpful. It can help your fans to find us, and also it can increase the ranking of Google search when you are trying to find a certain product. It would also be very helpful if you can encourage people to leave a review on the product page, or a Google review to the shop, which also increases the chance for the shop to be found. If necessary or if you need, you can ask us to provide a logo for this purpose.
Knave of Cups
Whatever channel or format you work in, we’ll take it! If you’re excited, tell your followers (one time or a bunch of times), tag us into threads, mention us in your newsletter, link us from your game’s itch page. We have a press kit available that includes our logo as well as a little info about us, and you’re welcome to use anything in there as well.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: if you have an idea for a stream, giveaway, giant theme party, weird art installation, etc, TELL US! We love collaborating on creative, unexpected things!
Monkey's Paw Games
"Available in print in Canada at Monkey's Paw Games" is perfect.
It would be wonderful if you could put a link on your website/twitter/instagram/newsletter that directs people to your game in our store. We're happy to provide you with any of our logos should you need it.
Well first of all, I don't want anyone to think they have to marketing for my store, or that I expect them to, just because I bought a handful of their books—that's my job, and I do my best. But insofar as it does benefit a publisher or creator if I sell more of their books, it might be worthwhile to put a link to the Spear Witch product page on the Itch for your book, and on your personal website, if you have one. That kind of thing. Tacking on a little "Available in print at these stores," with a list of links afterward to any marketing you do is a simple thing that can help a lot.
Link directly to our website home page or specific product pages. Mention us as a place to buy your game on social media. List and link to our business on your location finder on your website. twentysidedstore.com @20sidedstore
How will you provide marketing and exposure to our products?
We have facebook/instagram ads and Google PPC working all along to get people to know us, which your products will be the key selling point. We are selling books, not just our brand after all. Irregularly we are puting newsletter out to our customers with certain benefits to encourage more sales. Meantime, we have our weekly deal ( not exactly every week) to remind our customers what products we have in the shop. Every new product will get a chance to be on the front page of our website, and they may come back on the weekly deals and recommended products.
Knave of Cups
Our job is to get your work appreciated. You make the game, we’ll do our best to introduce it to people who will love it.
We release new items once a month, every first Friday. The Friday we introduce your game, it will be highlighted in the drop day email received by our subscribers, and in the past we’ve also made announcement threads on twitter tagging creators, giving you a post to share. There will also be at least one social post, repeated across all our channels, tagged to your account(s) whenever possible, featuring your game. Later, we might ‘re-merch’ or highlight your game as part of a larger theme - horror games in October, for example. In addition, you’re welcome to use any of the photos we’ve taken of your game for your own marketing (just let everyone know where you got ‘em).
We also work with a variety of streamers, content creators, and event producers, and we strive to match their goals with the games in our inventory. This could look like anything from reviews, interviews, or Actual Plays to featuring your game as a giveaway in a contest or during a live event. Once we have products in hand, we’re constantly trying to match up our inventory with folks making content and producing events about games, tarot cards, etc.
Monkey's Paw Games
When new books arrive I take photos and post them to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and more recently Tiktok. I also run a mailing list with ~2,000 subscribers that features new arrivals and restocks.
We send out newsletters whenever we have new products in stock. We promote the games we carry through paid ads on facebook and Instagram. We post on twitter. We also do our own product photography so in most cases you can expect to see some nice photos of your zine/book on our social media.
This is a tough question, and kind of a tedious one to answer thoroughly, but I'll do my best. I've done a good bit of marketing through Facebook and Instagram ads at various points in the recent past, but due to really boring changes in the way those services conduct themselves (the ROI has absolutely tanked in the last 12 or so months), I've put them on hold for the foreseeable future while I look for a decent replacement. In the meantime, my newsletter and social media presence does the job well enough to speak to my existing audience and move products.
I've got a very strong returning customer base (better than a huge majority of online stores, if my metrics are any indication), and I tend to convert new customers to returning ones reliably. And, as I said, I'm trying out some things to get products in front of new customers more, I just haven't landed on what's the most effective venue just yet. All of which is to say: it's a tough time right now for small store marketing, but my existing customer base is stellar!
We will have your game predominantly displayed on our retail shelves and easily searchable on our online store. We will include your game in a collection of similar products for customers to easily find what they are looking for. We will cross promote your game through our email list, blog post, live streams, social media, and Discord community. If you are local we can also host an event around your game.
Can we pitch to multiple stores? Is that polite?
Yes, it won't be an issue for us. I regard this as a win-win situation. The more you can sell, the more we can sell. As most of our products are indie, and indie books normally won't be printed a lot. If the books are in multiple stores and get popular, it can only benefit us. The only thing you need to do is to have your fans to know we have them!
Knave of Cups
Absolutely. We think that it’s a big ecosystem, and that it's not a zero-sum game. We want more new players and customers to come into this unique hobby, and we believe that the more successful shops there are out there, the better we all are as a whole.
We’d like to put a finer point on that: We don’t think you should put all your eggs in one basket, even ours. And if someone else is asking you to commit to their store alone, you should really look hard at whether that’s a good deal for you.
Monkey's Paw Games
Yes; I wouldn't categorize it as polite or impolite. Selling books is a precarious business and, while it is difficult for a small shop such as mine to move a book that's available and possibly cheaper via an operation that can buy and stock (and ship!) it at scale, that's not the publisher's problem, that's mine. I do tend to look for books that aren't readily available at the bigger retailers.
We do not believe in exclusivity. We have great relationships with other zine stores owners and frequently promote their shops. Many stores, just like us, also function as distributors and we often buy zines from different publishers from them. Maybe having a distributor is a good option for you too? Talk to us about it!
Of course! I'd never hold someone or their book hostage. I fully expect and encourage you to sell your book to every store that will have you.
It is not our business who else you pitch your game to. If you want us to carry your game there are a couple things to consider: we will not want to sell your game at a price that is higher than what you or other retailers are selling it for, and we will need at least a 50% margin or greater on our cost.
Should we ask about restocks? Or wait for you to reach out?
You should check in if you see we are out of stock. I am working on multiple projects all the time and may miss what was out of stock sometimes. I normally will reach out when the product is out of stock and still in demand. I may also consider not to restock certain products either because they are going out too slow or cost too much energy.
Knave of Cups
You’re welcome to check in with us (we love a proactive attitude!) but it’s more likely we’ll let you know when we need a restock.
Monkey's Paw Games
I don't mind people pitching to me for restocks; generally I'll reach out when I've sold enough to warrant a restock. Unfortunately sometimes I just can't move enough to justify one.
If you see that your books are close to being sold out or are sold out in our store already, don't hesitate to remind us!
Please please please reach out about restocks whenever you think is appropriate. I'm terrible about soliciting restocks, and half the time books sell out at the distributor and don't get reprinted anyway. So it saves me a lot of trouble (and gets you more sales, hopefully) if you email me about restocks instead of waiting for me to do it.
Definitely follow up with us about restocks. I would suggest following up monthly to find out how well your game is selling. After a few months you should be able to estimate how often we will need to place a reorder.
Is your store currently accepting new products?
We will always be open for new products.Even we may not be able to take a lot of them, but every indie product should have a chance to give a try.
Knave of Cups
Always! We love to hear from creators. We may not have the budget to buy your game wholesale at the time, but we also sell games via consignment, and offer generous rates if you are willing to trust your product with us. The best way to get a hold of us is the contact form on our website, which goes straight to our email.
Monkey's Paw Games
Yes*, but my availability to pick them up is subject to monthly cashflow. Much like 7/11 I'm not always doing business but I'm always open.
We are operating on a minimal budget with a long waiting list of games to buy, which is not ideal. Don't let that discourage you though! You do want to get on that list!
Well, November is a pretty bad time to send pitches, to be perfectly honest. Black Friday looms large over everything. But having said that: the big influx of liquid cash most stores get during a Black Friday sale makes December a great time to send an email.
In general, though, I'm always accepting new products—though I might be more or less capable of committing to buy something, based on cashflow and such. The only way to know is to ask!
We are always looking for new products.
Anything else you want to add?
One thing you may notice is that we don't have a system for PDF distribution. Personally, a book should be a product that you can hold in hand and flipping through them. Not saying digital books are not useful in any way, but I'd like to have the idea that a book is a physical book. By different reading habits, you can have audio book, digital book and e-book for any reason, and we are more than happy to provide PDFs if any customs request them when they are buying the physical copies if we have them. We only come across to be asked for PDFs for roleplaying games. I hope this won't be too strange for some pitch as we will focus on physical books and PDFs only on request.
Another thing is that we'd like to expand our catalogue in the future, to art, architecture and design. We can also provide design services like logo and book design. We are already doing crowdfunding distribution services, but I haven't got them online yet as I'm currently a bit too busy on other projects, but this is something I hope we can do and do more in the future. Iglootree is trying to support indie creators, small or big projects are all appreciated as we all know we need new ideas and more ideas. We are a new and small platform for them, but I'm hoping by helping each other out we could create more fun things. I'm not a community kind of person, which means I will do it my way to make it work.
Knave of Cups
We mean it about collaborating on creative, unexpected things.
If you’ve got something kicking around, a way you’d like to promote your work that you’ve dismissed on account of not having the right support, tell us about it. Can’t hurt to ask!
Monkey's Paw Games
Typically smaller stores such as mine are only going to be able to pick up between 6-12 copies of any one thing at a time. Unfortunately, in most cases my cashflow is as limited as yours probably is. I can almost never meet a minimum order of more than 10, and if your wholesale price is more than ~$30 USD I'm just never going to be able to sell your book.
International shipping and customs is very expensive. I don't mind paying shipping, but when you're writing your customs information list things as "books" and not "games," because nine times out of ten "games" suggests commercial board game products which are tariffed at a much higher rate, and all of a sudden I'm paying $80-90 USD in import fees on top of shipping, which isn't the publisher's fault but does ensure that I can't afford a restock anytime soon.
As we're dirt poor, our inventory is heavily curated. There are at least 10 times more games we'd like to stock than we actually can so we need to make cuts. Again - don't let that discourage you! Your game is more likely to move up on our list if it fits nicely with what we already stock, so browse around before you contact us, if you have the time. Games featuring rats, goblins, or mushrooms will certainly get you on our good side. Kid friendly games, as well as satanic mechanics are what we're in to too. And we can never have enough rebellions against tyrants, vampiric or otherwise! Your game doesn't have to be anywhere near perfect but we do need to feel that it comes from the heart and that you believe in it.
I want to make it super clear here: none of this stuff is going to make or break a sale for me. I genuinely want to buy every book I get an email about, and I do my best to make good on that, circumstances allowing. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, even if you think they might be basic or silly or outside the purview of a "normal" interaction with a retailer or whatever. I've got some amount of experience in the various parts of this market, and I'm happy to give advice where I can. If you're not sure, just go ahead and send me an email, I'd love to chat about it with you and see if I can help.
Having said that: I'm just one guy, so I do miss things and drop balls occasionally. So if I don't respond quickly or at all, do feel free to send a follow-up. I promise I'm not ignoring you maliciously. We're all doing our best.
Stay tuned to Twenty Sided for more information on upcoming spotlights and workshops on game design and publishing. Join our Discord server, sign up for our monthly newsletters, follow us on socials, and head over to twentysidedstore.com for full details.
I cannot stress enough how valuable it can be to get your book into an online store. Aside from making a little money you will grow your audience, forge new connections, and gain confidence in marketing your creations.
We are so lucky to have alternatives to bloated corporate nonsense, and everyone on this list deserves your support and attention. Consider shipping with them and continue to support indie creators and the flourishing of our awesome hobby. I hope to see all featured in more stores! Good luck!
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