Tuesday, July 26, 2005

[Polaris] Thoughts on Sales and Editioning

So there's been some huff in some corners about "too many new editions, too soon," particularly in the small-press scene that I'm a part of.

Here is my official policy for Polaris.

Print runs of Polaris will run between 25-1000 copies, depending on context. Every single printing will be different from the last one in some way, and each one will be given a different edition name. The game, in my head, is sure to be constantly changing, and the written text that I sell to you will reflect the most recent (and, I hope, the most awesome) version.

The first print run of Polaris will be the All Men Are Brothers edition. It will be limited to 108 copies, each one will be numbered, and have the name of a protagonist from the novel All Men Are Brothers (aka Water Margin aka Outlaws of the Marsh) inscribed in the cover in both Chinese and English. All copies will be signed by me, either written in English or stamped in Chinese or both, depending on my whim and your preferences if you ask.

106 copies will be available for sale (one goes to me, the other to my mother, the rest for sale.) Pending a last financial check to see if I can avoid it, I will be starting pre-orders soon, for somewhere around $22 each, including shipping anywhere in the world. The books will also be on sale at GenCon.

This will be the first publically available finished text of the game. As soon as it sells out, a second, different text will go on sale with a new edition name and numbering system.

If I get a ton of orders, like way above expectations, it is possible this edition (called, maybe, "Star Light, Star Bright edition?") will go on sale at GenCon.

16 Comments:

Blogger Bankuei said...

Well, you can already put me down for one. How about Chinese & English- since I'm as much of a bi-cultural product anyway :)

Can I request a lucky number, like 108, 36, or 88 (in that order of preference)?

:P

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Relevance said...

Heads up, I'm buying! Ala bankuei, an optional number request: 18.

1:21 AM  
Blogger Sven Holmström said...

This blogging thing is silly. Now I will buy your game, just because I read your blog regularly and somehow feel involved, without really being.

But that's how it goes.

/Sven, polyfem.blogspot.com

1:38 AM  
Blogger J. Andrew said...

Hey Ben, where are people complaining about "too many revisions" and all that? Just curious.

The way I see it, everyone who released something they cared about realized that More Work Needed to be Done, and that was that. No problem there, because some games deserve, hell REQUIRE a revised edition, but there's nothing forthcoming.

Like, I dunno, ***SORCERER***? :-)

-Andy

3:00 AM  
Blogger Joshua A.C. Newman said...

Well, in this day and age, the meaning of "edition" is fuzzy. It used to mean that, every time a book was put to new plates, they took that time to edit anything that needed editing. The publisher figured that, if we're going to go through all the trouble of making new plates, we might as well fix that typo on page 88, and clarify chapter 3.

With digital publishing, it doesn't mean that. It means that you've changed something, which might have necessitated reformatting or whatever, but it means that you wanted to say something differently, so you did. Sometimes, it's because you want to change the size of a book (viz. Vincent's second ed. of Dogs), which makes you rethink a bunch of stuff.

In the textbook publishing world, new editions come out once a year. They rarely have significant new information, but they change the formatting to make older editions incompatible by page number.

This is marketing sleaze.

In the indie game scene, new editions come out when enough stuff has been brought up on the author's blog to necessitate clarification, or the author can afford a higher margin, fancier printing. Something really changes, so you want to make your book better than the last one.

This is making sure that your product is good and up-to-date.

If you were to do a massive-scale line, like GURPS books, for instance, you have to be careful with changing page references and the like. Otherwise, new editions mean that you're backing up your work with more work.

So: who said this crap?

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Actual Play report - it's full of stars - sold me on the game long ago. Put me down for a pre-order.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Matt Machell said...

Now, what went wrong there. That last comment was from me.

6:34 AM  
Blogger AumShantih said...

Must add to collection! Number 7 if it isn't already taken.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Nathan P. said...

At least some of the edition-hating-on is here at RPGnet. You might have to scroll through a couple pages before it comes up.

8:01 AM  
Blogger Matt Wilson said...

Hey Ben:

How big is your game? What format? What color? What does it smell like?

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Sydney Freedberg said...

Yay, Polaris! I hereby pledge to purchase (err, unless it's "Polaris, the Pure Tritium Edition"). And I'm all for the dual Chinese/English thing. Lucky numbers are unnecessary, and trying to track all those preferences will drive you mad in any case.

9:24 AM  
Blogger John Harper said...

This is my pre-order request. I would love you like a brother if I got number 17.

email: oneseven splat gmail dot com

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Judd said...

I'll pick this puppy up at the big G.C.

12:54 PM  
Blogger kesher said...

'Twill be one of my eager indie purchases at ye olde Con, as well.

Aaron

1:48 PM  
Blogger Clinton R. Nixon said...

You know I'd take four - for reasons obvious to those of us speaking an Asian language - but I bet someone else gets that one.

Unless, you know, everyone else runs from it, knowing what we know.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Joshua A.C. Newman said...

Uh... shi=4=death?

That number's in the Mountain Witch book design in all sorts of subtle ways.

TOP SECRET ways.

1:40 AM  

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