April 2008

GAMA Trade Show

Got back to Seattle last night from the GAMA Trade Show. We had a good time in Vegas, and a very productive show for Catalyst Game Labs — we heard a lot of good things about our current product lines, and a very positive response to the new games that we’ll be releasing later this year. I’m in meetings for the next couple days, and I didn’t get as much of a chance as I would have liked to wander the show floor, but I’ll probably post a bit more about the show soon-ish.

MacBook Pro Battery Replacement

The battery in my MacBook Pro had been sucking lately: down to about 1:30 of battery life, and sometimes, after a full charge, as low as 20 minutes. Letting it drain a little bit and then re-charging it would bring it back up to 1:30, but still, for a 10 month old battery, that’s not cool.

I landed in Seattle this morning, and after Air Canada lost my luggage [still hasn’t been found] we went to IHOP and then the Apple store in Lynnwood. There was a bit of a wait for the Genius Bar, but the genius immediately said that my battery was totally out of whack and would be replaced for free, and less than 10 minutes later I had a brand new battery and was outta there. Awesome service.

However … it looks like putting a new battery in my machine re-enabled Safe Sleep, which I go through a lot of work to snuff out like the plague it is. Very minor though, and the service I got at the Apple store was great. Plus, I got to fondle a new iMac and a Mac Pro, and now I want them both.

Also, I want my luggage back. My hair gel is in there! C’mon, Air Canada, help a guy out.

New Art Book from Charm School == yummy!

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I pre-ordered my copy of Krysztof Nemeth’s upcoming second book of pin-up art over the weekend. Krysztof is an awesome guy and his art is sassy and sexy. He has a nice deal going where if you order both books, you’ll get them for a total price of $50, or $10 off buying each title individually.

I’ve seen most [if not all] of the art that’s going into this book, and it’s great stuff. Having a copy on my shelf so I can flick through it whenever I like or hand it over to friends is much better than browsing it online, though; so come May, I’ll be camped by my mailbox waiting for it.

[Hmm, I suspect my blog template won’t like an image taller than the post itself, so I might just ramble on here a little bit. Future blog topics will include my review of Apple’s Time Capsule, perhaps some talking about customer service in the hobby game industry, some stuff from my upcoming trip to Seattle, and hey, after the GAMA Trade Show in April, I’ll be able to talk about Catalyst Game Labs’ new games!]

Stocking Books Sells Books

Last month I asked my local game store to order me a copy of Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition. I had read Savage Worlds years ago and wasn’t too interested in it, but with the relative popularity it still enjoys and the low price I figured I should give it a second chance.

On the 6th of March, I ordered it. On the 14th, I had a note from my FLGS saying that it was in. I finally got the chance to pick it up on the 29th.

My FLGS has a shelf behind the counter where they display the books and games that have been set aside for pre-orders. In the 15 days from the time he put that book on the shelf, he has taken 3 other orders for the exact same book, all from people who had no idea the book existed. The simple act of stocking one copy — and it didn’t even sit on the New Releases shelf — exposed it to enough people that they sold 3 more copies.

A few thoughts about this:

  • If the book had been on the new releases shelf and I had walked in and picked it up, those sales might not have happened — the customers that saw my pre-order copy may have never seen this fictional non pre-ordered copy.
  • The low price of Savage World Explorer’s Edition probably factored into the good conversation rate: Who thinks twice about dropping $11 on a book?
  • Providing “display/reader” copies to game stores would be interesting … but aside from Wizards of the Coast and perhaps White Wolf, I don’t think any hobby publisher could afford to do so on a regular basis for a large amount of stores. I think there’s probably a way to do it on a limited opt-in basis for the small [50-100] number of stores that would take advantage of such a promotion, but would that help grow sales in any appreciable way?