Stocking Books Sells Books

April 1st, 2008 § 9 comments

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?
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    § 9 Responses to Stocking Books Sells Books"

    • Will says:

      Nice! Man, do I miss FLGSs. Man do I really, really miss good ones.

    • Mearls says:

      The crazy thing to me is that SW Explorer’s Edition is only $10 for a great game. It’d seem like a no-brainer for stores to keep it in stock.

    • Adam says:

      I forgot to ask, but I suspect that the store already had a copy of the SW core rules — I know they had stocked it before — and so didn’t want to order “another copy” if the previous one was sitting on the shelf. I suspect they’ll be keeping it in stock now, at least.

    • Joanna says:

      Novel concept, that.

    • Dan says:

      That book sells like hotcakes. The vendor at Fear the Con brought 8(?) copies and sold them all within a couple of hours.

      Granted, this is a crowd that hears Luke tout it constantly, but hey. ;)

    • Adam says:

      Luke is a dirty, dirty pusher — he’s one of the main reasons I decided to take another look at it.

    • Jonathan says:

      Hi Adam. You don’t know me, but your FLGS owner mentioned your name to me & directed me to our facebook group. From there, I found your site, and after seeing this post, thought I might as well chime in.

      I’m one of the customers who ordered the Savage Worlds book, after seeing your copy on the shelf. I did know of the book prior to seeing your copy (thanks to the RPG.net forums) so I’m not much help there. However, I didn’t order it from said FLGS because I had no idea the owner could order this particular book in until I saw your copy!

      Granted low price had a lot to do with me buying it, but I have to give most of the credit to the RPG.net forums for peaking my interest in the book. Its due to their many kind words that I decided to pursue getting my own copy.

      Added note – I had planned on ordering the copy of the book directly from the publisher. However, upon seeing that shipping would cost me more than the cost of the book ($18 for shipping, $10 for the book), I decided against that option. Luckily I saw your copy a day or two after that.

      Its a fine book. Now I just need to find a group here to try it out with!

    • Adam says:

      Hey Jonathan,

      Here’s a trick for figuring out if Keith can get something in — check out Lion Rampant’s catalog. They’re the major distributor of hobby games in Canada, and Keith can [or should be able to, at least] get anything that they stock. You can browse it by company or just search for the title you’re looking for. The link is: http://www.lionrampantimports.com/modules.php?name=Catalogue

    • Jonathan says:

      Oh wow, that is extremely helpful. Thanks for the link!

      And if you’re ever wanting to try out Savage Worlds, let me know!

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