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General Forge Forums => Independent Publishing => Topic started by: JimLotFP on May 01, 2009, 04:44:40 AM

Title: Approaching Vendors
Post by: JimLotFP on May 01, 2009, 04:44:40 AM
'allo all...

A lot has changed since I last came here looking for advice. I scrapped plans for my own game after playtesting fizzled, but have since started doing things in the "Old School Renaissance," (pre-1985 D&D and the clones) including self-publishing a supplement that later got picked up by Goodman Games. Efforts to get more of my own stuff out had come to nothing until recently, but in the past ten days I've released and sold 60 copies of the Green Devil Face zine.

You can see my current production process here ( I moved to that method to prevent the "I printed 100 and sold 5" problem I've experienced in the past.

I have a few projects nearly completed, and the plan is to attempt to get some of the online vendors (not pdf vendors, I have plans for moving forward on that) to carry these projects. I know it won't be so easy with the literally homemade production values of the books, but it couldn't hurt to try, right?

How should I approach these vendors? Should I just send an introductory email, an email with a pdf sample, send a physical book through the mail as a sample? Or something different? What information should be included in the solicitation?

What sort of wholesale discount should I offer when approaching a vendor direct? I believe the wholesale price is 40% of retail when going through three-tier distribution...

What about shipping costs? I'm in Europe, but basically all the vendors I'd know to contact are in the US (I will be doing research on European webstores closer to the completion of the next project) so getting the books to any of these vendors won't be cheap. Do I include that in the price of any solicitation, or would it be added on top of the wholesale price? I'm not sure how to account for that.

Title: Re: Approaching Vendors
Post by: Eero Tuovinen on May 01, 2009, 12:26:45 PM
Internet vendors for physical books? Well, I sort of am one here in Finland, so perhaps my opinion has merit: I'll check out anything sent to me when I have the time, and if I like it, I'll buy six or so copies at 50% discount - if the stuff is in the USA I'll probably wait until I can get together a larger order, if it's in Europe I'll pay postage. So I'm easy that way, and I don't really care much about whether the product is homemade or whatnot - it can't be worse than Primitive, one of my favourite titles.

I'd expect that others have wildly different expectations and interests as vendors, though, so I couldn't begin to generalize on this.

Considering that you're in Finland, do make a point of showing your stuff to me at some point. If nothing else, I might be interested personally. Ropecon, for example - seems right now that we'll be there to promote indie games.

Title: Re: Approaching Vendors
Post by: Noclue on May 01, 2009, 07:02:01 PM
IndiePressRevolutions has a "Prospective Publisher FAQ" on their site that might be helpful.