Saturday, August 21, 2010

B/X Companion: Now International!

As in "over-seas."

The Pay/Pal button has been updated...South America and Europe is an extra $9 to shipping, I'm afraid. But according to the Post Office, it's the same price whether I'm shipping to the UK, France, Finland, Germany, or Brazil.

It still trips me the hell out that I'm getting emails from folks in the UK, France, Finland, Germany, and Brazil...all wanting my game. I don't even speak Portuguese. Or Finnish! Sheesh!

I should mention that the response has been fairly overwhelming the last 24 hours. At this rate, I'll sell out my first print run by the end of the week. Which is...

Well, frankly a little overwhelming, as I said.

Not that I'm objecting! Please, please buy my book! And please use it to play! That's the whole point of writing it! Well...that and to see if I could even complete something like this. But I woke up this morning, checked the emails, and had a bit of a minor panic attack. The phrase "selling like hotcakes" comes to mind...and no one's even reviewed the book. That's just...


Maybe I should explain. I do a lot of "artistic" stuff...or I have over the years. I've never done anything that I've gotten paid for before. Well, I DID get $100 once to dress up as Batman for a kid's birthday party, but I'd hardly call that much of an acting gig. Even in my garage band days, I was playing pro bono or for beer, not cash.

To actually be paid for one's writing (I don't even advertise on the blog!)...even a small amount which I intend to offset my costs and perhaps use to facilitate another book...well, it's extremely gratifying for my own sense of self-worth.

And nerve-wracking in all honesty. What if everyone hates the book and chucks it in the trash? What if I'm flamed around the internet and become some sort of pariah/outcast? What if people threaten to burn down my house unless I give them their money back?

What if I end up despised in seven different countries?

I'm sure this is just paranoid/worst-case-scenario talk...but remember, folks, I am no "insider" of the gaming industry. Despite living in the Pacific Northwest my whole life, I've never worked for Wizards of the Coast, or any of the other independent game companies out here. Hell, I've never even worked for a retail game, book, or comic store...not even as a part-time job. When I was a kid, I was flipping burgers all summer long!

So it's kind of nuts. You Old School types who've written for other game companies and are now putting out quality stuff of your folks may know a little bit (or more than a little) about what you're doing. Me? I'm just stumbling around in the dark waving a book at people and seeing who wants to buy. Damn...I don't even have a "presence" on Dragonsfoot or Knights and Knaves; I'm still a bit surprised anyone knows who the hell I am!

Anyway, thank you folks. I really do hope you get something (fun, useful, both) out of the game. Your encouragement and your support have helped me realize a not-too-small dream of mine. Hell, my buddy Steve now wants me to help him publish HIS (non-gaming) book. That I can be an inspiration to others...well, that's totally cool, too. But I wouldn't have come this far without being inspired by all of you.

Truly, thank you.


  1. It'll be fine dude.

    BTW do you plan a PDF version?

  2. Here's the thing: that's exactly what we are bringing back here. We are a bunch of hobbyists, who enjoy putting stuff together for other hobbyists. Some folks have done some truly awesome stuff. But this is fundamentally about amateurs - in the best sense, people who do things for the pure love of it. It's a beautiful thing. And I for one just can't wait to get ahold of the B/X Companion.

  3. JB, Congrats on getting your book done. I'll be putting in an order for one the end of next so save one for me.

    Looking forward to see what you did. Much success to you!

  4. Order: in.

    Will JB's Companion tempt me away from my treasured Rules Cyclopedia? Will it be chopped up and mixed in with the Mentzer rules? Or will a revolt send my players across the country bearing torches and those Frankenstein rake things? We'll find out soon…

  5. Well, I couldn't wait and I ordered it tonight.

  6. Congrats! I don't plan to buy a paper version due to shipping expenses. But a PDF would not be out of the question.

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  8. I ordered mine yesterday. If your print run is running low, you might consider PDF sales and Print on Demand at a place like Lulu. It isn't perfect, but it gives folks a few more options and you aren't having to do all the work to get the product in their hands.

  9. Two things:

    1) I'm in the same boat as you: I'm just some kid, writing stuff for people who've been playing for longer than I've been alive, and it's terrifying! Luckily, (barring a few assholes), this is an extremely welcoming and friendly community that puts more emphasis on your original content and attitude than experience. It's cool as hell to have people you don't even know enjoying your stuff!

    2) Regarding you being a "big gun" (from James' OSR Gazette): You've got 150+ followers and have sold out of your first print run in a matter of days. I think your days of being a small fry are over ;)

  10. A clarification: I'm not trying to imply you're a kid, but rather, that I empathize with the really wierd experience of having your work put out in the great black void for people to consume and hoping that people don't hate it. :)

  11. @ Everyone: thanks for the support (and the orders)'s been a busy last couple days, but books are on their way...all over the friggin' world! How cool is that?

    @ Antonio & BigHara: alternative methods of getting the game out will certainly be considered depending on how this print-run sells. If I end up with some positive reviews (right now people are just buying "sight unseen"...crazy!) and the demand goes through the roof, I will certainly move to a different publishing approach. Right now, though, I'm glad to be able to do my own "quality control" (such as it is). My books look nice...I don't know how LuLu's will.

    @ N.Wright: Hey, "kid,"
    ; )

    ...sometimes I forget to look back at 'what I have wrought' over the last 18 months. It's hard to get into the mindset of being a dude with an actual book people are buying, etc. But then, I remember when I first got married it took me awhile to feel like "a husband." Transitions to other identities can be challenging, especially in our own minds. I am flattered that people think I'm bigger than my own imaginings...I hope I can fulfill their expectations. But sometimes it's still startling when you read about yourself being discussed around the internet by people...even those with whom you have a blogger/blog-reader relationship.

    I feel your empathy, and I'm glad that you (like me) have found this business to be fun, friendly, and satisfying. Keep playing!

  12. Seriously good news! I just put an order in. First one to Sweden, eh?

  13. @ Andreas: You are indeed my first Swedish order. I have now sent my books to more countries than I have personally visited. Sheesh!
    : )