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When dealing with a publisher...

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questccg
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So I wanted to get some feedback from people who have dealt with publishers...

I know I have read *here* that someone waited five (5) years to get some form of publishing agreement... however I'm looking to get a feel for what would be a good follow-up time.

Specifically I have sent the rulebook and some card samples in the month on December 2013 (12/16/2013).

I touched base with them in the month of January 2014 (01/14/2014) and sent them the box cover artwork and three sample cards (with artwork).

In both cases, I have not yet received a response... I'm thinking this is *not good*. But for sake of following through on my dealings, I plan to send them a follow-up e-mail.

My question is: "How long should I wait for a response before moving on to another Publisher?"

What I hope to avoid is terminating too quickly such that I start speaking to another Publisher and the previous one gets back in touch with me to say they are interested...

I feel my game is a good product and I have brought many changes following the various playtesting sessions. Today with the last corrections made, the game is very stable and solid in terms of rules. Also all aspects of the game tie into each other, there are no more *orphaned* games roles or any strange rules that should be followed...

I'd like to hear from the people who have already had their own games published...!

Many thanks.

Aerjen
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Joined: 08/28/2008
2 cents

Soooo, I don't have any games published yet but I do have some offers from publishers for one of my games, so I'll go out on a limb and suggest that my two cents could be viable as well.

I have had very varying response rates when dealing with publishers. Some were fantastic and I got a response the day I sent them something (rare) and most were somewhat slower. The slower ones ranged from a couple of weeks to several months. I usually follow up after 2 to 4 weeks of not hearing anything and I have never gotten a negative response for following up. I either got no response or a positive one.

Other than that, why limit yourself to sending things out to 1 publisher at a time? I've always sent my prototypes to multiple publishers and am very upfront about doing so. So far, all publishers were ok with me doing that or even said they appreciated that I told them that I was doing this.

Cheers and succes with your endeavors,

Aerjen

silasmolino
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Joined: 02/01/2013
I'm not sure but...

"Specifically I have sent the rulebook and some card samples in the month on December 2013 "

If this is all you sent, more than likely you will never hear from them again. Publishers are busy and want you to do the real work in game design. What you sent them was an idea, not a game. I'm thinking that if you sent them a full prototype, something they can sit down and play, then you might have better luck.

Dralius
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I have submitted to numerous

I have submitted to numerous publishers and the results varied from them getting back with me within a month to them not even replying to follow up e-mails months later.

Unless otherwise directed I wait 1 month to 6 weeks before checking back with them. Keep in mind that December is not only a busy time for most businesses but also personally for most folks so they might not of had time to make a decision.

Are you at liberty to name the publishers? I may be able to give you some insite if i have dealt with them before.

For example HABA told me they would let me know in 3 months. Almost exactly 90 days later i recieved a very nice rejection letter.

Izraphael
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Just ask before.

Well, it depends on the publisher. Someone wants a full-developed-game, someone else likes a good, working idea.
I think that the best way to speak with a publisher is to send an abstract with the core concept of the game, and then ask them if they're interested, and if they want rules, a prototype, or whatever.
But, in fact, it is even better to ask them what they want before sending anything.
This includes asking for other publisher, or the time needed for an answer.

I think there is not a "general rule" (except for "be polite and professional"), you have to know who's your interlocutor, what he wants, how things work in their company, and usually, if you don't know, the best thing to do is simply ask. Ask directly the publisher, with an e-mail saying "hi, how can I present a game to your company? what should I do?"

Remember that publishers and editors are human beings, each one is different from another, and compaines can be really different in size, catalogue, and each one will have a different approach, different needs and requirements.
So: talk about what you have and ask about what they want.

Moreover: know the gaming world and the company. A reply may need a lot of time if you send an e-mail to a publisher a few days before Essen Spiel or a product launch. And look at what they do: it's just a waste of time to send a wargame to a family-oriented company or a children euro-style game to a producer of epic-size-box miniature games.

By the way, again: ask before. It's simple, and it will save you a lot of time.

Edit: if they don't answer to the first question or they don't send at least a "we received your email" answer, I think you should consider yourself free after a week or, in case of a really busy publisher, two weeks. Maybe they're not *so* interested in new games (or the first email was a complete mess).

questccg
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Great advice

Well initially I used their *Support* system to submit an inquiry about how to proceed with the game's submission. Sort of to figure out what their policies are... I got a reply from the President of the Publishing company saying to send HIM the rulebook and some card samples... He said that he will be looking forwards to reading the rulebook.

Now at that time I only had the card layouts with placeholder artwork. So when I sent the rulebook, I also mentioned that in about 1 months time, I would send them ACTUAL artwork... So sample box cover and three (3) sample cards. Again as time came, my artist finished the work on time and I sent out another e-mail to the President so he can have a look at what my artist can do.

But since the original e-mail, I have gotten no response. No acknowledgement about receiving any of the samples or rulebook. A "Yes I had a chance to read it, we are still in the process of seeing if your game is something we would like to publish...", would go a long way.

So I am wondering if my e-mails are getting sent properly or not. That could be another possibility...

questccg
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Not an *idea* only!

silasmolino wrote:
"Specifically I have sent the rulebook and some card samples in the month on December 2013 "

If this is all you sent, more than likely you will never hear from them again. Publishers are busy and want you to do the real work in game design. What you sent them was an idea, not a game. I'm thinking that if you sent them a full prototype, something they can sit down and play, then you might have better luck.

I followed the direction of the President of the Publishing company... What he wanted was a rulebook and some sample cards to have an idea about what the game looks like. At that time I did not have *actual* artwork, I just sent that recently (last week).

And no I did not send an *idea*, I had a FULL 30 page rulebook and finished card layouts for the game. 30 page rulebook is not an *idea*, it's a fully developed game. Also most publisher have their own artists, in this case they wanted me to submit artwork (as per the President's request...)

Note: The rulebook is based on version #8 of the prototype. Currently after the last playtests, version #9 will be available to playtest some time in February (towards the end of the month). But informally, I have already playtested the changes in the game - and I am very satisfied with them.

To be accurate it is Prototype "Theta" (#9)! Since this is a Sci-Fi game, I used Greek Numerals because I thought it would be more appropriate...

silasmolino
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Joined: 02/01/2013
Sorry

Wasnt aware that was what the President requested. I really don't know anything about how long it takes. Looks like you really did your homework with the rulebook. How long in the making is your game?

questccg
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Almost one year!

silasmolino wrote:
How long in the making is your game?

It's almost been one (1) year. The game started in March 2013... Not too long but we have seen nine (9) prototypes of the game, each very different from each other.

It's kinda funny, originally I had planned to have starships WITH shields... That lasted one prototype (version 0.1) and then I realize - nope this is not going to work. So starships only have *Hull Plating* (only protection is good old metal :P).

Our casual gamers (playtesters) have really helped in focusing the game. Early on the list of *to do* or *needs changing* was long. Now it's minor details, just to make the game faster or more balanced. With each playtest session, we test out what has been changed and see if it works. So we have been going through a list of all of the little changes here and there... And seeing if they work and test to see if the game still has balance.

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