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A book of games: How many in a book? How much to charge?

2 replies [Last post]
InvisibleJon's picture
Joined: 07/27/2008

Hi All,

I'm preparing to publish a book of games. It'll be a revised sampling of the ~100 games I've put up over the past 8+ years at Invisible City Productions. I have an idea for how many games to put in the book. I have no idea what to charge for it. I'd like to get your opinions on these factors, and more.

My intent is to focus (~90%) on games that can be played with common household items and components (paper, pencil, d6es, poker cards, double-six dominoes, change, beads/buttons, balls, frisbees). The remaining ~10% may require some assembly (creating a special board by hand) or special pieces (polyhedral dice, Icehouse pieces, etc.). I'm thinking about including 30 games.

So, do you think that 30 games is too few, too many, or just right? Do you think that having a few games with special requirements is off-putting? When you picture a book like this, do you picture its interior in color or black & white? What size do you picture this book being? Soft cover or hard cover? How much do you picture a book like this selling for?

I appreciate your input. Thanks in advance!


seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Just personal first impressions

Amount of games will be directly related to rule length, so if the games are simple enough for the rules to be just 1 page, I would say 30 is too little. If each game is complex enough to require 3 or 4 pages, then 30 sounds perfectly fine. In that case I would devote one chapter per game.

Given that it's a book, not just a 50 games in 1 box thing, I would love for each chapter to include some brief designer notes on what inspired you to create the game, strategy tips, or stuff like that. So that you feel you're getting some special info from the designer, not just a bunch of games.

Black and white is ok, and will help make the book more affordable. Softcover too. If the book will include some pieces to be cut, mounted or whatever, then maybe those pages should be color. If you include pieces I would say letter sized book is reasonable, if it's just rules, pocket size might be better.

As for price, it's hard to say. It will depend a lot on several factors:
a) size (both measures and number of pages)
b) b&w, b&w + some color or full color
c) paper (coated / uncoated)
d) amount of games included

Depending on those factors, I would say from $15 to $40 sounds reasonable. More likely to buy something a bit more modest for $15 than something nicer for $40, though.

Hope this helps

SiddGames's picture
Joined: 08/02/2008

Some good notes on content - the fewer games in it, the nicer it would be to have some "extras" like design notes, variants, illustrations of setup and/or play, etc. Maybe include games for different situations, like solitaire, 2p, small group, large group/party, pieceless (aka playable in line or in the car), etc.

The immediate comparison to me is something like a Hoyle book of card games, so I agree aiming for paperback, black & white, affordable seems like the way to go, although there are some larger format books you could compete with, such as "tradeback" chess books, etc. (A quick glance at Amazon shows books like this: going for $15-$20 retail.)

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