Tuesday, February 20

Border Reivers Six Month Update

Well, I'm in London for work for a couple of days so this edition of Creation and Play is coming to you live from my hotel room.

I've been very busy with my new job and trying to get stuff ready for Codename: Monster, but in the background Border Reivers has been ticking along nicely. Last week Border Reivers turned six months old, so I thought I'd post an update on how things are going. Hopefully this will be of interest to someone...

I'm making a run of 100 copies of Border Reivers, but I've already given four copies away to people who've helped me, and judging by how it's going so far I'm likely to write off another four copies by clumsily cocking things up - as all the components are glued, and cut by hand there are a wealth of ways to make mistakes. This leaves me with 92 copies for sale from the print run. I'm still well ahead of schedule for selling out within a year (the goal I had set myself at the beginning), and since the free postage to America deal I did in January ahead of my trip to San Francisco sales are pretty steady at their pre-Christmas levels. I've had three or four weeks of steady sales now which is settling my nerves after the dry patch over Christmas.

Border Reivers has also been generating some content on BoardGameGeek, we've had another review (thanks, Dave!), some rules questions, a player guide and it's been added to a popular GeekList (thanks, Jeff!). This feels nice, as people are obviously interested in it. It's also received its lowest rating yet (4/10), so it's not all perfect, but even that wasn't very damning.

I thought people might be interested in a couple of graphs of sales breakdown. These are approximate, since I'm doing this from memory as all my records are at home but they'll be fairly accurate.

First up, sales breakdown by region:

As expected the vast majority of my sales have been to the UK - not surprising really, as I've only been to UK conventions and all my friends, family and colleagues live in the UK. Second comes North America despite the disastrous exchange rate. I've had a lot of interest from North America, but most of it loses interest fairly quickly when they see the price converted into dollars. I've only sold one copy to Europe, and that fairly recently to Germany, which surprises me. I thought I'd get more action from Europe, Germany especially since they're such big games fans. But I guess light, luck-heavy wargames aren't their thing. I've also sold a copy to New Zealand, which with the exception of the International Space Station is pretty much as far away as possible.

The second graph is a breakdown by sales channel:

Despite having only been to two conventions, one of which was pretty small, I've sold about an eighth of my total sales so far at conventions. I've more conventions lined up too, so hopefully I'll be able to maintain this in the future. Border Reivers seems to sell pretty well to people I've explained the game to and played with. Friends, family and work colleagues make up just under a quarter, bless them. These guys might not even play games, but they buy a copy just to help me out in my chosen dream. The BBC MindGames magazine review led to a single sale which was a little disappointing, but it was in America, which was a little bizarre. I added a fairly bland page to Wikipedia, which has led to three sales, tied to the Border Reivers historical page as it is. Eric Martin at BoardGameNews did a little piece on Border Reivers which also led to a handful of sales too. The rest of my sales (half!) come from BoardGameGeek, either directly or indirectly. So in total almost two-thirds of my sales are over the internet from people I've never met. Weird. And yet very cool.

That's enough - I'll not bore you any longer.


Yehuda said...


Not specifically, but did you actually make money on the first run? Can you build a business model around it?

Long term expectations and plans for the "company"?


Jack said...

Hiya Yehuda,

Nice to know you're still reading :-)

I've made a (very small) profit already, with a bunch of copies still to sell.

Th rest looks like an ideal subject for another post...