This time round I've given away a few copies of It's Alive! to reviewers in the hope it will lead to some positive buzz and extra sales.
I gave away a few copies of Border Reivers to people who had helped me in some way. I got one (obviously), I gave one to my Dad in return for the box illustration and Mal got one for doing the Reiver Games website. But I didn't give away any review copies. The combination of the high ticket price and the small run meant I stood to lose too high a percentage of the maximum total income for the run.
It's Alive! however is a cheaper game, with cheaper postage and the larger run means that giving away a few copies will hopefully be both affordable, and worthwhile in terms of greater sales. In addition to free copies for myself, two for Yehuda and one for the artist, I've given three copies away to three of the big name reviewers: Tom Vasel, Greg Schloesser and Skip Maloney. Tom has the most reviews on BoardGameGeek as well as posting on The Dice Tower. Greg writes for both Counter and Knucklebones, and Skip also writes for Knucklebones. Skip in particular comes highly recommended by Dean of Ludorum Games.
I've got some press already, and now that I've contacted everyone on the waiting list telling them that their copies are ready I can start making a small but concerted effort to attract attention. Eric Martin of Boardgame News did a short story which lead to three sales (so far), and Luke (sometime blogger here) apparently plugged it enough to lead to at least one sale.
I've just got back from a few days in Copenhagen for work, so there'll be no more pimping until I have bolstered my dwindling stock.