I'm slowly catching up with things post-Essen. The big thing I had to do was my VAT return, which I finished yesterday, great guys on the end of a phone, crappy on-line system :-(
Thursday I spent most of the day getting a lot of our rarely-used junk into storage, so that the flat looks tidier for the estate agent photos and potential buyers. Today I'll also be busy on that, doing a bunch of minor jobs around the flat that we've been putting off. Then the next two days we're away flat-hunting in the South.
The VAT return was good news in some senses, the government owe me lots of money :-) You work out the difference between the VAT you charged your customers and the VAT you paid your suppliers. If you charged more, you pay them the difference, but if you paid more, they refund you the difference. I had to pay for all 3,000 of It's Alive! in that quarter and I didn't sell all of them (and those I did were often zero-rated because they went outside the EU). I eagerly anticipate the resulting cheque!
I've also started contacting people I met (or was supposed to meet) at Essen, chasing up contacts I made. There's some interesting developments afoot...
The next thing to do is to line up distributors and shops for Carpe Astra. The Germans are now saying it might arrive in two weeks time (two weeks ahead of schedule), so I need to sort this out ASAP. Esdevium, JKLMnP, Heidelberger and FRED have all expressed an interest, now I just need to nail them down to a confirmed order. I need numbers! The German manufacturers of Carpe Astra are cheaper, so my margins are better. As a result, I can offer the game to distributors cheaper (proportionally) than I can It's Alive! This will hopefully make it more appealing to them than It's Alive! (since their margins will also be better) and hence easier to sell.
I have also found time to update my website with more information about where you can get It's Alive!, my stockists list is finally beginning to look respectable (i.e. not just UK shops!). I've also heard that the games I shipped to Boards and Bits (via Germany so they could be folded into a container shipment they were arranging) have finally arrived :-)