Small Publisher Contests

So, I’ve been thinking about how I could get some more small publisher board games onto our shelves in a timely manner.  Frankly, with the number of games released each month, its pretty hard to keep track of them all and make certain that we stock the good one’s.

My initial idea is to run a small publisher  (i.e. this excludes Rio Grande, Mayfair, Days of Wonder, etc.) contest every month at Starlit Citadel.  The winner would get a free copy of the publisher’s game and the publisher gets exposure and at the least, a small order from us of 5 copies (1 as a contest, 1 for ourselves personally and 3 to stock on the site).  If it goes well with the sale to customers, that number would obviously increase.

What would we get? Well, since we can only promote 12 board games a year (preferably games that are released that month or the previous month); the publishers would pitch their games to us to be included.   That sends the information direct to us, instead of us searching through a ton of new releases to understand which might sell.

I’d have to set a minimum rating for games to be pitched (minimum number of stars on BGG with 5 ratings, etc. or a good review from a well known reviewer, etc.) since I’d have to be able to evaluate the game.  Obviously, I’d have to be able to purchase the game (directly via the publisher for a reasonable cost and/or via our distributors) but that would be the only other criteria.  This would exclude most European publishers I must admit unless they already have distribution in the US because the cost of ordering a small quantity of games would be too high.

I’m thinking the best place to publish this would be on the site and at BGG.  The question is – Geeklist or Forum Post?  Any other comments / suggestions / etc on this idea?

6 thoughts on “Small Publisher Contests”

  1. Sounds like a great idea. What sort of contest are you thinking about? Is this a simple enter your name to win X game sort of contest?

    I’ve always been a big fan of supporting the smaller publishers, so it would be really great to see some of those games show up as highlights. A Geeklist would be a great start for sure.

  2. Good question, I’m not sure. I’d prefer something more imaginative, but my brain is fried onto what that could be. Maybe something specific to each game – maybe a trivia question on space for Galactic Emperor or something like that. Help would certainly be appreciated – by the publishers or users!

  3. I agree, something more imaginative is a great idea. Especially if its something creative or community based.

    Some idea’s (in the case of Galactic Emperor):

    – Have people submit idea’s for a new theme for a new ____ Emperor game. Would get some great funny ones out of this 🙂

    – Create your best mspaint rendition of what a galactic emperor would actually look like.

    Could then either randomly pick a winner, or decide which was the most creative/funny/interesting and award a winner based on that.

  4. I definitely like the idea of a new theme / naming contest. It’s something anyone could get into. The other could make some people step back from doing just ’cause it’s more complicated.

  5. I’d be interested in seeing games from Kyhber Pass Games, Firefight Games, ATO magazine, BSO games, and Multiman Publishing.

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