The new edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay sold better than anything else GR has done lately, but you wouldn’t know it from Comics and Games Retailer, which most of the retailers I’ve talked to cite as the only entity actually trying to deliver sales rankings. Well, apparently there’s another now, and that’s great, because all my retailer contacts agree with Pramas that C’n’GR does an iffy job at best. I mean, how hard should it have to be for retailers – and publishers, and press for that matter – to know what’s selling?
Now you feel our pain, Chris 🙂
We’ve had the same problem with B5, Conan, Paranoia and no doubt will continue to see it with SST. . .
Any sort of sales data is hard to thresh out. Invariably, it’s presented by an interested party, or it’s produced by a flawed process, or the source isn’t trustworthy, etc. Even the raw numbers might not mean much – a book that sells 20,000 copies sounds impressive, but it isn’t so great if the publisher printed 50,000.
The key to getting a good picture of the RPG industry lies in taking the aggregate of as many sources as you can, each filtered through an understanding of its weaknesses and biases.
In reality, the attainable goal isn’t to find out how many copies of book X publisher Y sold. The goal is to determine a publisher’s overall financial standing. This skill is critically important to anyone who wants to make a go as a full-time freelance writer.
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