The Indie Bazaar gets together at tabletop gaming events to share mutual, material support among independent publishers. We’ve had boardgames, roleplaying games, tabletop wargames, and even dexterity games.
Want to join us with your game (or maybe another kind of related publication)? As long as we’ve got room (we seem to max out at around 11 publishers), you’re welcome to join us if:
- The creator of the game owns the intellectual property. If you can be there, your game will sell far, far more copies because no one understands it like you do! We also prioritize space for designers who are present.
- The game’s content treats all people and people-like entities as people; that is, not as stereotypes of race, religion, sex, or gender.
- You’re willing to learn about everyone else’s thing so we can all sell each other’s stuff.
How do we do?
We divide all costs by each publisher’s gross profits. Sometimes we have no appreciable costs, but sometimes we need to pay for business cards, booth space, banners, whiteboards, credit card fees, and dinner for our ninjæ. It depends on the nature of the convention.
Publishers who aren’t present to sell stuff throw in an additional %10 to help cover everyone who’s there and hustling.
So let’s say the booth at a convention has four publishers, who, together, made $1000 at a convention, of which Alice sold $100, Ben sold $200, Carrie sold $600. Daniel made $0 in sales. Eva wasn’t present, but we sold $100 of her games. It costs us $100 to put the booth together.
- Alice gets $100 (her gross sales) – $10 (10% of $100) = $90
- Ben gets $200 (his gross sales) – $20 (20% of $100) = $180
- Carrie gets $600 (her gross sales) – $60 (60% of $100) = $540
- Daniel doesn’t get anything (yet), but he also isn’t out any money, except for his individual publishing costs.
- Eva gets $100 (her gross sales) – $10 (10% of $100) – $10 (an additional 10% for being not present) = $80.
- Because of Eva’s additional 10%, we now have another $10 in the till. Sometimes that just covers errors, but in this case, let’s give it to Daniel for lunch.
We make decisions by a process we call the crotchetocracy. That is, if you complain about something and no one does it, then either you do it, or you shut up about it until the show’s over. At that point, we can assess what we’d like to do differently next time. We make plenty of mistakes, but we’re all doing our best. If something didn’t get done, it’s because no one could do it.
That also means that, when someone does something, even if it’s not how you’d do it, you say “thank you”. Because someone did it, and the only reason this works is because someone did.
What do you do if we’re full up?
One of the visions of the Indie Bazaar is that we want to multiply. The Indie Bazaar grew out of the Forge Booth at Gen Con, which, in 2010, gave birth to the Playcollective (many of us here in the Indie Bazaar were founders of the Playcollective), Design Matters, the Ashcan Front, and the expansive, mutual support of Burning Wheel and its associated publishers. If we’re full, we’re happy to give advice and help you figure out your own little community. It’ll be driven by different priorities with different spirit, as dictated by its constituent humans, which is great.
For concrete, material reasons, we want you to succeed. We are not competition — the market is too big for any of us to saturate it. But we can recommend customers to each other with sincere enthusiasm.