Sep 082008
Monday, Sept. 1

Woke up not feeling well at all, wondering if it was the result of dodgy
Hilton buffet the night before. I was achy, fatigued, and felt as likely
as not to throw up. Persevered, made it to the Marriott dealer room to set
up at 10 AM, deciding to stay until 3 or 4 PM. As the hours went on, I
felt worse and worse, and it became a chore to stand and greet people and
give them a cheerful "elevator speech" about the game. By noon, I sat down
at the table and could only muster a meek greeting and feeble pitch. I
smiled through it, selling a dozen games or so, but at 12:15 I finally had
to leave a note saying I'd be back in 10 minutes. I'm sure anyone who
noticed assumed it was a bathroom break, but in fact I went to puke my
guts out. Though I was making all sorts of horrible sounds from the
stall, I was pretty good with my aim and kept myself very clean and
presentable. Other than a bit of ruddy cheeks and moist eyes, no one was
the wiser that I felt half-dead. I stuck it out until about 2:30, when I'd
finally had enough. I was weak and queasy and tired, and called my friend
Blake to come help me close up shop. Like a trooper, he showed up and we
packed up. Still, I was selling games until the very last second; as we
packed, two more games went out the door. I probably could have moved
another 10 games, had I stayed until 5, but by that point I was whipped.
Four days of Dragon*Con (panels, talks, manning the booth) had done me in.
The white flag went up, the Big Badass Buddha on the banner came down, and
that was all she wrote.

I'll spare my delicate readers the details of my stomach bug (and its
consequences), but it layed me low for a few days. I ended up selling
nearly 100 games at Dragon*Con, which was below my original hopes but
higher than my more realistic ones. 100 games is a very respectable number
for a game that no one had heard of before. I ended up with about $2,500
in sales, which sounds impressive until you realize that the D*C premiere
cost me close to $2,500 ($1,000 for the booth and ad in the program, $750
to ship the games from China, $450 to ship the pawns from New Mexico, $40
for Internet access so I could take credit cards-- more on that later,
another $450 to ship the unsold games and T-shirts to New Mexico, airfare,
etc.) And that's to say nothing of the unpaid time Chris and I put in
behind the booth, 9 hours a day for 3.5 days. So I either broke even or
lost a few hundred dollars on it, but it was never meant to turn a profit,
the purpose was to have a World Premiere launch for Playing Gods at
Dragon*Con, and by gods we did it! Hopefully the good buzz will turn into
later sales...

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