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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:33 pm

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Palladium Books® Staff

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 1162
Hi all!

Just thought I'd pop in to draw back the curtain a bit more on how and why Palladium Books does the things it does - not that anyone's interested, right? :D Today's topic: Why Your Friendly Local Game Store is Essential to Palladium's Success, and What We Are Doing About It

First off, let me acknowledge the elephant in the room - Palladium Books' games are not in nearly enough game stores. This is a problem.

(Did I just see you roll your eyes? :rolleyes:)

Yeah, I know, obviously this is a problem, and in more ways than one. Lack of products in stores makes it harder for you to get that new book for your favorite game line. You have to pay shipping to get our products, making each book more expensive. You can't thumb through the core book for one of our other game lines that you're thinking about buying. Worst of all, it makes it harder to find people in your area who you can game with! The friendly local game store is a nexus point for all things gaming - a place for gamers to meet and congregate, express their opinions and try out new things. If our books aren't in the game store though, it drains the enthusiasm for new people to even give our games a try. "Oh yeah? If its so great, why can't I find it on the store shelves?"

The thing is, having our products missing from store shelves is not a problem - it is a symptom. Just like a fever, shelves devoid of Palladium products is not a root cause. We need to address the germ that is causing our body to react with a high temperature, or in other words, what is keeping our games off the shelves of your FLGS.

One of my duties as the new business manager for Palladium Books has been to identify root problems. What I have found is, unlike someone with the flu (yes, I know the flu is caused by a virus, not a germ :P :lol: ), there is more than one root cause for Palladium's products being M.I.A. at your local game store. These reasons run a whole gamut, from the store's suppliers not carrying our products and gamers not knowing we exist all the way down to store employees who hate Palladium Books. (No joke, about 10 years ago I had a store clerk tell me to my face that he refused to pass on my order for a Rifts world book because he hated the game system.)

So now what?

We address the root problems, that's what!

First, we let gamers know we're here by upping our game in social media, posting much more often here, on Facebook and on Twitter. Not only are we posting, we're also responding to your questions and highlighting fan creations. The response so far has been great, and we plan on doing much more!

Second, we've opened official channels in Youtube and Twitch, as well as started a Reddit account. We have signed on some wonderful content creators on Twitch and Youtube, and will be bringing more on board. These content creators are not only partnering with us to create videos and live-streams highlighting our games on their channels, but in the coming months some of them will be helping us create awesome new content for our own channels: everything from product reviews and how-to's to interviews with Palladium creators and even some videos from the upcoming Palladium Open House! All this content will not only help spread awareness of Palladium Books presence, but will make it easier and more fun to get into our games.

Third, we've begun reaching out to distributors who either haven't ordered from us in years or who have never worked with us before. Let's face it, the game market is crowded, and most store owners don't have the time to look through every table top game out there to decide what they want in their stores. Here's a bit of an open secret - while game store owners (the good ones at least) listen to their customers to find out what they want to buy, they also rely heavily on their suppliers to tell them what they should stock. Strange as it may sound, that human contact between the game store manager and the sales rep of the supplier is even more vital today than it was 20 years ago. Don't believe me? Next time you are in your FLGS ask the manager how many of the games on his shelves he's actually played, then ask him why he decided to stock the games he hasn't played on his shelves. He's going to tell you two things: 1) that a customer requested it, and 2) his supplier told him it was something he could sell.

So how do the suppliers/distributors decide what they are going to carry and offer to their store-owner-clients? By knowing the market, what's trending, and by being contacted by game makers. Here's a funny thing - all companies are made up of regular people. People who have their strengths and weaknesses, who try to do the best job they can, and who forget things if they aren't brought to mind on a regular basis. This is where regular contact from game makers can be the difference in getting a book onto a store shelf or not. If the distributor doesn't know about Palladium Books, or hasn't thought of us in a long time, they aren't going to be talking up our products to the store owners, and our books won't get onto store shelves.

Fourth, we begin addressing unflattering public perceptions about Palladium Books. With a renewed focus on communication and progress we can begin addressing long-standing issues within our gaming community and begin healing the wounds we find there.

These measures, and more like them, will begin to turn the tide, increasing both our presence in your friendly local gaming store as well as demand from customers to buy those products. In turn, you will have easier access to the games you love, and more people to play them with.

There is so much more that I could discuss with you on this topic, areas that are or need to be addressed, but I don't want to turn this post into a novel. (I assure you, I'll be talking more about root problems and what we are doing to address them in future Murmurs.) For now, please know that we here at Palladium Books are aware of the difficulties you have faced as you've hunted to find our products, and we are working hard to make that problem disappear.

A wise man once said, "Only a fool takes offense where none was intended." I repeat this good advice to myself at least once a day.

Calm, reasoned discourse is the best way to change minds; too bad all the calm & reason in the world can't open a willfully closed mind.

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