Johnny Dickey
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Nebraska
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I was bouncing around the web when I came across Giggle Box Games on Twitter. https://twitter.com/#!/GiggleboxGames

The profile caption is as follows: Game distribution for self-publishers, preparing to launch early summer 2012. Dedicated to placing independent games in the hands of those who will love them.

US · http://www.giggleboxgames.com

Being a self-publisher myself I was intrigued, so I contacted the fine people at Giggle Box requesting more information. This was their responce:
By day, I development internet applications. One of my clients in another industry has been averaging approximately $350k in gross sales per month utilizing wholesale distributors in unique ways. Gigglebox Games will follow similar methods but also incorporate sales consultants, independent MLM type individuals. No aspect of distribution will be multi-level. Many sales consultants will appreciate the benefits of also promoting independent games. The objective is to place games in the hands of dynamic distributors servicing many types of stores such as gift shops as well as sales consultants, expanding the potential for face-to-face sales. Hypothetically but realistically, this line of independent games could be found at truck stops or offered by the neighborhood Avon cosmetics rep. I know this must sound unconventional and it is. People unfamiliar with independent games will gain an introduction from outlets that never before existed.

Of course, there are two primary categories of games. Traditional publishers have a monopoly (pardon the pun) on popular games. A common royalty for designer/developers is only 5%. Many publishers of hobby games exist but the vast majority are very small. Self-publishers are thought of as being part of the hobby game community. Typically, a self-publisher offers their game(s) for purchase on a website and if lucky, sales are better than dismal. Thousands of games are available online. Sadly, everyone competes for the same passers-by. If not a hobby gamer familiar with the games they specifically desire, the average person goes to Walmart or Target to find something appealing to play.

Having a line of at least (12) games to start is important, commanding the attention of those in sales who would be interested in representing the products. Many hobby games based on war or fantasy do not have mass public appeal. They are great games for the intended audience. We are seeking games that would intrigue the average person who sees the box cover or label.

From the Gigglebox Games perspective, our participation is purely distribution. Production and drop shipping would be responsibilities for you to coordinate.

So... does anyone have any good advice? Is this a scam of the real deal? I have'nt got to the part where they make their money yet, what is their cut, does it come off the top or a percentage?

Is it time to make a move on my game or just sit on it in my little corner of the web and hope for the best.

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Rodriquez Wrenchezo
United States
Arlington
Texas
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honest opinion? just from reading that, it made my head hurt.
The grammer is pretty horrible. Which means one of 2 things:
1)The person isna american or english but has good intentions
or
2)it's a scam.

personally I'd say it's a scam.
but that's just my opinion.

But the business "plan" is a bit off the wall, as well as no real thought into it.

I'd hope they are legit but personally I don't believe it.


-
Rod

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Rodriquez Wrenchezo
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Arlington
Texas
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ok on second thought, I just looked at the site.
I wouldna touch that place with a ten foot pole.

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Rod
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Jayson Stevens
Canada
Surrey
British Columbia
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"sales consultants, independent MLM type individuals"
MLM = instant fail. MLM is a barely legal scam at best, and it will jack your markups significantly to pay all the levels of commission.

"Having a line of at least (12) games to start is important"
Yeah, because everyone has 12 different self-published games.
When you're looking at 10-20k a print run to self publish these games, times 12, that's bumping up against a quarter million dollars invested in order to start working with them

"Many hobby games based on war or fantasy do not have mass public appeal."
So they don't want hobby games. They want party games and ____opoly.

"From the Gigglebox Games perspective, our participation is purely distribution. Production and drop shipping would be responsibilities for you to coordinate."
In other words, they don't do ANYTHING except run the top level of their MLM scheme.
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Rank Zero
Austria
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This looks shady at best, you're going to pay them for what exactly? Distribute your games to shops who don't want them, nice!
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Josh
Canada
Cambridge
Ontario
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“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” -Bukowski
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“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
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Rodriquez wrote:
The person isna american or english


And you must be Scottish!



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Liam Liam
Scotland
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Is the site just one page of text and a crap drawing??
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Johnny Dickey
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Nebraska
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Thank you for all the good advice everyone!
I will peddle my little game on my own where I can, without the risk of being scammed.
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Jason Fordham
United States
Rome
Georgia
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monkeyhandz wrote:
Is the site just one page of text and a crap drawing??


Yes. Yes it is.

::shrug::

Odd.
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Gigglebox Games
United States
Tennessee
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At the moment, our site does consist of one announcement page. The quality of our logo execution is certainly a matter of personal opinion. A very robust site with many elaborate features will be available March 1st, just as the single page now announces.

Distribution is "not" MLM. There are two dimensions of distribution. One employs face-to-face sales consultants. These individuals often participate in MLM programs and other forms of direct sales. This will be a legitimate home-business opportunity for sales consultants without any MLM nonsense. If you read Johnny's original post quoting our email, you will see the statement "No aspect of distribution will be multi-level".

The other dimension includes independent distributors that service many types of stores. Yes, these are stores that do not typically offer games. Large publishers distribute through big chains. Hobby games have their outlets. There is much ground currently wide-open territory. Marketing research confirms tremendous potential. Games are not appropriate for every small chain and local store. To say independent games are unwanted and many opportunities don't exist is mighty presumptuous. Don't forget IBM told Bill Gates that they were only interested in selling hardware. Negative opinions are fine and everyone is entitled to them. I want to address the misconceptions.

Unfortunately, it is true that many hobby games are too specialized for the general public but not all independent games are intended to be hobby games. Large publishers frequently dismiss games as belonging to "niche market". Self-publishing is an option. The product line will be at least (12) independent games from different self-publishers. Only one game per self-publisher will likely be considered, possibly two if exceptional.

Production could be an obstacle for many self-publishers. Working directly with the self-publishers selected, we can offer suggestions regarding vendors with great prices that are respectful of shorter print runs. All decisions associated with production are the responsibility of the self-publisher. Ensuring the ability to deliver is a prerequisite for proceeding to the agreement stage. These are details in which we will assist to refine.

Gigglebox Games(SM) is a subsidiary venture of a company founded in February 2001 (11 years old this month), a LLC based in Memphis, TN. If you read with a southern accent, it is easy to envision Tennessee English that is very American.
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Boards & Bits
United States
Spokane Valley
Washington
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Re: Giggle Box Games- A new outlet for self-published games?
GiggleboxGames wrote:
...

So just out of curiosity, what exactly are your gaming creds? What makes you the best person to help people sell board games in our niche hobby?

Tom
Boards & Bits
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Gigglebox Games
United States
Tennessee
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Boards & Bits, great question! This is a third type of game market. It is not our mission to sell hobby games within the hobby game community. Extensive credentials are required to successfully compete. Although steadily growing, small publishers and self-publishers are competitors of the same market share. Similar to the music industry, success equates to popularity within each genre. We leave this to the prosperous experts having the necessary credentials to market hobby games.

Gigglebox Games(SM) focuses on a middle tier between hobby games and the games distributed by large publishers. These are independent games with great potential that were either rejected by large publishers or self-publishing is the preference. Mass appeal is important because the audience will be average people unfamiliar with hobby games. Only a limited number of games will be selected for distribution, at least (12) games initially, likely to never exceed (20) at any given time. We are not a general resource for all self-publishers. The games selected are anticipated to originate from self-publishers in the hobby game community.

After selection, each self-publisher must provide assurances that they can deliver before a distribution agreement is offered. Nothing occurs until pricing and other terms are firmly established. Should a game inventor/designer be unable to coordinate effective production and shipping, it would be best for them to pursue a traditional publisher. Except possibly in small scale, self-publishing wouldn’t be a practical capability in such a situation.
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Liam Liam
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GiggleboxGames wrote:
The quality of our logo execution is certainly a matter of personal opinion.


Yeah... Sorry about that

Well lets hope you find your niche and we all hear good stuff about you in time.
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Gigglebox Games
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Tennessee
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Thank you, Liam! Our logo is intentionally simplistic. To brand the service mark, we wanted to utilize universal imagery understood by all ages. Although youthful in appearance, fun is the commodity. The line of games should well convey an absence of age boundaries. Adult games may be suggestive but cannot contain explicit graphics or language.

The website will evolve over the course of three phases. Starting March 1st, phase one will be devoted to self-publisher submissions. Independent distributors and sales consultants may also register. Phase two will feature the line of games. Distributor and consultant interest isn't anticipated until after the game line is presented. Phase three will mark the beginning of full operations and the website will undergo the final evolution to align with the general public's perspective.

We plan to have great news to report. I'll gladly answer questions.
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Gigglebox Games
United States
Tennessee
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Tom, we created a very light market analysis to demonstrate how our audience will differ from yours. Please let us know if any aspect of these statistics are incorrect. This thread on BoardGameGeek (http://boardgamegeek.com/article/8475974) will make a great case study for us to publish on our website.

View the statistical information compiled by Alexa
http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/boardsandbits.com

Under the Alexa Traffic Rank, there are 7 tabs. Click the third tab named "Audience".


The demographics for the Boards & Bits website:
* males
* 25-34 age group
* college educated
* approximately one-third have children
* browsing from home


Categories with red bars indicate segments of the internet population "greatly under-represented", the foremost reason Alexa states that your website's confidence rating is "low". Hover over the question mark icon for additional information. Low sounds bad but in regards to demographics, this rating translates to not of interest to the general internet population.

The vast majority of games purchased by the general public are from retail outlets rather than online. The Boards & Bits website audience more closely correlates to the hobby game community. Reputation is important for any business. Indicative of a highly competitive market, pecking order systems emerge to distinguish everyone within the same market as a tool to make claims of having more experience than others.

Another internet source asserts that at least 50 websites exist similar to yours. Hundreds or thousands of hobby community games are offered at discounted prices. People unfamiliar with hobby games are overwhelmed by large selections. To the average person, the environment appears to equate to a flea market. Decisions are difficult due to lack of knowledge. Retail store purchases of popular games feel easier and safer with less risk (pardon the pun).

Gigglebox Games(SM) is establishing a line of (12) to (20) independent games with mass appeal. The criticisms are both expected and understandable. Games that are overly complex or highly specialized will not be embraced by the general public. Self-publishers must possess or have the ability to coordinate production and drop shipping. Small publishers already in production are great candidates. Individuals aspiring to form a self-publishing business are also welcome to submit fully developed games. Our intent isn't to encourage self-publishing. Game inventor/designers having no interest in becoming self-publishers should continue to pursue traditional licensing. Simply stated, we will not dismiss the potential of a game that isn't already in production. There are various ways in which we may be able to assist such as suggesting resources and offering solid advice. A tentative agreement is possible, contingent on the coordination of resources within a reasonable time-frame. Having a tentative distribution agreement could be meaningful to acquire resources and funding, if necessary. Another option would be teaming up with a small publisher as a joint venture. As with any agreement, both parties must be satisfied with the terms and conditions. Any hesitation on either part would be ample reason not to proceed. Game selection is the first step. The top (12) games selected will be prioritized in sequence of our desire to include them in the line. These candidates will be contacted to work through every detail and ensure mutual agreement can be reached. One by one, also prioritized, other candidates will be contacted until the line is established.

The line will remain small, giving each game an opportunity to gain popularity and have a long market run. Independent distributors and sales consultants must be able to rely on availability. This requires bringing together many talents and creating opportunities that extend beyond the hobby game community. Three phases are necessary before operations begin. Next in phase two, the line will be presented to independent distributors and sales consultants with incentives to rally their participation.

Please feel free to pose questions.
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