1st Edition

The Board Game Designer's Guide to Getting Published How to Find the Right Publisher, Know What to Look for in a Contract, and Get Your Board Game Signed

By Joe Slack Copyright 2023
    252 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    252 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Making a great board game and pitching it to publishers are two completely different things.

    If you’ve got a game that you want to share with the world but don’t know what to do next, this book will help you navigate through exactly what steps to take.

    You’ll discover:

    • How to find the right publisher
    • Exactly what publishers are looking for
    • How to create a sell sheet that will actually sell your game
    • How to negotiate the best deal and get paid more for your game
    • What to look out for in contracts to make sure you don’t get exploited

    You’ll learn from Joe’s experiences as a full-time board game designer and instructor, along with tips and stories from a dozen other published designers, plus the exact things that publishers want. Direct from 16 established publishers.

    Acknowledgments. About the Author. Introduction. Section I What You Need to Do before You Even Think of Pitching Your Game. 1 Making a Great Game. 2 Understanding What Makes Your Game Unique (and the Hook). 3 Thinking about Your Game as a Product. 4 The Importance of Playtesting. 5 How to Write Your Rule Book Without Getting a Headache. 6 How and Why You Need to Blind Playtest Your Game. 7 Should You Pitch to Publishers or Self-Publish? Section II Everything You Need before You Pitch to Publishers. 8 First, What You Don’t Need. 9 Become Pitch-Perfect (or at Least Pitch-Great). 10 How to Create a Sell Sheet That Will Actually Sell Your Game. 11 How to Avoid Overdoing Your Overview Video. 12 Putting Together Everything Else You’ll Need. Section III How to Find the Right Publisher. 13 First, Figure Out Who Is Going to Want Your Game. 14 How to Get Meetings at Conventions (Cons). 15 How to Wow Publishers at a Speed Dating Event. 16 Going to Cons Without Going Broke. 17 Reaching Out to Publishers. 18 Why You Need to Enter Game Design Contests. 19 Other Effective Approaches. Section IV What Publishers Want. 20 Questions Publishers Ask (and the Answers They Are Looking for). 21 Advice from Real Publishers. 22 Publisher-Specific Wants and Needs. Section V Getting Your Foot in the Door with a Publisher So You Can Get Your First Game Signed. 23 How to Prove to a Publisher That You’re Worthy. 24 When to Send a Prototype and When You Should Never Send One. 25 Setting Expectations. 26 What Do You Do If a Publisher Says No? 27 Peanuts and Promises—How Board Game Designers Get Paid. Section VI Contracts—Understanding What’s Important to You. 28 Knowing If This Is Really the Right Publisher for You. 29 What to Look for in Your Contract. 30 How to Avoid Getting Trapped in an Exploitative Contract. 31 Negotiating for the Best Deal. 32 Congratulations! You’ve Got Your Game Signed. Now What? Section VII Stories from the Battlefield. Appendix. References and Suggested Resources. Thank You!


    Joe Slack is a healthcare data guru turned full-time board game designer and game design instructor. He has now combined his passions for board game design and helping others into one. That means he works with other board game designers to help them get unstuck and create amazing games they can’t wait to share with the world. Joe is the #1 best-selling author of The Board Game Designer’s Guide and 2 other books on game design. Joe has 4 games published (Zoo Year’s Eve, Kingdom's Candy: Monsters, Four Word Thinking, and King of Indecision) and another game he is self-publishing (Relics of Rajavihara). Joe has also taught game design and development at Wilfrid Laurier University (near Toronto, Canada), and currently runs two online game design courses (the Board Game Design Course and the Creation to Publication Program) that he developed himself, along with a membership site for game designers. Go to www.boardgamedesigncourse.com to check out his blog, resources, books, and courses for game designers. You can also see what games he’s currently working on at www.crazylikeabox.com.