New Print Chronolgy for DMG
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:59 pm 
 

Howdy,


To clarify the change I have noted in the DMG GenCon advertisement, the sixth line is dropped:

[...] four days in its entirety (Thursday through Sunday), featuring a potpourri of [...]


There are also some hyphenation changes.


Futures Bright,

Paul


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 2:01 pm 
 

stormber wrote:
harami2000 wrote:Still not happy with the confidently repeated "again, 40,000 copies"... sounds like 200,000 copies shifted in the first 3-4 months? Where would that have put the DMG on the best seller's list?


What did they make that year? 8 million profit?

1979/80? Out by a huge margin, Paul (factor of 10, give or take). I was well aware of that, but awaited any further progress/comments on the topic rather than just hogging the thread.


Combining the turnover figures from Dragon #35,
Manga &
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...
7/77-6/78 "near $1 million"
7/78-6/79 "well over $2 million"
7/79-6/80 $4.2 million
7/80-6/81 $16.5 million (profit $4.25 million; stated highest percentage)

=

Say guesstimated $2.1 million sales for the last half of 1979 versus $1.2 million for the first half of 1979.

If every single dollar of sales was DMGs and nothing else, you'd still be a long way short of 200,000. Well short of 120,000, even.

Aside from the corresponding increased sales of MMs & PHBs, I'm sure TSR had other products!

The circulation of The Dragon was still a flat 11,000 at that point (Dragon #33) and a few thousand copies of the DMG were shifted at that first GenCon; any more than 5,000 would surely have been noted, http://php.iupui.edu/~wrporter/Genconhistory.html (thx to btb for that link)

(aside: I hadn't twigged that the releases of the PHB, DMG and D&DG were at successive GenCons. Kinda obvious that should be the case :oops:).

The (hypothetical/PR) figure of half a million players worldwide was only bandied around into 1980 (Dragon #35). If the Revised Edition DMGs had continued at the purported sales rate above, almost every single (alleged) player would have had a DMG soon after that.

Those repeated printings of 40,000 simply do not compute in the context of all the above.

The Acaeum listings and Page Not Found now quote as "fact" numbers which clearly cannot be substantiated.

50,000 copies of the 1st print Monster Manual is clearly also impossible in the context of the turnover figures above, regardless that you're quoting Gary himself.
I am, too.... :)


(One more attempt... Sanity check, please!)

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:32 pm 
 

Hey Stormber,

Is your 2nd Alpha the only one that you know of? Also, what condition is it in?

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:51 am 
 

Howdy,


harami2000 wrote:Still not happy with the confidently repeated "again, 40,000 copies"... sounds like 200,000 copies shifted in the first 3-4 months? Where would that have put the DMG on the best seller's list?


That's 5 months: August, September, October, November, and December.

I am going with the figures from Harold Johnson in CT&V (1994):

MM: 50,000 first year (1978); 1st print run 20,000.
DMG: two print runs within 2 weeks of each other, 40,000 each.

harami2000 wrote:Say guesstimated $2.1 million sales for the last half of 1979 versus $1.2 million for the first half of 1979.

If every single dollar of sales was DMGs and nothing else, you'd still be a long way short of 200,000. Well short of 120,000, even.


That's $7.50 wholesale for a DMG, not retail, right? So 2.1 million = 280,000 copies.

harami2000 wrote:Aside from the corresponding increased sales of MMs & PHBs, I'm sure TSR had other products!


Of course.

harami2000 wrote:50,000 copies of the 1st print Monster Manual is clearly also impossible in the context of the turnover figures above, regardless that you're quoting Gary himself.
I am, too.... :)


That quote from Gary was not from me. My quote comes from Harold Johnson.

Not impossibe.

You are assuming, all printed copies were sold as soon as they were printed. In all likelyhood, half, or more, of the 2nd and 3rd were in limbo as they were recalled and rebound. So that's 40k (1st), 20k (2nd), 20k (3rd), 40k (5th), 40k (6th). That's 120,000 to 160,000 copies ($0.9 to $1.2 million wholesale) and only 2-3 prints for 1980 and 1981 combined (the year when AD&D, and TSR's profit really took off). The sales were 16.5 million in 1980-81 quadruple what they were in 1979-80, perhaps that means a quadrupling of the players of D&D worldwide to 2 million. More than enough consumers for the DMG.

My guess is a lot of surplus DMG's were sold later in 1980-81. My own copy, ordered in May and bought for $15.00 in June of 1981, brand spankin' new, is a 6th print. That is over a year and a half after the 6th print run.


Futures bright,

Paul


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 1:29 am 
 

Howdy,


ifearyeti wrote:Is your 2nd Alpha the only one that you know of? Also, what condition is it in?


Yes. Although I assume the detailed information originaly found on the Acaeum might indicate another copy in the hands of a collector (possibly Jim Fetzner, Bruce Robertson, or Jean-Philippe Suter).

Condition (NO!! Down Harami! Down!! Dammit!) of the cover is whitened on the edges and corners, no fraying. The cover also has numerous score marks from being used as a writing surface. The back cover has some dirtiness to it.

Interior front and back endpapers have a few errant pencil marks. No other writing on the interior. Edge of pages have 3" of thumbing dirtiness only visible at very edge of pages.

Solid spine.

If I used my own rating system I'd call it VG- (regular wear, no damage).


Futures Bright,

Paul


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