A way to extrapolate unknown print run sizes
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:46 pm 
 

Just throwing a thought out there; I don't yet have a good feel for whether this idea would work...

The print run sizes aren't publicly known for a few notable items. Castle Zagyg The Upper Works springs to mind, for example. Perhaps it's possible to collect ownership data among Acaeum members for a few similar contemporary collectable rpg products with _known_ print run sizes, and use those figures to extrapolate likely print run sizes of things like The Upper Works.

I've heard anecdotes of marketing / customer data being gathered this way, but I have no formal background in it, so I don't have a good feel for how to properly set up a methodology.

If I had to stab at it, I'd say pick a comparable item with a known print run size (perhaps a PPP item or some other Gygax+TLG item), and run a poll here to determine what percentage of those copies Acaeum members own. If, for example, Acaeum members consistently own 10% of similar items, we could use that data, plus Acaeum ownership info for something like The Upper Works to establish an approximate print run size for it.

One possible failure point is that I could envision Acaeum ownership being pretty close to a flat number, as opposed to fluctuating with the print run size.


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:04 am 
 

I'd have to dig and dig and try to remember where I saw it, but I KNOW I saw authoritative comments on the print run of CZ:UW.  One stated over 500 and the other less than 700-750.  So it's in there somewhere, presumably about 600.

I'd guess it was here, DF, or TLG forums where I read that at some point, if anyone is in the mood to throw some search-fu to confirm my hazy memory.


I don't know how well your theory would work generally, but in this case it would probably be skewed.  Heck, one member had/has something like 3-5% of the run that he stockpiled.  And I know others had/have multiples as well.  It wouldn't surprise me if acaeum members held 25% of the copies.  *shrug*  I'm not sure if I can think of a comparable product in this case either.


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:38 pm 
 

I know how many Upper Works were printed but am prevented from disclosing the amount due to contractual obligations. But, the above estimates are close.


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:37 pm 
 

TheHistorian wrote:I'd have to dig and dig and try to remember where I saw it, but I KNOW I saw authoritative comments on the print run of CZ:UW.  One stated over 500 and the other less than 700-750.  So it's in there somewhere, presumably about 600.


My recollection is that the print run was ~900-1200 copies but that may have been simply the initial print run for GenCon 2008 (or perhaps the total print run??).  

TheHistorian wrote:I don't know how well your theory would work generally, but in this case it would probably be skewed.  Heck, one member had/has something like 3-5% of the run that he stockpiled.  And I know others had/have multiples as well.  It wouldn't surprise me if acaeum members held 25% of the copies.  *shrug*  I'm not sure if I can think of a comparable product in this case either.


Yes, I have 6 copies of UW.  

In the case of the very low print-run modules, I would assume that the Acaeum/Tome/known non-member collectors like Richard Eastgate/Matt Koder/etc. (along with original designers in some cases ;) ) would account for upwards of 50% or more of the original print run:  there just aren't that many other folks out there in the world crazy enough to pay $1000+ for copies of Lost Tamoachan, Up the Garden Path, Jade Hare, Ghost Tower, Tsojconth, etc., etc.

For something with wider appeal and less crazy prices, it may work better (although I think $250 for a CZ is still a pricing that's beyond most casual gamers, Greyhawk fans, or Gygax fans, too...).


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:56 am 
 

Haha, I should have guessed this would turn into a conversation about Upper Works. That's what I get for picking it as an example :)

Ah well, the extrapolation thing was just an idea that popped in my head, and tossed it out there so it wouldn't go to waste.

FWIW, regarding Upper Works, I also recall reading a 500 - 750 reference, but I can't find it. I did find a thread where Steve Chenault estimated having about 100 copies at Gen Con 2008, but this was a few weeks in advance, so who knows if it ended up being true:
http://www.trolllord.com/forums/viewtop ... 882#p87882


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