Friday 14 June 2024

Gamebook Friday: 5th Anniversary Hardbacks on sale now!

Incredibly, 2024 marks the 5th anniversary of the publication of both Beowulf Beastslayer and 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas. The hardbacks of these books have been out of print for a while, so to mark the occasion, new editions have been published. They have green covers (rather than red) and other modifications, making them ideal for collectors and fans of beautiful gamebooks as well.

In the case of Beowulf Beastslayer, the endpapers feature Rian Magee's map of Midgard that he created for the Heorot RPG, and in the case of 'TWAS, Tony Hough's full-page illustrations are now in colour, rather than greyscale.

Each hardback comes with an exclusive double-sided bookmark, and the books have been signed and individually numbered as well. To buy one, simply click on the appropriate PayPal button below.

The prices below include post and packing within the UK. If you are based overseas and would like to buy a book, please email rather than using the PayPal buttons below.

Beowulf Beastslayer (£40)

5th anniversary hardback edition of the fourth ACE Gamebook, individually numbered and signed by the author.

Includes Midgard map endpapers, high quality paper, bonus chapter featuring designer's notes and artist's sketches, and an exclusive, collectible bookmark.

500 sections in length.

'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas (£40)

5th anniversary hardback edition of the fifth ACE Gamebook, individually numbered and signed by the author.

Includes red endpapers, high quality paper, 13 colour plates, bonus chapter featuring designer's notes and artist's sketches, and an exclusive, collectible bookmark.

500 sections in length.

Friday 7 June 2024

Gamebook Friday: The Darkness Over the UK Games Expo

Does that sound like a clickbait-y post title or what?

I can't believe it's been a week since my book signing at the Aconyte Books stand at the UK Games Expo 2024. 

As well as signing copies of Moon Knight: Age of Anubis, I also signed 40 copies of The Darkness Over Arkham, which was the first time the first Arkham Horror Investigators Handbook has been available to buy in the UK. The paperback isn't officially published here until 18 July 2024, although you can pick up the eBook now.

Signing books is a serious business!

The final signed copy ended up as the prize in a giveaway competition, although I don't know who actually won it.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to buy a copy. They had all sold out by Saturday lunchtime and so the Aconyte team armed me with postcards and bookmarks featuring the different characters' stats* to give away to interested parties.

Welcome to Arkham, The Darkness Over Arkham, and a UK Games Expo award!

Congratulations must also go to the Aconyte team, but especially graphic designer and layout guy Nick, for winning the Best Gaming Novelty category in the UK Games Expo Awards for the in-world background book Welcome to Arkham: An Illustrated Guide for Visitors. It has already proved an invaluable resource for me when plotting my Arkham-set adventures.

Nick and Jack of Aconyte Books accepting the award for Best Gaming Novelty.

On the subject of gamebooks at the UK Games Expo, I was delighted to be given a copy of Secrets of Salamonis in Danish by Morten, who later interviewed me for a Danish gaming podcast. I will, of course, share a link when it goes live. ;-)

The Danish edition of Secrets of Salamonis.

* Rather like the ACE Gamebooks bookmarks.

Friday 31 May 2024

UK Games Expo 2024

I will be at the UK Games Expo all weekend and this is where you can find me.

Stand 2-T21
I'm sharing a stand with Sir Ian Livingstone in Hall 2. If you've been to the UK Games Expo in the last couple of years, it's in our usual spot.

Click to enlarge.

New Books
UK Games Expo 2024 will also be the first time you will be able to buy the following books (outside of a Kickstarter in the case of YOU ARE THE HERO: An Interactive History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks).

The paperback, hardback, and limited collector's hardback editions of
YOU ARE THE HERO: An Interactive History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

The new, fifth anniversary hardback editions of Beowulf Beastslayer (with map endpapers) and 'TWAS: The Krampus Night Before Christmas (with colour art).

Friday 31 May
11:00am - Aconyte Books Signing
I will be at Stand 1-1094, signing the first copies of The Darkness Over Arkham availtable in the UK. If you want to read the first Arkham Horror Investigators Gamebook a full seven weeks before the book is published in the UK, make sure you stop by the Aconyte Books stand on Friday morning.

Sunday 2 June
12:30pm - Write Like a Pro Workshop
I will be joining game designer Darren W. Pearce for a workshop on writing professionally and adventure design.

From starting out, to the middle, to the end like all good stories. You'll learn from them what it's like to work with established IP holders, and how to approach the art of adventure writing, in a fun informal workshop. No previous experience required.

The workshop will be held in the NEC Piazza 1-2 - Panda Room. Apparently.

Sunday 26 May 2024

World Dracula Day 2024!

Today is World Dracula Day, the anniversary of the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula. But now you can be an active participant in the story, thanks to Dracula: Curse of the Vampire. Here's what author Antony Johnson had to say about the sixth ACE Gamebook...

Dracula: Curse of the Vampire is now available in five different languages - English, Polish, German, Hungarian, and (the latest) Czech.

All the editions of Dracula: Curse of the Vampire that have crawled their way out of the grave so far...

The Czech edition of Dracula: Curse of the Vampire, published by Mytago.

If you have yet to try Dracula: Curse of the Vampire for yourself, why not make today the day you do?

Friday 24 May 2024

Gamebook Friday: YOU ARE THE HERO at the UK Games Expo

All of these books arrived within the last week.

The copies of Dracula: Curse of the Vampire and Beowulf Beastslayer at the bottom of the image are the Czech editions of those ACE Gamebooks.

I have spent much of the last eight days posting out YOU ARE THE HERO Kickstarter rewards, which means that I will be able to have the book for sale at the UK Games Expo next weekend, guilt free. ;-)

You will find me sharing Stand 2-T21* with Sir Ian Livingstone.

Rather appropriately, I also received a commission for another new gamebook today...

* Our usual spot.

Friday 17 May 2024

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come - Post-Kickstarter Thoughts

Yesterday, the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come concluded, having raised 152% of its original funding goal. If you helped make that happen, thank you. If you were late to the party, but would still like to place a Late Pledge, you can do so here.

I have now run 16 successful Kickstarter campaigns, but I have never done things quite the same way twice. I am always trying to refine the process, hoping to find the key that will unlock the greatest crowdfunding success. This time, that involves forking out a not insubstantial amount for targeted Facebook ads.

I don't feel I quite have the handle on such ads yet. Some appeared to do much better than others but I have no idea whether that was reflected in the actual amount raised. I still did a lot of promotion myself on social media and I wonder whether the Kickstarter might have raised just as much as it did even if I hadn't paid for any ads at all.

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come is my most funded ACE Gamebooks Kickstarter to date, in terms of both money raised and number of backers who came on board, but Dracula: Curse of the Vampire comes a close second, and managed to make almost as much money with close to 100 fewer backers. Is that a reflection on the source material for the adventure, or the economic pressures of the times? I don't know.

What I do know is that my ACE Gamebook Kickstarters haven't gone viral yet, but neither am I willing to shell out thousands of pounds to a marketing agency on the off chance that their input might make a significant difference. When I spoke to one marketer, everything he said that his company would do were things I was already doing myself, although I would hope that they would do a better job with targeted Facebook ads than I did.

I will need to think carefully before I settle on what will be my next ACE Gamebook Kickstarter, but I have a couple of ideas that are both things I haven't done yet within the series.

However, for the time being, I have a new ACE Gamebook to finish and some artwork to commission.

"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die."

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come - The Final 48 Hours!

We're into the final 48 hours of Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come on Kickstarter and are slowly creeping towards Stretch Goal #2.

It is at this point that anyone who clicked on the remind-me-later button will be receiving an email from Kickstarter, reminding them that they might what to pledge their support to Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come on Kickstarter, so it's quite possible we will see a surge in pledges over the next two days.

However, you can do your bit by sharing the link to the Kickstarter far and wide among your contacts too. With your help, there's no reason why we can't hit Stretch Goal #3 by 2:00pm BST on Thursday 16 May, when the Shakespeare Vs. Cthulhu: What Dreams May Come Kickstarter concludes.

Thank you for all your support.

"Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends."