Friendly Local Game Store: A Five-Year Path to a Middle-Class Income

Gameplaywright Press SKU: GPW006


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Build the Store Your Community Deserves.

Tabletop gaming is on the rise. If you love games like Catan, Magic: The Gathering, or Dungeons & Dragons; like the sound of being your own boss; and are willing to dive deep into what it takes to build a successful business, then this is a book for you.

In Friendly Local Game Store, you’ll learn what you need to know to build a store that doesn’t just sell games, but creates a community where games are beloved:

  • A detailed look at your store’s startup costs, and why starting off undercapitalized is worse than not starting at all.
  • An exploration of your store’s unique value proposition, and why Amazon will eat your lunch if you don’t have one.
  • A sober examination of why you should think twice about hybrid stores with cafĂ©s, coffee shops, or bars.
  • Inventory management 101: your open-to-buy budget, turn rate fundamentals, sales per square foot, and more.
  • Running in-store events, hiring and managing employees, and navigating social media.
  • But most importantly, how your game store can provide you with a reliable, middle-class income.

Among this down-to-earth advice, Gary Ray shares the stories of his years running Black Diamond Games. From the moment he realized he was going to leave his IT job, to the third-year move necessary for the store to keep growing, to the time he forced his lender to renegotiate his mortgage. Even if you don’t want to open a game store, you’ll appreciate these stories about what it takes.

Do you believe in the power of the friendly local game store? This is the book for you!

Foreword by Travis Severance (Millennium Games, Rochester, NY).


1: Bistro Math
2: Running the Numbers
3: Motivation
4: Unique Value Proposition
5: Financing Your Dream
6: Marketing Your Game Store
7: Events
8: Selling Online
9: Purchasing and Inventory Management
10: Management

Narrative Chapters

In the Beginning
The First Year, When Everything Changed
Camaraderie, Freedom, Mastery, and Your Soul
Loneliness and Alienation
The Turning Point
The Bending Over
Courtesy as Flirtation
The Expansion Kickstarter Part I: The Plan
The Expansion Kickstarter Part II: Backstop
The Expansion Kickstarter Part III: If You (Can) Build It…
The Doctor Who Effect

About Author Gary L. Ray

Gary L. Ray writes Quest for Fun, the tabletop gaming business’s most influential retail blog.

He is president of the hobby game store Black Diamond Games in Concord, California, which began as a tiny starter store 13 years ago and has since then grown to become a million-dollar-a-year business with nine employees. Gary also writes for the Wizards Play Network, and can be found giving retail presentations at trade shows across the country. His goal is to run a world-class game store from a beach, whether an actual beach or a metaphorical one.

Digital Edition Notes

This Friendly Local Game Store digital bundle contains rich PDF, EPUB, and Kindle (.mobi) format digital-native editions, optimized for those apps and platforms.