Gamebook store

Friday, 18 December 2015

All I want for Christmas


Seems a bit cheeky to ask, but I reckon Santa knows I've been nice. If I can have one wish, what would really make a big difference to the future of Fabled Lands Publishing as a whole would be to get more reviews on Amazon.

Reviews are what Amazon's search engine notices and flags up for other potential readers. The best book in the world with two or three reviews will languish in obscurity. But even real stinker with 50+ reviews (yeah, I'm looking at you, Dan Brown) is the rolling snowball that will get bigger and bigger until all you can see are little feet and heads poking out like the cover of Coils of Hate.

If everybody who regularly reads this blog could find the time to review a single gamebook on Amazon right now, that would bring gamebooks back into the spotlight overnight. If just one person in ten who's reading this went and wrote a quick review of, say, The Court of Hidden Faces then we'd break the 50+ barrier in time for Christmas.

I know a lot of people still enjoy gamebooks - and not just the folks who were there in the '80s and '90s, but a whole new generation too. But as long as the hobby stays in the shadows, publishers will continue to ignore it. A slew of reviews on Amazon would crash through their bubble of complacency like that Titantic-shaped starship on that episode of Doctor Who.

So if you ever got pleasure from one of my or Jamie's or Oliver's gamebooks - or anyone else's, come to that; I've included a few notable ones in the list below - and you can find a couple of minutes just to write one or two sentences as an Amazon review, you could make our Christmas wish come true. You don't even have to buy a copy. Here are a few suggestions - just pick one of these titles, or choose another favourite gamebook if you prefer. No turkeys in this lot, I guarantee it.

Tune in on Christmas Eve for the seasonal FL freebie. And in the meantime, rest you merry.







27 comments:

  1. Any news on Blood Sword Book 5's re-release?

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    1. The problem is that Fabled Lands LLP hasn't got the resources to do any new books at the moment. If that changes, Blood Sword 5 is a high priority (right after the paperback edition of Fabled Lands 7) and if/when we have dates for those I'll post about it.

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    2. Could you release an "official" pdf of the original to tide us over?

      Perhaps security locked with four questions that could only be answered if you have books 1-4?

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    3. I'm pretty sure the original version is already out there. Barely a week goes by that I don't have to request one download site or another not to host pirated versions of my old books. So in this case I'm going to say, "I see no ships..." ;-)

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  2. Hopefully you are not suggesting that we all get naked to write our reviews like on the cover of Coils of Hate. Could never work that one out.

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    1. There were a lot of things about that book I could never work out - and I spent a week trying to fix the flowchart. Fully clothed, I should add.

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  3. Just reviewed Down Among the Dead Men. Whilst fully clothed. Will do 1 a day.

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  4. How about a quid pro quo? I'll review all six Fabled Lands books and Keep of the Lichlord and introduce my visiting antipodean inlaws to the books so they can do the same. All I ask in return is a suitably atmospheric Dragon Warriors yuletide scenario like you did here a few years ago. Shall we clap hands on a bargain?

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    1. I'll be honest, I don't have another of those DW Christmas scenarios ready right now. Our Christmas special this year was run by Tim Harford - and a bang-up job he did of it too, with oodles of creepiness and folkloric wonder, but I suspect he's far too busy to write it up for the blog in the coming week.

      What I can promise is that there will be more DW scenarios to come, hopefully at least one before the summer, and meanwhile for next week I can offer you a boardgame at least. But don't tell anyone as it's meant to be a surprise.

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    2. Certainly promising, looking forward to that. In the meantime I would settle for a recommendation for something seasonally spectral, though not Binscombe (excellent but I have read it) or MR James. In the meantime I will crack on with the reviews.

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    3. It's a deal. Here are five supposedly forgotten Christmas chillers (not sure about "Smee") including links:

      http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2014/12/19/ghosts-on-the-nog/

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  5. One more review added...

    All I want for Christmas is for my band's audience numbers to equate with our Facebook likes :-/

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    1. Let's have a URL for that FB page, Oliver - maybe we can get you some crossover with Fabled Lands fandom.

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  6. We are the Roxy Music tribute :-)

    www.facebook.com/musiqueroxy

    I hope some of you may enjoy and appreciate our efforts.

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    1. If you do "Virginia Plain" I might be buying a ticket myself.

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    2. Consider yourself on the guest list...but be prepared to sign the odd book or two ;-)

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  7. I've just noticed that you put my Legend of the Wayfarer book there. I'm so flattered, thanks!

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    1. My pleasure, Stuart. Nobody in the UK has done more for gamebooks than you, for which we all thank you.

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  8. Dave, consider yourself Jimmy Stewart. We will all be round at your house on Christmas Eve posting 5 star reviews & singing Auld Lang Syne !

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    1. I've got the mince pies all ready, John :-)

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  9. I just wrote a review for Fabled Lands book 1. Hopefully that will help with gamebooks getting a little more attention.

    How long will the "seasonal FL freebie" be available? I may not be able to get it right away on Christmas Eve because of the holiday, so I hope it's around for a little while at least.

    Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, James - and this year's freebie will be around until Twelfth Night at least, so you won't miss it.

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  10. Book 5 and Book 3 reviewed... now you can't claim I'm showing favouritism to Mr Thomson! All set for the traditional Gatanedean shopping season...

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    1. And even a little bit of favour to Tim Harford too, who guest-spotted by writing 100 sections of Book 5 when deadlines threatened to squash us. Thanks, James - enjoy the festive season.

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  11. Keen to aid the cause, I also reviewed all the Critical IF titles and will chip away at others. They were easy to start with since they're my personal faves.

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