Here's a little idea for directed promotion, so I'm not sure which category it belongs in.
I'm looking for a show of hands of who might be interested in participating in a little marketing experiment. Following the examples of the painters, ceramicists, weavers, and sensitive dudes with lush, long hair and acoustic guitars before us, I'd like to explore the potential of coffee shops and cafes as venues for reaching new audiences. Here is my plan.
If I can find enough game designers willing to part with one to six copies of their games, I will distribute these games to participating coffee shops and other public reading places throughout New York City. The games will each have a sticker on them indicating: this game is part of the Cafe Game Exchange program; it is to be read and enjoyed, but left at its current location; and if you wish to own your very own copy of this game, please visit www.something-like-cafegameexchange-or-perhaps-cafegamexchange.com for details on how to purchase the game. The games will also be accompanied by little mini-flyers with much the same information on it, that the customer may take home with them.
In return, the website will show visitors where to purchase any participating game (no orders will be taken at the website); what other games are available through the program; and where they may find a coffee shop with a copy of whichever other games they wish to peruse. Plus a few other bells and whistles, I suspect.
And, to the best of its ability, the website will provide all the statistics it can to the general public, so that others interested in contributing games can see as clearly as possible what they are getting into.
If it all works out, and we see some effect, I'll endeavor to rotate the games between the shops on a bimonthly basis, updating their locations on the website as I go. If the shops are amicable, perhaps I'll even scheduling some short demos and such. And of course, keep an eye on the games to make sure they are still out there.
So, would you be willing to gamble 1d6 copies of your game on this experiment? Would you be willing to participate in some other way, such as designing the stickers, flyers, website, whatnot? Anyone else in the New York area interested in handling some of the legwork?