D&D General Darksun novel sales! From Ben Riggs.


I crit!
I have my Darksun novels sitting in the bookshelf right next to me now. Just took them out again, may read them.
Actual! Dark Sun novel! Sales numbers!

TSR alumni are cultural treasures and gaming icons. One point that a lot of TSR alumni have been making on my posts is that while setting sales and core sales were down, novel and adventure sales made up for those losses.

Did they?

I don’t have a lot of novel and adventure sales, but I have everything for Dark Sun. So let’s look at those numbers and see the tale they tell.

While in the early 1990s, Dark Sun novel sales were quite healthy, they fell and then collapsed in the mid-to-late 90s. More novels were returned than sold in ‘98 and ‘99.

Check my feed tomorrow, because we’ll take a look at Dark Sun adventure sales!

My book on D&D history, Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons & Dragons is out today! If you find me interesting, go to a bookstore and buy it! Link in the comments.

Also, as always, actual data is below.


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Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Huh... so the novels were more popular than the box itself? That's... actually kind of awesome.

And terrible. Obviously.

I'm wondering if what we're seeing is that after Forgotten Realms it became a situation where only the DM in a given friend group would purchase the box set and then lend it out if someone took over?


I would be curious to know how many copies of any given novel were sold, or at least how many were published per year to help make sense of that data.


I wonder. Could it it be that the books being available more broadly in the book trade make a difference?
Also just that there's a larger audience for paperback novels than for gaming supplements. Even if you made the boxed sets more broadly available, you need more people playing the game to buy them. The novels could be read by people who didn't play the game at all.

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