GameSpite Year One, Vol. 1

So the sample copy of the first GameSpite book should arrive next Wednesday, right? It just occurred to me that this works out to about a 10-day turnaround time on printing and shipping. That means that if I want to get the books out in time for everyone who wants one for Christmas, I should probably take orders now to have the shipping ready to go as quickly as possible. As added incentive, my webhost sent me a bill last night for the next two years’ worth of basic server fees — several hundred bucks, which doesn’t include the additional monthly fees for private bandwidth and databases — so it would be wise for me to round up cash moneys as quickly as possible so I can fund both the books and the site. Whoever compared GameSpite to the GIA the other day was right on one count, anyway: this stupid site is expensive to run.

So here’s how it is going to work: GameSpite Year One, Vol. 1 is a 352 page book that reprints half the articles published at from the time the contributor system launched (June 2007, I think it was) to one year later. It’s half because the publishing company doesn’t allow for 700-page books. So you’re getting neatly alphabetized articles from A (actually 3 in Three) through L (Little Samson). Also included is a bit of never-before-published mystery material.

I’m having two different versions of the book printed up: roughly 100 paperbacks (possibly more in the extremely unlikely chance those sell out) and 20 premium hardbound books. The softbound books will sell for $25 apiece — which I realize is a lot for a 350-page book, but that’s small press for you. After printing and shipping and redistrubution and royalties for the contributors, the profits from 100 copies should be just enough to pay for the next two years of basic GameSpite hosting. The hardbound books will sell for $60 apiece, which, obviously, is a whole hell of a lot to pay for a 350-page book. But these include an original color illustration of your choosing, you know, as incentive. Also, the cost of both variations covers shipping, unless you live outside the U.S. or Canada, in which case you’ll need to pay an extra three bucks per book. Because shipping books via international airmail is expensive, it turns out.

Edit: Content listing (ripped directly from the dust jacket) behind the jump-cut.

Edit edit: My initial intended print run of hardcover books is, unbelievably enough, spoken for. But since nothing has gone to press yet, I’m willing to up the print count if anyone else wants one. However, any hardcover edition ordered after this point probably won’t arrive until January. Doodles take time. Also of note: I’ve sold exactly enough to cover the cost of printing and shipping for the entire run, which is good. It means I won’t be going in the hole for this and can start thinking about the second volume a few months from now.

Edit edit edit: Hardbacks are now gone forever. Sorry! You will have to live without my sloppy hand-drawn artwork.

Edit edit edit edit: Additional orders beyond this point definitely won’t arrive until late January.

Final edit: I am no longer taking orders as the book is well oversold. Second printing will be soon! And the first books are going in the mail this week. All books should be shipped by the 20th of January — sorry for the delay, but the printer was much slower to fulfill my purchase than expected.

One half of a year’s worth of articles from That is what this book is. More specifically, it’s a collection of sometimes-thoughtful articles about the following video games:

  • 3 in Three
  • Assassins Creed
  • Battletoads
  • BioShock
  • Blazing Lazers
  • Brave Fencer Musashi
  • The Breath of Fire series
  • Cybernator
  • Déja Vù
  • Devil’s Crush
  • Donkey Kong Jr. Math
  • Earthbound
  • The Final Fantasy series and spin-offs
  • Golden Axe Warrior
  • The Granstream Saga
  • Guitar Hero
  • Ice Hockey
  • Ico
  • Kid Icarus
  • The Legend of Kage
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • Little Samson
  • and more….

Includes many pages of never-before-published content and the best artwork we could scrounge up from the Internet!

52 thoughts on “GameSpite Year One, Vol. 1

  1. 25 bucks doesn’t seem bad to me. Sure it’s softcover, but this isn’t exactly content you can just waltz into a Barnes and Noble and pick up for $7.95 plus tax, so its worth it to me.

    Here’s hoping you sell enough to keep GameSpite going and make more books.

  2. We totally took Shawn past those mushrooms in SF on our Talking Time meetup on Saturday.

  3. 25 bucks for a softcover “vanity” project isn’t so bad. Hiive Books Spectrum and Commodore 64 softbacks (Admittedly full color) ran 250 or so pages in a wierd size format roughly akin to a DVD case in dimensions and they were 50 bucks a pop.

    I’m not sure right now if I personally will be buying it (got a couple full screen page previews?) but 25 bucks isn’t that unreasonable for a 350 page book of this sort of content and print run.

    Hell, there is a guy who is doing a niche book on the history of one of the oldest RPG companies out there. Its 32 pages long. He sells it for 34 bucks including shipping.

    Is this book going through Lulu or somewhere else? If I could get a copy spiral bound (I love spiral binding. I may be the only person in the world who does though.) it would probably put me over the top.

    I can always use more videogaming books. It can go with the aforementioned Spectrum and C64 books, High Score (which would have been good if it didn’t have so many factual errors), and Phoenix.

  4. Thank you Jeremy and all the contributors to GameSpite over the last year and a half. I’ve followed Toasty Frog for over two year now and I have consistently been impressed with the essays. As a college librarian, I’ve used the work here and works in the short run of “The Gamer’s Quarter” with students and faculty as examples of creative writing within video games. Last year I spoke at a national literature and composition conference about video games and narrative and some of my analysis grew from the writings and reflections here.

    Thank you Jeremy and everyone. I’m ordering my copy and will continue to order future copies. Thank you all for the work you do and the passion you share.


  5. I just threw down $60 for the hardbound book (man, I can’t WAIT to see all of those color interior photos, gold-foil inscriptions on the red leather exterior and the hand-drawn graph-paper maps reprinted inside!), and I’ll gladly throw down another $60 for volume II. I sure as hell ain’t rich, but I enjoy your work Jeremy, and this is as good a time as any to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to supporting the enthusiast press.

    (That said, I just got my Gamespite packet in the mail today and it’s pretty damn cool. Reminds me of the glory days of Factsheet 5 and all that jazz.)

  6. I think $25 is a fine price for it being as big as it is and having such a small press run. I put in my order! Heck, some paperbacks in stores get pretty pricy, so $25 doesn’t seem crazy!

    Also, yay for libraries!

  7. I’m slightly disappointed that it’s going to have to be broken into A-L (and presumably, if sales are well, then a M-Z Vol. 2), but it’s easily worth the asking price. I’ll have to hold out until my next check (I can’t buy anything for myself until my Christmas shopping’s done), but I’m eager to get a copy in my hands.

    Thanks. I love your writing, and the book looks awesome.

  8. Why I gotta be broke now? I barely have enough for P4 as it is, so I’m gonna have to pass on this one.

  9. Hnngggh! 25 softcover or 60 hard? I can’t choose! I want the latter but I have plenty other expenses looming in the horizon :(

    The “original color illustration of [our] choosing”… Do you mean you’ve made original illustrations, and we get to choose which one we want? Or that we ask you to draw a new illustration to our own specification?

  10. I mean I will draw a sketch in the back of the book to your specifications. Uh, within some hopefully obvious boundaries of taste.

    And don’t stress if you want this but can’t afford a copy now, guys. I doubt the initial print run will sell through anytime soon, and even if it does I can always do a smaller run later.

  11. Any chance you could post a list of the articles Jeremy? I’d love to have one of these, but having recently quit my job I wouldn’t want to get this volume if volume 2 might be more up my alley. Thanks.

  12. I am torn between having other things I want to spend that other $35 on and the awesome prestige of having the rare one. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if I didn’t feel like I have to decide right about now.

    Ok jeez, I’m going for it. I’m sure if I really regret it I can find someone around here who’d be just as happy to have it.

  13. I can’t afford much but I threw down for the softcover before I even checked what articles were included. The writing and the knowledge that I am supporting more writing (and forums!) makes it worth my scraped-together $25. After lurking around this site for years, I owe you something. I hope to start subscribing once I’m steadily employed again.

  14. Nabbed a hardcover in order to fund this dear habit of mine. CalorieMate, there may be more mushrooms in SF like those, but they certainly looked like the right ones don’t they? :)

  15. Ordered mine (a softcover). I did promise my boyfriend I’d not buy any more games until I’d beaten some off of my backlog but I made no promises about gaming related stuff. Mwuahaha!

  16. Wish I could afford the hardcover, soft will do. Happy to support quality games writing. Keep it up.

  17. I want it. Pity that my budget for christmas shopping is already stretched to the limit and any more cuts to it would require me to be the worlds biggest tightwad.

  18. Unfortunately, I’m pretty broke right now, so I’ll have to hold on buying it.

    HOWEVER, I have recommended it to my local library system. I’m curious to see how they react.

  19. Wouldn’t a book need an ISBN or Library of Congress number to be picked up by a library? ‘Cause this has neither.

  20. Soft cover for me… I’m hard enough. Wait, gross.

    I’ll buy another in exchange for a Suikoden Retronauts. Or has there already been one of those? Dammit I hate getting old.

  21. When the hardcovers sell out is there any chance of another run of them? I’d love to have one, but while our (aussie) dollar is down the craphole I’m not really economically viable…

  22. I’m in for a soft cover. Naturally, I WANT the hardcover version, but my student loan payments scoff in the face of that order happening. If… if only I were more manly….

  23. @parish

    I talked to a librarian, and she said that while rare, books without an ISBN are still excepted by the library.

  24. I’m printing as many hardcover copies as people pay for; however, I won’t be printing any extras beyond that. I threw out the number 20 because I figured that was more than would presell, but apparently I was mistaken!

  25. Can we get an author’s note on the dust jacket with an artfully striking photo of you, looking off into the horizon? Classy

  26. That artful photo idea is perfect.. Jezza (I can’t call you Jezza, right?), if you do that I promise I’ll buy a hardcover one.. and tell everyone I know to buy one too.

  27. I’m in. It’ll look good next to my Retro Gamer collection. I also fourth the motion for the photo.

  28. Excellent! But wait…. I’m broke. Keep it in print, man! That means, everyone else who wants one…. er, save one for me :P

    Hopefully I’ll be able to order one by the end of the year. Also, that cover is so awesome.

  29. Just ordered a hardbound. Now to come up with a sketch idea; I’m leaning towards something Metal Slug-esque, how do frogs looks with bandanas, bandoliers, and BDUs?

  30. “Wouldn’t a book need an ISBN or Library of Congress number to be picked up by a library? ‘Cause this has neither.”

    Often, but not always. This is something that would probably be added as “Uncatalogued”… which means it’d be in the system but unfortunately not searchable in the web catalog except by specific barcode number.

  31. I read the library request, cataloging post earlier. But seeing “Mister Raroo” commented from a public library, I’ll throw in some additional info as well.

    Items without ISBN numbers can be added to library catalogs. They can be added like Mister Raroo said or individual libraries can do original cataloging. This often happens with local documents or on college campuses it happens with thesis and dissertation documents. Depending on the library it is very possible for them to include this within their local collection.

    I congratulate any library that would consider adding this to their collection. There is a growing connection with library, video games, and literacy and this is a great example of gaming stimulating creative writing. Please ask your librarians.

  32. Unfortunately, we’re not permitted to catalog at a local level unless an item record already exists. In other words, or branches can’t create new catalog records. My wife oversees a high school library system’s catalog, so she creates most of the new records for their system (or fixes inconsistencies of those made at the site-level). Although if she had to catalog this book she might just scoff and say, “Pfff… Jeremy Parish!” :-P

    I wonder what the proper Dewey number for this book would be…? 794.8 is about right for videogames, but this is an anthology of articles about games, so that might put it in the 800s. Hmmm.

  33. Who would have thought this topic would result in a conversation of how and what libraries catalog and add to their collections. Regardless of how it might be numbered, I’m hopeful that libraries can see value in anthologies like these.

  34. Just to be clear, we can still order hardbound editions and these later orders will be shipped in January, right?

  35. Jeremy: Don’t worry, I believe your name is actually on her official “Approved” list!

  36. This may be a dumb question, but will both versions be full-color? It wasn’t stated explicitly and the image of the proof from a few days ago only had a color cover.

  37. The cover is the only element that’s in color. The cost of printing a full-color 350-page book would make the paperback version more expensive than the premium hardback is now.

  38. I’m curious how these are selling. Exceeding expectations? I plopped down the cash for one while I was sitting in class on Monday.

  39. Well, I’m wishing I had ordered sooner, so I’m hoping I was one of the lucky remaining hardcovers.

    It is awesome that the book printing is making a profit in this day and age of instant information. There are so many fantastic articles here. The fact that so many of them are retrospective in nature allows them to be interesting long after a game’s day in the spotlight has past unlike most (but certainly not all) of the articles printed in gaming magazines.

    To all the contributor, keep up the great work.

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