The decision to close AGP was neither easy nor quick; it has been brewing in my mind for a long time. It is the end result of far more mistakes being made than successess being earned. At one point a good friend, who knew of my work on Comics & Games Retailer, asked me point blank why I did not take the very good advice I dished out in that magazine. I still do not know why myself.While I cannot fault James for his decision, it's sad nonetheless. I've consistently enjoyed his work, some of which has been truly excellent, including his recent 100 Street Vendors of the City State, which is, ironically, the next item in the queue for review here. I regret now that I hadn't been able to review it sooner, although it sounds as if a single review, even a glowing one, wouldn't have made much difference in the end. James says that, sometime in the future, he plans to take up writing again, this time likely as a hobby, and I am glad of that at least.
The closure is, essentially, the final result of ever fewer sales on each new product, both print and PDF, such that at this point, I'll end up paying people to take my next product. 100 Street Vendors of the City State, barring a handful of sales of Noble Knight Games, sold a grand total of three print copies. Yes, you read that right, three copies. The PDF sales were not much better, a grand total of 13 copies sold as compared to 15 copies being taken free by reviewers (and many, many thanks to the two of you who have actually posted reviews!)
As though the dreadful sales on what I considered to be my best, most tied-in work of the Wilderlands was not enough, this is also tax time, and looking over the results of the prior year was most educational. The end result, even after pinching every penny and keeping all expenses down to the bare minimum, was a grand total net income such that I earned a total of less than $2 per hour for all my work on AGP in 2009. Were this simply a sideline to a full-time job, that would truly be a nice result. As this is supposed to be my "day job," that result is, as we call it, a "reason to quit."
And so we are done.
Good luck, James, and thank you for all the hard work and creativity you've shared with us these last few years. I adore the copy of XXXI I bought from you two years ago and hope you'll share more of your marvelous imagination with us in the years to come.