Advanced Search

Friendly Local Game Store: A Five-Year Path to a Middle-Class IncomeClick to magnify

Friendly Local Game Store: A Five-Year Path to a Middle-Class Income

Multiple File Formats

Build the Store Your Community Deserves.

Tabletop gaming is on the rise. If you love games like Catan,, Magic: The Gathering, or Dungeons & Dragons; like the sound of being your own boss; and are willing to dive deep into what it takes to build a successful business, then this is a book for you.

In Friendly Local Game Store, you’ll learn what you need to know to build a store that doesn’t just sell games, but creates a community where games are beloved:

  • A detailed look at your store’s startup costs, and why starting off undercapitalized is worse than not starting at all.
  • An exploration of your store’s unique value proposition, and why Amazon will eat your lunch if you don’t have one.
  • A sober examination of why you should think twice about hybrid stores with cafés, coffee shops, or bars.
  • Inventory management 101: your open-to-buy budget, turn rate fundamentals, sales per square foot, and more.
  • Running in-store events, hiring and managing employees, and navigating social media.
  • But most importantly, how your game store can provide you with a reliable, middle-class income.

Among this down-to-earth advice, Gary Ray shares the stories of his years running Black Diamond Games. From the moment he realized he was going to leave his IT job, to the third-year move necessary for the store to keep growing, to the time he forced his lender to renegotiate his mortgage. Even if you don’t want to open a game store, you’ll appreciate these stories about what it takes.

Do you believe in the power of the friendly local game store? This is the book for you!

Foreword by Travis Severance (Millennium Games, Rochester, NY).


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • 1: Bistro Math
  • 2: Running the Numbers
  • 3: Motivation
  • 4: Unique Value Proposition
  • 5: Financing Your Dream
  • 6: Marketing Your Game Store
  • 7: Events
  • 8: Selling Online
  • 9: Purchasing and Inventory Management
  • 10: Management

Narrative Chapters

  • In the Beginning
  • The First Year, When Everything Changed
  • Camaraderie, Freedom, Mastery, and Your Soul
  • Loneliness and Alienation
  • The Turning Point
  • The Bending Over
  • Courtesy as Flirtation
  • The Expansion Kickstarter Part I: The Plan
  • The Expansion Kickstarter Part II: Backstop
  • The Expansion Kickstarter Part III: If You (Can) Build It…
  • The Doctor Who Effect

This Friendly Local Game Store digital bundle contains rich PDF, EPUB, and Kindle (.mobi) format digital-native editions, optimized for those apps and platforms.

Gary L. Ray writes Quest for Fun, the tabletop gaming business’s most influential retail blog. He is president of the hobby game store Black Diamond Games in Concord, California, which began as a tiny starter store 13 years ago and has since then grown to become a million-dollar-a-year business with nine employees. Gary also writes for the Wizards Play Network, and can be found giving retail presentations at trade shows across the country. His goal is to run a world-class game store from a beach, whether an actual beach or a metaphorical one.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (0)
Discussions (0)
Browse Categories
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!

Product Information
Silver seller
Publisher Stock #
File Size:
22.8 MB
Original electronic
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Last Updated:
May 01, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on May 01, 2018.