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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pricing the PDF Product Properly and Profitably - Answering My Own Questions

So, on Wednesday I asked a lot of questions about PDF pricing, but I never answered any of them myself. I figure I probably should give that a try - so here it goes:




Is there a ratio between PDF and Paper pricing of the same item?  I'd guesstimate a proper PDF price to be about 60-75% for items under $10 in print, and 35%-60% for items about $10 in print.  This is not written in stone.

What price point is too high, no matter the number of the pages (size)?  $31.99 is damn high.  Not sure if it is too high, but it certainly isnt customer friendly.

Is there a page to price ratio that you, as a consumer, use to evaluate PDF value?  10 cents a page for items under 50 pages, with the cents per page dropping as the product gets longer... there is no exact science

Do certain publishers deserve a premium price for their PDFs? If so, why?  I don't really have an answer for this, but some publishers certainly think their PDFs  deserve a premium price.

Is FREE a selling point for you, or something the consumer should avoid? Does a $1 price point imply more value then FREE? Why?  I enjoy free stuff, and the OSR has lot's of amazing stuff priced for free, so I think free works well.

Does top shelf art add value to a PDF the same way it adds value to a paper product?  Art adds to the impulse buy when flipping thru a printed product in a store... PDFs lack that ability, so I'd have to say art is less important for PDFs.

Are lower production values accepted for a PDF product then the same in paper?  Probably.  

Does finding a PDF product is also available as a Print on Demand product add value to the PDF? How about a PDF / POD Bundle?  If something is available in POD, and you get the PDF for free, I'll probably grab the bundle over just getting the PDF alone.

Those are my answers.  I have a blog, therefore, I am an expert.  NOT!

6 comments:

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  3. This is what I have been trying to say:

    My comments:

    1) What price point is too high, no matter the number of the pages (size)? $31.99 is damn high. Not sure if it is too high, but it certainly isnt customer friendly.

    B&W PDF top price point is $9.99. With a full color PDF $14.99 should be your absolute top pricing.

    2) Do certain publishers deserve a premium price for their PDFs? If so, why? I don't really have an answer for this, but some publishers certainly think their PDFs deserve a premium price.

    Ask Monte Cook that question.

    3) Is FREE a selling point for you, or something the consumer should avoid? Does a $1 price point imply more value then FREE? Why? I enjoy free stuff, and the OSR has lot's of amazing stuff priced for free, so I think free works well.

    Free is a great way to get a product or publisher noticed in the beginning stages.

    4) Does top shelf art add value to a PDF the same way it adds value to a paper product? Art adds to the impulse buy when flipping thru a printed product in a store... PDFs lack that ability, so I'd have to say art is less important for PDFs.

    VERY WRONG!!!!!! Top shelf and Color art work is worth its weight in gold! That is what gets you noticed, especially if you are a PDF.

    5) Are lower production values accepted for a PDF product then the same in paper? Probably.

    Only if you do one product and leave. People don't like crap-ish product and fell ripped off if it is too crappy.

    My thoughts, but I have been publishing PDF RPGs for over 10 years, so take it with a grain of salt.

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  4. I agree with LPJ on all these comments. I particularly agree about #4. As a new game company I take the artwork very seriously.

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  5. See, I'm weird in that I don't give a shit about artwork. Don't get me wrong, if it's good I notice it, but if there wasn't any art at all I wouldn't care in the slightest. It wouldn't affect how I value the book. I would have bought Raggi's LOTFP with or without the snake chick.

    The one exception to that is useful art in a module. By useful I mean something that saves the dm words. Rather than describe a complicated hallway, if I can hold up a picture of it, it serves 2 purposes---saving me time, and setting a mood.

    In rule books, I don't really give a damn.

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  6. I like artwork in rpg products, but prefer B&W for the interior, especially for pdf's. I might actually print out the pdf and can afford to print out 200 page b&w books on my laser printer and do a color cover with my inkjet. Even with print products, I'd rather the publisher save me some cash by not splashing color on every square inch of the bloody page. A few color plates are nice, but overall this whole "all color all the time" thing is ridiculous. And there's no way in hell I'm gonna pay $31.99 for a pdf.

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