Tuesday, December 14, 2010

PDF Pricing Observations

Jim over at LotFP states that he sold 821 PDFs at the $1.34 price point in the week that he had them on sale. He had hoped to sell 100.

Cash value of the week's sales was equal to the total of the previous 2 months.

At $1.34 in sales, he made about $1100 before RPGNow's cut of the monies.

At an average of $6 a product, Jim sold around 183 PDFs in the previous 2 months, or approximately 23 a week.

23 a week at $6

821 in a week at $1.34

Now, to be sure, the limited time of the low pricing accelerated the sales. Still, there is a lesson to be learned here. You can make more profit by selling for less under the right conditions. It's up to Jim and others to discover those conditions, because in the end, we'll all profit from lower prices and more volume.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. This is VERY helpful. Perhaps I need to mark When The Navy Walked down to 8 bucks or so as a pdf download it is currently on sale for 12. It's an 80 page pdf of wargaming rules for victorian science fiction miniature combat. What do you think?

  2. I think there is a lot of trial and error involved in finding the right price point.

    You can always lower an initial price that is too high, but its retail suicide to raise a price you think you set too low.

    Limited time sales seem to work, but as far as I know we don't have sales figures on Adamant Publishing's 1 dollar sale from a few weeks back so not much to compare.

  3. I've been eyeing Death Frost Doom for months, but only decided to buy it when you announced the sale. Although there was a thin chance I might have won it in patron give-away, I didn't want to hold out and miss the great price. I'm grateful to you for the heads up, but as one of the 821 buyers, I think your assessment is accurate.

  4. i am a firm believer in loss leaders. sell one of your best (yet older) products at an "Introductory Price" so folks can sample your wares and decide if your products are for them.

    Giving away stuff for free may or may not work - there are some great quick starts out there for free, but I don't know how often folks actually download them.

  5. my numbers are off... volume was equal to 4 months of sale of units, not 2 months of cash sales... time to edit ;)

  6. Well I do have free content that is completely playable.

  7. As you know, I am an advocate for free.

    The ultimate questions are
    1. What are the sales over the long haul?

    2. How much money is needed to break even in the first place?

    3. What is the cost of future sales paid if people know you are going to do this and thus wait for the $1 sale?

  8. The 2 big questions are, "How many new fans have been added to the fanbase?," and "Is the perception of future product value diminished?".

    1st, if we assume a fanbase of 500 repeat customers (my number) did Jim just shoot his whole load at an 80% discount until his next release? If new customers were encouraged maybe not but I think a limited time sale through his blog indicates he only sold to established LotFP fans. No new fans = severely diminished sales and a huge profit loss.

    2nd, new full price product releases will remain in the shadow of the undervalued $1.34 sale. Justification for paying full price on future releases is undermined.

    I don't think Jim shot himself in the foot, though. He's got an outrageously awesome product and he's doing a beautiful job of carving out his own niche within a niche. He might be a better marketeer than I imagine. At this point he needs to ride the buzz he's generated and blast out all the new projects in real physical packages at full price, not pdfs. If he waits too long all he did last week was dump a truck load of pdfs for pennies.

  9. dammit!
    Should read: "How many new CUSTOMERS have been added to the fanbase?"


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