Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pricing the PDF Product Properly and Profitably (Say it 5 Times Fast)

Anyhow, the topic comes up on the blogosphere fairly frequently... what is the proper pricing of a PDF?

To my mind, there are many questions that need to be answered before the first question can be addressed...

Is there a ratio between PDF and Paper pricing of the same item?

What price point is too high, no matter the number of the pages (size)?

Is there a page to price ratio that you, as a consumer, use to evaluate PDF value?

Do certain publishers deserve a premium price for their PDFs? If so, why?

Is FREE a selling point for you, or something the consumer should avoid? Does a $1 price point imply more value then FREE? Why?

Does top shelf art add value to a PDF the same way it adds value to a paper product?

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

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?


  1. This is something that is very interesting to me. I have a $30.00 USD book at $15.00 USD for download and have discounted it to $13.50. Do you think this is too high? It is an 80+ page book. If so, why?

  2. My take:
    $0 - I'll grab just about anything that's free.
    upto $4 - I might impulse buy based on nothing more than the title and/or blurb.
    $4-7 - The product needs to fill a need, seriously impress with it's blurb and/or preview, or have recieved good reviews.
    $7-10 - Gotta have lots of really great reviews.
    $10+ - I'll simply click on by as soon as see the price.

    Tenkar, I'd answer your questions as such:
    ratio between PDF and Paper: No
    price point too high: over $10
    page to price ratio: not really
    premium publishers: No
    FREE as selling point: No, but I'll likely grab it.
    $1 imply more value: No
    Top shelf art: a little bit, but not much, though graphics heavy PDFs (especially background images) actually somewhat detract.
    lower production values: not really
    PDFs add value to POD, POD doesn't add value to PDF

  3. @DrDrucker - I appreciate the answers. Over $10 can get me to think twice, even for stuff I like. Still, every rule has an exception.

    @ArmChairGeneral - Any PDF over $10ish makes me really think before pulling the trigger. It's certainly not going to be an impulse buy for me. Doesn't mean i wouldn't buy it... just that it would take considerably more thought before deciding yes.

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  5. I was thinking about this the other day. I've recently seen a OSR publisher ask $6 for 12 pages of material. 12 pages? Thats it? Some adventures I've designed and purchased have at least 6 pages of art alone. The next item I saw was for $3.99 for around 35 pages. Now, to me, thats more like it. Those are the facts of how I see it.


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