Friday, 8 January 2016

Supplement Pricing

I've previously written about supplement presentation, section and page count, and section breakdown and word count. But now I'd like to take a quick look at something else: pricing. How much do Savage Worlds PDFs sell for?

Obviously it's very difficult to generalise, as I imagine the answer will depend on many different factors - the reputation of the author and company, public interest in the particular theme and genre, the quality of the finished product, and so on, and so forth.

But I just wanted to get an approximate ballpark figure. So for a very rough idea of what different companies charge (and therefore - presumably - how much people are willing to pay), I took a look at 100 randomly selected Savage Worlds PDFs from DriveThruRPG, and calculated their average cost per page.

Note that I've intentionally left out the names, as I don't want to make this about specific products.


Most Savage Worlds books use US Letter sized pages, although the newer Pinnacle settings use a graphic novel size. Despite their smaller dimensions, the graphic novel sized books still seem to have a similar word count to the US Letter sized books (typically an average of around 500 words per page after taking into account layout and artwork).

Summary

The PDFs I looked at had prices ranging from 3 to 66 cents per page, with an average of around 19-20 cents per page, although those with a higher page count (typically setting books) tended to have a lower cost per page, while the smaller PDFs (typically splat books) tended to have a higher cost per page.

I don't know how successful the various products are, although based on the Kickstarter projects I've seen and backed in the past, the official Pinnacle products seem to sell extremely well. Pinnacle's newer setting and campaign books usually cost around 10 cents per page, while their smaller adventures and splats are typically in the range of 15-25 cents per page. Is that the sweet spot for pricing? I've no idea, but they're obviously doing something right.