Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Best Things In Life Are Free

Last night, I was honored to attend another one of Pete Figtree's Google+ hangouts. This one featured a roundtable of self-published game designers. Sorry about the lack of advanced warning, but it was something of a spontaneous decision on my part. It was a lot of fun and a learning experience for everyone involved, I think. And a learning experience for you, too, we hope.

And for those who are interested in how Pay What You Want is working for me, it's actually going rather well. I've been getting a nice little bit of traffic to the game. It's also been bringing in some money, which is always nice.

Now, I'm not as brave as Ben Gerber (one of the other panelists from last night), who put his entire product line on PWYW. I also don't have as deep a catalog as he does. But I will show you how my numbers compare.

First off, the equivalent period last month. (May 11-20th)

Total sales: 2
Total $ Gross: 15.98
Total $ Net: 8.26

Now Ben has more free products than I do, so even though I got less traffic than him during this period, I still managed to out-earn him because every transaction brought some money in.

Now let's see what Pay What You Want has done for me. (June 11-20)

Total sales: 57
Total $ Gross: 35.96
Total $ Net: 23.37

Note that these numbers only reflect PWYW purchases. There has been a little activity in other quarters, which is good, but not accounted for here.

Now, I did not experience anything to confirm Ben's first hypothesis (that he made more money because his customers thought his product was worth more than he was originally charging for it). Only one of my customers paid the regular price for AiO with everyone else paying some lower value. The most common price paid being $1.00.

I think the other three do have some value, though. PWYW is the new hotness, so all the trendy people are jumping on it. The front page attention I got from having to create a new product was probably a big part of my sales spike right there. And since a PWYW product is basically a free product with a tip jar (Thank you Fred Hicks for that metaphor), it means that a lot of people are trying things out because they don't have to put money down before they see if a product is any good. And then they can pay what they feel is a fair price for a product once they have made a decision about what a fair price is.

Whether this turns into a viable business model remains to be seen. But I am looking.

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