Monday, July 14, 2014

A Year of Pay What You Want

It was a year ago in June that I first set up Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road as PWYW over on RPGnow and DriveThruRPG. I talked a little about my initial results back then, but what does it look like a year out?

Rather interesting, really. Because in spite of the sort of wacky, crazy experiment that it was, I wound up with a control of sorts. With how OneBookShelf set up their PWYW option, AiO wound up with 2 entries in their catalog: One was a PWYW PDF and the other was a set price PDF with a print option.

So which is better? Well, it depends. My Pay What You Want entry has received far more activity in terms of free downloads and even paying customers (486 people have downloaded it, and 82 people payed anything for it, compared to only 38 customers over the last year who paid for the regular priced product). But overall, the regular priced purchasers brought in more money (PWYW only brought in $219.55 over the year, while regular purchasers paid a total of $259.19)

Because, of course, when people are allowed to set their own price, they will almost invariably set it low. The average price paid over the first year was $2.74, (the product page shows an average price of $2.68 right now) with some paying as low as a penny or a nickel, while one kind and generous customer recently set the high price at $13.98. Factoring in all of the "free" purchases, the average price paid drops to a mere $0.46.
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