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What would you pay for a book?


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TheSword

Legend
I rarely buy hard cover without the pdf. So thats the price of just the hard cover. If i'm getting pdf and hard cover add them together.
Okay. But if you pay £30 for the hardcover and £60 for the pdf + hardcover you’re paying the same for the pdf with minimal printing cost and logistics as you would for a hardcover with large printing costs and logistics.

I mean if you’re happy to pay it, power to you.
 

Odysseus

Explorer
Okay. But if you pay £30 for the hardcover and £60 for the pdf + hardcover you’re paying the same for the pdf with minimal printing cost and logistics as you would for a hardcover with large printing costs and logistics.

I mean if you’re happy to pay it, power to you.
Thats how I would value it. What ever the printing or logistical costs would be.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Okay. But if you pay £30 for the hardcover and £60 for the pdf + hardcover you’re paying the same for the pdf with minimal printing cost and logistics as you would for a hardcover with large printing costs and logistics.

I mean if you’re happy to pay it, power to you.
Think of it this way - he’s willing to pay for the content of the work.
I think a lot of people‘s approach to paying for PDFs would be very disheartening if I were a content producer. I mean here’s a format that they can produce where they can actually make decent money on it rather than have most of that potential sucked away by manufacture, distributors, and retailers (if they can sell directly enough)… and everyone wants a lowballed price.
 


aco175

Legend
I think it’s a given we’d all rather pay as little as possible. That’s why I asked what you would pay rather than what you would like to pay (because I’d like all my stuff to be free!) :)
$50 seems reasonable here, but also depends on whether or not the interior is in color. For example: The DCC core rulebook hardcover is over 500 pages, mostly black and white inside, and costs $40. That's a really great value, and a high bar for other publishers to meet. A lot depends on shipping costs and where I can buy the book, too. If I can buy the book at my FLGS (even if I need to place a special-order for it), I'm happier to pay more both to support the store and because I don't have to add shipping to the price.
I was referencing the $20 is what I think is a good price, but $15 is something I think can be done and still make a good module. It could be a 64 page module which is a good size for a level 1-5 adventure. It could be made with less color pictures and cheaper paper to keep costs down. See what @Ath-kethin had for an example. I would tend to write in the module notes and such, so something cheaper could work.

I have been using PDF adventures for a while now and find that I print out parts that I need for each week and find myself already assembling the stat blocks for each encounter. I did like the 4e adventures where they had this already. Not sure if a 64 page adventure would become 100 pages when including the stat blocks, but that could be worth more to me.
 


Retreater

Legend
I think a lot of people‘s approach to paying for PDFs would be very disheartening if I were a content producer. I mean here’s a format that they can produce where they can actually make decent money on it rather than have most of that potential sucked away by manufacture, distributors, and retailers (if they can sell directly enough)… and everyone wants a lowballed price.
To be fair, my numbers for PDFs were a little simplified. If PDF is the only format available (such as if the print copy was OOP or if the product was only made available electronically), I'd be willing to pay more. Typically I purchase a PDF as a "preview" of a print book, and will go on to purchase a print copy later if I enjoy the product.
Also I tend to not want to spend as much on a print copy if it's also not available electronically, because I get different levels of use from the PDF copy in this era of VTT gaming.
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Out of curiosity, what's your thinking behind that being .00 cents and not $0? Just that you're not interested in PDFs, or that you feel .99 cents is the value of the content?

For me any almost any PDF is going to be a supplement to a print product and don't want to essentially pay twice. I guess I would pay more for a PDF (not much more - never more than like $9.99) it it was a something special I could get no other way.
 

darjr

I crit!
a) a softcover adventure (say 100 pages?)
$25
b) a hardcover rulebook the size of the D&D core books (about 300 pages)
$50
c) a hardcover rulebook the size of the Pathfinder core book (about 650 pages)
$90
d) PDFs of each of the above
Similar prices. Though I'd appreciate some kind of cut in price for buying both. I'd probably buy both anyway.

As an aside a copy of Pharaoh by Daystar media went for almost $10 grand.

 

A. $30
B. $75
C. $100
(For all of those, it'd maybe be a bit lower if I'm ordering direct. I'm willing to pay a small premium to support a physical store.)
D. 80% of the print cost.

But I wouldn't buy many books at these prices, since I can only play so many games a year.

Also, I'll pay a lot for a book with great illustrations. I'm less inclined to pay top dollar for something where the art is meh, because it would suggest to me the whole product's a bit slipshod. I judge books by their covers, at least a little.

If there's meager art, I'd need to see an interior excerpt to get a sense of the writing quality.
 

some things I have bought and would say are worth the purchase
Ultraviolet Grasslands - $30 - beautiful A5 softcover and pdf, lots of free stuff online
Whitehack 3e (hardcover A5, through lulu): $30
Stygian library (hardcover A5): $35 (good quality, but in retrospect not totally worth it, as the game works best with a digital copy)
Blades in the Dark and Agon are both A5 and around $30.
OSE player and referee tome are each $40, highquality hardcover
Mork Borg is $30, and a physical copy seems necessary to grasp the game's aesthetic, imo.

So apparently $30-$40 for a good quality book is my sweet spot. I will say that many of the above have great official or user-generated online tools: rules, srd, tracking sheets, generators, etc, and that makes the purchase feel worth it.
 

To add an extra wrinkle to pricing, I also base what I think I can afford, or am willing, to pay based on the size of the publisher. There is no way I would ever pay full retail of US$50 for a 5E release by WotC, when I know that book will be around US$35 from Amazon. Which means they are selling the books to Amazon, with Amazon as the wholesaler, for less than that and still not losing money on those copies. But for a smaller publisher, with smaller print runs and smaller margins for profit, I am willing to pay closer to full retail, as long as I consider the price reasonable.

As for physical vs pdf prices, I don't think a pdf should cost more than half what the physical book costs. When I see companies pricing their hardcover for $50 and the pdf of that book for $40, I just laugh at that and move on. That kind of pricing makes me less likely to want to buy from that company. That just tells me they do not have confidence in their own game and are trying to cover a lack of physical sales by overpricing the pdf.
 

For me:

A) i buy adventures in PDF only
B) AUD80
C) i wouldn't buy a rulebook this size, but maybe AUD100 if i really wanted it
D) around AUD25/30
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Following up on some of the later posts about RPG prices in the SKR salary thread.

What is the most you would you honestly pay for:

a) a softcover adventure (say 100 pages?)
b) a hardcover rulebook the size of the D&D core books (about 300 pages)
c) a hardcover rulebook the size of the Pathfinder core book (about 650 pages)
d) PDFs of each of the above

Note this isn’t what would you prefer the price was (free obvs!) but what would you honestly pay, assuming you wanted the product?

(If you’re not interested in that type of product assume you are for the purposes of the question)

$15 (don't usually get them) - a) a softcover adventure (say 100 pages?)
$40 (if I really wanted it and there was no .pdf) - b) a hardcover rulebook the size of the D&D core books (about 300 pages)
$50 (if I really wanted it and there was no .pdf) - c) a hardcover rulebook the size of the Pathfinder core book (about 650 pages)
$5 for module, $25 for 300 page book, $30 for the huge one - PDFs of each of the above
 

ReshiIRE

Adventurer
Whatever the creator beleives is a fair price for their work.

... I know that's vague, but I'd be pretty willing to pay 60 euro for rulebooks, adventure books, etc. and probably more for games I'm interested in and know I can play. I'm used to that for games and I admit I am priveledged to have a level of income that supports it. I don't care too much about the digital / physical distinction either; the price reduction on PDFs is nice, but honestly to me the value of digital goods is significantly higher as they are so much easier to search and manipulate IMO.

So honestly, as long as staff are getting fair payment for their work, I don't mind what creators set their price. Though I recognise with how things are, that would make things harder to access for a lot of people, and makes me lament our economic system a lot.
 

Campbell

Legend
Based on history. Not sure what my future purchases will be like.

A. $0 (Do not buy adventure modules)
B. $50
C. $85

PDFS
$0/$25/$35
 

pming

Legend
Hiya!

As the answer is "Depends entirely on how much I want it..." (e.g., right now I wouldn't pay more than $10 for a PHB/MM/DMG combo for 4th Edition D&D...but I just paid over $200 for the "Temple of Elemental Evil" 'Old Adventures Revisited' slipcase.

So I'm going to go with this: "If I was at the 'might be nice to have but not a priority'..." stage of desire...

Following up on some of the later posts about RPG prices in the SKR salary thread.

What is the most you would you honestly pay for:

a) a softcover adventure (say 100 pages?)
Probably about $20.

b) a hardcover rulebook the size of the D&D core books (about 300 pages)
Probably $45.

c) a hardcover rulebook the size of the Pathfinder core book (about 650 pages)
Probably $60.

d) PDFs of each of the above
Well, this is a sticky wickett...

I have no problem paying FULL price, even MORE for a PDF... IF I am the one in control of it. Bonus points if the PDF makes use of even 15% of what it can do (re: links, animation, audio, forms, etc). But mostly I want CONTROL of what I can do with it. I want to copy/past text. I want to choose to show/hide images, I want to be able to manipulate the 'background' to greyscale, lighter/darker, or hide it. I want to be able to change words in the text and be able to SAVE it that way.

It's MY file and I want to use it in any way I want that doesn't break the law...meaning sue my ass off if I give it away to others for free or money. But if I'm the only one using it, as the product intends (re: use with my own D&D game)...then when I transfer money to you, that's it. Transaction completed. The only connection between you (the "store/company") and I (the "customer") is that YOU have an obligation to ME to make sure the product I paid for works as advertised.

Ok. Calm down Plum...deep breath....
;)

Sorry, but I get sooo worked up over the current paradigm that customers somehow "owe" a company more than money when they buy something. It's really simple: I give money...you give product. Period.

Note this isn’t what would you prefer the price was (free obvs!) but what would you honestly pay, assuming you wanted the product?
Free is usually not what I want. I usually want some price on it. Without a price, the ability for me, the consumer, to address illegalities, requirements, expectations, etc is greatly diminished.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
What is the most you would you honestly pay for:

a) a softcover adventure (say 100 pages?)
b) a hardcover rulebook the size of the D&D core books (about 300 pages)
c) a hardcover rulebook the size of the Pathfinder core book (about 650 pages)
d) PDFs of each of the above

a) Between 20-30 (15-23 USD). But I rarely buy softcovers.
b) Around 45-60 (35-47 USD)
c) Around 60-75 CAD (47-60 USD)
d) I don't buy PDFs. And for some reason, I can't pay much for a PDF. It just feels wrong to it. I use them when they're included with the core rulebook, if not I don't buy them.

However, the major issue is rarely the price of the book itself. It's the shipping or customs. When I order Free League stuff it comes from the US and I get some duties on top of a shipping that's like 20-30% of the price of the book. I was looking into MCDM books and I ended up not buying them because the shipping increased the overall price by almost 40%.
 

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