Monday, April 5, 2010

Upgrade - Download

At long last, digital book sales are now live on the website.

Much to my surprise, people are actually buying them.

Admittedly, I wasn't really anticipating that phenomenon. I maintain this irrational concept that every person alive is equally as stingy as me. This theory is fortunately false, or the consumer-driven economy of the entire Western world would careen into ruin as citizens ubiquitously re-used their paper lunch bags and watched their movies for free on stop-motion library DVD's. Thankfully for global financial markets, most folks have looser spending standards than me. However, on the downside, Justin Bieber does have a career.

My main reason to get digital book sales finished was just that - to get them finished, clearing the way for important things like a haircut. But this whole 'people buy it' thing is a really awesome side effect. If more side effects were this serendipitous, I would dub myself 'King of Newly Advertised Pharmaceuticals.'

Although low, It seems the $2.00 download price struck a chord. I had a few reasons for pricing it so low - for one, some comics are available in stores for around $3.00. Who wants a download when a real, physical comic is going to be cheaper? And let’s not forget piracy - when people really want something, they can usually find it for free somewhere online. So my price has to compete with ’free’. The downside to piracy is, of course, that it can be a pain in the ass hunting & scrounging around obscure sites hoping for a virus-free legitimate download. I figured $2.00 would be low enough that a lot of folks would decide to skip the risk and just buy it. And lastly, if we could publish through traditional distribution outlets, $2.00 is roughly the amount of creator royalties we’d receive.

I’m thrilled there’s a market for digital DK books. It’ll be far easier growing our readership now. New browsers with a passing interest in the story are far more likely to part with $2.00 than $20.00. Twenty dollars for an online purchase is a decision- but two bucks... Hell, why not?

Addiction, that’s why. WELCOME TO OUR WORLD! MUAH HA HA! I hope you like SPARKLES!

Now to get some more books rolling... There are still a few tidbits to knock out before getting into full Volume 3 production: Taxes remain, the DK Facebook isn’t quite set yet, we’re making some posters that we’ve been meaning to get done for some time, and we’re smack-dab in the middle of a chaotic week bracketed by two back-to-back conventions - Anime Punch and Furry Connection North. So there’s some short term, necessary distractions here... But it’s good to know that in the meanwhile, in stock or out, new readers can discover the graphic novel story.

4 comments:

Kal said...

One thing that kinda bugs me...why are the digital copies worth a 90% discount? I mean, I'm all for more people enjoying the awesome world of the Dreamkeepers. But I'm gonna be fairly honest, I feel like the early adopters are getting kinda screwed here...

I love having a physical copy of my comics. Always will. But...if it's going to be 900% more expensive, it's really not worth it.

Now, obviously, you're saving a ton on publishing fees. How much of a profit would you make per copy, then?

David Lillie said...

Erg, sorry about that... I hadn't really thought about what it would be like from the perspective of people who had already bought physical books. 8 ( I didn't mean to shortchange anyone... I wish I'd had the digital sales up sooner, but I didn't even have the idea for them when we first got into self publishing.

Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

When it comes to profits, the digital book sales are all profit - it doesn't cost us anything to make the downloads available. The physical books, though way more expensive, have extremely narrow profit margins for us because the color printing is very costly.

Again I feel bad for people who might have preferred the digital sales prices before we had them available... But at least for the rest of our books from here on out, we can offer both choices. 8 )

K. Ruhl said...

Kal has a point but at the same time there are a lot of us who really honestly prefer to have physical copies (some people don't want to sit and stare at their computer screen to read after all) and happily spend the extra money to have them. The beauty of your digital downloads is that people can get a real taste for what you're creating and decide that yes, they want to be able to see this book on their shelf. And as an added bonus you can include extra stuff in the physical books like concept art and what not as a way of saying 'thank you' ^^

Stephen VanWambeck said...

I just found this site through a link, and voraciously read through the available "prequel" entries. My next stop was to the site store, where I was dismayed that the books were sold out. Thankfully there was the digital version available.

I personally felt that the price-point for the digital download was rather low. I would have happily paid $5-$10 for each download. The added benefit of a digital copy is that I can put the images in my phone and read it whenever.

Of course I still want a physical copy, once those are back in stock ;>