Yesterday’s discussion about bargain pdfs got me thinking about how useful pdfs are to me as a preview or lead-in product.
When I’m able to view a thorough preview or low-cost/free pdf, I am much more likely to purchase the product outright. If there’s no preview or low-cost pdf alternative, it takes multiple reviews, discussion, and thought before I pull the trigger on a print copy. In the past 2 years or so, here’s a list off the top of my head of just several of the books in which a preview or cheap/free pdf led to me purchasing the full game or product:
- d6 Space
- Pathfinder Beta
- Swords & Wizardry
- Fight On!
- Risus (Risus Deluxe)
- Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies (partially from the free PDQ-Sharp pdf)
- Thousand Suns
- Savage Worlds
…and that’s just from memory. I’m sure there are others.
I’m not sure if anyone else uses pdfs in this manner, and I know there’s been this discussion from certain publishers that the price point for a pdf should be comparable to deadtree copy. All I know is, whatever the rationale given, I’m usually not going to shell out $24.95 for a pdf, but if it’s affordable, and I like it, there’s a much better chance that I buy the print copy. Of course, there are publishers that are primarily pdf, and I understand that they're going to have a different model than someone splitting pdf/print revenue.