Money, Meet Mouth — an update

Yeah, I’ve pretty much sucked at the regular-blogging thing. The usual excuses: Busy, busy, busy. Not only with Adamant stuff, but also Real Life stuff (like prepping to move out of the place we’ve lived for the past 8 years — the wife and I decided that if we’re not leaving town, we should at least take advantage of those things we like about the town, and live closer to campus and downtown).

I’ve had a lot of requests from folks though, asking about how my “app-pricing” model is going. I’ve responded privately, of course, but rather than re-type the same thing over and over again, I figured I should just make a public post to explain. (“No. There is too much to ‘splain. I will sum up.”)

Short, sum-up version: I’m sticking with this. It’s no longer an experiment. It’s my business model.

Slightly longer, with some math (but not exact dollar figures, despite gamer demands for “openness”, as I prefer to keep income a personal matter) version: I started the “app-pricing” model on January 3rd. As of this coming Monday, I’ve been running on that model for 6 weeks. In the past, I have run sales where I’ve dropped prices to a dollar, and those sales generally have lasted a week to ten days at most. My concern for the new model was whether this was sustainable, or whether it was a temporary sale-driven behavior.

I think that 6 weeks, far longer than I have ever run any sale, is a fairly good initial indicator of sustainability. It’s long enough to view trends, to see if an initial spike was followed by a drop-off, etc.

The result: Sales for these 6 weeks have been more than double the sales of the same period last year.

More than double. 218%, actually. In what has traditionally been our worst sales period.

Even more interestingly, it’s been constant. An initial jump when we first announced (expected that) — but then it really didn’t drop. At all. It’s been sort of a plateau of constant sales a that level — slight upticks when new product has been released, but only slight.

So it looks like I’ve hit something here. Which is a really, really good thing — because I’ve also been dealing with the flip side of that equation over in the print-and-traditional-distribution side of things, where we were hit with a fairly large chunk of unexpected returns from the book trade (I’m looking in your direction, Borders), and that resulted in a massive hit on our income there (since we’d already been paid for those sales, and now needed to have our current earnings adjusted by our print partners as a result). Fucking OUCH.

Generally speaking, digital continues to surprise us, and the future looks bright, while at the same time, traditional print-and-distribution shambles along like a zombie, occasionally smashing us in the face. Or something. My metaphor generator is acting up — I should probably get it looked at.