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Pricing online comics...
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ragtag
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 3:25 pm    Post subject: Pricing online comics... Reply with quote

I found this article on pricing software, but the a lot of it can be transfered to other kind of products like online comics. See article here. http://msdn.microsoft.com/Longhorn/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnsoftware/html/software08052004.asp

I've sometimes wondered if the micropayments so much talked about are a tad bit low. Charging 5 to 25 cents for a comic. If it's a good comic wouldn't an interested reader easily be willing to part with 99cents?

Ragnar
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gazorenzoku
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think one dollar for a good comic the equivilant of 24 pages in the print world is the ideal price. If you are getting someting in color with good art and a compelling story. Then again, I am drifting further and further away from the online comics world and getting more and more into print, so I would rather pay $3 for a nice print comic than $1 for a nice online comic. Weird, huh? It doesn't make sense wallet-wise!! But i WOULD definitely pay 25 cents for a good web comic over the $3 print comic. So for a guy like me, 25 cents is a great price. For a person who already likes web comics a lot, then one dollar should be a good amount for them to shell out for a good online comic.
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William G
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gazorenzoku, lets be fair. Assuming you're still in Japan, your $3 gets you a hell of a lot more comic for your buck/ yen/ won than it does in North America.
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gazorenzoku
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, that's true... but I was talking about a $3 24 page North American Continent style comic. Japanese comics are a whole different realm...

Usually the kids graphic novels sell at 300 yen, which is about US $3 or so. You get 300 plus pages of all story, no ads. Most Japanese people freak when I show them my American comics have ads in them!

Adult graphic novels are anywhere from 400 to 700 yen for the standard small page size, with about 300 plust pages. Once you get to large size and odd formats, you might be expected to pay around 800 to 1000 yen, or basically 8-10 bucks.

But the beauty comes in when you go to the used bookstore. I am currently reading "Onmyoji", a comic series for adults about a court magician/fortune teller named Abe no Seimei who lived in the Heian era of Japan (way before the Edo period, or what is known as the "samurai era" in America). It runs about 700 yen, or roughly 7 bucks, for a 300 plus page graphic novel installment. But I have never bought one single new one. I am getting them all used for 450 yen. That's around $5.

But for American comics, I'd settle for $1 for 24 pages, if I could. That would be great.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's really starting to depress me. $3 for an American comic is way more than I think the value is. If I could get 300 pages for the same amount, that would be great. As it stands, I thought the Dark Horse reprints of Lone Wolf & Cub were a bargain at $9 for 300+ pages. And compared to standard American comics at $3 per 24 pages, they were. The only reason I buy regular American comics is that I am an adult with a job and I can afford to. When I think about how much money I'd save if I stopped buying comics, well, it's an attractive proposition.

As to the micropay question, I guess it depends on the comic whether it would be worth $0.99 or $0.25, but I'm thinking that for my $0.99 I'd want something similar to all three parts of McCloud's "The Right Number" (yeah, I know all three would total only $0.75, but if the only way of reading it was all three at once, a dollar wouldn't be unreasonable).
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kaos_de_moria
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for a european pages per dollar seem to be a strange calcualtion. of course, sometimes this comes into the game. and of course the quality of print and binding influences the price. but here in europe i might get 30 to 50 pages for 20 USD and actually, i'm happy as long as i like the story. ok, of course this is a4+ hardcover high quality colours. but even a BW might come up to 15 USD. if i pay one USD for an online comic that is fine. thing is, i consider this rather as a renting fee, than as a buying price. i couldn't download the right number, for whatever reason and even if, in a year or two the format wouldn't work anymore. the print comic on the other hand will still be "working" in two years time. from this point of view i'd argue that prices of one USD or below are fine. if it is more than that, you'd have to give me a good reason (famous artist) to pay.

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Eric F Myers
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It also depends on the creator of the comic. I believe most people would pay more for someone that they know than for someone they don't know. For me, I would rather pay $1.00 for a 20 page McCloud comic than $0.50 for a 100 page comic by someone I don't know. I would still pick up that 50 cent comic because it's low enough to take a chance on, I wouldn't if it was priced higher. Charging more for your comic just because it has a lot of pages and the artwork is clean doesn't mean people are going to buy it, but they might if it was cheap.


On another note, I always notice that online comics are allways priced in US dollars. Does that bother any of you outside of the US market? It's like the USD is taking over the world economy.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

efm wrote:
I would rather pay $1.00 for a 20 page McCloud comic than $0.50 for a 100 page comic by someone I don't know.

All other things being equal, a known quantity will generally be more desirable and command a higher price than an unknown quantity. Of course, if the unknown comic offered a preview which would hint as it its content, then it would make itself worth more by comparison (if the preview was desirable).

efm wrote:
Does that bother any of you outside of the US market? It's like the USD is taking over the world economy.

The USD has been a pretty stable standard for some time, but with the Euro so strong, it's a reminder to Americans that there will probably come a time for the USD to be replaced as that standard.
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kaos_de_moria
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's an american forum, so i give quotes in USD. would not make much sense to quote swiss francs, would it? everyone would have to look it up. actually the numbers i quoted would rather fit to euro than to USD, but i didn't check on the newest euro and USD rates.

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ragtag
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I was thinking about is how many comics you would need to sell to make a good profit (or live of) and at what price. Do you think you would sell 4 times as many comics at $0.25 than at $1. Personally I don't think so, maybe if your comic appeals to a very broad audience...but otherwise no. I also think that the more specialized a comic becomes, the higher a price you can and need to charge. People interested in the subject of the comic will be willing to part with more money for it and at the same time your potential audience shrinks. It comes down to the graph shown in the article, a prabole (spelling?) curve, where at the top of the curve is the right price. If you charge more than that your sales drop so much that your profit is reduced, and if you charge less your sales may increase, but your total profit does not.

I guess there is no magic price point, as comics come in very different forms. There is a big difference between a 300 page cartoony b&w comic, a 24 page superhero one and a fully painted 48 page one...and subject matter, writing and everything else enters into it too.

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gazorenzoku
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

just a side note about Japanese comics prices:

most 300 page comics that sell for about 3 dollars here in japan are pretty fast reads, and the art is kind of formulaic. Like, you can tell the artist didn't spend that much time on the pictures. Which is my main reason for not liking some of the stuff I see here in Japan.

But there are some really good ones out there. However, they start to enter into the 7 dollar realm. So for a really meaty comic, you can expect to pay about 7 bucks for 300 pages. 7 bucks is not all that different from the 9 dollar Lone Wolf and Cub graphic novels, considering you have to pay for translating and stuff.

Of course, the same 7 dollar book is only 5 bucks at the used book store here.
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