An Open Letter to Marcus King
current mood: irritated
I awoke this morning to see Green Ronin called out on the front page of ICv2 as part of your commentary on PDF pricing,( http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/1
The answer to that question, sir, is NO. First of all, the retail price of the True20 PDF is $17.95 while the retail price of True20 Adventure Roleplaying in printed format is $29.95. If we put the book on sale for $9.99 we would lose money on every book sold. If my distribution and retail partners need me to lose money on every book in order to "continue to support that title" that's the kind of "support" I can't afford. Secondly, this is a temporary sale in response to ongoing events and changes in the marketplace. If you are concerned that a $9.99 PDF of the rules is going to seriously undercut your business as your price-conscious customers flock to buy electrons during the sale, I would point to the True20 Pocket Player's Guide which we've had available for sale since December 2006, at a retail price of $14.95, put out to appeal to those very same price-conscious consumers. I will also point out that Green Ronin has, and will continue to, offer sales and special incentives to the hobby tier and I know for a fact that you and your store have benefited from those because I personally helped you move stacks of books to your GenCon booth in advance of our industry-wide sale on our d20-logo products.
So, when I read "...I am insulted that my friends, my business "partners" or "publishing suppliers" value another sales channel so much that they would make a special effort to support that channel over the one I have worked in for 20+ years, and hope to work in for another 20" I will tell you that I match your insult. I am insulted that you feel a sale in response to a marketplace occurrence entitles you to some sort of cut, somewhere, regardless. You characterize our sale as valuing another sales channel but that is not at all true. To use an analogy, if you have a sale on your HD DVDs and a customer complains that they "deserve" a discount on the BluRay DVDs, do they get one? Are you valuing your HD customers over your BlueRay customers, or are you responding to the conditions of the marketplace (in which BluRay sales substantially outstrip HD sales)?
As Green Ronin's General Manager I reserve the right to set the price of our products as we see fit and to engage in marketing and promotion for my company and our products. I don't attempt to micromanage our relationships with our distribution and retail partners and I would appreciate the same respect.