-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Sat, 19 Jun 1999 13:33:11 -0700


At 23:51 6/18/1999 -0400, you wrote:
>Right, I know all this. I meant , what reason is there for the book being
>$30, when $20 to $25 USD would be sufficent? I hope I didn't sound cheap, but
>$30 is a little excessive for a rule book, even with pictures. The rule book
>should be hard cover for that price.

We've had this discussion before, in the context of subtitled versus dubbed
video. Why should subtitled video cost more when it's actually less
expensive to produce, given that all you have to do is add subtitles, as
opposed to hiring voice actors, directors, dubbers, etc.? The answer is
that you can only sell subtitled video to those who [a] can read and [b]
don't mind having to read, especially when the text is vying with the
on-screen action for their attention, but you can sell dubbed video to
anyone whom you can entice. A larger audience commands a lower price,
because you'll sell enough units to make a large enough profit to offset
the discounted price.

Small audience, big price; large audience, small price. Successful movies
used to get the "sell-through" price of $29, while bombs that made it to
video di so at the "standard" $99. Now they go at "direct-to-video"
pricing, in hoped that they'll sell better as rentals than they did in
theaters, but that's still an attempt to find a larger audience at a
smaller price.

"Specialty" books always cost more and the narrower the specialty (that is,
the smaller the audience) the higher the price. Medical books written for
use by doctors, like the Physician's Desk Reference or Merck's Manual, are
hideously expensive because the audience for them is so small.

Care to guess what percentage of gamers, already a small market to begin
with, actually *buy* rule books?

-Z-

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