This past weekend was GothCon XXXVIII (yes, they've had a gaming convention there since the 70s), and LotFP rolled in as it has the past few years to sell sell sell.
This time though, I decided to do the Pay What You Want thing. I had good success with that in the UK this past year, and it was time to bring that to Scandinavia.
I had 433% the number of separate transactions I did at last year's GothCon. 278% the gross sales.
(That does include the people who didn't give a shit about LotFP, but saw that I was selling d30s at my table. I guess d30s never made it to Sweden. They are some sort of exotic fetish item, apparently. Sold a decent number of those. "What do you use these for?" My answer to one guy? "Generating a random number from 1 to 30." I mean... that sounds snarky, but it is the truth.)
The psychology of Pay What You Want in person for physical goods throws people for a loop. Many people simply can not process it. I have all the regular retail prices for my goods on the back of the Pay What You Want notice so people can calibrate expectations. I tell people "I expect you to give yourself a discount and trust you not to rob me blind."
I suppose the approach only works if you're printing in bulk (and thus have some copies to potentially burn) and if you're able to still smile and thank a customer for their business when they give you two bucks for a hardcover book just because they can. (That's usually someone quite young...)
However, this is the third convention I've done with Pay What You Want, and the result has been the same: Many more customers, and more than doubling the money collected from the previous year.
I also tried another experiment: Crowdfunding with convention sales. I set an overall sales goal (9000kr), where if we hit that goal, everyone that had paid 450kr gets a copy of an adventure being released next year. We smashed that goal here (and I only owe 11 people an adventure for the trouble!), and I'll be taking the gimmick around the convention horn. It is my hope by the end of this year that this extra convention boost, the entire adventure will be paid for simply by a portion of increased convention sales, including paying someone to write it if my own writing efforts continue to be as slow as they've been. So get ready in 2015 for Queen of the Ivory Coast...
(One guy that'll be due this adventure ran off before I could collect his email address - if that's you CONTACT ME.)
(you can discuss this post here)