Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


An Open Letter to Marcus King

Dear Marcus,

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/14705.html ). Spurred by the Wizards
of the Coast sudden decision to discontinue all PDF sales of their
products, Green Ronin announced we were putting ONE product (our
True20 Core Book) on sale for $9.99. You ask "...would you also like
to drop the MSRP of your True20 core book to $9.99 -- so that your
distribution and retail partners can continue to support that title,
and your line?"

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 if 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.

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Blogger Jason Langlois Says:

Excellent and perfectly accurate response. And, honestly, he should be happy because there's a good chance someone buying the T20 PDF will go out and grab the hard copy. I know I've done that more than once myself with your M&M line.

Also, you remain a voice of reason in a wilderness of crazy voices.

Blogger Nightfall Says:

*hands Nicole the Crown of Win*

Blogger Brian I Says:

Well said and absolutely spot on.

Anonymous John Scott Tynes Says:

"How dare you have a sale on spark plugs without discounting my inventory of horseshoes!"


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