Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ganesha Games app (and giving away stuff)

You may remember the founder of Ganesha Games who has commented on this blog some times. He runs a business making role playing games and such. And he just released an iPhone app with all the rule books and more. It's free. [Update: it's an iPad app and not all the books are free. Sorry for my imprecision.]

Update: Ganesha Games informs:
It's actually an iPad only app, not iphone. It won't work on iphones (well technically the app could work but the screen is too small to read)
You can use the app as a free pdf reader even if not interested in my rulebooks - you can import the PDFs from iTunes.
As a further clarification: the ebooks are NOT free, of course (well, some are, and there is a free preview of each book). If you know someone who has an iPad and plays tabletop wargames (battles with toy soldiers, fantasy or historicals) please recommend this app, they'll like it. Thanks!



Update:
"... the ebooks are NOT free, of course (well, some are, and there is a free preview of each book)."


Dave commented: 
That makes more sense. The way Eolake put it, I wondered what kind of way that was to run a business.

That's an interesting point. Yet, most of Google's services are free, and still  it's one of the most successful companies on Earth. They sell ads of course, once they have the traffic. But you could sell other stuff too when you have the traffic.
Somebody said to me once: "you don't give away what you are trying to sell." But I have heard that some of the most successful authors of ebooks are giving away the first book for free, and earning lots of sales of their other books. (I'm sure it works best if it's a series.)

One of the earliest huge success stories of software, I think it was McAfee actually: they gave away the first version totally free, and only charged for further updates. This was astoundingly successful and paved the way for the Shareware concept.

People need a reason to come visiting, after all it is using their time. And people will not often talk about you and link to your site "just because you rock", but if you have some freebies they will, much more often.

Now, obviously if you give away everything for free, you won't make a dime. But if people have never tried a sample of your wares or don't have much of an idea of what you're selling, then you won't sell it either. I think the trick is finding the balance of what you give for free and what you charge for.

5 comments:

ganesha games said...

it's actually an iPad only app, not iphone. It won't work on iphones (well technically the app could work but the screen is too small to read)
You can use the app as a free pdf reader even if not interested in my rulebooks - you can import the PDFs from iTunes.
As a further clarification: the ebooks are NOT free, of course (well, some are, and there is a free preview of each book). If you know someone who has an iPad and plays tabletop wargames (battles with toy soldiers, fantasy or historicals) please recommend this app, they'll like it. Thanks!

Dave Nielsen said...

the ebooks are NOT free, of course (well, some are, and there is a free preview of each book).

That makes more sense. The way Eolake put it, I wondered what kind of way that was to run a business. :-)

ganesha games said...

Actually we make much less money on the ipad sales than on "traditional" PDF sales because Apple takes a hefty 30% and of course we have to share 50/50 any profits with the guys who developed the app and host the files. But we think that this is a step in the right direction. Our PDF sales are already much larger than our printed book sales (but we aren't traditional publishers: we started as pure digital publishing and offered printed versions later, using part of the money from digital sales to fund printed editions or using print-on-demand services).

ganesha games said...

Eo,
Google is a multi-billion dollars thing. you can see that Google, in a way, IS traffic on the internet.
Charging for ads etc would never be feasible for niche publishers-- there are simple not enough tabletop wargamers in the world to make it work.

eolake said...

Good point.
However I think it stands that giving away *something* is one of the ways that you can attract the traffic so you can get the sales.

People need a reason to come visiting, after all it is using their time. And people will not often talk about you and link to your site "just because you rock", but if you have some freebies they will, much more often.