Sales goes up. Price goes down. New pricing model at eSellerate.

9 01 2009

eSellerate is my favorite e-commerce provider. I was very happy with them until I started to earn a bit more and jumped on the 15% commission. It’s still not bad, but if you compare it with 10% or even 8.9% that others offered it sounds expensive. Beginning of 2009 eSellerate introduced new pricing model (or should I say models?).

Now you can choose between fixed 8.9% pricing with limited features and 11.9% pricing (than can go down to 8.9%) with full features.

I’ll stay at full featured version, but if you’re just starting it may be worth checking the cheaper version (or both).

Last but not least – for most indies the new pricing model will be fixed model at 11.9%. I don’t know any indie developer that earns more than $1.000.000 :D

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So I made how much $$$ in 2008?

8 01 2009

OK, I don’t have that much time at the moment to post comprehensive sales stats, but the thread at Indiegamer and Jakes post at Grey Alien Blog got me inspired to at least post a short info about my sales. I am far away of what Cliffski earns, but it looks like it’s nothing to be ashamed of ;-)

My sales stats for 2008: $21,650.09 and 1152 units.

I have released 6 games so far on PC, Mac and Linux (not all of them have Linux versions). Two of them have been released in 2008.

Note that those sales stats are only from eSellerate – my primary e-commerce service before any fees, affiliates commissions and discounts. I did make some money selling other games as affiliate and earned even more on portals and through retail distribution.

Be sure to check my blog later for more comprehensive sales analysis.

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Do you own a business or are “just” a game developer?

5 01 2009

Today I’m in the mood to talk about advertising, so another great quote, this time from the latest Perry Marshall’s newsletter:

If your business is dependent on free customers, you do not have a business. You do not have any kind of “real” business until you have the ability to buy advertising from a variety of available sources and transform that traffic into sales and profits.

Perry specialises in Google Adwords and in this newsletter he talked about free traffic from Google… free thanks to SEO. He points out that if your business relies just on SEO traffic then after another Google Dance you may wake up on page 6 instead of page 1 in search results (or even page 60). And if you don’t know how to buy traffic that converts into sales then you’re running a risky business… in our case you just develop games. Sometimes it’s enough (portals help a lot if you have a great game), but very often is not.

Though even if your strategy relies on free traffic it doesn’t mean you are doomed. Just don’t forget to collect customers informations. When your source of free traffic dries up you can convert existing customers into buyers again (and again (and again))… and if you’re smart you don’t wait until it dries up, you send newsletters already.

Learn the conversion puzzles while you have some money to burn… the best time to do it is after you release your game and get sales peak… when it ends it’s usually too late.

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Do you have an ad budget?

5 01 2009

I do have a budget for ads. Very limited one! But should I have it? Here’s a great post from Seth Godin:

So, why, precisely, do you have an ad budget?

If your ads work, if you can measure them and they return more profit than they cost, why not keep buying them until they stop working?

And if they don’t work, why are you running them?

Credit CardIf I just had the ad that works… I still couldn’t buy all I want – credit card limits :D

But I don’t have the ads that work and I still run them from time to time. Why? Because I hope that this time they will work. Because on different site they may work. Because I am not sure if they work or not. Maybe my tracking mechanism is inaccurate? Or maybe I just like wasting money (at least those are my own dollars).

But seriously, if you have the ad that works why not buy it until your credit card limit?

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