Ars Magica Print+PDF Possibilities

I have a question, or am perhaps positing a PDF option to spur cash inflow. I have no idea about the particulars of the print workflow, PDF pricing philosophy, and so on... but here's my thought about Print + PDF.

As a caveat: Green Ronin does something like this. I'm curious if it makes sense for Atlas Games and the Nephews, Mr. Chart, and so on.

I always buy the Hardcover of an Ars Magica book.
I would not mind a PDF.
The current price for both, added together, however, is too much for me to indulge in and remain married for long.
That said, I would pay for a PDF at certain price points to complement the hardcover purchase.

Green Ronin's system is to offer the PDF before the book goes to print, perhaps a week before. Often, this catches mistakes, and leads to an improved print product, and the PDF ends up being re-released to those who bought it with corrections made, charts/graphs fixed, etc.

The PDF is offered for $5 if you buy the hardcover as a pre-order through Green Ronin. (I think they're also trying to embrace the Bytes and Mortar initiative, where book pre-orders at a game store can net you a PDF code for $5 as well - I'll be trying that for the first time tomorrow when I go to pick up Cradle and Crescent at the Compleat Strategist)

You get that PDF immediately, and the book when it ships.

I'm thinking others might be inclined to buy into some sort of Book+PDF pre-order situation, that was lower than the current cost of both items. I know John Nephew, when not fighting muncipal corruption, is a savvy businessman, so I am curious how such an approach to combined book+pdf sales might work for the current Atlas business scheme. I would hope it might provide a venue for most cash for the company, though I am unsure what price a PDF would need to be as part of a combined deal to make it work in Atlas' favor.


The hitch for us on plans like this is that we don't do the direct-to-consumer sales, either the physical or electronic books.

If we did, then all those pre-orders would be at 100% of MSRP in revenues for print, as opposed to the 40%-60% of MSRP that we receive, depending on where a customer buys the book. If we had such a system, we could easily be getting more revenue by getting those as direct sales rather than selling them through channels (as well as getting the cash sooner). But unless we change our model to start handling a lot of direct-to-consumer sales, we aren't able to get the benefits that make that pre-order incentive model work for other publishers.

Sorry to bring back this topic but as it's an old one, i was wondering if there is any change in print+PDF possibilities.

Sorry, the numbers still don't work out for our particular business model, as John pointed out before.