I’m launching an experiment today, possibly permanent, in which the prices of four of my apps will drop to just $9.95 each. Black Ink, FastScripts, FlexTime, and Clarion are all just $9.95 for a single-user license, or $14.95 for a family-pack license.
I’ve long held fairly strong opinions about software pricing. I have written extensively about my rationale for maintaining relatively higher, dare I say premium prices on my software. I still believe that pricing too low is a mistake: it attracts users who don’t value good work, and leaves them lacking a sense of ownership. If a developer treats his or her software as disposable, then I think users are likely to treat it the same way.
But in a post-App Store world, I am no longer convinced that $10 is a disposable price point. The four apps I’m adjusting the price on could be sustainable at that price point, thanks to their relatively modest support requirements. If the sales of these apps doubles or triple as a result of the price change, I will probably see a net gain financially, and will definitely be making a greater overall impression with my work.
I’m sticking with $39.95 for MarsEdit because it’s a more nuanced and powerful app, requiring both more development time and more nuanced support from me. And although many people perceive it as mass-market software, it’s still a relatively niche market in which people who know how to get the most out of it are delighted to spend the money.
I hope the new price points for these four apps will attract some of you to give them a try and to share the news about them with friends and colleagues. Let me know if you do try them out and have any feedback.