How to Price Content

The Lazy Mans Guide to Enlightenment cover

The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment CD

If content is king, how much is the king worth?  And, how do you price him?

Case in point – back in the 1970s, Thaddeus Golas wrote a brilliant book called The Lazy Man’s Guide To Enlightenment.   It was a counter-culture hit and sold for under $4.  Today, this piece of ‘content’ is out of print.

Recently I went looking for it online.  On Amazon, I found 5 copies priced ‘from $38.95’, 14 ‘from $14.63’ and 1 priced ‘from $210’.  That’s quite a range.  I wondered how the sellers determined price point for this ‘content’.  And, I thought all the copies were ridiculously expensive.

So, I looked for a ‘free’ copy online.  And, I found one.  The whole book – free – from the author’s supporters – right from the man himself.

But, wait, there’s more.  The ‘free’ website was selling an audiobook CD of Thaddeus Golas reading his own work.  And, I’m a fan.  I never even knew about the CD.

So, I bought it – for $22.

I bought it because it gave me ‘connection’ to an author I admired.   It was ‘convenient’ – all I had to do was put in my credit card.  I got to hear a voice I had only imagined when I read.

There’s a lesson here for your business in the Web 2.0 world.  Connect with the ‘fan’.  Give them lots of easy points of entry – without asking for them to jump through hoops.  They will give you their loyalty and their money.  They will spread the word – creating more fans.

But they will do it their way, not yours.

And, that’s the 21st Century paradigm shift – which says that the same content can be ‘free’ in one format and $210 in another – and that consumers will have an unprecedented say in how much they pay for it – as well as how they pay for it.

Going forward, pricing is already in a new era, moving from the 20th Century’s ‘manufacturer’s suggested retail’ to the 21st Century’s ‘consumer’s personal value’ price.

As Golas says in his book, ‘Enlightenment doesn’t care how you get there’.