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cpp
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Selling my apps... How?

Post by cpp » Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:40 am

Ibe been writting software for several years now. But ibe allways worked on "custom" made software, a company contacts me, tells me what it needs, and i design a solution and present it (along with a price tag of course), if they aprove it, i implement it, give it to them and they pay me.
Now i want to start making software targeted for "mass sales" in other words, not custom made, but "generic" enough to be used by several people. for example, I allready wrote a fully featured application called SiMed, that is oriented for doctors, it provides complete medical record creation & management, basic accounting, apointments, pacient book, etc.
It is now finished, and IMO its pretty good, but now i face a problem. what do i do with it?? i dont have the time to go promoting it to the doctors myself, paying for permanent ads in newspapers, etc. is very expensive, etc.
I wonder if anyone else has been throu this, and can give me some advice on the "marketing" side of software development.
Can someone reccomend a software "publisher" (if such thing exists), distributor, or some other way to get my applications in the market?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Post by metalogic » Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:24 am

One of the most common and cheapest (free) ways to do it is to distribute it via download sites such as http://www.download.com and http://www.appdown.com.

You can either distribute a demo or a crippled version then after a trial users may choose to buy it.

As for actually handling the selling (credit cards, etc.), one of the best known services is http://www.regnow.com/. I haven't done any research to see how they compare against other services (fees, etc.) but I do know that they are integrated in many download sites so people can just click on a "buy it" button.

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Post by vdell » Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:58 pm

I have the exact same problem with my app. Even though it's not yet in the state where I would think someone would actually buy it, I'm still thinking about it. Actually I'm thinking either selling the app as shareware or even selling the source of the app.

So what kind of things should I take care of before I would starting selling the source and what are the possibilities that someone would actually buy it?
Visual C++ 9.0 / Windows XP Pro SP3 / wxWidgets 2.9.0 (SVN) | Colligere

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Post by benedicte » Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:36 pm

metalogic wrote:One of the most common and cheapest (free) ways to do it is to distribute it via download sites such as http://www.download.com and http://www.appdown.com.

You can either distribute a demo or a crippled version then after a trial users may choose to buy it.

As for actually handling the selling (credit cards, etc.), one of the best known services is http://www.regnow.com/. I haven't done any research to see how they compare against other services (fees, etc.) but I do know that they are integrated in many download sites so people can just click on a "buy it" button.
RegNow takes approx. 10% of the public price, and if you use their retailer system (software download affiliate websites) you loose at least 30% more.
Facts show that affiliates are just automatic websites. They do not do advertising to sell/promote any software. You have to pay them directly (from $15 for a top-category place, up to $1000 for a so-called "newsletter") to make your own ads through their channels.

If you have a very large public audience, you may sell your software this way, but if you target a smaller community (developpers, IT directors, ...) it will no be so easy. They may look for software on shareware websites, but they will choose on from within a subset, from applications which look professional, with technical support, or a good integration with their workflow. They don't purchase anything via affiliation networks.

In such a case, you can try to look for a direct e-payment process, with your bank, or a "paypal-like" system.
Banks take you less than 5% of the transaction (but with a minimum flat-fee).

Here are few data you may think about.

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Re: Selling my apps... How?

Post by gururamnath » Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:47 am

Have a look at Joel On Software's Business of Software Forum - http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/?biz

Also get yourself affliated with the shareware community by joining org. like ASP http://www.asp-shareware.org .

Running a small software company is no different than running a traditional small business. Try to get good books from the library and go through them.

-Guru Kathiresan
Last edited by gururamnath on Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

cpp
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Post by cpp » Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:08 pm

Thank you for you rsugestions guys.
Ill start by getting my company online (build a web site), then ill do some research on paypal, then i will add my app to download.com, and such sites.
Thanks
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Post by doublemax » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:38 pm

if you're from Germany, take a look at http://www.share-it.de . They properly declare the VAT for customers from Germany, inside EU and outside EU. That's very important for your tax report.

They even offer marketing your product at different levels (not free of course)

But forget the idea that software sells itself. You have to constantly update your webpage, check Google rankings, update software listings, write press releases etc. There are so many applications out there, to be found and gain attraction is a lot of work.

Some numbers of sales to expect:
For shareware (the term is not exact, but it has become a synonym for low- and mid-priced professional software, so i still use it), the average ratio of downloaded demo versions from your site to sold product is 1:200. That means for every 200 demo version that are downloaded from your site, 1 person will buy. Very successful products might get a ratio around 1:50. That's for the Windows market, for Macintosh software the ratio is much better.

However, if your software is very specialized like yours, i think selling via classic shareware channels won't work. You might have to advertise in medical magazines and get in direct contact with the doctors.

Another option might be looking for a salesperson as a partner. You offer him a good share of the price and he'll do the selling for you. In most cases good software developers are not good sales persons :)
Use the source, Luke!

cpp
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Post by cpp » Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:00 am

Thanks for your sugestions. Im not from Germany, i live in Mexico so i guess the service in share-it.de wont work for me. :(
Its interesting what you said about the demo download/sales ratios, specially about the ratio for mac software being higher, i guess thats because there is a lot more software (competition) for windows that for mac. And since i use wxWidgets for my apps, it shouldnt be too hard to create 2 versions of each app i plan on "mass" selling, one for windows + one for macs.
As for me being a better programmer that a sales person, youre 1000% right. I like the sales-partner approach you sugested. im gonna try and find the "right person" for this partnership. Even a 50/50 partnership would work for me if this person is a competent salesman. (its better to get 50% of 100 sales, that to get 80 or 100% of 1 or 2 sales :))
Im also thinking about learning more on web development, to extend the services of my company, (offering development of web pages as well as software). Way back when my company was only about hardware sale/repairs, networks, etc. i got asked a lot of times if i could do web pages (wich i turned down cause i dint :oops: ) so i guess it would be a good extra source of income.
Thank you very much for your tips.
Wish me luck! (im gonna need it) :D
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Post by doublemax » Sun Sep 10, 2006 7:45 am

sorry, because of your footer "Hier Kommt die Sonne...", i thought you were from Germany ;)

Anyway, share-it is an international company: http://www.share-it.com/
Use the source, Luke!

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Re: Selling my apps... How?

Post by bluelarva » Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:38 pm

cpp wrote: i dont have the time to go promoting it to the doctors myself, paying for permanent ads in newspapers, etc. is very expensive, etc.
Why you don't have time? I think u spend quite a lot of time writing code :)
Going to clinic is not that time-consuming, i think.

You can visit one or two clinics every weekend :)

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