Software Marketing Resource Articles: Shareware Blunders - Interview with Adam Stiles

You wrote the code, now how do you sell it?

Monday, July 26, 2004

Shareware Blunders - Interview with Adam Stiles

1.) What prompted you to create an ebook?

Two reasons... First, it had never been done before. I've purchased a number of ebooks in the past on various subjects, especially marketing-related books, and they have all been extremely helpful. The best ones are written by experts who share real-world experiences. I'd never seen anything like this for the "shareware" world, so I decided to give it a try.

Second, I'm going to have to miss the Shareware Industry Conference this year. Its one of my favorite events of the year, but we have a family conflict that can't be avoided. One of my favorite things about SIC is talking with other developers, schmoozing, learning about what works and what doesn't, and just hanging out. Learning from the "experts" has certainly helped me, and I wanted to allow others to learn from the experts too. The people I've met in the industry are some of the friendliest and most helpful - and I've met most of the ebook contributors at one time or another. The ebook by no means replaces the SIC, but it combines advice from what is probably the best collection of experts ever assembled.

2.) What specifically does the ebook cover?

I talked to about 40 developers and vendor/commentator/experts and asked them about the costliest mistakes they see other developers make, and about the costliest mistakes they've made in their business. The ebook is the compilation of all of the answers that people gave me. Lots of areas are covered - marketing, advertising, partnering, affiliate programs, web site usability and design, software usability and design, customer service, software protection - just about all aspects of the business.

3.) Who do you feel would benefit most from reading the ebook?

Anyone who sells software will benefit from reading the ebook, and especially those developers starting or running small companies.

4.) Can you give us a sample of what to expect?

Where to start? One of my favorite contributions is from Nick Bradbury, the author of HomeSite, TopStyle, and FeedDemon. You don't find many people in the industry who have written more than one "killer app", and it could be argued that Nick has written not just one, but three. Nick sold HomeSite to Allaire, and Allaire was later purchased by Macromedia. I met Nick at Internet World in Los Angeles in 1996, just after he sold the product to Allaire. Nick shares that his costliest mistake was the decision to sell HomeSite without really knowing what it was worth. The driving factor behind his decision to sell was desperation caused by the way he was running his company - you'll have to get the book to read more about what caused his desperation. Nick then describes changes he's implemented with his two newer applications to make sure he never gets in that desperate situation again.

5.) What did you learn in writing the ebook?

I learned a ton... And I have a HUGE todo list for various changes to make to both my software and my web site, and that doesn't even scratch the surface of my marketing todo list. I included a 4-page cheatsheet at the end of the ebook which are effectively the notes I took reviewing the book.

6.) I realize this is a conglomeration of advice from various | industry professionals can you give us some idea of who | participated in the ebook?

You can get a full list on the site, but its about 40 people... Including commentators like Chris "Lockergnome" Pirillo, Sr. Editor Wayne Cunningham, RegNow founder Jessica Dewell, Tucows founder Scott Swedorski, and super-developers like Dexterity founder Steve Pavlina, FTP Voyager creator Mark Peterson, GetRight developer Michael Burford, HomeSite/TopStyle/FeedDemon developer Nick Bradbury, and a whole bunch of other people too. Its really an incredible line-up.

7.) What piece of advice can you give to developers?

No matter how successful you've been in the business, there is always more to learn. You can learn the most from the experts - so go to the SIC conference and talk to everyone you can, join the Association of Shareware Professionals and fully engage with the various networking opportunities, and get the ebook :-) Beyond that... never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER give up!

Adam has provided a $ 10.00 discount to SMR readers! In order to purchase the software at the discounted price use the following link -
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