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debut of first piece of software


I would like to ask you what the best way is to get my first piece of software out there?  Shall I start a webpage of my own and try to grab people's attention? Upload it to shareware sites? Put it on CDs and disbribute it a'la AOL?

The software is something I wrote for myself, but I think it potentially has value for others as well. I didn't do any market research though other than asking a few friends.

I think I remember reading in your articles that you didn't do much marketing for your software, at least initially. How did you do it then?  Did you have customers before you had your software ready so you didn't really need to grab attention?  Was your website a hit from day #1 so you just posted it there and people flocked to it?

Your input in this matter would be greatly appreciated!

entell
Thursday, February 26, 2004

By the time Fog Creek was selling software, "Joel On Software" had a pretty large audience. Although we never did any real advertising, we wouldn't have had the sales we did if it weren't for my web site.

Which means that I don't really know the answer for you. You might want to start by reading this book:

http://www.aegis-resources.com/product_marketing_handbook_fou.htm

Something on an encyclopedia of everything that goes into marketing software.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Thursday, February 26, 2004

In other venues, I've read good things about esellerate, but haven't had need of their services personally, yet.

http://www.esellerate.net/

Of course, they just provide services for sales/accounting, not marketing.

Jim Rankin
Thursday, February 26, 2004

eSellerate will give you transaction processing for a very reasonable fee (10% to start, I believe). I use them, and found them very responsive. They also have options for affiliate sales available, but I don't know how effective that might be.

No, I'm not affiliated other than as a happy customer.

There is a newsgroup available for this sort of thing -- Alt.Comp.Shareware.Authors.  You may not be selling shareware per se, but the term is losing some meaning anyways. There's plenty of folks there who are going through or have gone through your stage.

Good luck.

Nigel
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Join the ASP at www.asp-shareware.com , it will probably be the best $100 you will spend. There is loads of useful info there and the private newsgroups have questions like this all the time.

Tony Edgecombe
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Code is not an abstract idea. It always has a purpose - it has users. Find your users and advertise your code for them.
+use networking: friends, etc.

Alan Bekoev
Friday, February 27, 2004

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