Something for out-of-work TWs

Subject: Something for out-of-work TWs
From: "Andrew Dugas" <dugas -at- intalio -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 10:45:06 -0700

The recent post about Open Office mentioned that Sun's Star Office is a
polished version of the free one, one of the pluses being DOCUMENTATION.

This made me wonder if there was a potential market for documenting freeware
(and to some extent shareware) products, then hawking the documentation for
a small fee.

Consider this scenario: The writer downloads the product, plays with it, and
spends 40 - 80 hours writing up documentation. I'm keeping the hours low
because, at least in my experience, freeware products tend to be on the
small and simple side.

The documentation is then sold as a stand-alone help system or pdf file
(consumer's choice). (I haven't thought about how one would market it. From
a Web site, from a connection with the provider, word of mouth. This demands
more thought.)

Say 15,000 people are using the software. Say 2% pay $10 each for the
documentation. That's $3000 gross. Sure, you'd have to figure in delivery
costs - ISP, etc. - but it still ain't hay.

The same concept could be modified for shareware, but it would work on a
commission basis with the provider. It actually might be better, since they
have the delivery system (and marketing) already set up.

Just another idea I'll never act on (unless...)


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Open Office in the New York Times: From: Suzanne Chiles

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