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Old 08-08-2011, 10:36 AM   #1
bozmillar
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Default selling plugins

hey guys, I'm just kind of curious from you guys that sell your plugins. It seems to me that there are a lot of good free plugins out there to compete with, so I'm curious as to how well your not free plugins sell.

I have my first publicly made plugin that should be going live tonight if all goes well. I'm not looking to make a ton of money off this, but it would be cool to make a little bit, just to give me some incentive to make more.

What have you guys found works best for selling plugins? In my mind, I love the idea of $5 plugins. Cheap enough for anyone to buy, but enough to at least make my 2 nights of work worth while (let's be honest, anything above $0 would be more than I would have made screwing around with something else), but I also think if you price it too cheap, people will think it sounds bad.

I know there are a million factors in what makes a plugin sell, but I'm curious to know if any tips/tricks/encouragement/discouragement for selling plugins and making more than $0.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:05 AM   #2
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Firstly I would say if you really only spent two nights of work on it then it is unlikely to be a hit ( unless it's a super original, simple plugin that everyone needs/ thinks they need ). Personally I spent ~10 months making endless series 3 ( I'm not bitter, honest ), although it's difficult to quantify the exact time spent when it's something you do in your spare time and you are learning as you go.

If you are going to sell you need to beta test it thoughly first IMO - not so important if you make a free plugin. also you need to be commitied to fixing problems that customers have - again IMO

I am kind of speculating here, but I think to sell well you need to put in quite a lot of effort on the publicizing- for example keeping threads going at kvr with new examples etc.

All of this stuff takes a great deal of time and energy and really makes you realise why people charge $$$ for plugins.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:07 AM   #3
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Oh, and give it 3 weeks and you'll be cracked. Thats always fun too them bloody bastards. When I see a $5.00 plugin, I think its just that, a cheap useless piece of crap, even though I know better, my "old brain" still says "dude, you just bought a 960 thousand band equalizer for $5.00, something's wrong".

If your doing this for money, be prepared to suffer.

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Old 08-09-2011, 01:12 AM   #4
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Or 3 hours in my case! Tip - don't release the demo version straight away if it can be cracked
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:13 AM   #5
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Doh! too late........

You can always go for community Karma points lol......
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:18 AM   #6
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Sadly I suspect that maybe some warez supplier is a lurker here because I announced my plugin here first before I announced it on kvr and it was cracked in the meantime - I think
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:29 AM   #7
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It sure is depressing isn't it? It's really hard to give ANY advice. Seems the only advice I give is my jaded negative comments. But a lot of it is true, and unfortunately you can't know how it feels till it happens.

Beta testers taking stuff and just running, never hearing from them again, excitement about your plugins in forum posts, yet you wonder why your not getting downloads. Then you check your site logs and see a bunch of people coming from "anonymous" sources. Which is a proxy cleaner deal that the damn warez sites put up. Its people checking the ".info" file that they attach in the crack..........

Its discouraging. You spend weeks, a/b ing etc, cant sleep cause your code has a bug, not eating properly cause your a zombie tuned into the tunnel of code, beard growing longer. Finally it's time to reap the rewards, only to find, someone has stole them from you...

ughh.... or there's just too much free competition.......

I'm getting depressed again, time to head to bed lol

~RR.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:11 AM   #8
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I suppose a lot of this depends on what type of plugins are being made. 2 days to make a compressor or an eq should be about right. The endless series plugin is a bit of a different story because it's far more involved than basic cookbook plugins.

I'm not going to bother trying to deal with guys cracking it because I don't think there's really a way to win that battle. I figure I'll take the reaper approach. Say it's a 30 day trial, but never cripple it, just put a nag screen or maybe just a big red "DEMO VERSION" across the front. I figure people who aren't gong to pay aren't going to pay, but I doubt people want to open up a plugin in front of a paying customer that say's "I'm not payed for" on the front.

I guess there is only one way to find out.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:18 AM   #9
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With all due respect ... I think EndLessSeries is a great plug ... but ... (I know I'm not the first, nor the last to bring this up) ... I would like to purchase it, but the price is a bit too steep, comparing what I can get for 50$

Personally, a $20 price tag would make the decsision much easier.

Don't attack me, just take this as some (potential) market feedback.

*EDIT*

Maybe it's time for a summer (group) deal?
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:24 AM   #10
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Maybe its time for a summer job lool j/k..
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:39 AM   #11
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siko - feedback noted. I may do a group buy soon and will definitely be doing an educational discount. AFAIK only you and one other person said it was too expensive.

It's a difficult call to price it correctly to balance affordability and personal cost of developing... especially for mine which is an esoteric plugin, that won't appeal to as many people as say, a good reverb. However, I hope that people have some sense of perspective - appreciate the quality, the time that goes into making such a thing (especially when it's all done by one person), and the differences between plugins that appeal to a mass market (and/or are made by big companies) and unique ones like ES. When I was making plugins in synthedit i think $20 was a reasonable price, not now.

All that said... mainly i am developing plugins because i enjoy it, not to earn a living. But getting something back for it makes me feel better about the vast amount of my time that I spend doing it. Also it helps me explain it to my other half :-)
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:59 AM   #12
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90% of the results is the cracked version: google satson (satson is my plugin)

don't worry about that, your plugins will be cracked anyway, you can spend a lot of time on anti-crack system for nothing.

To sell, make sure your plugin sounds good, at least that you like, then put a paypal button on your web and offer you plugin. It is simple.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pylorca View Post
90% of the results is the cracked version: google satson (satson is my plugin)

don't worry about that, your plugins will be cracked anyway, you can spend a lot of time on anti-crack system for nothing.

To sell, make sure your plugin sounds good, at least that you like, then put a paypal button on your web and offer you plugin. It is simple.
and you forgot to mention to follow what's hot in forum like gearslutz, you got on a hot trend with satson, i don't know why but everyone is searching for a console emulation at the moment!
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pylorca View Post
90% of the results is the cracked version: google satson (satson is my plugin)

don't worry about that, your plugins will be cracked anyway, you can spend a lot of time on anti-crack system for nothing.

To sell, make sure your plugin sounds good, at least that you like, then put a paypal button on your web and offer you plugin. It is simple.
Hey pylorca,
I am one who did purchase your incredibly good and reasonably priced satson plug-in. It is a shame when a relatively inexpensive boutique plug-in (satson) or DAW (reaper) crack is readily used instead of doing the right thing and purchasing a license. I use mainly UAD plug-ins and have a lot "invested", as I have UAD-2 cards and just about every available UAD plugin. But, I do use a handful of select native fx plug-ins to fill in the gaps, as well (satson, vcc, ik arc, pod 2, etc.). Maybe I am just part of the minority that actually pays to play.

PS: looking forward to the anticipated satson update!

Cheers,

Billy Buck
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:58 PM   #15
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Can you guys give some numbers about your sold plugins?
That would be interesting to see.
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:02 PM   #16
bozmillar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArdeII View Post
Can you guys give some numbers about your sold plugins?
That would be interesting to see.
yeah. I'm in no way calibrated as to what successful means. I'm curious to know if "I didn't sell as many as I wanted to" means "I only sold 2" or "I only sold 200"
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:21 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by olilarkin View Post
Or 3 hours in my case! Tip - don't release the demo version straight away if it can be cracked
that is what audio damage does. i think it may be a viable strategy, i am considering it for my next product. in order to compensate for the lack of demos one might invest more in marketing and promotion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bozmillar View Post
yeah. I'm in no way calibrated as to what successful means. I'm curious to know if "I didn't sell as many as I wanted to" means "I only sold 2" or "I only sold 200"
imo, "calibrated" is a good term here because one needs to invest in marketing or one cannot expect to sell at all. i'm not surprised to find that sales are almost directly correlated with promotion.
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:38 AM   #18
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I'm a bit late to the party, but then again when this thread was started I didn't have a plugin yet.

I solved the free plugin dilemma by making my plugin (a LP EQ, SplineEQ) both free (but limited in some ways, but not CBing like a demo, still usable, just limited) and commercial. The free version is limited as in it has less bands than the full version (4 instead of 60) and you can't load or save presets in the plugin's proprietary format. I sold about 300 licenses (though only about 123 outside of mass discounts) in 5 months (but more importantly it made me sell a lot of my other program) and it's ranking #3 on KVR so I guess the strategy works okay. I think I'm gonna stick to the free+commercial formula for mostly everything in the future since it makes the plugin pretty popular and against my expectations there's a pretty good rate of free to commercial conversions (last I measured it was about 37 to 1). You really have to make sure that the free version/demo cannot be cracked into a full version. That means don't freely distributed something that can be activated, you want to have separate builds for the free and full version, so that the code that makes the full version is missing from the free version's binary.

The keys to the 'success' here is my plugin is very good, it's also very cheap (the way I see it if you're not a big name you need to apply a no-name penalty to your price tag so that you may be as competitive as the big names you compete with, I'm talking $19 against $99) and I try to talk about it on Gearslutz and KVR and keep it in the news. No matter how good it is it'll never sell itself, well, never well enough. In my experience you don't even have to worry about SEO, that won't help, you need to find ways to put it into people's face really. Oh and of course you have to try and fix what people want you to fix, not necessarily in the way they tell you to fix it but in a way that will satisfy them. Fixing the plugin continuously and talking about ways to fix it with people keeps people talking about it, and releasing updates keeps it in the news. I don't really have any marketing strategy though, which is a shame.

Oh and I got pirated only once, didn't do much of a dent in my sales, and since then the pirate group disbanded lol. Oh and I do make a living solely from selling Photosounder and SplineEQ, though it is a modest living, modest enough that I'm gonna move to a cheaper (but sunnier) island to better enjoy the little money I make lol.

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