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If someone has created something like a DevExpress library, or Infragistics, Telerik, RavenDb etc., what's the easiest way to start selling it?

What are the required steps? Is there some rules for licenses and stuff?

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1 Answer 1

Whenever you sell a library, a software product, food, clothes or whatsoever, you have to:

  • Make a commercial version of a product, which includes shipment, support, etc.,
  • Ensure that the product follows the standards and regulations,
  • Protect your product against counterfeiting (and unpaid usage for software & libraries),
  • Market it.

A library is not very different here. You have to:

  • Make it commercial-grade. If your library crashes once per minute, well, chances are nobody will use it and you'll have to refund lots of angry people who optionally will sue you. If your library lacks documentation and sample code, few people will even start using it. Ensure that the library is done correctly, the code was reviewed by an experienced developer, the bugs were solved, the library was tested on different platforms with different permission restrictions, etc. Be ready to provide fast support, a platform for bug reports, listen to the feedback, etc.
  • Ensure that style guidelines of the language are matched. When I use a freeware .NET Framework library and it has its own style rules, it's ok, after all, it's free and nobody can be forced to make something correctly when not being paid for. If, on the other hand, I paid my money, I expect the library to match all the default StyleCop rules.
  • Is the library signed? How can you be sure that every customer will actually pay you, instead of downloading it through P2P and use for free?
  • Make a high-quality website which presents your library properly. Talk about it (except on SE websites, thank you). Buy advertisement (real one, like in MSDN Magazine), etc.
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Excellent Advice –  Ramhound Jul 15 '11 at 12:00
    
@MainMa actually I was more interested in legal stuff, and technical stuff not related to securing my lib from cracking and p2p or how to market it; but how to actually sell it, like can I just put on my site and Write a licence in notepad start and selling via paypal ? –  Omu Jul 15 '11 at 13:50
    
@Omu - In a nutshell - yeah. You could put an order form for people to place an order, and then ship the lib. on a CD along with the documentation. This solution is good for making a database of customers. People also like physical media (they have a feeling they bought something). –  Rook Jul 15 '11 at 13:59
    
@Omu: for legal stuff, this is not the right place to ask those sort of questions. It also vary a lot from country to country. For example, in France, you have to be registered as a merchant to do this and to pay thousands of Euros of taxes even when you sell one copy per year at €10 a copy. In other country, the regulations may be much lighter. –  MainMa Jul 15 '11 at 14:08
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@Rook: "People also like physical media": libraries are for developers; many developers hate physical media and think it's too outdated as a way to deliver software. If there is no way to download the library to use it right now, I'll certainly go search for another library. –  MainMa Jul 15 '11 at 14:08

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