ESAG Newsletter Premiere Issue

This is the premiere issue!

          Elite Shareware Authors Group
                  Newsletter #1
                 September 1996

                By: Po-Han Lin


Table of Contents:

1. Programming tips
2. Programmer's rights
3. Advertising
4. How do I increase my registrations?
5. Future



[Part 1]  Programming tips

  Some of you may be wondering...  "How can
I improve my programming techniques?"  Well,
there is no right answer.  One way is to look at other
people's code.  It doesn't matter whether that person
codes good or bad, because...

1) If that person codes bad, you will learn
   what that person did wrong, and avoid their

2) If that person codes good, you will learn
   new techniques that you can adapt.

  The secret is to compare their style with your own.
Once you look at enough code, you will improve

  Note that this method might not work for many
programmers because some programmers just hate
looking at any code other than their own.  Well
for these programmers, I suggest that you pick
up some good books.  There are a lot of books out
there.  One good one is Code Complete (by Microsoft
Press), which is general enough and good enough if 
you hate reading lots of code.


[Part 2]  Programmer's rights

  What are the programmer's rights?  Well, you 
have many rights offered to you by the government.
I will talk about the most basic...  The right
to protect your work.  If you publish a book, you
can get a copyright.  Similarly, you can copyright
your code.  Like "Pepsi" and "The taste of a new
generation", you can also trademark names and
descriptions of your programs, and have them
registered.  You can also apply for patents if
you think your program can do something that no one
else thought of.  For info, including forms on
applying for a trademark, point your browser to the
copyright section at...


[Part 3]  Advertising

  Some of you may think...  I may need to get
some advertising done.  I am assuming that you
already have a website for your software.  Well,
there are three basic ways that you can get started
right away without depleting your resources...

1) Find services that rotates ads for you by
   obtaining a real estate of your web page.  They
   charge nothing unless you want more exposure on
   other people's sites.  The biggest right now
   is Link Exchange.  Some others are Wave Co-op,
   TradeBanner, and BannerAd.  Search the major
   search engines, and they will point you their
   website.  (Make sure you create a banner
   for yourself after you join.)  Some urls...

2) Swap links with others.  The more links, the
   more exposure your site gets.

3) Submit your site to major search engines.  Once
   it is indexed, you get the equivalent of
   yellow page advertisements.  You MUST at
   a minimum submit your site to the following...
   (Press the search button on your browser if you
   want to find their addresses...)

   Alta Vista
   Open Text


[Part 4]  How do I increase my registrations?

  Once you have made a shareware program, you may
be wondering how you can increase your registrations.
Well, that's a good question.  The membership kit
should contain some good files that detail what
constitutes a good "sell."  Something that will
encourage registrations.  But basically, I can
mention some ways that may help general

1) Lower your registration fee.
2) Target your audience.  In other
   words, contact or email people you KNOW
   will be interested in your program, rather
   than put the program somewhere hoping someone
   will download it.
3) Write programs that people need and have
   a use for.
4) Make sure the audience is sufficiently large.
   One good way to achieve this is to make sure that
   the platform the program runs on is the largest.
   This means if you are writing Macintosh shareware,
   then you are going to have 95% less registrations
   than if you wrote for the Windows platform.  In
   about six months, all your shareware should run
   on Windows 95 or NT 4.0.  Stay with the market.


[Part 5]  Future

  Well, I hope this newsletter was useful.
In future newsletters, I will expand on the number
of topics, and add many other goodies.  I will
talk about archive sites you should submit to,
other ways to advertise, more tips, languages to
program in, and lots more!  If you would like to 
access this newsletter in html format, look for it in
about a week on the ESAG site.  This newsletter will
also feature reviews of some of the ESAG member's
shareware in the near future.  If you would like 
your shareware discussed, please email me a letter
explaining the history of you and/or your shareware
company, and a description of your software.
Try to be brief and not more than 3 pages long.
If you have some tips for other ESAG members, email
me, and I'll consider placing it in future ESAG
newsletters.  Remember, the more you contribute,
the more you receive.  If every member had a great
tip, wouldn't you like to hear it?  Similarly, if 
you have a great tip, give to your fellow
ESAG members!  Lastly, if you have any good
suggestions or comments about this newsletter or
future newsletter, email me by visiting

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