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V2.02 June 21st 1996
Dear Shareware author,
This is the FOURTH draft in as many days of the proposed F1 Shareware
scheme. There are quite a few changes from V2 so please read it
carefully. I have had some good ideas and suggestions and below we now
have a simple, but effective plan for the operation of the scheme. It is
very similar to other schemes on the PC, probably because it is the best
way to do it? However, we are still open to suggestions, but you will need
to be quick as I think we can get this easier scheme up and running quite
31, Wellington Road, Exeter, Devon. EX2-9DU. England.
The F1 Shareware Scheme
YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BY READING THIS TEXT, IT IS NOT A GIMMICK, IT IS A
SERIOUS BUSINESS PROPOSITION OPEN TO ALL SHAREWARE AUTHORS AND BEST OF ALL,
IT WON'T COST YOU ANY MONEY, IN FACT IT WILL MAKE YOU MONEY.
PLEASE NOTE: This scheme is set up mainly for Amiga Shareware, but there is
no reason we cannot accept PC software too. At present we do not own other
systems (Mac, Unix etc.) so we cannot evaluate the software and therefore
we must restrict ourselves to Amiga and PC only. PC authors, obviously
references to the Amiga press and distributors are not valid for the PC,
So what are we trying to achieve here?
We are trying to create a scheme that will benefit:
i) Shareware programmers
(To enhance your sales and consumer awareness of your product.
Also to help you make some money and therefore keep on developing
ii) Shareware customers
(where they can register Shareware conveniently and
without any worries about money or receiving their goods,)
iii) F1 Shareware (i.e. create a useful service and make a few bob)
iiii)Enhance the Shareware image in general as we believe the future
of decent Amiga software will be just Licenceware and Shareware
and we intend to be there, big time.
If you think any part of this scheme is unfair or crap or just a bad idea
then don't go around slagging it off, let me know and I will do my best to
fix it. It is important that programmers and customers are happy with the
running of the scheme, as this alone will ensure its success.
The original concept drawn up in the beta version of this text turned out
to be far too complicated and many problems would have arisen. I thought
programmers would want a complete service from us, i.e. taking the orders,
copying the disks and posting the goods direct to the customer. It turns
out that most of you just want us to take orders on your behalf and e-mail
the order to you. We are trying to please everyone now, So, here is the
* There are two ways the scheme can operate:
1) We take orders (money) on your behalf and e-mail you the details
the same day, you then dispatch the goods to the customer and we pay
you your money once every three months. (see later for more detail)
2) We take orders and send out your product the same day to the customer.
We pay your share once a quarter.
* Authors MUST have e-mail access if you want us to take orders and pass
them on to you, we will NOT be operating a telephone service for various
reasons. This is of course irrelevant if you want the full service
* To qualify into the scheme a FULL registered version (registered to F1)
must be sent along with the Shareware demo version to be considered.
If we feel the program is good value at the price and the software is also
good then we will accept it into the scheme. If we reject it, your disks
will be returned. We DO NOT make copies of evaluations, so do not worry.
In over 3 years of trading in Licenceware no author has had any reason to
complain about our honesty or service.
I feel it is important to only sell high quality, good value titles as
this enhances peoples perception of F1 and helps to sell all our products,
(creates a domino effect) F1 does not, and will never, sell sub-standard
software or products at rip-off prices.
* Once accepted, your (Amiga) program will benefit from the many resources
F1 has in the Amiga world. We will spread your demo version around the
world and get you magazine reviews all at our expense. Your program will
also be featured in the F1 catalogue of which we give free to anyone who
requests it and a free copy to everyone who buys anything off of F1,
which means you will have access to thousands of F1 customers who already
buy Licenceware. We will also have a F1 web site set up soon (hopefully)
where anyone will be able to download info and your demos.
* The author MUST supply a contact address on-disk for customer enquiries,
problems etc. F1 is not in the position to deal with technical support.
* You must also supply us with a fairly detailed description of your product
for use in our catalogue disk and for review purposes.
* A few small 'F1 Shareware' files will be put on the disk, just a small
text similar to this doc to tempt new Shareware authors to the scheme.
* When a customer contacts us to buy your program they will have the
opportunity to pay by Access/Visa/Eurocard or Mastercard credit cards,
this in itself is a huge bonus to most Shareware authors. Customers can of
course also pay us by cheque or postal order (UK).
* F1 is a business and we have to make an operating profit. After lengthy
discussions with lots of people this is how the costings will work:
1)Standard service (we pass on orders to you)
We will charge your customer 20% on top of the price you are selling your
For example, if you are selling at 10 we charge your customer 12.
You STILL get your 10 and we take the 2 to cover our costs and make a
small profit. So in effect YOU are getting our services free of charge.
2)Full service (We handle the complete sale)
It is difficult to put a percentage on this, we will take each program on
its merits. For example, you may want to supply a printed manual with
pre-labelled and copied disks, or you may want us to do this.
The cost will depend on how much work is involved and of course how much
it costs us to reproduce your product. We can use the standard 'F1
Software' label if you want, it is professionally printed label of the
thick glossy type and looks quite nice. We can not have program names
printed on these for various reasons, the title will be hand-written.
* The same day we take an order for your product you will be e-mailed
the details of the customer. We urge you to send out the goods promptly.
We will refuse to take any further orders for your product if we receive
complaints of authors keeping customers waiting without reason, this is one
of the main reasons (along with no goods sent at all) that people are
loathe to send money to Shareware authors.
* Money from your sales will be paid once a quarter (every three months)
at the same time as all F1 royalties are paid, there are set months for
this to keep life at F1 simple. The months are:
March, June, September, December.
Payment is sent during the first few days of the month , usually the 2nd
or there abouts with a statement of your sales.
We can only pay foreign programmers on a UK cheque in Sterling, you should
check with your bank if or how much you will be charged for conversion.
There will be a minimum cash sum that we pay out, this will be 50.
If your programs sales are less than 50 then we will hold the money over
until the next quarter or until 50 is reached. This should be unusual
in most cases, but we have to keep our bank charges down. For a nominal
fee (probably 1 taken off your royalty) you can claim your cash if you
really need it, but not early, we are strict on that as it causes chaos.
* Unlike our Licenceware scheme, we do NOT expect to have exclusive
distribution rights. In other words you can continue selling your program
as well, and in other outlets if you wish too. We do ask that you do not
sell your program at a lower rate than you quote to us to sell it at as
this could be unhealthy for F1's reputation.
You keep all copyrights to your program of course.
You can withdraw your program from F1 Shareware at any time, giving two
months notice, this is needed to halt any possible advertising, let us
fill any orders and to give your customers one last chance to buy.
Not only that, it's the decent thing to do.
If for some reason F1 wants to stop selling your program we will afford
you this same courtesy as long as you have abided by the rules.
There will be no contract, just terms and conditions which will be laid
out in this document and revised from time to time, as any contract will
be fairly useless anyway due to the international flavour of this scheme.
* We will NOT accept pornography or anything likely to offend.
* We will consider any type of program util/game/tutor etc.
What do you, as a programmer get out of the scheme?
ADVERTISING: A percentage (tba) of profits from Shareware sales will go
toward advertising in the UK Amiga magazines and maybe other Euro mags.
This won't happen at first though as we will have start-up costs and need
to retrieve this first, at the low margins we are working on this could be
quite some time to be honest, especially with the crazy prices the Amiga
mags are charging at present. Considering their circulation is falling
fast their advertising prices are not doing the same and so represent bad
MAGAZINE REVIEWS: F1 has many contacts within the Amiga mags and a proven
track record of getting a high hit ratio. We have secured nearly 200
reviews in UK mags in the last three years. Reviews are an essential
ingredient to your products awareness. We can virtually guarantee you at
least one review. We are also making new contacts with Amiga mags in
Germany, Holland and Sweden and starting to get good reviews there too.
NEWS PLUGS: Another form of free advertising that we can get you. We know
the tricks of the trade and you can benefit from the F1 name.
DISTRIBUTION: Your demo version, that you must supply us with of course,
will be uploaded to the Aminet and other distribution sites (suggestions
please) The demo will also be passed to all our distributers, which between
them have the UK market virtually sewn up. They include 17 Bit Software,
Active Software, Seasoft Computing, Saddletramps PD, Exclusive PD and
others. We MAY also upload to PD bulletin boards. Demos and or flyers
will also be sent to customers on the F1 database that may have an obvious
interest in your program. For example if your program was a brilliant game
creation system we would contact all our customers that bought Grac from
us. (Graphical Adventure Creator) and there are a LOT of them, we have
thousands of Amiga customers on our list just waiting to buy quality
software. The planned F1 Web site will also carry your demo for
THE F1 CATALOGUE: The F1 Licenceware catalogue is sent out FREE OF CHARGE
to hundreds of customers all over the world every month, your programs will
be listed in there in a special section.
* Other benefits:
Your program will gain instant respect by being attached to the F1 name.
This is not an idle boast, we have spent 3 years building a solid
reputation of quality and trust with our customers, programmers and the
Amiga press. In other words people WILL take notice of your program,
simply because F1 are selling it for you.
We can accept credit card orders on your behalf. This will be a MAJOR
advantage to most of you. How many Shareware programmers do you know that
can accept credit card orders? Around 70% of all mail order goods are
bought by credit card, some people refuse to pay by anything else because
with a credit card they can't lose their money, in the event of the
customer being ripped off the credit card company refunds them and so this
is insurance for the customer. There is no doubt about it, you will lose
sales if you can't take credit cards.
The whole system will not cost you anything, we do NOT request any money
from you at any stage.
As this is very nearly the last draft of the scheme (bar small changes) I
will soon be e-mailing this text to a lot of Shareware authors (hundreds)
over the coming weeks and we will be getting a mention for the scheme in a
few of the UK mags so keep an eye out.
Please help the scheme by spreading this text to everyone you know.
Please send in your comments/ideas/enquiries and/or evaluation copies now
and we will get in touch very soon.
We hope to start the scheme proper in July 96 sometime, so get a move on
and you could be one of the first to be in on the biggest shake up in
Shareware history on the Amiga. I used that line when we started F1
Licenceware and it seemed a bit optimistic at the time, but it wasn't, we
are now the largest and most successful Licenceware scheme that has existed
on the Amiga, we now surpass even the legendary CLR.
YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE, AND EVERYTHING TO GAIN
Thank you for your attention.
Steve & Belinda Bye
31, Wellington Road, Exeter, Devon. EX2-9DU. England.
V2.02 June 21st 1996