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How about extending the idea of SmartEdit module?


#1

Atomic Scribbler is fantastic as a basic Authorship software title. But what about some other add-on modules as well as SmartEdit?

Two that I think I personally would be willing to pay for would be:

  • A mind mapping module (Scapple?)
  • The ability to use Templates

This might help you monetize your efforts better and allow those who need specific tools as they develop as a writer to add them as they need them.


#2

Hi Glen,

While Add Ons are a hard sell at times, they do have the advantage of keeping the core application simple and uncluttered. A second advantage is that they can be used or bolted-on to Word as well as to Atomic Scribbler. The ability to add the same functionality into Word without having to write new code is huge, as despite the biases of users of apps such as Atomic Scribbler and Scrivener most writers still do use Word as their primary writing tool.

This became obvious to me over a year ago when I sent out a survey to user of all of my apps: 10 Questions…

My focus over the next few months is adding new functionality into SmartEdit. There’s a lot that needs to be done there to improve it, both inside Word and Atomic Scribbler. The first step is more of a marketing / branding exercise and that’s almost complete. After that I’ll be adding new functionality on a more regular basis.

I like the Scapple, mind-mapping idea, though I’m not sure how heavily used that sort of functionality is. Even Scapple seems to be a very junior partner in the Scrivener toolset, despite the huge audience the guys over at Scrivener have.


#3

I completely understand the primacy of getting SmartEdit to where you want it to be. You’ll get no doom and gloom moaning from me! :grinning:

I own both Scrivener and Scapple but prefer A.S. for its writing environment. I’d say Scrivener/Scapple wins when it comes to planning. Atomic Scribbler is a writing dream, IMO.

The biggest problem with the Scapple/Scrivener pairing is the lousy way Scapple integrates with Scrivener. Sure, one can import the Scapple nodes into Scrivener, but the relationships created by linkages is completely lost. So, after import into Scrivener, you have to spend time reordering and creating meaningful note titles, if you weren’t smart enough to do that when doing the mind maps. And when one is doing ‘blue-sky’ thinking, it is disruptive to start planning that far ahead.

As far as the marketability of add-on modules. I think the best way to approach this is to look to the most successful “plug-in” effort that I know of. That is the Adobe Photoshop plug-ins. It is my belief that it was the vigorous plug-in market and the user community that grew from it, was a major force in creating Photoshop’s ubiquity.

They allowed 3rd party software developers to license their plug-in interface and left it to the developers to market them. Now, you don’t have the ubiquity that Photoshop has, but there are ways to ‘sweeten’ the offer for software publishers to consider creating modules for your software.

  • Offer to create a sales page on your website for quality 3rd party add-ons (you get a sales commission)
  • Offer Licensing rebates for those titles that reach a certain sales level.

I’m sure there are other things you can do, but these are just two off the top of my head.

Also, I would point you to various Reddit writing subs. Every month there are a couple of Reddit users who think they are good enough to create a new writing app and are looking for ideas. If you could divert a few of the more capable ones to writing applications that benefit Atomic Scribbler, that benefits you in not only outsourcing some of the development but in adding a monetizing effort to A.S. without changing its status as “free software”. Also, it diverts developers with potential who actually might develop a competitor.

These are just the ramblings of a guy who can’t stop thinking about how much potential you and your software has. I used to tell people on my photography blog that there are no ‘wrong’ answers, just choices. Please feel free to accept or reject my suggestions as you see fit! I won’t become a pest about this, I promise this is my last post on this. There are many paths to heaven!


#4

Great suggestions Glen. Downloads of Atomic Scribbler are way up on a year ago, so word is spreading, if not a little slower than I’d like. It does get a lot of mentions on sites like Reddit these days. The third party plug-in route is an excellant idea – not one that I’ve explored before, but it would certainly speed up the development process to have other developers working on extra features.

Thanks


#5

You’re welcome! I’m full of ideas for OTHER people to follow, and I’ve never let my own ignorance stand in the way of a perfectly good opinion.