Lessons from the App Store

The iPhone App store has opened up and a lot of hopeful software developers are facing the reality of the marketplace. It is fascinating to look at all the options out there … and see what all the comments are about the software.

I think a lot of software developers have shot themselves in the foot (feet?) by making free versions available for the jailbroken phones. No matter how good the application is, if they charge real money for it now, and it was free earlier, it’s getting bad reviews, and from the grammar of the comments, from the same semi-illiterate crowd who can’t understand paying for music or video either.
It’s definitely a cautionary tale for me as someone who is trying to sell my books. I’ve tried e-books and kindle versions, and it looks to me that if I ever try to offer something for free, I’ll pay for it later. It’s sad, really. I can see a number of situations where for promotional reasons or whatever, I would like to make copies of the novels available for free. I guess I’ll have to limit that to real paper copies for the reviewers.