Re: Please Help: Charging for Softcopies

Subject: Re: Please Help: Charging for Softcopies
From: GirlWriter -at- AOL -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 1997 18:18:42 -0400

The company I worked for that provided soft copies of doc to their customers
did charge for it. I don't know how much they charged, but I do know the

* The contract that the customer signed when they agreed to purchase the
software stated that they would receive two paper copies of the accompanying
documentation as part of the purchase price. If they wanted more than two
copies, they had to buy it.

* If the customer preferred to have soft doc, they would have to pay a
"premium" to get the soft doc. That premium was less if the customer
forfeited their two complementary hard copies.

* I believe the price of the soft copy was the equivalent of what the
customer would have paid for x-number of hard copies of the doc set, with "x"
being based on the "probable" number of hard copy sets the customer would
normally order (which is based on their size, I'm assuming).

Hope this helps. In general, you should charge more for soft copies because
of all that it implies (i.e., that they no longer have to buy hard copies
from you, and also that they have the ability to change your text, which, if
not explicitly protected in the contract, can leave you open to odd
liabilities ... for example, they could modify the doc to say that the
software does something it doesn't do, and then sue you for misrepresentation
... sounds odd, but it's something our legal folks were concerned about,
since the doc serves as a legallly binding promise of functionality).

Senior Technical Writer

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