What do I do now?
Greetings donation coders!
In 1988, I completed a masters degree focused in analytical cytometry. My education consisted of overseeing a project to develop, document and test an electroporation instrument (used in molecular biology to help DNA pass into cells).
After graduation, I continued the work in IT that had helped me work my way through school. Back before US companies figured out that third world slaves from China etc worked for orders of magnitude less than free Americans, who are aware of labor laws, Constitutional laws and human rights, I was pulling down a healthy living doing software quality assurance on network instrumentation for a major manufacturer. Over the years, I learned "bits" of C++, and when things were slow, I worked on a program that I had always wanted when I was a student.
To make a long story short, the program is done (yeah right - saleable) now, and I am trying to figure out the best way to earn some money from it (that nest egg I put away during the good times is almost completely scrambled).
I suspect that many of you will advocate accepting donations for my work. However, I am not sure that this is the correct approach any more than I am sure that the classic shareware registration approach is correct, or even direct sales on-line, or licensing to a box maker (I really do not want to do that).
I do not want to get rich - just feed my family (it would be OK to be kind of rich, but really rich people need to pay strange people like me to live with them to take care of their houses etc.).
I need information about the following:
1. Relative benefits of freeware/donations, shareware/registration, direct sale (you must pay on-line to get the program without a trial),
a. suggestions/information about registration/installation software products
2. employing website advertising as a means of increasing income and
a. tips and tricks
b. things to avoid
3. incidental sales (selling related hardware products for a profit from the same website where my program is available for free, shareware registration or direct sale).
My customers are college students, college student parents, college bookstores and those who purchase graduation gifts.
My goal is to minimize the amount of time I need to spend working with my website/orders so that I can write new code and return to my preferred use of my time - in depth study of information systems in the context of the Shannon Continuous Channel, and the design and development of global cooling devices (we can all start by putting a mirror - or even better a photovoltaic panel - on our south facing roof).
You appear to have a community of experts, and I look forward to your responses.