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Shareware Author Tips

Jumpto: PAD Files; Download Sites; Anti-Piracy ; On-Line Payments ; Submit Shareware to SWF

PAD Files               [to top]

Many shareware sites now get at least some of their data from Association of Shareware Professionals <> and International PAD Database <>, so become familiar with those resources. The PAD file has been specified and trademarked by ASP, which offers a free editor to fill in the blanks, PADGen. An easier to use editor for the same results is padEditor, also free.
     Both companies would help you set up your own downloads site.
     ASP has a list of over 800 PAD Enabled Shareware Download Sites, but with numerous duplications.

In a PAD file, be sure to include stable links for PAD file location, as well as the links for information, purchase, and downloads.

Download Sites               [to top]

Robots can be bought to aid submissions to other shareware sites, on the order of 700 to 1000 in robot list. However, many of those sites reject robot submissions, and far too many are just not worth the effort. For those non affiliated sites, one can locate lists via web search, make manual submissions, and keep a spreadsheet on the nature of sites to guide future submissions.

Two of the largest download companies are Tucows.Com and (now including and These do not accept PAD files, only manual submissions. However, they can be frustrating to work with. A program submitted to Tucows, with notice that it was restrained to 10 free starts, was rejected as not being openable. The idiots had ignored the notice and used up the 10 starts. For this reason, it can be useful to have a demo version with no restriction on starts, separate from the full program which requires registration after some limited trials.

There are also various commercial sites which will host downloads and manage registration passwords and payments, but at cost of up to 50 percent commission. Some have submission or maintenance fees. These companies do help make programs known to the web public.

Some PAD and non-PAD submission sites are found on Links page.

Anti-Piracy               [to top]

Be aware of program protection options to fight piracy. Simple "wrappers" are easily broken by hackers, who can disassemble programs from the memory image. Products, costing from around EU100 / US$124 to over US$1000, are available to do a better job. For programmers hosting their own sales, products offering automated key registration are advisable. Some will host the registration process.
    An example which has received very favorable reviews on the internet is EXECryptor <>; this has a one-time cost, now EU100. Acess to their automated key-gen might require contact with their support.
    A longer known product, Armadillo / SoftwarePassport, is now owned by DigitalRiver <> (which includes,,,, Reg.Net,, plus of Europe) and requires use of a DR e-comm system for automated key delivery, (e.g., $0 to $200 setup fee for each product plus 9% to 13.9% per transaction fee).
    Some such e-comm systems support affiliate sales.

On-Line Payments               [to top]

If one prefers to handle sales from one's own domain / site, and is turned off by many merchant accounts with shopping carts, one can use for payments (transaction Fees 1.9% to 2.9% + $0.30 USD). Some very bad merchant experiences (locked accounts) have been reported on the internet, and it is not clear whether things have improved since the buy-out by

Don't overlook companies such as DigitalRiver, above, but select plan carefully.

Submit Shareware to SWF               [to top]

If your program is not in our listings, it could be new or might have had errors in its PAD File, such as broken links. Submit your PAD File to ASP and PADdb, above, then email us the link to where you host it. If you are not willing to wait for our next non-scheduled update, use our Donations link to send $30 for first program plus $5 for each additional in the same submission. Subtract 15 percent if you include your valid registration key to our guide.

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