A practical guide written in a technical style, Edward Hasted’s Software That Sells is more about software and less about selling. The book presents a clear overview of running a software company with some useful tips and strategies, but when it comes to marketing tactics it falls short.
Software That Sells is broken into twenty chapters that cover planning, managing, development, financing, and product pricing for small software companies. If you’re starting a new software company, this book will probably answer some of your questions and give you some valuable tips to work with. While Software That Sells does share some of Hasted’s experience and advice on software, you won’t find any ground-breaking philosophies here.
Examples and checklists are abundant. Useful notes, bullet points, and diagrams throughout the book highlight some of the important points from the chapter. If you’re experienced in the software business, you’ll find it useful to refer to these as you will probably do more skimming than reading.
The book does delve into product pricing, basic marketing strategies, software distribution models, and several advertising options. Unfortunately it offers very little advice or insight for selling online. In fact, it lends very little attention to Web-based software and e-Commerce overall. Considering the huge role of the Web and the prevalence of Web-based software and applications, the book needs to offer more than a few of the most obvious solutions for online marketing and e-Commerce.
There aren’t as many good books on selling software as you might think. I was glad to have discovered Software That Sells since it contains some useful information from an experienced software consultant. I am hesitant to recommend this book for anyone researching online software marketing, but if you’re new to the software industry it will be a good introduction to a complex marketplace.