bibisco Novel Writing Software

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The amazing success of the “Pay What you Want” model

A friend of a friend, a successful salesman at a big company, one of those with Rolex and a tie, told me that bibisco’s business model doesn’t make sense.

It’s okay to give away a trial of the product for free“, he said, “but the free version (bibisco Community Edition) you give away is a complete product, with no time limits of use and even without advertising!

And what about the paid version (bibisco Supporters Edition)? You distribute it with the Pay What You Want model: but who will give more than the minimum required?

Pay What You Want is very effective

He was wrong.

Surprisingly (for him) “Pay What You Want” is very effective.

bibisco Supporters Edition has a minimum price and a recommended price:

  • 31.79% of subscribers choose to pay more than the minimum price
  • 9.83% paid more than the recommended price
  • 1.09% paid double the minimum price

But it is not just a question of money:

  • bibisco is translated into 13 languages, and volunteers did all translations. For free.
  • The epub export and txt export features were written by a volunteer. For free.
  • Some authors have included bibisco in the acknowledgments section of their novel. Who would think of doing the same thing with Microsoft Word?
bibisco blog - The success of the "Pay What you Want" model
bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
Photo by Matt Jones on Unsplash

Generosity matters

But how is this possible? I believe the reason is that generosity matters.

bibisco is a personal project, made with care and love; the software tries to solve the problems that I have also faced.

I tried to make the program that I for one would have loved to use and perhaps the writers have recognized it.

They trusted the quality of the project and responded to the generosity with equal generosity, not only with money but also with beautiful posts, tweets, emails that I have never ever received in my career as a software consultant.

Pay What You Want is not for all

bibisco novel planning software is proof of the success of the “Pay What You Want” model.

But I think this model can only fit well under certain conditions:

  • the product or service sold stirs emotions in the buyer: a handicraft object, a painting, a photograph, a good meal, a bottle of wine, a song, a film; bibisco helps writers to write their novel and when a writer writes their novel they do it with love.
  • there is a relationship of respect and trust between the seller and the buyer, even more so if the buyer can know the people who created the product or service they purchased.
bibisco blog - The success of the Pay What you Want model is because generosity matters: writers trust bibisco's quality and respond with equal generosity.
bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash


bibisco‘s “Pay What You Want” business model definitely works.

The amazing success of the “Pay What you Want” model is because the writers trusted the quality of the project and because they recognized the love and care in creating the product.

If you make a product or service that stirs emotions in the buyer, consider “Pay What You Want” as a business model, because generosity matters and is contagious, and just like me, you will be rewarded more than you ever expected.

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