I'm already enjoying some success at distributing an interworking set of actions and scripts. BUT there are several barriers that I'm sure others have thought about solving, and I'd like to get an idea what the possible (and best) solutions might be.
Let's start with the following assumptions, based on my sales so far:
- The target audience has Photoshop CS2 up to Photoshop CC. (For me, so far, MOST people are CS5, CS6 or CC). An ideal solution would allow me to continue to target all of these people.
- The target audience are Photoshop "aware" but not Photoshop "Savvy". They want tools to do a specific job and may not know all the ins and outs of Photoshop.
- In addition to supporting a wide variety of Photoshop versions, we must also support both Mac and PC users and the variety of OS's that are present in the wild.
Currently the "state of the art" as I understand it are the following:
- Sell actions or scripts with a set of instructions about where to copy the items, being careful to describe the differences for different machines and OS's and Photoshop Versions.
A. This is unwieldy and requires the consumer to be more "savvy" about their OS and their Photoshop than many people are.
B. Many versions of windows do not allow one to copy into some directories without special privileges, ditto for the Mac.
- Package the actions or scripts for Mac separately from those for the PC and bundle each with some kind of installer.
A> Multiple packages are harder to maintain
B> "canonical locations" for the PC are different than on the Mac
C> There are security problem with creating and distributing a an installer. While it may be easier to send a bundle around, it moves the burden to the user who has to know what "this app is not trusted" means and how to circumvent it.
D> some users, especially CC users who have more than one platform may want both Mac and PC versions.
- Figure out how to slog through the process of getting something into "Adobe Exchange"
A. The process seems inscrutable to me.
B. "Exchange" is an additional Product that someone must install (not included with Photoshop)
C. Does no support older versions of Photoshop (before CS5, i believe)
D. Apparently requires a different package for EACH supported Photoshop version?? True?
E. Given that Exchange is not bundled with Photoshop the market is stacked against someone who adopts this route.
F. Exchange itself is sometimes a pain. For example just now it told me I needed to update it *and* restart Photoshop. It's hard to imagine a potential customer going through that much pain to try to find a package there. Besides after all that I clicked "My Stuff" and the tool sat spinning infinitely.
G. The user must KNOW about exchange, and I, the seller have to describe how they can navigate that landscape, that is once in Exchange a user has to somehow FIND your content.
H. There seems to be no clarity about what percentage Adobe is taking in this model, or how payment will work.
I. Users must be willing to use an Adobe ID to make a purchase.
J. Based on what is currently in exchange, it seems a poor vehicle to get eyes as there is very limited ability to put text and descriptions
K. There is obviously a very low incidence of people looking in Exchange... NONE of the products I saw there had even ONE review!
- Create something that uses Adobe Configurator (could be in addition to or a replacement for any of the above)
A. Configurator is DEFINITELY Photoshop version specific. Lots of overhead building and testing for each supported PS.
B. As near as I can tell, Configurator is a dead project that has no team and no support.
C. Doesn't support earlier Photoshop versions. (CS4? unlikely)
D. Still requires that a user stall an "Administrator Required" Adobe Extension Manager tool.
- Join the Apple Developer program so you can build, sign and distribute a package for the Mac including, possibly, via the Mac Store.
A. Might work for the Mac, but doesn't help much for the PC which is 60% of the market.
B. More $ and pain. Though perhaps worth it as the Mac store (like the App store) get's a LOT more eyes than whatever Adobe has cooked up so far.
C. Seems like a lot of work and hassle to distribute Photoshop specific content.
As near as I can tell there is no solution for "upgrades" (distributing newer versions) or "upsells" for any of the above options.
Is there an option 6? Have I misstated something? Does Adobe indeed have a "Photoshop script/action bundle maker' which is platform independent, robust and EASY for anyone to use?