Fade In pricing

January 16th, 2017 | by | screenwriting


First of all, a little history about the pricing of Fade In Professional Screenwriting Software. When Fade In was first released, the plan was to give it a regular price tag of $99.95 (US), or around one-half to one-third the price of Final Draft (depending on where and when you buy it). For software for which the starting point was supposed to be feature-for-feature FD compatibility, that seemed like a pretty fair price. But since no one had heard of Fade In yet, it made sense to give it a lower introductory price, and that was decided to be $49.95.

Turned out people liked the fifty dollar price tag.

Turned out I did, too.

It was simple, distinctive, and helped people feel like they were getting a great deal. Honestly the last thing I’d want is someone sitting down to write and resenting how much they just had to pay for screenwriting software, or weighing buying it against buying groceries. I want people sitting down to write and thinking hot damn let’s do this.

So for several years now, the price hasn’t budged, and the feature list has grown and grown, and every update has been free. And I’m just fine with that. I like that. Although at the same time certain costs and demands — from development to infrastructure to support — have grown.

In the software business, there are a couple of things that companies have typically used to bolster revenue. The first is paid upgrades. Final Draft, for instance, has charged for each major version upgrade at a regular price of $99.99.

I don’t want Fade In to do that. Many writers began to use Fade In well before it became a tool of choice for so many working professionals, and their commitment and feedback have helped make Fade In what it is today. Look, I’m a writer too, and I kinda feel like we’re all in this together. I don’t plan on showing my appreciation by charging everybody all over again.1 (Plus in order to justify charging for another upgrade it’s not unheard of a company to add unnecessary features, bells, and whistles just for the sake of adding new features, bells, and whistles — instead of putting that work into less sexy and less marketable but more necessary core engineering.)

The other thing that more and more software companies have been doing is moving to a subscription model. Adobe’s done it. Microsoft has done it with Office. It’s one way of thwarting users who are perfectly happy to stick with the software they’ve bought without paying additionally for upgrades. With a subscription model, it’s like you’re continually forced to pay for upgrades. Every month, or every year. For as long as you want to keep using the software. I don’t know of a software product that’s gone to subscription where you won’t easily end up spending more than the old one-time purchase price within the usable lifetime of the software.

I really don’t like the subscription model.

So Fade In will not be going to a subscription model.

What is going to happen is that the price of Fade In, as of version 3, is going to be $79.95 (US).

Updates are still going to be free.

That’s less than 1/3 of the regular price of Final Draft, for more features. And when you factor in the cost of Final Draft updates, it’s an even smaller fraction of the cost. You can check my math.

I hope you’ll like what’s coming.

And I hope people still feel that they’re getting a fantastic deal.


  1. As for what may one day happen in the future, who knows. It’s possible, I guess, that one day Fade In may have a paid upgrade. But it hasn’t yet, and there are no plans for it to happen.

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