Appropriate way to sell licenses to a package?


I’m creating an outlining/productivity package for Atom… this is my full-time job, and I need to generate income from it. I’m looking for suggestions on right/wrong ways to do that in this community. Here’s my thinking so far:

  1. It will be submitted to

  2. It has a fairly extensive API made available as a service, it’s designed to be extended.

  3. It will include source code under a shared source style license. So you can see how it works to create and debug extensions, but you can’t re-use/distribute the source code.

  4. The basics will work for free unlicensed, but there will be some sort of “please register” message and some features that are only available for registered users.

Does this seem reasonable and is it something that people here would like to see?



seems perfectly reasonable to me.
In fact, one of the things I miss the most about atom is the kind of high-quality, niche packages that – I guess – tend to happen easier if people are getting paid for it (I’m thinking of packages like Latexing and Sublimerge for ST3).

Ps.: I think you mean "can’t re-use/distribute source code" under 3.
Pps.: any chance you’re also looking at Rmarkdown, citation, rstats support for publishing academic work?



No, not directly anyway. The outline that I’m working on isn’t plain text based, it doesn’t build off TextEditor or use it for display. Instead it creates its own document view whose internal model is a nested UL list.

I have done some work on a mapping to load Markdown into this outline structure, and export Markdown from it. And I suppose that could be extended to support RMarkdown, etc. But in truth that’s pretty distant and an imperfect mapping. My goal is more a tool for thinking and remembering instead of publishing.

If you (or anyone) wants to test it out please message me and I can give you access to my own forum where you can try it and and give feedback.


Hi @jessegrosjean,

Did you ever launch this? I’m looking into selling apps built with Electron so a little similar.
Do you use a 3rd party service to sell your licenses with? Or have you created a system to generate and validate the licenses?


I’ve released this package:

Which is the package that I eventually want to charge for. But after releasing that I got lots of feedback from my existing users that they would rather have a full native app. And with that feedback (plus the unkown of how well an Atom Package would sell) I decided to focus my effort is on building a native OS X app that uses the above package for most of it’s model layer, but with native UI/Document handling. (a preview is availible at

Once that work is done I still have long term hopes of making it an Atom package for the project as well. But there’s been quite a lot of divergence in the code as I focus on the native UI part, so would require some effort to do. Not sure when/if I’ll have time. But I still like the idea, and love the Atom dev model.


Thanks for the reply @jessegrosjean, that package looks good, as does your new app :).