Will I have to pay for updates?

Updates for Customers Buying from Our Web Store

(This includes customers buying through authorised resellers such as Amazon, but excludes the App Store.)

If you purchased directly from our own store, or from one of the resellers that redirect to our store such as Amazon (and, at the time of writing, every other retailer except for the Mac App Store), this is how updates work:

  • All minor updates are free.
    • Minor updates are updates that don't involve a major version number change. The major version number is the number that comes first. For instance, 1.1 through to 1.9 would be free, as would 2.3 to 2.4 or 3.5 to 3.7 - all of these are counted as minor updates. Such updates usually consist of a combination of bug-fixes and feature refinements, although often contain more substantial changes and new features too.
  • All major updates are offered at a discount.
    • Major updates are those that involve a major version number change - 1.x to 2.x, 2.x to 3.x and so on. Such updates consist of major new features and UI overhauls, and because of the huge amount of work involved (not only with the code but also with graphics and documentation rewriting), these updates are always paid-for.

We don't charge you full price for paid updates, though. Our policy is this:

  • If you purchased the software at any time during the three months prior to the release date of the major new version, you will receive the update for free.
  • If you purchased the previous version of the software earlier than that, you receive a major discount on the regular price. The discount price will be set at the time of release, but as an example, Scrivener 3 on the Mac is $45, but costs only $25 for registered users of version Scrivener 1 or 2 for macOS.

When we release a major update, we make an "Upgrade" page available (you will find a link to it on our website and in our store). To get the reduced pricing, you simply enter the email with which you purchased the prior version of Scrivener, and you will then automatically be taken to the store with the discount applied. (If you have changed email addresses since then, email us and we can sort it out for you.)

Updates for Mac App Store and App Store Customers

(Windows users don't need to read this section, as this only applies to our Mac App Store customers.)

If you purchased Scrivener or Scapple from the Mac App Store or iOS App Store, this is how updates work:

  • All minor updates are free.
    • Minor updates are updates that don't involve a major version number change. The major version number is the number that comes first. For instance, 1.1 through to 1.9 would be free, as would 2.3 to 2.4 or 3.5 to 3.7 - all of these are counted as minor updates. Such updates usually consist of a combination of bug-fixes and feature refinements, although often contain more substantial changes and new features too.
  • All major updates are paid updates.
    • Major updates are those that involve a major version number change - 1.x to 2.x, 2.x to 3.x and so on. Such updates consist of major new features and UI overhauls, and because of the huge amount of work involved (not only with the code but also with graphics and documentation rewriting), these updates are always paid-for.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer App Store users discounted upgrade pricing, or free updates to those who purchased three months prior to release. We wish we could, but this is out of our hands because it is not an option that Apple makes available for App Store customers. When you purchase from the App Store, all your details are kept by Apple and are never passed on to us, so we have no record of your purchase. And the App Store does not support upgrade pricing or even discount coupons.

For App Store software, the only options open to developers who need to continue to develop and support their software are either to offer it on a subscription basis or to charge full price for major updates. As we believe a one-off purchase is preferable to a subscription model, this unfortunately means that our App Store customers have to pay full price for major updates such as moving from Scrivener 2 to Scrivener 3.

How Regular Are Paid Updates?

It's important to stress that we do not charge for major updates regularly. We only release a major update when we are convinced it's the best-ever version of our software, and we are committed to supporting and improving each version we release for a long time afterwards. When we release a paid update, we are never thinking about the next paid update, only about the current version.

To give you some idea of the regularity of our paid updates, Scrivener 1 for macOS was released in January 2007, Scrivener 2 was released in November 2010, and Scrivener 3 was released in November 2017. Scrivener 1 for Windows was released in October 2011 and the first paid update is (at the time of writing) planned for 2018. So we are George RR Martin when it comes to paid updates. In between paid updates, we release many substantial minor updates and ensure that our software runs well on the latest operating systems.