Bookworm Buddy and the central server have been maintained for four years. These are not free, but the costs have been absorbed so that I can continue to give back a small service to the community.
This application has been downloaded approximately 3000 times and had about 10,000 user contributions made, all without anyone having to pay a dime. Mind you, this does not represent a problem. It's simply an observation that there is inherant value and that it is useful.
Bookworm Buddy is planned for support well into the foreseeable future, and planned to still be free to anyone who wishes to use it. Unlike many "free" software application that take donations, the full feature set will always be available to all people regardless of whether they paid or not. In addition, Bookworm Buddy will always be respectful: no nag screens, no reminder popups, no drive-by installs of scumware.
Speaking of respect, Bookworm Buddy respects:
You may donate any amount, but those who donate amounts of 5 USD or greater will be considered Donating Users. These users will be added to a list that will get priority in support or feature requests. Those who do not donate can still obtain support and may suggest features. Priority simply represents those emails that will be looked at before others. Those who donate amounts that would establish themselves as Donating Users may choose to be excluded from the priority list and should notify me of this in the donation comments field. The list of Donators will not be disclosed unless compelled by law.
Please note that this does not mean all feature requests of Donating Users will be implemented, nor that all support requests are valid with respect to supporting Bookworm Buddy proper (support does not include Windows support, for example). Some requests from non-Donating Users may be implemented while some requests from Donating Users will not be. Your donation is simply a donation and should not be considered a retainer for future custom work.
Q. I hate Paypal. Can I send donations any other way?
A. Not at this time. It is unlikely I will ever accept personal checks but it's possible I will open an address for money orders. I am, however, open to alternative online payment services. Please email me and suggest your favorite. Don't worry: suggesting your favorite does NOT constitute an obligation for you to donate if I do sign up with them.
Q. Why does Paypal consider you an Unverified recipient?
A. When Paypal was created, the way to verify your identity was to send a physical check to your address for one cent or dollar (I don't remember which). When you deposit it, it proved you lived where you claimed you did.
At some point, Paypal became interested in collecting bank accounts. Around this time, users were then required to provide bank account information in order to identify themselves. Those who were previously verified continued to be. However, recently, as users are [rightfully and intelligently] declining to associate bank accounts with their Paypal account, those who were previously verified have had their verification rescinded unless they add a bank account or apply for a Paypal branded credit card.
It is in Paypal's interest to encourage the use of bank accounts. There are fewer consumer protections than funding with credit cards (chargebacks, unauthorized use, fraud, enhanced services) and Paypal makes more money per transaction as it costs less to perform the transaction, but they only pass a smaller fraction of the savings to the users. It also gives them the means and power to debit directly from bank accounts when there is a dispute via other lines of funding.
I encourage others to avoid adding bank accounts to Paypal, even though they take less money out of your donation in fees if you were to fund it with a bank account.
Q. Is my donation tax deductible?
Q. If I donate now, does that mean you will continue to maintain the software for X more years?
A. In part, donations will encourage me to not drop it. That said, there is no guarantee of anything. I may find myself required to drop it because I have to choose between funding the server and having something to eat. Or the issues may not be financial: perhaps the development language falls out of support and is too much trouble to continue to keep pace with. Maybe no one will ever use it again, at which point it doesn't maintain software so that only one person will use it.
I worded these payments as "donations" for a reason. They are simply a way to say thanks, and do not imply anything more than a simple gift.
Q. Do you expect to reclaim all the costs of the server?
A. No. I expect to always have to pay something out of pocket to maintain it. It's ok, though, I'm glad it's seen as much usage as it has.