Selling Your Apps Part 1: Sales Summary

Where should you sell your apps? What revenue can you expect as an independent developer or start up company? In this blog series, I’ll be sharing Blacktop Interactive’s app sales across five different markets. To start we’ll be covering a summary of all paid app sales.

Background

I started Blacktop Interactive, LLC a few years ago but shifted focus towards apps in February of 2012. With the help of a couple interns we produced seven apps and have three more on the way. We have kids apps, painting apps, game boards and a recipe box on the way.

Summary

The info graph below does a great job of describing each of the markets. iOS is the only market we’ve spent marketing dollars on. We’ve found that specifically targeted ads tend to generate almost as much revenue as they cost but don’t scale well. The absolute best thing for apps is to be featured in each specific market. BlackBerry and Amazon both have request forms that developers can fill out for a chance to be featured. With Apple and Google Play, you must depend on ads or hope that they will hand pick your app out of millions to be featured. The NOOK Color is a very under saturated market (few apps compared to the number of users) and we’ve found that marketing is not required for a quality app to be successful.

Note that the BlackBerry sales are lower than Apple and NOOK but are very consistent. Apple has a VERY quick drop off from the top new apps list. NOOK has a slower drop off but has significantly higher sales, making up over 50% of the total revenue. The ‘new’ app list in Google Play is filled with preferred developers and existing hits. Good luck getting on that list. I filled out a request form with Amazon to be featured, they included our app in a mailing within a month. BlackBerry generally responds with app features in that time frame. You will have to pass quality control and have positive ratings to be considered for BlackBerry and Amazon featured lists.

Profit or Loss?

Right now we’ve invested more money into the apps than we’ve made back. The good news is that sales still seem pretty consistent. Over the next couple months we’ll be releasing more data on expenses vs. profit.

If you like our apps, make sure to checkout Blacktop Interactive on Facebook.

Website and Branding for New Look Vision


New Look Vision is an independently-owned optical shop that will open its doors to the public in late July. Located on the new light rail line at the intersection of Hwy 280 and University Avenue, they offer a wide selection of eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses. New Look Vision strives to carry the most cutting-edge styles (as well as an impressive selection of hand-picked vintage frames) at a price that won’t break the bank.

I recently had the pleasure of working with the companies founder, Younes, to create an online presence for New Look Vision. My company, Blacktop Interactive LLC, started from the ground and worked our way up. We began with the selection of a WordPress template that suited the clients needs. They needed an eye-catching splash page, a functional footer and most importantly, clean and simple eyewear galleries. We decided on Modernize, a responsive theme created by GoodLayers that has clean galleries that will be easy for Younes to add images to when he gets in a new shipment of frames.

Modernize

We wanted the online experience to closely resemble a real visit to New Look Optical’s location in Saint Paul. We visited Younes before the store was complete to get a feel for the shop. There is a fantastic brick wall painted black, high ceilings with red beams and silver accents.

Modernize was a pretty light theme overall, so we darkened it up and for accents we matched the red that Younes painted some of the walls at New Look Vision.

Product Photography

Younes had over 200 frames that he wanted to include on the website (he has more in the store, believe it or not). So we set up a photo shoot in our office and made a system of actions in Photoshop to expedite the process. We were up to our elbows in eyeglasses, but we processed all 200 images in less than a day.

Branding

So we had our theme and content, but we needed a simple, modern logo to pull everything together. Younes was a designer’s dream to work with. He gave us some direction, examples of logos and fonts that he liked and left the rest up to our creativity. We came up with four logo iterations riffing off of the colors in the store and contemporary frame shapes.

Younes liked the top logo the best, but wanted to see it with some different fonts. We sent him five variations with different fonts and he ended up choosing Century Gothic for the final logo.

Check out our work for New Look Vision online at www.newlookvision.com and at their new location at 2484 University Avenue West! Are you ready for a new look? Their grand opening is on Tuesday, July 24th and they are offering some great deals! You can also find New Look Vision on Facebook.

Turtle’s Day at the Beach for the iPad

Turtle’s Day at the Beach, an interactive storybook for kids, was approved today for the iPad! This storybook includes original graphic illustrations, audio effects, interactive activities and narration mode. It also includes a coloring activity at the end of the story. Turtle’s Day at the Beach is currently on sale for $1.99 (regularly $2.99). Start your adventure with Turtle and Olive today.

More kid’s books are on the way!

Turtle's Day at the Beach for iPad

Wet Paint 2.0 for Phones and Tablets

Get creative with Wet Paint. This painting app features multiple brushes, an eye dropper, flood fill and thousands of colors to choose from. It’s fun for adults while being simple enough enough for kids to use. What will you paint today?

Wet Paint is a cross platform app built with both tablets and phones in mind. The app adjusts based on the screen resolution and DPI of your device. For phones, turning the device to landscape mode allows you to paint on the entire screen. On tablets, you can adjust the opacity in landscape mode giving you more control over your painting.

Nine additional brushes are available within the app for $0.99. Milkman Games provides great, well documented, native extensions for both Android and iOS.

http://www.milkmangames.com/blog/tools/

Check out the app and let me know what you think!