Monthly Report May 2012

Overview

May has been as successful as February and April in terms of AppStore and Play Store sales, meaning that I made about $7.500. I am still trying to reproduce that March income.
I also sold 14 copies of my ebook in two weeks, resulting in another $420.

A big thank you to everyone who bought it! Please drop me a line and tell me your honest opinion about the book, so I can improve it in the future.

I don’t have the numbers yet for Amazon Appstore and NOOK color sales. If they were as high as the month before, I think I will end up with about $8.200 – $8.500 for the last month.

There are no big surprises here. Appstore and Play Store are still quite equal:


Google Play Store total: $3.667, AppStore total: $3.848. So half of my income now comes from the Google Play Store!

Supporting older iOS devices

Last month I assumed that my AppStore sale drops might come from not supporting older iOS devices anymore. So I grabbed a bugfix build of corona and blind flying updated my apps and submitted them. Unfortunately, they were rejected because they are were again scaled wrong on the iPad 3. So I had to grab a new iPad myself to test it. After re-downloading the fixed corona build, it all worked. I must have gotten the wrong download before. I submitted the updates yesterday, so I hope that I can finally say something about supporting older iOS devices in my next post.

Price change of IAP

I told you in my very first report that doubling the price for my Puzzle and Farm had no negative impact on the sales, and that the same amount of people unlocked the full versions as before.

This time, I wanted to try it the other way round, and switched my Animal Puzzle unlock IAP back to $0.99 for one weekend. I did not promote this in any way and wanted to see if people noticed it. The result was: The downloads and sales did change a (little) bit as you can see below.

I will do tests like this in the future more often: Offer the app for half the price for a larger amount of time, write in the description that it’s a special offer, do some promotion etc.

I had a bit more sales and a bit less downloads in the test period, resulting in a noticable but not extraordinary higher conversion rate. Normal rate is about 15%, during the test period it was about 20%. Taking into consideration that I only earn half the money, the conversion rate had to be at least 30% in order to maintain my normal revenue. So basically, the $1.99 price is better for now.


Even though offered at half the price, sales and conversion rate for Animal Puzzle was just slightly higher. Maybe the time frame was to short.

So this brings me to two conclusions (at the moment):

  • people don’t care if they pay $0.99 or $1.99 for my puzzle
  • websites are not able to recognize a price change of an IAP automatically. Downloads were even a bit lower than before, so there was noone who downloaded the puzzle because he knew it was cheaper now

I am not sure whether I am able to “promote” such a change of IAP price, so that people know “hey, that puzzle I have always wanted will be half the price on data xx/yy”. But judging from my download numbers and sales, there is no need to. Since the conversion rate is not that much higher, I should concentrate on driving more downloads.

I will also add some more content to the game and try raising the price for a short time, to see how that affects the sales. So expect more to read about that in the future.

Finally I got an answer from Disney…

… that did not really help. Like you might know, I asked at Disney legal if they see any problems with my Car Puzzle App. After days of waiting there is finally an answer from Disney legal. And they advice me to contact my legal counsel if I have concerns regarding the use of Disney trademarks and/or characters.

So it seems to me that they did not get the point. I am not using any Disney trademarks and/or characters. I just wanted to check whether my graphics look too similar compared to Disney’s “Cars”. So I replied and wait for a new answer. In the meantime, I submitted the game with new graphics to apple, so I will at least have a new app out sometime soon.

If there is anything to learn for me from this, then it is that when you are in doubt whether your product could arise some severe copyright infringements, assume that it does. And don’t risk it. Even though you might end up getting some permission from the trademark owner (which I hoped in the Disney case), it will cost you a lot of time. And apple seems to be very cautious about such issues. If you are developing for Android only, you might as well take the risk and wait if someone complains. I am a bit too anxious for that.

Phishing for compliments

I received an email from a chinese company telling me that some other chinese company wants to register “eiswuxe” as an internet keyword. I was immediately skeptic about that, since “eiswuxe” is not a real word, not even in Chinese language. I then received an email directly from that other company, telling me that they are going to register the internet keyword “eiswuxe” and some domains like eiswuxe.cn, no matter what I say. Then I got contacted from the first company again. They told me that they can register the keyword for me.

After some googling I am now assured that this is just some sort of confidence trick to rip off some money. I just deleted the emails.
Nevertheless, I came to think that it might be a good idea to register eiswuxe as a trademark :)

Things happening without my initiative

I have currently reached a status where I get emails about new advertising networks and other kinds of deals every day, without having triggered it myself. I guess there are a lot of people out there monitoring the appstores, looking for apps with many reviews, and simply contacting them.
There is now an ooomf page for Animal Puzzle. I have not heared of this service before, and I am currently not sure at the moment how to benefit of it. Maybe you can help and tell me in the comments :)
Animal Puzzle For Toddlers ooomf

Get money for your knowledge

Another example is http://www.chupamobile.com/ who contacted me shortly. Seems like another possible income stream.

As far as I can tell, you can post tutorials and code-components about mobile development there and get paid for it. They asked me for Corona Tutorials in particular, but I think that any kind of tutorials are welcome. I have cleaned up my corona particle system and submitted it there. I consider it a bit of a drawback that the platform decides the price for your components. I would have made my particle system a bit less expensive, but they told me they judge the products by their complexity, quality and final usefulness, and that they are very experienced in setting prices. So in the next report you can read if I managed to make some money with my code.

So that’s all for now! I hope I could give you some more inspiration and motivation to keep going. I would be glad to hear some comments :)

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