It feels a little weird to wake up in the morning and not have a pile of code waiting to be written. For the last month or so, I’ve been pretty much coding for an hour every morning before I go to work, and then another couple of hours at night after my daughter is in bed. But now all of that’s done. I published the final build a few days ago, and I haven’t written any code since then. I spent the last couple of days capturing screenshots and video. The apk and screenshots have been uploaded to the Google Play Store. I’ve also created a media kit page on my blog, just in case any blogger decides to review my game
So I’m basically ready, all that’s left to do is click the ‘Publish’ button. I could go live right now if I wanted to. But I’m going to wait until at least tonight, if not tomorrow. I have a few friends trying out the final build of the game, and I’d like to hear back from them before I put it out.
I need to make a couple of changes to the code before I can submit to Amazon:
- Change the Play Store icon and link to Amazon
- Set up Swarm to be compatible with Amazon. By default, one of the ways you can earn Swarm Coins is by downloading apps from a TapJoy offer wall. Well, those links usually go to the Play Store, and Amazon can reject your app because of that
I’m going to wait a bit before I do this. The main reason is, if there are any bugs in the game that lead to crashes, I can fix them very quickly on Google, but each update on Amazon takes a week. So my plan is to wait for a few days and make sure I don’t have any critical bugs that cause crashes, and then submit the game to Amazon.
I don’t have much of a marketing plan. Most how-to’s say that you should start your marketing long before your launch date. I considered emailing blogs with a ‘Coming Soon’ press release and offering them preview builds, but that seemed kinda silly. Maybe if I was an established / well-known developer, people might care about what I was about to release. But I didn’t think anyone would care about my upcoming game.
Once I release the game, I’ll email the list of blogs that I’ve bookmarked. I have about a couple of dozen websites in that list. I know of people who email hundreds of blogs when they release a game. Marketing is as much work as development It’s much less fun though, and I’m not sure how much time or effort I’ll put into finding new Android game review sites to email.
I have a few specific ideas that I’m going to try:
- A month ago, I got a $100 coupon for AdWords. I activated that and set it aside, and I plan to use that to advertise Neil Rajah. I’m convinced that in general, spending money on advertising a free app doesn’t work. You end up spending a few cents per click, some fraction of those click turn into downloads, and some fraction of those downloads turn into clicks in your game’s ads that get you revenue. The math just doesn’t work out. But, with free money, I have nothing to lose
- I’m going to run a Neil Rajah ad for a few days (maybe a week?) on my other games. Mobclix lets me adjust what ads run in each of my apps, and I have the option of running my own ads. Of course, that means I lose the ad revenue from those games while I’m running my own ads, but I think it makes sense to give up a week’s worth of revenue to try and build momentum for the new game. I get about 1000 active users a day, 3-5000 a week. This is probably my best channel for building a user base for Neil Rajah
- Spam my friends I post on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, but this time I think I’m going to actively solicit shares and re-tweets
And then sit back, and watch the money and fame roll in, right? Right.