Monday, August 11, 2014

One Month Later (After The App Store Feature)...

Alternate Title: The Fragile Psyche of an Indie App Developer

Drive About has good visibility in the Education category
Today I write with a sense of great relief.
While lounging at the local pool with my family yesterday, I made the mistake of checking my email.
What I saw nearly spoiled what was otherwise a fine summer Sunday afternoon.
My AppFigures daily report was shockingly awful - slashed to a paltry quarter of already soft early August sales.
It was, to put it mildly, a little scary.

You see, as a small indie kids app developer who bootstraps every single app we make, I always feel like the ride is just about to end in a horrific, fiery wreck at the bend just ahead.
It could be any number of things that leads to disaster - but the reality is, initial success is no guarantee of future App Store stardom.
We mitigate the risk some because we are developers for hire and we do a fair amount of contract work, so it wouldn't be a death blow to Artgig if the App Store blew up tomorrow.
But it would really stink.
And I would be sad.
Because I really like making apps for kids.
And as I sat there, staring at our measly Saturday sales, I could only wonder "Is this it? Is this the beginning of the end?"
I swallowed my fears and put on a brave face as I rose to join my carefree family who were frolicking in the pool, none the wiser.

This morning when I checked the sales reports I saw a big banner in my AppFigures dashboard explaining that the Saturday sales reports coming from Apple were broken.
I checked my iTunes Connect dashboard and indeed, the Apple reports showed that Saturday was in fact, just another average summer sales day.
I exhaled.
It’s not the end...not yet.

That's a long lead in on a slow news day to a follow up report on our Drive About: Number Neighborhood app sales.
We were featured fairly prominently in the Kids category when we launched in June.
And I was pretty pleased to see our localization efforts paying off in Russia, where we realized 11% of our total sales.

Since then, the download/sales trend has been like a lazy water slide.

And Russia? Well, the decimal has moved a little bit to the left and now it's only .11% of sales - not even in the Top 6 Countries.

Of course, the first week is always the best.

Drive sales - launch to now
But here we are, nearly two months after launch and Drive About is still hanging around.

App rankings - the 2 vertical lines represent the Awards won at the end of July
Drive won a Parents’ Choice Award and received an Editor’s Choice commendation from Children’s Technology Review at the end of July, which doesn’t hurt.
I can't find the app in any of the Kids category features now but we've had a nice spot in Education for the last few weeks and it's still a top seller for us.

We have some updates planned this month that we hope will give us a little boost as Apple launches their Back to School promotions.

So, Drive About and Artgig live to see another day in the App Store.

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