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Appillionaires: Secrets from Developers Who Struck It Rich on the App Store 1st Edition

25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1119978640
ISBN-10: 1119978645
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Stevens writes in lean, punchy prose, combining anecdote with the specifics of each developer s story to success, making this a readable take on a modern phenomenon. (Computer Arts, July 2012)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119978645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119978640
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Stevens is a journalist and Kirkus Star Award-winning author. Formerly a columnist for The Daily Telegraph newspaper, he later wrote for The Times. Chris is the designer behind multiple number one apps, most famously 'Alice for the iPad', which is installed on over 500,000 iPads and counting.

Chris also presented and directed Space Bubble, the popular CNET gadget show. Alongside his writing, Chris is an illustrator and scriptwriter. He has worked for the BBC, Warner Bros and Wired. Chris won a Guardian Media Award for his work as a journalist.

Chris designed Alice for the iPad. Gizmodo called it "The cleverest iPad book yet" and the BBC said it was "A glimpse of the future of digital reading". Alice for the iPad was also a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show where Oprah told her audience it would "change the way kids learn". His other hit apps include 'Alice in New York'. Chris also collaborated on the number-one app 'Nursery Rhymes with Storytime'.

Today Chris runs Atomic Antelope, the publishing house that created Alice for the iPad. He spends his time working on book and game titles for the iPhone and iPad, writing and acting.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Eric Lawrence on November 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading a short web teaser for Appillionaires, I was excited to order the full book.

Unfortunately, the unabridged version was a bit of a letdown, a short 196 pages of content, with wide margins and lots of screenshots. The bigger problem was repetition, with the key points of the book amounting to a few pages at best. In fact, if you read the author's summary bullet points at the end of each chapter, you need not bother with the rest of the book.

The text lacked any meaningful analysis of the market and exploration of how, specifically, the AppStore resembles a "gold rush," a theme repeated throughout the book. The interviews with successful app authors were somewhat entertaining, but limited in scope. While repeatedly asserting that Venture Capitalists and existing game companies are all "vampires" with a "proboscis", and making broad claims (e.g. none of these games could have ever come from an existing studio) Stevens fails to do any meaningful investigation of what value those studios might provide-- ignoring the opportunity to flesh out the "gold rush" metaphor.

The number of distracting typos was on par with what you might see on a blog post lacking a copy editor.

Despite not living up to its full potential, the book was basically an entertaining read. While a reader working in this space (e.g. a developer) won't likely find much of interest, the book is written for a broader audience and doesn't require any technical knowledge at all to understand.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By EricH on November 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book covered the stories behind a number of unexpected successes in the App Store, highlighting the often overlooked obstacles the developers overcame in bringing their application to the market.

The research behind the book was solid and the book itself is well written. I was surprised and pleased to find the author highlight on some of the most critical issues facing indie developers that most people on the outside never see. The Lodsys legal threat to every small developer out there, or the Com2uS legal letters received by countless individual developers, are two of the many examples of frivolous yet potentially disastrous actions that have the potential to destroy the fantastic market the AppStore created.

Reading this book may be a bit of a disappointment because you expect to hear 1) man make game in a week 2) man make millions 3) man appear on oprah, buy a ferrari, wear diamond-crusted vest. Yet what you get is the true story behind people who live full lives and still found the time to push through the obstacles to bring a successful app to the market, and sometimes continue living their lives exactly as before. All of these developers featured in this book would appear on the outside to be lottery winners, yet none of them entered the AppStore with the mindset that they were playing the lottery hoping to make millions to show off to the world. They created the products they did because they knew they could create something great, and the level of success they reached was just a surprise to them as to anybody else.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Momma Mary on February 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What I think is enlightening about this book, is that not only does it tell about the success of companies like Rovio but also their failures, and how being an appilionare is not as easy as it might seem. In this book, it tells you the FULL story of the companies that made overnight hits and legends like AngryBirds and DoodleJump, and it shocked me to know that Rovio was a failing company with over 50 failed apps under their belt before they made AngryBirds. Now, if you are thinking of making apps in the hope of becoming an appilionare, I would strongly urge you to read this book, because not only does it tell you how hard it actually is to become an appilionare, but it gives you many good tips on how to make an app better and more addictive. It tells you about consumer psychology and buying habits. Like for instance, if you were to price your app at 99 cents, you would get flooded with bad reviews, whereas if you priced it at $1.99 you would get quality, and honest reveiws because most of the people that buy 99 cent apps are expecting a lot out of that 99 cents and will write a bad reveiw if it is nothing short of a smash hit, whereas most of the people who buy $1.99 understand that this is only going to proveide a few hours of fun and write better reveiws. Anyways this is merely one example of what this book will provede you with, This book has been very enlightening and educational to myself & my sons who are interested in creating apps, it's well worth the money.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gallagher HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book provides a pretty good overview / summary of some of the trials and tribulations of a developer of an Apple "app" product - but not many "secrets" as in the title - there is a LOT of background material here and history of the process in the beginning that just about put me to sleep before the author started providing some generic examples. As someone who worked for a dot com in the mid to late 90's, I did find myself flashing back to some of the same scenarios I lived through - and heard about happening to others - and it seems to prove the old saying that history does repeat itself.

One drawback to this book that would have made it probably good to great in my opinion if there had been more specific examples: a lot of the discussion of this or that developer or product is very high level, and doesn't provide much detail. If you were wondering, for example, what one of the example developers spent $1.5 million on in the development of a failed app you wouldn't have a clue after reading this. I was also hoping for a little bit of a business case to understand how folks are making money selling 99 cent or giving away free apps, especially after Apple takes their percentage cut, you pay your bills and developers - in other words, tell me the majority of the app developers aren't just blowing money like the dot com busts did in the 90's. Apparently, that portion of history appears to be repeating itself, also.

If you're a developer, or considering to be a developer, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for an entertaining, high-level read about some of the aspects of the Apple app developer world to help you out in discussions at a cocktail party (anyplace but Silicon Valley), then by all means pick this one up for cocktail circuit material.
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