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Appillionaires: Secrets from Developers Who Struck It Rich on the App Store [Paperback]

by Chris Stevens
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 30, 2011 1119978645 978-1119978640 1
Turn your app ideas into a money-making goldmine

More than 10 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple's AppStore and with the right combination of original ideas, great features, solid coding, unique designs, and savvy marketing, your apps could be a part of that staggering number. This book shows you how to turn your ideas into profit-making success stories. Citing a fascinating array of real-world examples, this useful book invites you to meet the rich and famous of the app development world. You'll look behind the scenes of these successful visionaries to learn their secrets first hand and discover how these "bedroom coders" became overnight millionaires.

  • Serves as a must-have introduction to the fascinating, cutting-edge world of app design, where innovation reaps reward
  • Shows you how to structure your app development process based on the Appillionaires who made their fortune
  • Explores what works and what doesn't with regards to getting your app featured and enticing buyers
  • Looks at successful apps such as Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja, and many others that have taken the app world by storm

If you were unaware of the potential to make money from selling your apps, then app-arently, you really need this book!

Frequently Bought Together

Appillionaires: Secrets from Developers Who Struck It Rich on the App Store + App Empire: Make Money, Have a Life, and Let Technology Work for You + App Savvy: Turning Ideas into iPad and iPhone Apps Customers Really Want
Price for all three: $55.17

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


'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)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119978645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119978640
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,243 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
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick, shallow read 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
5.0 out of 5 stars A inside look into indie app developers 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening! 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is a history of the app world, but it is more informative than just an account of the events, year by year. Two things make this book interesting:
- It reaches back into pre-app history to set the stage.
- The author thoughtfully asks questions, makes observations, steps back and analyses and summarizes.
Since I have been involved with software for decades, it was very enjoyable for me to learn more about the app niche -- ymmv.

It is in three parts:
I - the pre-app world and the rise of apps,
II - profiles of the creators of five successful apps,
III - anecdotes and assessments of the current and future world of apps.

What I really like is that the personal profiles reach way into the past to the early computer life of the app creators, and all the things they tried over the years, mis-steps taken, lessons learned. What looks like an instant success oftentimes is not.

But the entire account is interesting, from early failures and successes in the early app world, to legal problems and disputes in the present app world. Even if you are not interested in creating apps yourself, the story is a fascinating and thoughtful read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Appillionaires
My son found this book very interesting. He is looking into this type of thing as a career, and it tells in depth how some have developed an app and made it rich.
Published 3 months ago by Troyanne Bookout
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written but not too many secrets to success revealed
First off, this is a very well written book!! The narrative goes back into the history of the App store market, right from the days of being a bootlegger's paradise (Cydia) to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Krishna Prasad Sankar
3.0 out of 5 stars awesome! but a bit expensive book
Contents is satisfying. 내용이 좀 많긴하지만, 읽을만합니다. But i think the price is a bit expensive!!
I Want more stories later on...
Published 6 months ago by Eddie k
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting description of some app-making stories
Author looks at interesting app success stories and failure stories and gives a balanced image on the life as an app-maker
Published 7 months ago by Oscar
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice book but wasn't what I expected
The book contains a series of interviews with successful developers. Some of the stories are very inspiring and everyone should read them. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Idan
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Thorough and Insightful
Of all the game development books I've read that didn't focus on the actual structure of developing games themselves, I fell that this has been the most insightful into the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Just Me
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, nice
This book is a fairly light and entertaining read. It digs into some of the popular apps in the app world and tries to chronicle what went on to provide insight into how people... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Soar
4.0 out of 5 stars indie economics inside review
This book is not about how to create a good app or choose an appropriate marketing strategy. It's all about economics and risks of an indie studio. Especially game studio. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ilya Rudyak
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Yes. Simply "inspiring" because that's what I think of this book. It is not a recipe for success, and it does not have any "secrets" from none of the established appillionaires. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Rolando Morales Durán
2.0 out of 5 stars More about luck than anything - but a few good insights
After reading this book, it seems that luck is a big factor in App success just as it is in many modern quick hit business scenarios. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Tom Carpenter
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