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TUAW Bookshelf -- The Business of iPhone and iPad Development: Making and Marketing Apps

A recommendation by Chris Forsythe pointed me to Dave Wooldridge and Michael Schneider's book "The Business of iPhone and iPad Development: Making and Marketing Apps" (Apress, 2011).

A practical primer on creating your business plan, the book offers advice on topics diverse as protecting your intellectual property and why testing and usability is crucial for app success.

It's an easy read (admittedly a little choppy in the writing at times) but I found it full of valuable advice, especially for anyone who is thinking about entering the App Store ecosystem but hasn't jumped in yet.

You'll find coverage about competitive research and being realistic about what it takes to succeed in App Store. From pricing your app (free or not), monetizing free apps (iAds and other in-app opportunities), to Freemium models (leveraging in-app purchase), a large part of the book centers on understanding how to sell. A final series of chapters covers marketing issues, like creating pre-release buzz and press releases.

If I have any criticism, it's that the authors sometimes went a little too technical (there's actual code in the book and their intro recommends a programming background) for a general business text. The advice here is perfectly valid for people hiring tech personnel, not just one-man dev shops. There's also a bunch of lists that seem to be there to increase the page count rather than offer a practical value to the reader and the ebook table of contents was set up in an odd way (you have to click on page numbers, not section names). Those are minor quibbles.

I wish the authors had spent more time on the strength of the book (creating a business plan) and less on technical implementation details. That said, there's plenty of good, solid advice and you should not be scared away from purchasing this title if you're not a programmer.

[Full disclosure: Steve Sande and I are writing Pitch Perfect, which talks about how to pitch your app for reviews and has some (but not much) topic overlap with this book.]

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