Sunday, September 28, 2014

Making Money with Apps - e-book review

I've read the Making Money with Apps e-book recently (twice actually) and I would like to share my impressions with you. You might already know the author - Jörg Winterstein - from my previous interview that I did a year ago. Jörg, also known as Eiswuxe, is a very successful German indie game developer with almost a decade of professional experience, great blog called My-Indie-Story and an impressive portfolio of apps. I was extremely excited when he agreed to give me the book to review for free (usual price is $29.99). I hope I can help you decide if it can be a valuable read for you as well.

More about the author

Jörg used to work for a video game company and then decided to start his own business with a bunch of friends. Unfortunately, they went bankrupt when their financial backer stopped the cash-flow. After that, he carried on to create games by himself, to finally succeed and make a living from it (and even doubling his previous income). According to his reports he makes around $10k a month now.

What I liked about his story is that even if he failed first and kept working hard in order to reach his goals. Also, he didn't just get lucky with one app - he has a couple of them that are different from one another, but still make a lot of money.

What is the e-book (not) about

If you're looking for a programming tutorial - it's not a book for you. It doesn't tell you almost anything about the technical side of creating apps or games. Instead, it gives you useful tools and frameworks that Jörg uses/used to use, explains why he took certain decisions, giving you precise numbers and statistics, and basically leads you through the lifecycle of an app from choosing an idea to publishing and marketing it.

Here's a list of subjects that you may find in the book:

  • tools for coding, graphics, sounds, music, and other content
  • comparison and comments on several game engines and game programming languages
  • thorough explanation of mobile ads - their formats, ad networks, statistics, house ads and expected revenue - all with real-life examples
  • paid apps and in-app-purchases - how to set your price and perhaps even double your previous income, comparison to free apps with ads
  • app marketing - choosing an idea, naming, icon design, review sites, keywords, facebook advertising, forums, etc.
  • getting good ratings
  • Google Play vs. Apple App Store vs. other stores
  • testing - how to make sure your app does not contain bugs or design errors
  • alternative places to publish your apps
  • tracking the apps' usage and performance
  • taxes
  • tons of other tips - most of them from hands-on experience

Strong and weak points

The book contains a lot of invaluable information for indie developers on any level, no matter if they are just starting out or trying to improve their income. Some of the tips can save you a lot of time and money by helping you make a decision like whether to use facebook advertising or how to determine the price of an app. Making Money with Apps basically describes step-by-step how an app/game is made, distributed and marketed with real-life examples and numbers which give them credibility.

The thing I didn't like was that most of the statistics are becoming outdated - dating back to 2012. I know it's only two years, but a lot has changed since then. Jörg told me he is planning on doing a general update, so it should be fixed in the near future.

In some sections I also had a feeling that Eiswuxe tried to explain even the most basic notions (like what CPM is), not knowing exactly what his target audience was. It can be a good thing if you're a total beginner, but it might be boring for more advanced people (even though there are parts definitely more suitable for them as well).


I believe that Making Money with Apps e-book deserves a 4.5/5 score and perhaps even 5 when the statistics and general structure get updated (hopefully really soon). It gives you the insight of a game-programming veteran and definitely helps you be more successful with your apps. I was somewhat unsure about the price - $29.99, but after reading it I think it's definitely worth it. There's also a three-day-long money back guarantee, so if you don't like it, you can just get refunded. I strongly advise you to give it a try. I'll be glad to hear your opinion on it as well.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope it was not irony :P

      BTW, if you want to know more details about the book, just ask me or Jörg and I'm sure you'll get the answer. He's a pretty cool guy.