Trials & Tribulations of Launching an App

Welcome to my blog. My hope is to share my experience of launching an app for the iPhone. I am a graphic designer and my husband is a web developer. We decided to create an app that revolved around an idea that my father came up with years ago.

My dad was always driving by historical markers and wanted to stop and read them, but had a car full of kids who pleaded with him to keep driving (we were already on the “scenic” route and wanted to reach our destination before we graduated!). He thought it would be great to have each marker broadcast its information via the radio (like airport information) but the cost was prohibitive. Then the iPhone solved that problem.

My husband and I decided this would be a great side project for us. We started contacting state historical preservation offices to get their marker information and thought they’d jump right on board. We had even decided to give back a portion of the proceeds back to them. Unfortunately, after many months of this we had secured data from about half of the states. We realized some states didn’t even have historical marker programs. Luckily, we were able to partner with another organization which collects historical marker data from users all over the country.

Now that we had sufficient data, it was time to actually create the app. We hired a company to program the app and after lots of trial and error we had a product that we were pleased with. So we submitted to Apple for approval and lo and behold, Historical iMarkers was approved!

Now, the fun began. How do we tell people about our app? We did the standard Facebook announcement. Apple even featured us as a New & Noteworthy app in the Reference section on iTunes. But that wasn’t quite cutting it. We hired an online media PR company to write a press release and drum up some buzz. That helped quite a bit. We had a couple of reviews (one from Read Write Web and another from the The App Whisperer) and some really good tweeting going on. We definitely got a big bump in sales.

Then we hired another company to do a video review so just we would have a presence on YouTube. That launched two days ago and we got a slight bump.

And now we are about to launch a print media campaign… I’ll keep you posted!


About Dzine Apps

graphic designer & app developer
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