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How To Sell Android Apps on Amazon

Updated on October 16, 2012
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(c) 2012 Kevin Languedoc (klanguedoc)

Selling Android apps on Amazon is nearly as profitable as the Apple iTunes App Store is for iPhone and iPad apps. A recent study by Flurry shows that Android Developers on Amazon are making nearly as much money (89%) as developers do selling iOS app in the Apple iTunes App store. If you are an Android developer, you need to follow this guide to start reaping the financial rewards that iOS developers are earning.

Amazon offers many of the selling features as Apple like in-app purchases in addition to the in-app advertisements from Google. Amazon doesn't offer an ads API. However they do provide a SDK (software development kit) which provides the APIs to build apps specifically for the GameCircle and In-App Purchases through Amazon.

This guide will walk you through the steps needed to successfully publish your Android apps in the Amazon app store today.

Getting Started

Open the Amazon App Store landing page at Amazon.com. This page is the main page where you can buy Android apps and also to allow you setup your merchant profile and upload your apps.
To setup your account and upload apps to the Amazon App Store, click on the link at the left side of the page or navigate directly to the Amazon Developer Portal using this link. Here are the major steps that you need to do to start selling Android apps on Amazon.

  1. Create an account
  2. Download the Amazon SDK
  3. Create an Android app profile
  4. Submit Android apps for review
  5. Start selling

Create an account

Profile information
Click on the big green button labelled “Create an Account” to begin the process.If you already have an Amazon account, log in or create a new Amazon account including your e-mail and name, phone number, company name or your name, a description of who you are.

You will also need to provide your complete address, e-mails for customer support, customer support phone number (not required) and a customer support web site (optional). Once all this information is correctly entered, you can save and move to the next page: Developer License Agreement.

Developer License Agreement
The Developer License Agreement is a standard license agreement that defines the terms and condition required to sell apps through the Amazon app store. Once you have read through it, you can either accept it, which is required in order to complete the registration or refuse and terminate the registration process.

Royalty Payments
In this section you need to indicate if you are going to offer your apps for free or you will monetize your apps. Offering your apps for free doesn't require any additional information. However the monetization option requires more configuration information like the country of your financial institution, the address where to send the checks from Amazon and your tax information (if needed) and tax name. You can use the mailing address from your profile or enter a new one.

Once this information is provided, save and continue.

Developer Portal

You are automatically redirected to the Developer Portal once the registration process is completed. The postal has several subsections to help you manage your apps and development process. These inclusively include:

  • Home
  • My Apps
  • Reporting
  • SDK
  • Support
  • Forums
  • Settings

The main landing page of the Amazon Developer Portal where you sell your Android apps for Android devices and Kindle Fire.
The main landing page of the Amazon Developer Portal where you sell your Android apps for Android devices and Kindle Fire. | Source

Home
The Home section displays any announcements related to the Amazon application merchandizing and to gives you a quick snapshot your sales by application for the previous day, week, month and total.

My Apps
In the My Apps section, you can see some statistics on your apps, like the current version, the upcoming version and any in-app items. It is here that you can also upload new apps or new versions of your current Android app.

Once you upload an app, you have several options and key information that you can configure concerning your app. For instance under the General Information section, you can define your app’s title and SKU (Stock Keeping Unit). You can also set the form factor which can be a smartphone or a tablet like the Kindle Fire. Under this section you can additionally provide the customer service details like the web site, privacy policy, support phone number and e-mail if necessary. The app key and Amazon App Id is automatically set.

The following section is the “Availability and Pricing”. Here you can set the pricing of your app if you so desire. In which countries or marketplaces do you plan on selling the app, you can indicate if the app is being sold on other platforms like BB or iOS. Still in this section, you can set when the app will become available for purchase and when or if it will be terminated. Finally you can opt into the Free App of the Day Amazon promotion which is a good way to promote your app.

Another important tab or section is “Description”. Here you can provide details on the default language of the app. Under which Category your app should be listed. Under this section you can specify the display name for your app, short and long description, feature set and search keywords (very important).

The Images and multimedia section is where you upload the various images used in the app, screenshots and promotional material. Refer to the table below for sizing and format details.

Image
Size & Description
Small icon
114x114. PNG with transparency
Large icon
512x512. PNG with transaparency
Screenshots
From 3 to 10 PNGs or JPGsusing the following dimensions 800 x 480px, 1024 x 600px, 1280 x 720px,1280 x 800px, or 1920 x 1200px (portrait or landscape)
Promotional image
1024 x 500px (landscape only) PNG or JPG. This is recommended but not mandatory
Video
You can use up to 5 MPEG-2 video in the following formats WMV, MOV, FLV, AVI, or H.264 MPEG-4. Minimum 720px wide (4:3 or 16:9); 1200 kbps or higher.For video files that are larger than 30 MB, you will have to ftp them using the instructions on Amazon's Developer Portal in the Image and Multimedia section.

After the Images and Multimedia, you will need to identify ratings for your app. The content ratings must be applied to the following content types. In addition, you need to if your app contains advertisement, gambling, location detection, user generated content and account creation.

Content Type
Not Specified
None
Light or Moderate
Strong
Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
 
 
 
 
Cartoon or Fantasy violence
 
 
 
 
Cultural or Religious Intolerance
 
 
 
 
Nudity
 
 
 
 
Profanity or crude humor
 
 
 
 
Realistic Violence
 
 
 
 
Sexual and suggestive content
 
 
 
 

The last tab in the Current Version section is for your binaries, including the apk file. You can opt to add a DRM protection to your package, select your app’s binary (apk) and also select the Amazon devices that your app can be installed on. Again you can select the support languages, the binary’s alias name and any testing instructions.

Make sure you save your changes otherwise you will have to start over again.

Still in My Apps, you can configure the In-App purchases options. This feature gives Amazon over Google. You can setup consumables, entitlements and subscriptions that can be purchased directly from your app, if you designed your app for this purpose.

Finally you have the GameCircle section. In this section, you can configure your leaderboards, achievements and whitelist.

Reporting
The reporting page provides detailed information on the progress of your apps sales and royalties, payments and earnings. You can track your sales and royalties for a particular market or for all markets. A market is defined by the Amazon sites like the UK, United States, Canada, France, Italy or Germany. Likewise you can track your payments by successful payments and failures and retries.

However until you actually have any data, no report is displayed.

SDK
Amazon offers an SDK to developers who want to take advantage of the In-App and GameCircle features. The SDK also contains resources and emulators for Kindle Fire and APIs for Amazon’s Maps. To use the SDK, you need to download it to your computer and in your project in the Android IDE, under the build paths, add the appropriate jar file to the project.

Support
The Support section is for you, the developer. The section contains very detailed information and advice on every aspect of marketing your apps on Amazon.


Forums
The forums contains a wealth of information to help you get the maximum benefit from selling on Amazon. The forums are organized by major framework as many other aspects of Amazon’s Developer Portal. There are forums related to In-App purchasing, another, group of forums on GameCircle, still others on Kindle. The are also forums in Amazon’s distribution framework in general.

Settings
The Settings section provides the tools to manage your account. You can also add other users and set their access permission to either administrator, marketer, analyst or developer. You can also manage your portal’s password.

The Amazon Developer Portal allows you to harness Amazon’s retail pioneering experience in online retailing and merchandising. Although the media has provided little coverage compared to Google or Apple, Amazon has been driven revenue for its developers.

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