Free Self-Publishing App from Outskirts Press is Available

Free Download – Click Here

Category: Business/Productivity
Updated: June 29, 2011
Current Version: 1.77916
Compatible with: iPhone 4 iOS 4
Size: 7.8mb
Language: English
© 2011 Outskirts Press, Inc.

Announcing our free iPhone 4 app

Description

The Outskirts Press Free Publishing App for the iPhone 4 (running iOS 4) is now available for download. It provides mobile access to live updates through the Outskirts Press publishing and social communities.

Please note: This app works for the iPhone 4 running iOS4 and the iPad, but does not work on the older, first generation iPhones (iPhone 3).

Over the past several months this blog has touched upon the process of dealing with Apple to get this application available. It was not without its hurdles.  But that’s what Outskirts Press does; we confront those challenges for authors so they don’t have to. Coming soon will be Author Apps, and I’ll talk more about that exciting new marketing option for authors as it gets closer.

In the meantime, here are some features/benefits of the new Outskirts Press Free Publishing App:

  • Stay constantly up-to-date on happenings in the self publishing, book publishing, and book marketing arenas
  • Receive exclusive discounts and promotions only available through the App
  • Constantly updated! Blog news is updated almost daily.  Newly featured authors are updated every other day. Newly featured author book videos are updated approximately 1-2 times a week.

How long does Apple take to approve an app?

So exactly 1 week after we received the “Waiting for Review” email from Apple, we received the “In Review” notification.

The review of our Outskirts Press Free Publishing app took 4 hours and 38 minutes.  At 4:38 in the afternoon on Tuesday, one week after submitting it, we received the following notice from Apple:

Dear Outskirts Press,

The status for the following app has changed to Processing for App Store.

App Name: Outskirts Press Free Publishing App
App Version Number: X.XXXXX
App SKU: 01
App Apple ID: XXXXXXX

To make changes to this app, sign in to iTunes Connect and open the Manage Your Applications module.

If you have any questions regarding your app, click Contact Us in iTunes Connect.

Regards,

The iTunes Store Team

And then, 21 minutes later, we received this notice:

Dear Outskirts Press,

The following app has been approved. The status has changed to Ready for Sale.

If your contracts are not in effect at this time, however, your app status will be Pending Contract. You may track the progress of your contracts in the Contracts, Tax, and Banking module in iTunes Connect.

Note that it may take up to 24 hours before your app is live on the App Store. This delay is dependent upon any app availability issues.

App Name: Outskirts Press Free Publishing App
App Version Number: X.XXXXXX
App SKU: 01
App Apple ID:XXXXXXX

To make changes to this app, sign in to iTunes Connect and open the Manage Your Applications module.

If you have any questions regarding your app, click Contact Us in iTunes Connect.

Sincerely,

The iTunes Store Team

 

App approval time

For a new application, from a new developer (us), our “Waiting for Review” status lasted a week, to the day, so this gives other developers a good idea of what they can expect when they submit their first application. Apple doesn’t give you any indication of how long anything takes, so you don’t know whether to set your expectations for “an hour” or “a day” or “a week” or “a month.”

Last Tuesday, when we first uploaded the app we received the “Waiting for Upload” status notification, followed shortly thereafter by the “Waiting for Review” status notification.

Then …. nothing… for days…

Then,  yesterday, the following Tuesday after we uploaded the app,  at 10am, we received the following notification:

Dear Outskirts Press,

The status for the following app has changed to In Review.

App Name: Outskirts Press Free Publishing App
App Version Number: X.xxxxx
App SKU: 01
App Apple ID:XXXXXXXX

To make changes to this app, sign in to iTunes Connect and open the Manage Your Applications module.

If you have any questions regarding your app, click Contact Us in iTunes Connect.

Regards,

The iTunes Store Team

At 4:38pm on the same Tuesday, we received the next notice, which I’ll discuss tomorrow.

Getting your Apple Developer Certification – part 2

As I mentioned last time, once you log-in to http://developer.apple.com/iphone you will click on iOS Provisioning Portal, a “title” that demonstrates by its very nature that Apple is run by a bunch of IT people.  “iOS Provisioning Portal…”  Really, Apple?  Who named that?  I mention this as an aside because I imagine it’s a very common phenomenon at just about every tech-centered business that involves software.  Which, is really all any website is, a piece of software.    The problem is that IT folks are rarely marketing people — their minds are not alike.  So a name like “iOS Provisioning Portal” makes perfect sense to the IT people responsible for naming that section, categorizing the site, and programming the functionality.  After all, that is without a doubt the EXACT name of what it is.

The problem is that for the rest of us, which describes 99% of your customers, by the way, Apple,  “iOS Provisioning Portal” is gobbley-gook that means nothing and in no way encourages us to click on it. 

We run into that problem at Outskirts Press, too. We will launch a new option and instead of it being called something logical or customer-centric like “Custom Cover for Your Hardback” it will often wind up in a customer’s shopping cart with the unwieldy name of “F2 C_Cov Lam_HB” until I test it in a live environment and rename it.  

But, I digress… Back to the certification process, which I will continue next…

Communicating with Apple

After trying to enroll in the Apple Developer Certification program and waiting a number of weeks, we contacted Apple only to receive an email advising us that they couldn’t locate the “stamp” on the Articles of Incorporation for some reason, and that the information on the Articles should match the information we submitted online for our Certificate.  Certainly a reasonable request, so I provided the following reply:

Thank you very much for your response. I respectfully request that you look at the document closer. The Articles of Incorporation we faxed had the official court stamp in the upper right hand corner, slightly crooked. It may be difficult to read because of so many faxed iterations, but it’s there, and directly below it is another stamp from the Secretary of State indicating the payment receipt, the date, and the time it was received and accepted, exactly as you require. So I’m not sure where the confusion is. Please look at the document again. I’d be happy to take a photo of that corner with my cool iPhone and email it to you if that would help clarify it.

 As for the address and phone number, we’ve moved since incorporating to accommodate our growth.  We don’t have a new Articles of Incorporation document with our new address.  But our new address and phone number I included in the online application with Apple is the one we want associated with our Apple account and you can confirm that data by visiting our website at www.outskirtspress.com.   Certainly we can’t be the only company who has an address that differs from the one on an 8-year-old Articles of Incorporation document….?

Please help me overcome this small technicality. Thank you in advance.

They say you can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.  I don’t know if my response was “honey” per se, but in this day and Internet age when everyone seems awfully quick to fire off foaming-at-the-mouth-at-the-slightest-inconvenience-or-misunderstanding types of emails, I thought this might serve as an example of what’s possible when one steps back, takes a breath, and approaches a frustrating circumstance with diplomacy.

Apple developer program – continued – part 4

A few weeks ago I started discussing our process of enrolling Outskirts Press into the Apple Developer Certification program so we could start offering “apps” to our authors (and so we could provide our own Outskirts Press apps for marketing purposes).

The posts detailed the first few steps involved in enrolling in the program, and ended with us waiting…. and waiting… for Apple approval. In the meantime, we’ve re-faxed the documents they requested several more times, contacted their support forms online, and tried emailing them.  In one such online correspondence we even sunk so low as to plead with them to have an actual human being contact us (up until then, their responses had all been automated versions of the “find the answer yourself on our FAQ” variety.) 

Finally, we tried enrolling again from scratch.  This resulted in them providing us with a new enrollment number, and then requesting the documentation again.  Once again, we faxed them our Articles of Incorporation, along with our corporate phone number and our Enrollment ID number, all as requested.

Finally, I received an email from an actual human being which helped me understand what has been causing this delay (we started this process over a month ago, and all my previous research led me to believe it wouldn’t take any longer than a week).  What his email said, and my reply, will be the subject of the next post(s)…