Posted on | January 7, 2010 | No Comments
By Jules Older
Jules: former magazine editor-in-chief, former website director, Global Interactive Content, former person with income.
Effin: widely published photographer, suddenly not widely published.
Hi. I’m Jules.
Not long ago I start getting email asking if I’d like to cover San Francisco for a travel website. It will be, oh, two or three month’s work. Two or three month’s work for $400.
I ask, politely, “Did you inadvertently leave out some zeros?”
I don’t hear back. Ouch.
But am I discouraged?
Then, one day, I get an email asking if I’d like to create an iPhone app. Thinking it’s one more of those $400 gigs, I almost don’t respond.
But when I do respond, it turns out the offer is a fair one, and the subject of said app is one of my special interests. Thus is born, “San Francisco Restaurants,” the app.
Creating it is three months hard work… okay, soft work. I’m eating at favorite restaurants and writing about it… so it’s long work. Seventy-five restaurants later — text by me, images by Effin — it goes to Apple for app-roval. I settle in for the infamously long, long wait.
One (1) week later, on Thanksgiving eve, Apple approves it. We are thankful. We are mega-tres thankful. “San Francisco Restaurants” is up and for sale — 99 cents, please.
Starting at Thanksgiving, it rises from 104 to 20 (as I write this) in the iTunes listings for ‟San Francisco.” It’s Number One for ‟San Francisco Restaurants” on the iTunes site. (Choose your name well, Grasshopper. Fortune favors the descriptive title. At least for iPhone apps.)
It helps that we start publicizing it from Day One. We even make a two-minute YouTube video called,“San Francisco Restaurants, The Movie.” As I write, 283 folks have seen it. (Dunno if YouTube counts views by the video’s creator. If so, better make that 273.)
Are we rich? Uh, no. The video’s free. The app’s 99 cents gets split between us, the programmers who hired us, and Apple. Oh, and as I write, we’ve sold about 900 of ’em.
So, are we potentially rich? Too early to tell, but this may well be just another get-rich-slow scheme. Hardly my first.
If it is a financial loser, are we sorry we’ve spent the time and effort on it?
Hell, no. We’ve learned a lot, entered a new game, had a lot of fun. That’s what travel writing’s all about.
In case you didn’t click on the links above, here’s how to find the app, the movie, and The Olders.
You can find the app from the App Store in iTunes, on your iPhone, or on your iPod Touch.
You can find the movie on YouTube.
You can find out more about The Olders here.
Jules and Effin Older are not related to Susan Older, founder of this site, which is amazing when you think about it. It’s a rare name.