Submitting To Amazon

Introduction

Google Play is not the only app store out there for your Android Apps. In fact there are quite a few, but one of the biggest alternatives is that which is run by Amazon. They are a very big company with a large user base and their Kindle Fire devices are more than capable of playing your Android Games - you can also install an Amazon marketplace app on any Google Play device and get to Amazon that way, so your customer base isn't limited to just Kindle Fires.

Signing up with Amazon couldn't be easier. Just go to their App Distribution page and simply sign in if you have an Amazon account already, or sign up if you do not. There is no registration fee and all you have to do is fill in the necessary personal details as well as those of your company(should you have one). Note that if you wish to monetise your apps and games, you should add in your bank details too, so make sure that you have your IBAN and Swift code available as these will be needed.

Once that has been done, you will be taken to the main "Home" screen where you can see the latest announcements and the "Dashboard" for your uploaded apps (empty just now!). Click on the Add a New App button to get started.

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Adding Your App

The submission process is split into various sections, each one with it's own tab at the top of the page to indicate at what part of the process you are currently. the following sections deal with each of these tabs and the information you will need to add for them to be successfully completed.

General Information

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This tab deals with the basic information that is need for your app. The following fields can be filled in:

App Title: The display name for your app (obligatory)App SKU: The SKU is a unique identifier that you can add for your app. It is not obligatory, but it is good practice to include this as future Amazon API upgrades to GameMaker:Studio may require it's use.Form Factor: You can use this to choose which devices use your app. It can be either TabletPhone or both.Customer Support Contact: Checking the box marked Use my default support information will tell Amazon to use the default support email and url that you supplied when registering, but if you wish to have something independant for each app then you can un-check this which will then make the following options available too:Customer Support Email Address: The email address where people can contact you for product support.Customer Support Phone: A telephone number for suppport issues.Customer Support Website: The website for support issuesPrivacy policy URL: This is the url which will direct the user to your proivacy policy. It is not obligatory, but it is highly recommended that you have one as it is becoming more and more important.

Once you are happy with the details provided, click the Save button to continue. Should there be any problem with the information provided, the problem fields will be marked and you will be given an opportunity to resolve the issues and continue again (this is the same on all the subsequent tabs).

Availability And Pricing

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This tab deals with the availability of your app, and the first thing you should do is select the country where you wish it to be sold. In general, you would leave this as "All countries where Amazon sells apps", but if your app is region specific it may be that you want to choose the countries where it can be sold.

After that you can select to have your app listed as free or give it a price. Should you choose to give it a price, you will have to select a base currency and add the value in that currency to the field, then (when you click outside of the form) Amazon will automatically calculate an exchange for the other available currencies. If you are not happy with the values that Amazon gives, you can click the "I'll set my own prices button and then edit the prices that have been set previously.

Amazon request that you also inform them of any other platforms that may have had the app released previously. If you click the yes button, you will be required to add a date for when the app was available. If you released the app on multiple platforms, you should add the date that it was originally released on the very first platform.

The final options are related to promotional activity:

When would you like this app to be available on Amazon?: With this option you can add a launch date for your app, meaning that if you are launching on iOS and Android at the same time, you can sync the date. Note, that your app will have to be accepted first and that this may take some time (a few days to a week usually), so make sure that the launch date takes this into consideration. Leave this blank if you have no special launch date requirements.When would you like this app to be discontinued for sale?: It may be that your app is seasonal, or promotional and will need to be removed from sale at a given point in the future. you can set this option here by adding in the date that you wish the app to removed from the Amazon app store. Leave it blank if it is not required.'Free app of the day eligibility: Checking this will permit your app to be selected by Amazon for their "Free App Of The Day promotion. Should this happen, Amazon will contact you directly.

When you are finished click Save and continue to the next tab.

Description

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As the name of the tab implies, here you must supply Amazon with all the written information that is to be associated with your app. This includes it's category and sub-category as well as a short promotional description, a larger page description and then some "bullet" points where you can list any outstanding features of your game. After that you can add some tags too, which will help when it comes to people searching for an app from the Amazon store.

When you are ahppy with the text you input in the appropriate fields, you can click on the Save button to continue, or you can click on the button labelled Save and add a translation. If you select the latter, your base text will be saved, but a new tab will open where you can select another language and supply Amazon with a translation of the original text. These translated texts will be shown on the region-specific Amazon App Stores.

Images And Multimedia

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This section needs little explanation... It's where you add the promotional images for your app, and each section details the size and type of image that you should upload and the uses that it will be put to. You may even upload a video of your app, but note that if the file size is greater than 30MB you should use the FTP uploader (for more information, click the link that is supplied on the page)

Content Rating

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Giving your game appropriate content ratings is incredibly important as, if you fail to supply the correct ones, your app could be pulled from the store or your submission could fail. Basically, these ratings are used by Amazon to "target" your app at a given public audience and so you should try to be as precise as possible, since you do not want your beautifully crafted childrens puzzler to be aimed at an 18+ audience only!

When you have selected the appropriate ratings for your app, you should also click on any of the extra warnings that your app may contain gambling, advertisements etc... Then click on the Save button when you are done.

Binary Files

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This tab is for uploading your *.apk file and setting the necessary permissions and support options. Below are listed each of the options with a brief explanation of what they are for:

Apply Amazon DRM?: For each app that you submit to Amazon, you can choose to apply DRM or make your app available without any rights management constraints. However, GameMaker:Studio does not currently have the necessary options to permit this so you must select No.Binary File: Click here and browse to the created *.apk file to upload your app to Amazon. This can take a few minutes, during which you will not be able to continue... so be patient! Note that you can also choose to use the FTP uploader should your app file be larger than 30MB, and once the file has been uploaded, you can check the manifest to see that everything is in order.Device Support: Generally you can leave all these options checked, but if your app is designed specifically for phones and has a low resolution (800 x 480 or less), then you may wish to disable the Kindle Fire HD.Language Suppport: This section is for informing users of the languages that your app supports, so if you have more than one language option in your game you should tick it here.Export Compliance: This is a legal formality that is required by Amazon since they are an American based company. Failure to tick this will mean that your app cannot be submitted.Binary Alias: This is the unique name that you give the uploaded *.apk file. It can be useful to distinguish between different versiosn of the same game (should you wish to have an HD version and a normal version, for example). In general, if you do not plan to have multiple versions, you can use the same identifier here as the SKU code entered in the General Information tab.Testing instructions: This text box is for you (the developer) to leave messages relating to specific functions and devices that your game should be tested on. initially, you should not need to use this, but if your app is not permitted or it's submission is marked as "pending", then you have should received an email outlining the issues found. In these cases you would fix the issues and re-upload the *.apk, then fill in this section with the specific information for testing to see that the problem has been resolved. For example - "Please test specifically on Kindle Fire. This is a build in response to issues described in your test report: "Use of the Settings Soft Keys (Top menu bar such as volume, device options, etc) causes the app to exit."

With all that filled out correctly, you can now press Save to store the information.

Submitting Your App

If all is correct, you should see the three tabs each have a green tick on them at the top of the screen:

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NOTE! You can still change information at this point!

It is very important to revise everything carefully at this point, as you can still edit all the information that you have provided. Once you submit the app for approval, this will no longer be the case, so better get it right the first time... Once you have reviewed everything and are happy with the information provided, hit the Submit button!

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The Approval Process

your app could take some time to get approved, but the main dashboard of your developer account will show the status of the app at every stage. Each of the different messages are listed below:

Incomplete: You have not yet completed your app submission. The app is missing some of the fields required for submission to Amazon.Ready to Submit: The app is ready to be submitted to Amazon. You have full access to change the metadata and binary until you click “submit.”Submitted: The app has been submitted for review, and it can no longer be edited. At this time you can cancel the request for review and continue to edit your app.Under Review: The app is being reviewed by Amazon and can no longer be edited.Approved: The app has completed at least one stage of the testing and content review process. It may soon be ready for publication at Amazon.Live: The app is now live on the store.Pending: When the app is in this status, you will receive an e-mail from our team explaining why the review process for your app was paused and asking you to perform some action. You must address the relevant metadata or binary issues before your app can successfully continue through the process.Rejected: The app has not passed the review process. You will receive an e-mail from Amazon explaining the reasons for the failed approval.Suppressed: The app was live at one point but currently is no longer on the store.

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