I'm not sure I can give you any good news but I thought I'd detail my experiences for you. I've produced a game called Electroid for Nokia 6310i and Series 40 phones that I have been atempting to sell without a publisher for just over a month now.
Here is what I've tried so far:
I've set up a sole trader company, Pixel Machine, and a website, http://www.pixelmachine.co.uk
, to promote the game. I've set up a page with an Applet demo of the game which I've 'virally marketted' (voluntary spamming?) to friends and colleagues. This has resulted in hundreds of hits to the site.
Sending the app to Nokia Software Market. You can do this by first registering at http://www.forum.nokia.com
. There's no charge for registering your apps with them but it does take an age to process them as yet only the 6310i version is available here. I've had one sale. I believe other manufacturers/operators have similar schemes - I'll be looking into this in more detail for my next projects.
There is a list of Sales Channels at Forum Nokia some of which have a charge for 'certification' or 'verification' others that don't. Personally I don't have the cash up front for any of these verification schemes so I've applied to the free ones.
Registering the app at Handango http://www.handango.com/Partner.jsp
. This doesn't take long and the app is available within a few hours. Again, I've had one sale.
As yet, I've had no reply from Buongiorno Vitaminic, the email address supplied for Arvato bounced and I've had some contact from Wizcom.
I've also sent my game for review to a selection of UK magazines (What Mobile, What Cellphone and Mobile Choice). Electroid is due for review in the October issue of What Cellphone. I've also contacted www.midlet-review.com
(Electroid is listed in their game directory this is free and has resulted in a handful of hits to the Pixel Machine site) with regard to reviews.
I've recently read Martin J. Wells excellent J2ME Game Programming in which he devotes a couple of chapters to marketing and sales. These are worth a read and he also has a bunch of other links and suggestions. Sorry but I don't have the time to list them all here.
I'm planning my next game(s) now and am targetting many different phones this time as one of the mistakes I made with Electroid was heavily using the proprietary Nokia APIs. I'm certain I would have had more sales so far had the game been available on more handsets
I have to admit though that I'm seeing my next projects as CV boosters with a view to getting a job within the industry rather than as a way to make cold, hard currency.
Sorry for the long ramble - and good luck!