Yes we published it on our own, however we signing the app and passing Apple notary service, since it will be required for app installation in the new macOS release.
We did not publish to App Store for few reasons:
1 - Fees are high
2 - No promo codes functionality
3 - We did not want to rely on Apple from perspective of App publication, since Apple does not like and could reject App because it duplicates existing functionality in their OS. And you could mute app or see the noise level through the settings.
Yes the fees are very high, but maybe it gets you more purchases because people search for stuff in the app store. I'm having the same dilemma about my app.
I'm interested to hear how you marketed your app, if you're looking for a topic for your next post :)
App Store from my perspective on macOS still does not work well and promote Apps. I don't remember when I last time searched something through it and the same for my friends. Mostly I'm searching in Google, then website of the app and only then if there is a link to app store I'm installing/buying through it.
Marketing will be the interesting part, will definitely write an article about it.
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