Jake Birkett has written a guide to selling indie games. There are seven points that are gone through in detail. The overview looks fine, and here are my own comments to Jake’s 7 points.
1) Finish your game!
I agree 100% with this statement, although I would like to throw out that innovation can be used. Jake says that you need proper menus, and that’s true – but perhaps there could be different type of “menu screens”. Like instead of choosing playmode from buttons you could show the game arena and let the player click one of the objects in screen – these objects would represent different menu items. For example, one of my ideas for Morphlings was to show several planets in the beginning of the game and player could click rotating planet to choose level.
2) Alpha Test
“Alpha” is one of those words which have different meaning depending on company. What Jake says is true – alpha testing is done in the beginning and I would add that it doesn’t necessary need any real art: spheres, cones and cubes will do just fine to represent different objects in game.
3) Beta Test
I’m using “beta” in very broad manner, and depending on company beta can mean anything from “first playable version” to “almost finished product”.
4) Self-Publishing, 5) Find a Publisher and 6) Put your game on the portals
I wrote an article: How Do You Get Your Game to Market?, which deals with these points.
I agree – improve and refine, but don’t be the feature creep (adding new non-important features over and over). I wrote a section about this in my Basic Marketing Plan For Indie Games.
Read the Jake’s article, definitely worth checking & reminding yourself about the possibilities.