Thursday, March 08, 2012

Are There Supermarkets for Apps? What and Where Are They?

This is the fifth SharingwithWriters post in a series on apps. Scroll back to see the first four posts on What is an APP? Why is it imperative I have an app? What do I do with an app? And Why is my Web site not good enough for mobile phone users?

In this series, we cover what apps are, why they should be part of an author's book campaign, and how an author can get started or hire it done. The entire series—one little question at a time--is by guest blogger Aggie Villaneuva and I thank her for that. She offers many services to authors--all a la carte. Authors purchase only what they need for their campaign when they need it. And at a frugal price.

Because I think small doses are important for the tech-challenged (and let's face it, many authors are!), I've posted these app introductions a little at a time. Go back to read the first four. Then subscribe to this blog (see the column on the left) so that you won't miss the next installments in the series, probably at the end of March.

What & Where are the Apps Marketplaces?

by Aggie Villanueva

Introduction: Why is it imperative to Have My Own App?

The iTunes Store (for iPhones) and Apps Marketplace (Androids & compatible) is mostly ignored by authors. This is a mistake. It’s a market of billions of users who probably won’t ever see your website/blog even though their smartphones are capable of internet browsing. (Why they won’t see your site is explained in-depth in another post of this series.)

Smartphone users browsed over 97 million apps (in 2011), up from 37 million the year before. And on February 24, 2012 the iTunes App Store announced it was about to hit 25 billion downloads.

But understandably authors can’t even consider entering the mobile marketplace with their own app until they grasp where and what that is--until they get some answers. Each post in this series addressed a different question on mobile marketing with your own app. And there is more to come!

What Where are the Apps Marketplaces

Apps are only available in the iTunes Store (for iPhones) and the Apps Marketplace (for Androids and compatibles). These marketplaces are only accessible from your iPhone or Android/compatible smartphones.

The purpose of the apps marketplace basically is to take the place of internet search engines, which are of little use to smartphone users because they lead only to Internet Web sites that are incompatible with smartphones (This incompatibility is covered in an another article in this series. Just scroll down.) The apps marketplaces lead only to apps, which are created specifically for smartphone use. 

If you have any further questions, please check out the remaining articles, or leave them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you wish to know more about Aggie Villanueva and her company check out this page.

Summary: Can I Afford an App?

True, there are cheap do-it-yourself-type apps available online, but they begin and end with the entry level app you purchased and a few add-ons. Plus they can’t take full advantage of smartphone functionality like the Location Based Search (mentioneded in the marketing techniques articles in this series) or most other marketing campaigns.

Each app must be programmed specifically for your needs. This from-scratch-programming is the most desirable, but where the high costs could come in.

But it doesn’t have to be expensive -- offering you competitive prices for an entry level app is what my company, My Book Marketing Systems, is all about. Imagine your own app for just a few hundred dollars.

Even more importantly, we differ in that our apps can be upgraded a la carte to your heart’s desire and as you can afford it, all the way to our high-end super interactive stand-alone e-reader. Having a stand-alone built-in e-reader in your app is extremely desirable. (That desirability is beyond the information addressed here, but will be covered in-depth in an upcoming article of this series)
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second ediction of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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