Tuesday, March 06, 2012

What Can Authors Do with an App of Their Own?

This is the third SharingwithWriters post in a series on apps. Scroll back to see the first and second post on What Is an APP? and Why is it imperative I have an app?

In this series, we'll 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 plan to do these in small bursts. Tune in the next two days for more essentials and then later in the month for an expansion on the concepts introduced in these first five posts.

But What Do I DO with an App?

by Aggie Villanueva

But What Do I DO with an App?

You MARKET, just as you do with your websites online. One of the sections in my app is a  “Library,” where I sell my books. (I'll give you more in-depth marketing info on the library later in this series.)

Apps gather the contact information of those downloading your app. You should make frequent contact with these people. You can mount sales campaigns to them, sending them your schedule of appearances etc. This is similar to the newsletter subscription on your website where you capture email addresses, except it nearly eliminates the need to sign up because capturing phone numbers can be automatic. This captured info can and should be used repeatedly for inexpensive marketing campaigns.

Smartphones offer exceptional marketing technologies. Just one example is LBS (location based search) where a smartphone will alert its owner when they are close to your location. Imagine you have a book signing in the city. You can do an LBS campaign so that users’ phone will tell them they are close to the bookstore at the time of your appearance and suggest they drop by. This gathers followers spontaneously, people who just happen to be in the vicinity. Your blog could never do that! (More marketing capabilities will be covered in other posts in this series.)

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? And How Do I Get Help

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 in 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 TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, 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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