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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Why Is an App Better Than a Web Site for Mobile Phone Users?

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

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 plan to do these app introductions in small bursts. Tune in tomorrow days for more essentials and then later in the month for an expansion on the concepts introduced in these first five posts.

Why Isn’t My Website Good Enough for Mobile Phone Users?

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.

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.

That’s how fast it’s growing, and it’s growing at this rate because businesses have discovered there is money in being represented in this vital market. Today there are literally trillions of apps downloaded weekly.

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 addresses a different set of question and aspects of mobile marketing with your own app.

Why Isn’t My Website Good Enough for Mobile Phone Users?

A common misconception is that smartphone users can browse websites as easily as computers. Most mobile users will not browse your Web site, and it’s because they cannot browse it. Everything on the Web is made for viewing on computer screens, not in any way created to be seen by mobile devices.

Most of the time a smartphone user on your site can't even perform the simple task of signing up for your newsletter, viewing a video, or listening to an audio message because computer programing languages so often cannot be read by smartphones. But Apps are designed specifically for mobile devices. They keep it simple for the small screen and its internet limitations. Apps simply aren’t straddled with the limitations of Web sites.

This is why statistics climb drastically in graphs that track how smartphone users chose to browse apps over Web sites. In only 1½ years more mobile phone time is spent browsing apps than attempting to navigate the problematic Web.

You might want to scroll down to the post just before this one that mentioned a couple of other things apps can do for you that you Web site can't.

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 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: