Friday, March 9, 2012

There's an App for that (and for you!)

This blog is from Desiree Holt who was the first author to sign up to receive our Author App.  If you have an iPhone you can download her App for free.  If you are an author - published anywhere not just TWRP - you can contact us to get your own App.  Just email or and we'll get you started.  In the meantime, please keep reading to find out why Desiree is so in love with this cutting edge technology. Please visit our website and click the App link to get pricing information.

I’m an App!

When Rhonda Penders contacted me about turning myself into an App I thought, Wow! What a great promo opportunity. And it was so easy. On Seeker Technologies created the platform for me as well as the graphic and loaded it to the Apple platform. Once it went live I could do all kinds of things with it. 
What would that be, you ask?
It has all my books in iTune and the iStore listed with Buy links. Then it gave me the opportunity to list all my other books and add a Buy link to them. Just tap the link and it takes you to the book. I posted all my covers so people can browse through them. It has an announcements section where I post about my book release and then…very cool..I click on Push and it sends the notice as a text message to everyone who has my App. 
I’m getting ready to post photos from events I’ve attended. Oh, and by the way, I can also list events I'm attending so my readers can find me. Way cool. 
I’ve posted this everywhere and I am getting such a fantastic response from readers. They love it, especially since it’s FREE! That’s right, FREE! I pat a small monthly fee to keep the App available and with it comes free support from The Wild Rose Press and On Seeker (who by the way are the very nicest people.) 
Just think of it. With this App I can reach people all over the world. How often do you sit in an airport or restaurant or coffee shop or anyplace where you see people playing with their phones. They could be downloading and reading YOUR APP. 
This is the cheapest promo you can get with the very most bang for your buck. I’ve already heard from readers in Hong Kong and South America and even Korea that they have my App and love it. 
So what are you waiting for? Get busy. Contact Rhonda today to get your App. You won’t be sorry.


Allie Standifer said...

As a new app myself I can't agree more with Desiree. My readers said they'd love the app because it's easier than checking my website for updates. Plus when I update my blog, have a new release or just feeling naughty I can send push notifications.
It's fun, easy & readers love it.

Christine Warner said...

Very Cool Desiree! I have an upgrade on my wish list this year...and after reading your post I've made a decision on what that upgrade will be.

Thanks for sharing!

Kellie Kamryn said...

This is something to look into for sure. I guess I wondered since there's a fee to get it, do you pay monthly on top of it to have it? As someone on a limited income, I worry about these kinds of extra expenses.

Desiree Holt said...

Kellie, the monthly fee is $25 and includes unlimited support. But I just dieted other $$$ I would use for promo to this. As a matter of fact, I'm going to RT and the only swag or promo items I'm taking are business cards (I took advantage of the free offer from Vista Print) that say I'm an App!. It has my graphic on it, directions to get it and all my author info on the card. I'm sending them to other conferences to be stuffed in tote bags, too. All those people you see sitting around playing with their phones? They could be downloading your App.

Desiree Holt said...

Oh, and one more thing. It also has a section for videos, so I posted all the book trailers I have on You Tube plus some other videos from conferences. The possibilities are limitless.

Barbara Edwards said...

I'm not up on all the new tehnology, but I'm willing to try it out. I do have to consider cost as a factor. I want to learn more.

The Word Place said...

New stuff like this fascinates me, and I'm willing to learn. Don't have an iPhone BUT my phone contract ends in May, and I'm going to buy a new phone and go with another anyone who has any input for me about the right kind of phone, my ears are open! Meanwhile, kudos to TWRP for their innovative approach! I'm going to post an email here for anyone who might want to give me some pointers about a new phone...


Nancy J. Cohen said...

I think it's a great idea, if you have the income to support the monthly fee. My first priority is to get a smartphone and pay that additional monthly data charge. But it's great to hear from authors who have apps what use they're putting it to and reader response.

Desiree Holt said...

Here's a question for y'all. Are you spending any money on promotion? Figure out what it costs you. Does it come to more than $25 a month? This is worth everything else you might be doing, along with FB and Twitter which cost nothing. You can get 250 business cards free from Vista Print, only pay the $7.99 shipping fee. You can oct the graphic on FB and Twitter and any blog you are on.

Meg an Aggie in Frisco said...

Well... I had a comment written and then a computer hiccup!

Desiree is one of my favorite authors, and now with the App it will be easier to keep up to date with her books!

A few suggestions after playing...

1. Can books be grouped (Theme, Series, New Releases)

2. Under links could you add your author bio page for sites that sell your books/publisher site, in order to be able to buy in non-iBook reader format.

Can't wait to see what updates you send out... I did find a book on you app that I missed seeing on other site. Joy Ride... I'll be reading it this afternoon at work... (don't tell the bosses) :-)

I ll be looking for more Authors I enjoy!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I'm very interested in this. Is there a way you can track how many people are using your app? I'm sure this isn't the correct term, but can we tract how many "hits" we're getting? You know, some kind of quantitative way to see how well it's being utalized.

Desiree Holt said...

Meg, a big hug for you! Let me know how you like Joy ride. And that's a good idea about the links. I'll be adding them to my bio page either today or tomorrow.
Vonnie, I don;lt know if you can track hits but that's a good question. I'll find out.

Desiree Holt said...

I just went in and added all my publishers links as well as my web site under Bio plus if you chef the Links page I just posted all my publishers there plus it has a list of places I blog. Thanks for the suggestion.
And thanks for adding your name to my newsletter list!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Desiree, how do we access your app? I'd love to scroll through it.

Desiree Holt said...

Hi! Sorry I'm late but was gone for a few hours. Do have an iPhone or an iPad? If so you can get it at the App store. Have an Android smartphone? Next month it will be available in the Kindle App store and the App store for Androids.

Linda Banche said...

Well, I don't have an iphone or an ipad, I doubt I will get one, and I have my doubts about this promo working when all the other ones don't.

I've heard about all the different types of promo and have tried most of them.

They all say "this one works!". Well, none of them have, at least for me. I'm not about to spend $99 for an app plus $25 a month on more promo that probably won't work.

Rhonda Penders said...

Wow great comments and super great feedback. If anyone has a direct question, please feel free to email me direct at - in case I don't get over here to catch the notes and comments.

The question Vonnie had about statistics on how many hits you get, the answer is "I think yes". I know at one point our App guy Frank could tell me exactly how many people had accessed our TWRP app and where (what country) they came from. I would assume the same is for the author app.

Again, any questions, please come to me directly and I'd be happy to help.

Rhonda Penders said...

As for questions on what works for promotion and what doesn't - nothing is fool proof. Nothing is going to work for everyone. It all depends on what you write; your fan base, how many books/short stories you have out there. For someone like Desiree who is multipublished - this make huge sense.

In today's world more and more people will be reading from their smartphones. It makes sense that if you can promote directly to them via these devices, you're going to get some bang for your buck.

But its an individual choice. Its is an expense and one you might not be able to afford right now and that's ok too - this isn't going to go away. It will be here if the time comes that you are ready to try it.

Rhonda Penders said...

Anyone on an iPhone or iPad can download Desiree Holt's app for free and take a look at it. If you are on the Android platform you can download The Wild Rose Press app and view that.