Whether you're traditionally published or an indie writer, you're going to have to do the bulk of the marketing to sell your book. Most writers do the majority of their marketing on social media sites, but the almost-universal popularity of smart phones and tablets has created a new marketing technique: the app.
Apps are growing so quickly as marketing devices that companies have created new sites for writers and other business owners. They offer simple drag-and-drop designs for total novices to create great looking apps to advertise their goods and services.
The Nuts and Bolts
There are a dozen or more sites online that allow you to easily create an app for your book or book series. The price varies, from free to hundreds of dollars, depending on how elaborate you want to get in your design. All the sites allow you to create apps in both iOS and Android, so you'll cover all the bases in your readership.
What to Include
Think of your app as an alternate website your readers can hold in their hands. This isn't the first line of marketing any writer should do; you'll probably want to have some other branding underway already that you can feed off of. When you decide on a logo and look for your book or brand, incorporate it in your main app page. Include links to your blog, your Amazon Author Central page and pages on other sites, your Facebook fan page, Twitter feed and Google+ page. Your app allows fans to keep in touch with what you and your characters are doing, so make sure you update it on a regular basis, just like you would a popular blog. Include any sales or contests you're holding, to keep the excitement and interest going, and allow users to comment for extra involvement. In the non-fiction world your app is an extension of the your website with a number of other features that can be more easily used by your reader and managed by you.
Spread the Word
Once you've got your app live you'll want to get it into your readers' hands. The first place to offer it is on iTunes and in the Google Play store, the most popular places for downloading apps. Many of the app maker sites have their own sales pages, as well. You'll also want to spread the word on as many social media sites as possible. Mention it on your Twitter feed, post about it and encourage fans to download it from your Facebook page, create a post on Pinterest for fans to pin and pass around, and mention it on all your other social media accounts. Most importantly, add a link to the download page in the back matter of your book. The minute your fan reads the last word in your book is when she wants to read more, so that's when she'll want to download your app to keep up with what you're writing and how soon she can get another one of your books.
We like to practice what we preach, so be on the look out for the Infinity App in the coming weeks!
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!