Back, when I sold my first book, the main way to promote your books was with bookmarks. You handed them out at conferences, left them in your dentist’s waiting room, and mailed them in all the bills you paid. You had to schedule your own signings or pimp yourself out as a public speaker, but most of us depended mostly on those strips of cardboard, whether homemade or not.
Then came websites. Oh, my Lord! The savvy author learned HTML and put together a smart, sexy website guaranteed to set your books above those of the author who only used those old-fashioned bookmarks. Music, banners, fancy cursors…all used to spice up the site enough to make it more appealing. For those of us who were clueless about building sites, web designers popped up and for big bucks, would design and host a site for you.
Pretty soon, every writer, published or not, had a website. Some were good, most were acceptable, and a few were really irritating. Pretty soon, a new word was heard. To be an author people take seriously, you have to blog. I have to admit, one advantage to blogging is that the reader gets at least some idea of how well the writer writes. But blogging does have a big problem. Everyone and their brother blogs. Heck, even my cousin Colleen writes a daily blog…and her’s is way better than mine. Okay, mostly because she does keep it up. Even my dad likes it! But we’re all out there, blogging our little hearts out.
Well, guess what? The next thing authors may find themselves announcing is “There’s an app for that!” Those of you who have a smart phone will recognise the phrase. Personally, I frequently check out free apps in case I want to download them. And last week, I discovered a Susan Mallery app. I swear to God! If I’m lyin’, may I be dyin’.
For those of you who don’t know, Susan Mallery is a NYT bestselling romance author. I’m a fan, so, of course, I downloaded the app. It’s a slick site that showcases her latest covers, short news blurbs about her books, photos from her life, links to her podcasts and videos, her bio, and links to her other web presence such as on Twitter and Goodreads. There is also a button where you can sign up for her newsletter.
I have to admit, it’s a really cool app. But one thought keeps drifting through my mind. Is this the next “have to” promo idea I’m going to have to do?