Welcome to another Yakkety Yak Sunday Chat!
Have you seen all the author apps that are starting to come out for iPhone’s and Droids? The first one I ever downloaded was Lori Foster’s App. About a year ago I saw her tweet something about I have an app for that. At the time, I had not read any of Lori’s books. I knew she had a ton, so I downloaded it and kind of scratched my head. Not that it was a bad app, I just didn’t know what to do with it.
I forgot about it for a while until about September/October of 2012 when I saw another author asking for people to download her app. Siobhan Muir was at Authors After Dark and I fell in love with her bubbly personality. So I downloaded her app and once again scratched my head trying to figure out what I would use it for. Promptly I forgot about both apps once again.
Then this week I got a newsletter from Joey W. Hill and saw she had an app. So I said whooo there. It’s time to dig up these apps and figure out what their real uses might be and if they fit for what I wanted them.
Lori Foster’s app that I downloaded is built for the iPhone. But as I pulled it up for the first time in a year, it looks like it is not being kept up. I get error messages apologizing for problems. So I went to see if there was an app update only to find that app is no longer available. But what it used to tell you was things like her public appearances under Calendar. Along with her YouTube feed, Twitter, Facebook, Photos, Books, Online Store and Bio. If you were really into Lori Foster, this would have been the app to have.
So let’s move on to Siobhan Muir’s app for my iPhone. Right away I see there are links to her books, Twitter, Facebook, What’s New, events and YouTube Inteviews. Everything is up to date. If I want to find her books, they are there with links and blurbs. I found her blog easily through the More tab and could keep up with what’s going on with her books in progress. Easily I pulled up that she will have a NOR Chat in February. While I have only read one of her books, there is only two available, so I couldn’t really find out why I would keep coming back to the app, unless I wanted to follow her blog.
Joey W. Hill’s app was slightly different. Right away you get a list of all her books where you can delve deeper. When I clicked on Board Resolution, I was taken to a screen where I had a chance to buy the book, read an excerpt as well as read the blurb about the book. I loved being able to find the books and see what series they belonged to and even which specific book it was. What I would have liked was a way to search the books or order them in some way. Maybe even have the series grouped to find easier.
There is an icon for News that sends you to a page where I guess she will post messages. The first was Messages, where I guess Joey can post messages easily to all the apps. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Instead I got an error message prompt. I tried the News Feed next thinking I would get Joey’s blog. Once again I was met with an error message. Next up Facebook…uh, oh. The app crashed. I tried it a few more times and it continued to crash. Then last I tried the Twitter…crashed. In the upper right corner there is a Newsletter button that allows you to subscribe to Joey’s newsletter. I didn’t finish the process to see if it worked since I already get the newsletter. With mostly errors, I was kind of disappointed.
The live button takes you to a page of appearances Joey is making over the next few months. This would be great if I lived closer, lol. But if you were looking for a particular author having a signing opportunity, this would be great. Going to her website though, I found more appearances that weren’t in here.
The last button is More, which gives us four more choices. Media takes you to either a photo of her and video (which again gave me an error message). Links sent you to her website, forums, Twitter and Facebook. Author Bio is more about Joey with About this App giving props to the app creator.
After this app, I started doing searches to find more author apps. To date I found Karen Moning, Lucy Kevin, Sandra Brown, Debbie Macomber, Sophia Kinsella, and Brenda Jackson. Overall, it is not easy to find author apps in iTunes. Most of them I found were by accident or doing a search by specific author.
So do I find author apps to be a thing of the future? Not really, but I find it easier to find info about books this way on the go. Unfortunately, most of the authors I would want an app for, don’t have one. I would love apps for authors that have big series! Yes, to find out the order of the books and to be able to buy them easily. But then again, do I want an app for the 100s of authors I adore? Nope, I don’t want that many apps on my devices!
So while having app for an author is a novelty, that is about all I would use it for. What do you think? Do you see this becoming bigger? Better? The wave of the future instead of tons of websites? My inquiring mind wants to know your thoughts.
Yakkety Yak…let’s chat!
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