Saturday, April 9, 2011

Susan Mallery: To App or Not to App

Hosted by Kate Please give another warm, Bandita welcome to my good friend, Susan Mallery, who just happens to be one of my favorite writers, too! I asked Susan to come back today to tell us about her new iPhone and Android app. It's the coolest thing--and I should know because I raced to download it onto my Droid! She’s the only person I know who has her own app!!! Go Susan, go Susan! Take it away!

Thank you, Kate! I’m thrilled that you invited me back to visit the Romance Bandits. Yes, it’s true. People around the world can go to the iTunes App Store or the Android Market, search for my name, and presto! there I’ll be, Susan Mallery in app form. And did I mention that it’s free?

Why did I decide to get an app? The shallow but honest answer is that I wanted an app because apps are new and shiny and having my own makes me feel fancy. The deeper, more professional truth is that our online world is becoming more mobile, and I want readers to be able to find me wherever they look.

I will admit, though, that it’s disconcerting to turn on my phone and see my own face staring up at me.

Virtual Tour of the Free Susan Mallery App

When you click the Books button, the first thing you see is ALREADY HOME, my latest release! After clicking the cover, you can read a free excerpt, reviews, a description of the book, and you can find links to buy the book. The links are for paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats, so whatever you’re looking for, it’s here.

Under the News button, you’ll find all my latest news alerts, Dear Reader letters, recipes, Fool’s Gold between-the-books updates, and you can even tap into my tweet stream. Don’t ask me how it all gets there. I don’t know, and I don’t need to know. But isn’t it fun that it’s right there at your fingertips?!

Within the app, you can watch videos, listen to podcasts, and even see the massive wardrobe of my toy poodle, Nikki. Every time I have new media available, you’ll be able to find it on my app and in the Members Only section of my website, http://www.susanmallery.com/.



There’s a second page of buttons on the app, which is where you’ll find the fan Chat Wall, and one really funky button that had me really confused. The QR scanner. Do you know about this? QR codes are like barcodes for apps. I saw a QR code on a home for sale in my neighborhood recently, so I whipped out my phone, opened the free Susan Mallery app, and scanned the QR code. Voila! I went on a virtual tour of my neighbor’s house while standing outside holding my phone in my hand! How cool is that?

Do you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or an Android? If so, what apps have you downloaded so far? What else would you like to see inside the free Susan Mallery app? If I added a tip calculator, would you use it? If I added a Playlist of some of my favorite songs, would you be interested in that?
If you don’t have an iPhone or Android, how do you prefer to connect with the authors you love?

36 comments:

Slush said...

Hola and Hello! Welcome back Susan! And thanks Kate for getting her here!

Those QR codes are a fun little taste of joy aren't they? My job has been working to add these to just about everything we can and it's a great, instant gratification tool.

As far as the iphone/Android... I have not purchased one yet.
If I did have an iphone and you posted a playlist I would fall in love. So many authors use music to fuel their creative processes, me included. I find that even listening to certain music when reading can help get you into the story.

The way I connect with authors is through great blogs like the Romance Bandits and Twitter.

Helen said...

Well done Slush have fun with him

Whoo Hoo Susan and Kate

What a fantastic idea although I am sure it is way over my head LOL I don't own an Iphone or any of the other appliances just a pretty basic mobile phone and digital camera for me.

I would love to listen to music that the authors like and as for staying in touch with authors I visit web pages and blogs

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Slush, looks like you got a Rooster app downloaded at your house!

Susan, welcome back to the lair. Oh, man, thinking about technology gives me a headache. I still haven't worked out how to read a text message, let alone send one. Clearly I need a very tall, dark and handsome technical expert to take over my life.

Know anyone?

Sheree said...

Hi, Susan! I refuse to pay for a cell phone (I pay enough for the monthly fees) so I'm not going to get an iPhone or any smartphone in the near future. I also don't own iPods of any type (hey, my old Discman still works). If that makes me a technoGrinch, then so be it. :)

I just got a Kindle and, after about a week, went back to reading my paper books. It's just not the same and I got the different ebooks confused since I wasn't able to look at the covers. So, I wouldn't know what apps I would want from an author's app. I do follow authors on Facebook and Twitter as well as checking their websites.

Anna Campbell said...

Sheree, I've still got an old Walkman too - don't I get scornful looks when I pull it out when I'm on a long train journey! It's like I'm making fire by rubbing two sticks together.

KJ Howe said...

Congrats on the GR, Slush. Have fun!

Great blog, Susan and Kate. I love apps, and I think it is brilliant to be on the forefront of technology. Kudos to you, Susan for thinking of the idea.

barb said...

Well done slush

I am afraid I only have a basic mobile phone for me to use in emergency ..... I do have an ebook reader but read mostly paper books.... as for staying in touch I use the blogs etc

LilMissMolly said...

I just got an iphone last week. the only app I regularly use is Angry Birds and the weather channel.

SusanMallery said...

Hi, Slush! How interesting that you're adding QR codes to things. I've only used one so far, but yes, so much fun! Instant gratification is a wonderful thing.

Thanks for your thoughts on the playlist. I'll have to start making notes of the songs that inspire my writing. There are so many!

SusanMallery said...

Oh, and congratulations on winning the golden rooster!

SusanMallery said...

Helen,

Of all the author websites you visit, which ones do you like the best? What do you like about them? I'm always working on my website, trying to find ways to make it fun for readers, so I welcome ideas!

SusanMallery said...

Sheree and Anna,

LOL!!! No worries, I can relate. I promise to keep maintaining my good old-fashioned website for readers who want to keep in touch that way. ;)

It's amazing how fast technology comes, isn't it?

SusanMallery said...

Thank you, KJ! It's been a lot of fun. Now I'm continually on the lookout for ways to let people know, which is why I was so happy when Kate invited me back here to talk about the app. Just yesterday, we added a really cool app widget to my website home page. Look in the lower left-hand corner of SusanMallery.com.

SusanMallery said...

Barb, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! :D

SusanMallery said...

Molly, I love Angry Birds! It's so silly, but a lot of fun. I hope you'll add the Susan Mallery app to your list. If you do, be sure to post on the Chat Wall!

krcrafts said...

I love that you have an app! How fun! Do you think you'll have one for the iPad anytime soon?

SusanMallery said...

krcrafts, The Susan Mallery app works on the iPad, too. I've had several readers tell me that they got a message stating that it was for iPhone only, but just this morning, one iPad user tried again and said this time it worked. If you have any problems loading the app, would you please email me via my website to let me know what error message you got and what type of iPad you have? If you do successfully load the app, be sure to post on the Chat Wall! :D

Kate Carlisle said...

Welcome Susan!! I'm so psyched about your APP, so I'm glad you came back to talk about it.

But now I'm scratching my head over these QR codes. Huh? What is this? Just when I think I'm cool and groovy, something comes along to slap me down! LOL. Can you explain them to me? How can I get some? I really want to take a tour of my neighbors' homes. Hehehe!

Congrats, Slush! Please don't show the GR how to work the QR codes. He's already too smart for his own good. ;-)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

That is so cool, Susan. I don't have a phone that can handle apps, but if I did I'd totally check this out.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I still keep up with my authors via the web. When I am at work my phone has to stay turned off and I don't have an I-phone anyway. If I am off work I have the computer so there you go, simplicity works for me. I do think it is very cool that you thought of getting your own app.

mommaras said...

I have your app and sorry to say Debbie Macomber was the first author that I know of that got an app. I have the tip calulator built into my Droid. I have lots of apps and have so much fu with them. Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio. I have a flashlight app, Nook App, Kindle App, air horn app (don't get in my way, just kidding, LOL. I have lots and lots of apps. HOpe to see more authors apps. Sheryl Woods, Susan Wiggs, Linda Lael Miller are you readig this. LOL LOL LOL>

Tawny said...

Om man, I have app envy *g* I love apps. I carry my iTouch or iPad with me everywhere. I still prefer reading paper books, but I would totally check out author apps.

Susan, yours looks amazing. I'm going to have to spend some time playing with it :-)

Anna Sugden said...

Woohooo!! Glad to see Susan back in the Lair! And SOOOO excited about your app - that is the coolest!!

I have an iTouch and just ordered an iPad2. If I'm not on my computer, I live on my iTouch and expect to do the same with my new iPad. Even more so as I start the switch to ebooks.

I'm definitely going to have your app on there.

Current apps vary from some games to useful things like Tube map, converter app, some foodie fun apps and, no surprise, some hockey apps *g*. I have the Kindle and Nook apps - Already Home will be my first ebook download for when my iPad arrives.

I wouldn't be fussed about playlists - but would be totally into everything else you've got.

catslady said...

I'm afraid I'm not connected but I enjoy many authors' blogs and sites.

Kate Carlisle said...

I just got a scrabble game APP that I can play with my nephew--and anyone else who gets the app and wants to play. ;-) It's actually called Word Free but it's Scrabble. You get a row of random letters and you play a word, then hit send. Whoever's playing with you gets beeped and they know it's their turn. It's also got a message feature. Such a fun way to keep in touch with people!

Kate Carlisle said...

Mommaras, I heard that Debbie was one of the first authors to get an app! I also have Robyn Carr's app. It's fun to see who will get one next.

But I really love Susan's best because, you know, where else can you see so many pictures of Nikki in all her fabulous fashions? LOL

Christine Wells said...

Hi Susan, a warm welcome back to the lair! Thank you Kate, for bringing Susan back to us.

I wrote a long post yesterday but it seems it was swallowed by blogger. Sigh! I love your app, Susan--suggestions maybe a quote of the day or of the week from one of your books? A writing tip of the week?

I don't have an iPhone but this is just one more reason I WANT one!

As for what I like--I like it when an author actually interacts with people on her chosen social media rather than throwing out a comment and not responding to any of the replies. I realize some authors get a lot of replies but maybe just respond to a handful or make a general comment so people know you're not just hitting and running?

Good luck with the app! It looks like a ton of fun.

Slush, congrats on the rooster!

SusanMallery said...

Kate, thank you for having me! I really appreciate your hospitality.

About the QR codes.... honestly, I have no idea how it works. It must be sort of like a barcode, but the QR codes are square, and sort of splotchy rather than having lines like barcodes. But SO cool! And since you have my app, you can use it to scan QR codes anywhere you find one. I think they're even online, and you can scan the computer screen with my app.

It's a whole new world.

SusanMallery said...

Trish, thanks! Keep me in mind if you decide to get a smart phone or an iPad. :D

SusanMallery said...

Dianna, I get the feeling that more and more people will go mobile, so I wanted to get ahead of the curve. It's a lot of fun!

SusanMallery said...

mommaras, I downloaded Debbie's app, too. It's fabulous, isn't it? I love the picture she uses as her main picture, so friendly and welcoming. Debbie is my inspiration.

SusanMallery said...

Thank you, Tawny! Be sure to post on the chat wall! Then your comment will appear on the app widget on my website home page. :D Have fun exploring!

SusanMallery said...

Anna, THANK YOU!!! What an honor, that ALREADY HOME will be the first book you download to your new toy. I hope you love the book... and the app. :)

SusanMallery said...

Kate, that sounds like SO much fun!!! Do you and your nephew have to punch in each other's phone numbers for it to work, or do you have user ids on the game? Just what I need... another GAME!

SusanMallery said...

Christine,

What great ideas about the regular quotes! Thank you! That sounds like fun. I definitely don't want to do a daily "push," where people's phones beep at them once a day, but maybe posting a quote on the Chat Wall regularly would be a fun thing to do.

Yes, I agree, it's very important to interact with readers. In fact, that's the fun part of social media for me. My readers give me great ideas, too. A couple weeks ago on Facebook, I asked my readers to help me name an Arabian stallion that will appear in next year's Fool's Gold books. One reader, Jasja, went a step farther and told me a FABULOUS story about her female Arabian stallion "stealing" another mare's foal. So now Jasja's horse will make an appearance next year in Fool's Gold. I think it's fun for my readers, and I KNOW it's fun for me!

Tawny said...

ROFL about Words with Friends, Kate. My daughter, SIL and I play it constantly with each other. You'll have to email me your screen name so we can play :-D