Consumer Publishers – What Apps Can Do For Them by Emma Bradfield

This was the title of a seminar I attended at the London Book Fair yesterday, presented by Ros Wesson. Ros highlighted the interesting shift that consumer publishing has made from a B2B to B2C model through apps.
Whereas previously, publishers were protected from readers’ reviews by a buffer, consisting of book distributors and sellers, the advent of the App Store has moved them to the front line, in direct contact with users and their make-or-break verdicts.
Although this sounds terrifying, it is a small price to pay considering there are no printing or shipping costs involved with apps. In fact, being so close to your audience can be turned into a positive. App developers can receive feedback directly from their users, such as on iTunes or via email, and this can be used to inform future app updates.
Indeed, Exact Editions encourages feedback from its subscribers. We’ve had lots of enquiries asking for the ability to sync more than one issue for offline reading and about the possibility of an Android app. These are just two examples of subscriber feedback which we will be implementing shortly.
As Ross suggested, positive iTunes reviews can then be used within the app descriptions themselves to encourage further app installations. There’s nothing like ‘consumer-quoted confidence’ to generate a buzz around an app and five star reviews should be used as valuable marketing collateral both within iTunes and without!
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