The Newest App for Readers and Authors: The Litsy App!

Filed in Marketing Your Book by on July 12, 2016 12 Comments

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What’s the latest buzz amongst readers and writers alike? The Litsy app! Readers use it to find recommendations on the best books to add to their Amazon carts; writers and publishers can use it to connect with fans and each other. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “Instagram for books”, and BookRiot says it’s like “Instagram and GoodReads had a perfect baby.”

Of course, we had to find out why it’s one of the fastest-growing literary apps around (and what that could mean for our authors) so Xulon Press sat down with one of the app’s creators, Todd Lawton, to chat about connection, modern-day publishing, and how today’s readers are discovering the best books to read.


BN: Thanks so much for chatting with us! Your app is creating quite the stir amongst readers and publishers, and it’s only been out a couple of months. So what is Litsy all about?

TL: Litsy is all about making reading fun and memorable again. The second best thing about reading a good book is having a good conversation about it! However, we’re not always around people to have those conversations, so we wanted to make a digital platform that adds even more fun and personality to the conversation.

BN: Yeah! I’m a big reader, so I get it. It’s nice also to be able to chat with people whom you would not normally meet, but who you know shares your love for books. You’ve already got one thing in common with them. 

TL: Yes, and I would add one more thing to that: we focus on the moments readers have with books; it’s not about reviews. The way that Litsy is set up, it’s visual and verbal, and we incorporated fun elements like emojis, all these things lead to a really positive community where people are there to share the joy of reading—not necessarily be critics. 

BN: That’s definitely what makes it fun to use: the visual elements, and the fact that I don’t have to be a critic or a literary expert to use it. So we know that you also own Out of Print, a clothing and merchandise company that creates cool book-themed products. From your vantage point in the industry, what important publishing trends are you seeing? And how does Litsy fit into those trends?

TL: One trend that we’re seeing is that printed books are not dead. They’re actually doing well, and we’re seeing booksellers who are on the platform that who can create the experience and have a nice dialogue with their fans and customers, they’re able to thrive in the current environment. We’re also seeing that the younger generation is reading a lot, and they’re very vocal about it, and they’re very broad in their interests. It’s great to see, because that hasn’t always been the case with younger generations, but this millennial group is really showing that they’re passionate readers. 

Readers really do want to share that joy of reading. Out of Print focused on sharing books through fashionable shirts and tote bags with iconic imagery from books, and our experience was that bookworms out there wanted new ways to talk about their favorite books. We feel fortunate to be doing what we’re doing when we’re doing it, because it really is an exciting time for the publishing world and books. 

BN: Absolutely! We would definitely agree with that here; we can see the same things as far as print and the millennial generation goes, and that readers are constantly seeking new ways to interact with books and each other. As far as authors go, what advice would you give to authors on how to use Litsy? 

TL: I think the most effective way for an author to connect with readers on Litsy is to look at it as a platform for readers. By having a genuine sharing of an interest in all books, readers will connect with you on a deeper level, and that sets the perfect basis to be more promotional with their material or when there’s a big announcement. This is where readers of all different backgrounds comes to be just that—readers—so whether you’re a celebrity or an author or a publisher, the conversations are all based around books. The books are the common elements that connect all these people.

Litsy is available now for iOS users, with web and Android versions to be launched in the coming months. Check your app store for Litsy today to find the best  books to read and start chatting with other book lovers!

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About the Author ()

Brittnee Newman, Marketing & Communications Strategist for Xulon Press, has been a blogger, freelance journalist and editor for just over half a decade. She joined Xulon Press as an editor in 2012, and now supports the company within the Marketing Department. Follow her on Twitter at @XulonBrittnee.

Comments (12)

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  1. I try to read all I can when Xulon Press sends me emails. Am behind with writing and publishing my book due to illness. Am now ready to begin putting in more time to complete my book by Christmas. It would be impossible for me to attend any book promotions, but am interested in other ways to encourage readers to read my book. Xulon ws recommended to me by Dr. Robert Heichberger, a colleague and mentor and in speaking with those at Xulon, I feel very comfortable and supported by those in publishing. Thank you for this. Am not sure if Litsy would be for me. Would be interested in knowing more about promoting books in the future.

    • Estelle, don’t lose heart! The writing process can sometimes be a little tedious, but what matters is that you finish it. It will be worth it in the end.

      We’re glad you feel so comfortable with us. When you’re book is released, we’ll definitely send you more information about marketing opportunities for your book!

  2. avatar Abraham Ajenifuja says:

    I want to know more about how this can useful for a first time author with Xulon. Thanks


    • Hi Abraham! The app is designed to help readers connect with each other, and you’re more likely to get someone to read (and hopefully recommend) your book if they feel like they know you. Other authors have used the app to connect with people who love books, and then have been very successful at promoting their own books on the app. I’d recommend downloading it and checking it out to see if it could be something you’d enjoy using!

  3. I have to say all this material that is on the internet overwhelms me so much.

    To much stimulation for me. I just want it simple and to the point.

    I am in the process of publishing my first book with xulon press and so exicted.

    I guess where I do not understand all about blogging makes me feel lost in the dark so to speak.

    • Hi Darlene! I understand, the internet can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t use it frequently.

      If you’re interested in more information on blogging, I’d recommend checking out this article on Why Every Author Should Have A Blog, and this article on 10 Steps For Starting A Blog. Or if you really want to keep it simple, just start a Facebook page (not a profile) where you can regularly post about your book or pieces of your writing, and ask people to connect with you there!

      • avatar Patricia Meyer says:

        Hi Brittnee. I was just replying to Darlene s post and saw yours go up. I’ll definitely check out both articles. Thanks for your blog and reply.

        • Absolutely, Patricia! Hope these articles help. Keep an eye out–we’ll be posting a lot about blogging and other social media channels for connecting with readers and promoting books. Can’t wait to hear more about the sequel!

    • avatar Patricia Meyer says:

      Me too, Darlene. I’ve published one book and am on the sequel and I’ve come to realize I need to get more tech savvy. A blog is where I’m headed next but haven’t a clue as to how to set it up or what I should do with the blog. This blog page has helped and I believe the Litsy app will be a big help in promoting. I will be giving it a try. Good luck on your book!

  4. avatar Rebecca says:

    Thank you Xulon, thank you Britnee for this new development to help authors especially the first timers like me. It has been frustrating to know that marketing and monetizing have not gone well with my first book, instead more and more money to spend. With this blog and Litsy, hopefully things will get better. I need your guide every step of the way how to navigate success through this Xulon’s latest.

  5. avatar Gretchen Ball says:

    I defintly need help advertising my book, Billetta And Her Special Friends. It is a bit discouraging that it is not in the book stores. My church won’t put it in the bookstore because it is a self -published book.

    • Hi Gretchen! You can defniitely add your book to the conversation on Litsy without it being traditionally published. I’d also recommend checking with local libraries, family-friendly restaurants, or Christian schools to see if they host book fairs, smaller local bookstores to see if they’ll host a signing (be sure to do your part to spread the word about your event!), etc. Don’t get disheartened if you hear “no” a few times; just pray that God will open the right doors!

      If you still find that you’re hitting a lot of roadblocks down the road, you might want to chat with your Author Rep as well. See if they recommend editing or a fresh cover to help advance and add professional elements to your book!

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