Do you own a smart phone? If your answer is yes, then you belong to the majority of adult Americans. Forty-five percent of all Americans own a smart phone and just about two-thirds of adults aged 18 to 49 own a smart phone.
Not only are smart phones becoming commonplace for cell phone users, they are also becoming an increasingly popular way for people to access their email, the Internet, and to read ebooks.
If you produce books, what does this trend means for you? What do you need to do to not get left behind when people use their smart phones to read their emails, log on to the Internet, and read ebooks.
I believe publishers and independently published authors must do three things to ensure their material is friendly to smart phone users, and thus not lose ground in marketing with the growth of this technology.
1. Make sure your website is mobile friendly.
Test your website on a few smart phones. Does it load quickly? Is it easy to navigate? If you find there are problems, then you may want to either create a mobile site, use a plug in that automatically makes your website mobile friendly (for example, WordPress has a free mobile plug-in for WordPress sites at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wptouch/), or simply switch to a one-column webpage which is easier to navigate on a smart phone.
2. Make your email templates mobile friendly.
With the increase of reading email messages on smart phone devices, publishers need to make sure that the templates they use to send out email messages to their email lists are also mobile friendly. Again, test your templates on a few smart phones to find ones that read well on these screens.
3. Make your ebooks mobile friendly.
Almost one-third of people who read ebooks report that they read ebooks on their smart phone. Most smart phones users have ebook reader apps. These ebook reader apps do a fairly good job of rendering ebooks in a readable format on a smart phone screen. However, here again, you should test your EPUB and Mobi files to make sure that your ebooks view well on smart phones.
These three simple tests can help you make the necessary changes you need to remain effective and viable in our society’s on-going digital technology shift.