Perhaps one of the most exciting and effective digital technologies available to authors and their marketing people will soon be widespread, here’s hoping because it is really fantastic. A company called Idolvine has created an application where authors can meet their fans and sign their e-books, all without ever having to leave their respective homes. These signings can be organized as an online real-time event, which is very effective in reducing costs and time constraints associated with a physical book tour, while still offering a personal and intimate experience for the fans. Idolvine was on hand at this year’s Book Expo America, along with some well-known authors that included Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaimen, to demonstrate the new technology. This is a revolutionary tool; one that can emulate a highlight for the fans attending a reading with an author, the meet and greet that ends with a signed copy of the author’s latest book. It is very advantageous and easy to use for authors as well, it is virtually cost-free and the convenience factor is very high. “The ability to reach out to more readers personally while expanding the traditional tour is very appealing to most of the authors I know,” said Atwood, giving this technology the stamp of approval from an author’s perspective.

This is the kind of technological innovation that gets me really excited, and gives me hope that all these new digital applications will actually prove to be more beneficial than they are harmful to the publishing world. This is something I see that can be readily embraced by fans, authors, and publishers because it doesn’t change much about the experience of a reading, except the high costs that are associated with them. One of the biggest complaints from authors (in my opinion) surrounding these new digital platforms for promoting themselves and their books, is the learning curve associated with them.  This is actually a tool that has the opposite effect, it is much less time consuming and work heavy than it’s old-fashioned predecessor. This certainly has the potential to do marvelous things for the publishing industry, and I was happy to see the names of some Canadian houses on the list of participants at BEA, including Radom House Canada and Harlequin. Perhaps this fall we will see Idolvine’s technology being implemented into author’s promotiona strategies. I for one, will most definitely be on the lookout for an opportunity to receive my first e-autograph.