You’ve probably never heard of Litsy, and you’re not the only one. But what is it exactly? Litsy is a mobile iOS app (an Android version is in the works) that launched in the spring of 2016 by the founders of Out Of Print, a clothing company all about books. It brands itself as “a place to organize, interact with, and document all things books,” and Bookriot has deemed it as what would result “if Instagram and Goodreads had a perfect baby.” The layout looks and feels like the Instagram app, and similarly, you can scroll through a timeline of images uploaded by users. If you want to find something more specific—perhaps you are looking for reviews on a book you are considering purchasing—you can use the search tool to find authors, titles, etc. Essentially, it is an ideal marketing tool for those wishing to promote upcoming titles.
What makes Litsy unique from other social networks is that each post must be tagged to a book title, which differentiates it from Instagram because you can’t share an image unless it’s related to a specific book. This makes Litsy a wonderful place to link quotes, blurbs, and reviews of whatever book you would like to share with your followers. If you wish to review a book, you can simply label it as “like,” “so-so,” “pan,” or “bail.” The app is very reader-focused, but you can find everyone from authors, publishers, librarians, and booksellers interacting with one another in the Litsy community.
In addition to sharing photos, Litsy allows you to create a “stack” of books you would like to save for later as a sort of reading list. In addition, you can make stacks for books you have already read and for books you are currently reading. You can also earn a Litsy score, labeled “Litfluece,” that increases the more you interact with other users. The higher the score, the more involved in the Litsy community that user is. This is a great tool for publicists, because it makes someone’s influential power visible to other users.
Publishers large—such as Penguin Random House—and small—such as Tin House—have created accounts on Litsy in order to share things with potential readers like upcoming titles, recent positive reviews, media mentions, and behind-the-scenes content for fans to get an inside glimpse into what goes into publishing their favorite types of books. In fact, Litsy offers services for authors who are present on the app by providing account verification (similar to the blue check marks used on Twitter), which allows the Litsy team to feature your account on suggestion lists for other users.
As of now, it is a largely untapped resource for publicists. More publicists could greatly benefit from getting involved on Litsy. Not only is is a great place to find potential customers, it is a great way to find useful influencers and reviewers as well. It’s essentially a social networking platform custom-made for their target audiences: bibliophiles.