For author and fan, the interaction is from the privacy and comfort of their home…or wherever he or she might be. “Margaret has signed things for people sitting in the airport while she's waiting to board a plane, so really you can do this from anywhere!” Gibson said.
Although iDoLVine showcased some very high profile authors at its BEA launch, Gibson made clear that “we built a service and a system that [is accessible to] even the self-published author. We have tools, mechanisms, promotional features that will allow even those just getting into the market to be able to promote themselves, hold events, and promote themselves within our environment.”
The technology has application far beyond the literary world. “We're now starting to see that starting to happen, which is phenomenal but we're also now seeing it from the music industry and shortly I suspect we'll see it from the sports memorabilia industry and the movie industries. And you talk [about a television series] like House. What better way for a television program like that to reach their fan base than to have Dr. House sitting quietly interacting, doing some form of event, and then doing Q&As and signing things for people?”
Although the technology to make it all happen is complex, fortunately, for both readers and authors, the process to connect is very simple. Gibson explained, and for the summer, while the system is still being tweaked, it's free to join. “We have different levels of participation. For example, if you held an event, you as an author, we would provide with the tools to basically have access to an event [virtual] space,” Gibson explained.
“We're really creating this social network in a very different kind of way in the sense that we're presenting the environment as if you are actually arriving somewhere.” For example if I as an author wanted to have my event set at a specific venue, say in Argentina, noted Gibson, “we can provide you with an event environment space where you show up and all of your fans show up, and there is a place that you've sort of arrived at even though you're sitting in your living room! And so what we're doing for you as the author is providing the venue, all of the support materials, access to our membership for promotion and publicity, access to our partners in the companies as we build those out to promote, you know, all the social media accesses to it, an on-line e-magazine which highlights events that are up and coming.”