Friday, February 8, 2013

Fantastic Jane Austen App - Makes Everything Easier

Hi, Everyone!  My name is Angie Kroll.  You may have noticed me commenting on blogs, making goofy games for Austenesque Reviews, or stalking JAFF authors.  

David and Angie Kroll
I can still remember sending my first fan email to Abigail Reynolds via Facebook.  I just about fell over when she wrote me back. Me? Friends with a REAL author!?!  How could that ever happen to someone like me?  Then, through Austen Authors, I found, A Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy. Emboldened by my previous response, I sent Mary a fan letter. Now, three years later, I refer to Mary as my “on-line mom.”

But what does networking have to do with Jane Austen? Wikipedia defines business networking as “a socioeconomic activity by which groups of like-minded business people recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities.” Authors and bloggers provide like-minded Janeites a place to share ideas, argue Firth vs. MacFayden (and now Gordh), and discover new stories. Thanks to networking, I have almost 80 JAFF titles on my kindle app, a dozen on my shelf, and have checked out many titles from my local library.

Unfortunately, as much as I would like to keep up on the dozens of daily blog posts, I just can't carry my laptop with me everywhere. There were many times where I have been sitting in the car or at the doctor's office scrambling on my phone trying to read posts. I am not talented and disciplined enough to write, but I can stumble my way around photoshop. So I asked myself - what skills do I have to contribute to the Jane Austen Network?

Enter the idea of Austen Admirers, an RSS Smartphone app for iTunes, Google Play and Windows.  What Austen Admirers does is take feeds from all of your favorite blogs and aggregates them into one easy-to-use smartphone app. Each morning instead of waking up and going to 50 different websites, you can open one app and see all of the latest posts from your favorite blogs - right in one place! You can also find a list of authors, and with a push of a button, go directly to their Amazon page!

What does it cost to be a part of the app? Nothing. Zero. Zip. It will be free for authors and bloggers to join, and free for users to download. Most apps cost between 10K and 15K to build, butI want this to be a thank you to the community for giving me an online home these past five years. All graphic design and cost for building the apps are donated by me. Is it completely free? No - which is why I'm having a kickstarter campaign to help fund the hosting charges. If the campaign succeeds, there will be advertising opportunities for authors, but for now, I need your help getting the word out. Tweet, Share, Email - send the news by post! There are amazing gifts for different levels, including Amazon gift cards, Bingley Teas, Social Media Calling Cards, and even membership to JASNA!

Would you like to help the Jane Austen Network grow? Please check out the Kickstarter Campaign site, Like us on Facebook,, Follow on Twitter @AustenAdmirers or @AngieKroll, or contact me directly at adkroll95 (at) gmail(dot)com.

Thanks to Mary for allowing me free reign today on her blog. There's another Youtube video in your near future!

Click on this link for the Youtube video.


  1. i am curious if i can have this once this goes through. i have a smartphone (android) for now and might need to downgrade to regular phone when i renew

    1. I'm not sure about android, but I had to get a new iPhone last year because the ringer broke (some days, I wish I hadn't when it rings all of the time!). I kept the old phone and used it as an iPod. As long as it is connected to Wi-Fi, I could use most of the apps. This might work for you if you downgrade and are able to keep your old phone.

      Thank you for commenting!

  2. Angie, how altruistic of you. But Random House will be rubbing their hands with pound and dollar signs flickering in front of their eyes.Your app is obviously going to make money for many people.

    Angie, will you act as a sort of editor and choose who can be accessed on the the app? You see I am a little old fashioned and don't know how apps work.If so, you will become the arbiter of all things Jane. We will all be bowing to you.Or is it a sort of free for all where anything goes, the good the bad and the ugly? A sort of internet anarchy I suppose.

    You see I am a total dunce when it comes to this sort of technology.

    All the best,

    Mary, we must talk. We haven't had a good chat for ages. Have a great day everybody

    1. Oh, Lord! I am far from all things Jane. I'm just a girl who loves a good story. :-)

      My thought is that if the Kickstarter Campaign succeeds, (keeping my fingers crossed!) I will first launch the Austen Admirers website (have that built) with the FAQ, and offer open enrollment. The FAQ details eligibility requirements. After launch, then I'll offer advertising packages for authors. Any flaming will get you removed - propriety reigns!

      Thank you, Tony!

    2. Hi Tony. It's been too long. I've been writing a P&P re-imagining, probably my last for the Regency Era. You can use the cover for a dart board. :)

      Pls say hi to Marilyn.

  3. I think this is just so great, Angie! And perfect, for like you said, to fill up those times when we turn to our phone for entertainment! Move over minesweeper! Something is about to take your place! LOL!

    PS - Mary is the best "online-mom!"

  4. I think your app is a wonderful idea, Angie! I will do my best to help promote your Kickstarter campaign! It would sure be nice to have all of these sites in one place- like Pinterest for Austen blogs, reviews, and other ramblings! And I think your gifts are wonderful! :)