Reaction to the IndieBound application for iPhone and iPod Touch, released Monday, has been overwhelming, with hundreds of downloads and many positive reviews.
Within hours of its release, the application's average rating on iTunes was five stars, with reviews like this one: "Works with your current location to find local bookstores and other independent businesses.... Once you find a store you'd like to visit -- simply click the address and the iPhone map application opens. I highly recommend this application for everyone. And it's free!"
Elizabeth Bluemle of The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, Vermont, gave a walkthrough of the app's features in her ShelfTalker blog on PublishersWeekly.com. Of the featured Indie Next Lists and Indie Bestseller Lists, she said, "That is a lot of fantastic reading at a browser's fingertips, and it's designed very cleanly, very intuitively -- that is, extremely user-friendly."
BookNet Canada asked, "If you could put a smart, book-loving professional recommendation maker in your pocket next time you were looking for a great read, would you? How about a whole slew of them?" Its review also tied the application to the Shop Local movement, saying, "If your Earth Day resolution is to buy local, IndieBound is a great way to start.
"More great reviews came from the Baltimore Sun's Read Street ("This application is just plain wonderful") and Portland's Reading Local ("So now wherever you are, you will be able to shop local and access the powerful recommendation tools that IndieBound provides, right in the palm of your hand").
Booksellers, including WORD in Brooklyn and Susan Richmond of Inklings Bookshop in Yakima, Washington, are blogging about the app, too. On Thinklings, Richmond wrote: "I can even find other independently-owned businesses such as arts and craft stores, bike shops, clothing stores, coffee shops, florists, gift shops, and many others -- all independently owned!... Now, some of my favorite things can be combined -- my iphone, books, and other small businesses. What a country!"
On Twitter, hundreds of tweets and retweets appeared as soon as the application was released.
To help promote IndieBound for iPhone in stores, there's a new downloadable counter card in the Bookseller DIY and, of course, booksellers can always direct customers to the IndieBound for iPhone page on IndieBound.org.