Screenshot of the Glossi apps via TechCrunch

Glossi officially launched today in public beta and you’re going to want to check it out. It’s a really slick tool for promoting both books and your online stores. (And, no, I’m not getting any referral bonus or anything from telling you about this. I just think this is a useful marketing tool for sellers and authors.)

It’s a simple, free service that allows you to create an online magazine in minutes using either photos from around the web or from your personal collections. It allows for much more customization than something like a Pinterest board and you’re going to see the marketing potential for this tool almost immediately. Setting up a Glossi is fast, easy and you can then easily embed it on the website of your choice or share it on your social networks (while it will simultaneously reside in Glossi’s virtual racks for anyone to peruse via web, phone or tablet.)

Even though I’ve been following this site for a while, I don’t have a Glossi of my own to show you yet but let me show you a few examples to give you an idea of the potential.

Advertise your webstore with a dynamic catalog 

Whether you’re selling from an eBay store, a storefront on another site such as Etsy, Bonanza, etc, or your own webstore, you can easily use Glossi to create a slick catalog of your items for sale that’s much more eye-catching than a Buy It Now link. The result will look just as professional as those catalogs you get in the mail… without your having to shell out the money to produce it. You can embed that catalog on your site for the benefit of your existing customers or use it as an extra marketing tool to share elsewhere (such as your social networks).

Those of you that sell fashion, clothing or jewelry will see the potential almost immediately but there’s a way to adapt this idea to just about any product base.

Example: Jack & Jane’s Holiday story from DKNY

Advertise your book with a free preview or exclusive content

You’ve probably already got a free preview of your book up on the web somewhere but Glossi lets you create a really eye catching version. Use a mix of animated GIFs and still photos to enhance your writing without distracting from it. Draw people in with your visuals as well as your story and then end with a link to purchase your book if they want to read the rest.

Example: Chapter 1 of Max Quick: The Pocket and the Pendant by Mark Jeffrey

Or, if giving away a chapter isn’t your thing, you can use Glossi to create some kind of extra. Might it be a travel guide to the locations your characters visit? A look into how you got your inspiration for the world of your book filled with the images that inspired you? A guide to the fashion or history of when you book is set? A behind the scenes look into your process? It’s up to you! Content like this will not only enhance the experience for existing readers, it will also help new readers find your stuff.

Example: Project Nemesis – How Jeremy Robinson destroyed Boston and Reinvented the Kaiju Genre for an America

Create an illustrated look at your niche… that promotes your blog, website or store

Beyond the product catalog I mentioned above, if your inventory is always changing, consider creating a Glossi around your niche topic. That content would be a draw on its own to people interested in your niche and then, as an added bonus, they’d be that much more likely to check out your other content. If your company sells scarves, could you do a simple illustrated guide on different ways to tie them? If your niche is vintage toys, your guide could cover the basics of collecting them. Or you could create a guide as specific as removing rust from a particular brand of antique watch. After all, you know your niche better than anyone!

Are you starting to see the potential? The site is still in beta so you’ll need to hop over and request an invite if you want to play around. In the meantime, browse what’s already on the site and I’m sure you’ll get ideas of how you can use it to market what you have to sell.

What would you use Glossi for?