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41
Other Services [Public] / Re: Publish Drive charging publishers now?
« Last post by Jeff Tanyard on October 16, 2021, 10:47:55 AM »
Jeff, if you're so inclined, have you seen much sales with your books from the more niche PD sellers like Dreame, the Chinese retailers or any other?


No.  I use Amazon, Kobo, and D2D for the major retailers, so I only use PD for the niche ones that aren't available at D2D.  Some of those niche retailers don't accept English-language books, so I'm obviously not on them.  PD is a Hungarian company, and at least one of the retailers is for Hungarian-language books only.  Some Chinese-language-only stores, too, if I recall correctly.

I had a few page reads--or whatever--from Dreame a while back, but that was just a one-time blip.  The only other money I've made from PD is when I first opened the account and had my books on Google Play.

For the record, I've never reached the payment threshold, so what few bucks I've made are still with PD.  I probably won't see that money until I close the account.

PD just recently partnered with iReader, a mobile reading app, and they sent my books there.  It seems geared for romance readers, though, and it serves Southeast Asia, and my books are written in English, so...  :shrug  Needless to say, my expectations are zero.

One would think that the smaller book selection at the various niche stores would make it easier for the books that are there to make sales, but that hasn't been my experience.  I have no idea what it takes to make sales at those niche stores.


Quote
For me, their niche retailers would be the only goodies that would attract me. I already use Smashwords and D2D. To charge for a service, PD would have to make the retailers they use outside of D2D and Smashwords viable. Otherwise, their royalty base is not inviting with the $69 lifetime fee. I'd argue, if you're an established author, it's honestly gonna be hard to make $69 from those extra vendors alone (the other retailers are free with D2D, Smashwords--even Streetlib--otherwise).


I agree with all of this.  D2D is easy, reliable, free, and has stellar customer service.  They're constantly adding new goodies, too, and they do it without totally revamping the site, something I really appreciate.  For years now I've considered them the gold standard for distributors, and I still think that.


...D2D is at least responsive with price changes and working with publishers. How is PD? I don't have the experience, so anyone with experience jumping in would be appreciated.


When I published my books there, I experienced a glitch on one of the retailer's product pages.  The paragraph breaks I put in my blurbs weren't translating to the product page, so the text was all mashed together.  I contacted PD about it, and they fixed it promptly.

So I'm pleased with their customer service.
42
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Beta Readers
« Last post by alhawke on October 16, 2021, 06:49:49 AM »
I agree. Personally, I'm probably overly paranoid with theft. I even release ARCs after I've already published or copyrighted my books. Beta reading gets me more nervous as you lack the proof of ownership. You really need trust with beta reads.

Funny regarding the watermark thing: I know on Bookfunnel they say they add it, but I have no idea where it is when it's delivered (I'm not a programmer).

{ edited for clarity
43
Other Services [Public] / Re: Publish Drive charging publishers now?
« Last post by RPatton on October 16, 2021, 06:38:40 AM »
Jeff, if you're so inclined, have you seen much sales with your books from the more niche PD sellers like Dreame, the Chinese retailers or any other? I recall a post a while back with some success with Dreame, but it was very limited. There also seems to be a lot of audible retailers available with PD. I don't have audio books but perhaps other authors on this forum have had success with PD there?

For me, their niche retailers would be the only goodies that would attract me. I already use Smashwords and D2D. To charge for a service, PD would have to make the retailers they use outside of D2D and Smashwords viable. Otherwise, their royalty base is not inviting with the $69 lifetime fee. I'd argue, if you're an established author, it's honestly gonna be hard to make $69 from those extra vendors alone (the other retailers are free with D2D, Smashwords--even Streetlib--otherwise). But does their no-royalty policy make it still worth it ... I don't know.

I used to have the mentality of the more more more sellers the better wide, but then I realized how annoying price changes can be with multiple sellers. Even with me using D2D and Kobo, I often run into price match headaches wide.

I was about to edit the quote for brevity, but then realized you elucidated everything I was trying to get at.

You pin-pointed the demo - audio books. But wouldn't Findaway be a better option? Yeah, they take a cut, but Findaway carries far more credibility and last time I checked, more favorable to authors in the long run.

You brought up that $69 lifetime deal (actually $139 if you have more than 24 formats). If an author is going after those niche markets, volume is going to make it profitable. Once they reach the cap, that $139 no longer looks as inviting as it does at first glance.

I held a similar mentality about more and more for wide, but then I realized that D2D got me into more, but it was always a pain in the butt to do any kind of large marketing push. At least with the stores I am direct with, I know I can get those price changes done in a timely manner. Apple Books is still a nail biter sometimes, but D2D is at least responsive with price changes and working with publishers. How is PD? I don't have the experience, so anyone with experience jumping in would be appreciated.

As of right now, I don't think I can in good faith recommend any author not already on PD give it a go.
44
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Beta Readers
« Last post by LilyBLily on October 16, 2021, 04:05:28 AM »
I doubt Hidden Gems or any other company providing a beta reading service or a review service, for that matter, can stop someone from theft. BookFunnel's watermark is nice, but surely a thief in business as a thief--as opposed to a reader too cheap to buy a book--knows how to remove it. 

45
Other Services [Public] / Re: Publish Drive charging publishers now?
« Last post by alhawke on October 16, 2021, 04:00:35 AM »
Jeff, if you're so inclined, have you seen much sales with your books from the more niche PD sellers like Dreame, the Chinese retailers or any other? I recall a post a while back with some success with Dreame, but it was very limited. There also seems to be a lot of audible retailers available with PD. I don't have audio books but perhaps other authors on this forum have had success with PD there?

For me, their niche retailers would be the only goodies that would attract me. I already use Smashwords and D2D. To charge for a service, PD would have to make the retailers they use outside of D2D and Smashwords viable. Otherwise, their royalty base is not inviting with the $69 lifetime fee. I'd argue, if you're an established author, it's honestly gonna be hard to make $69 from those extra vendors alone (the other retailers are free with D2D, Smashwords--even Streetlib--otherwise). But does their no-royalty policy make it still worth it ... I don't know.

I used to have the mentality of the more more more sellers the better wide, but then I realized how annoying price changes can be with multiple sellers. Even with me using D2D and Kobo, I often run into price match headaches wide.
46
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Beta Readers
« Last post by alhawke on October 16, 2021, 03:43:39 AM »
I've never used an outside beta reader service. That's my disclaimer. I've been fortunate to know people who've been willing to read my manuscript. So I'm unsure of your new service (though I'll mark it for consideration myself).

That being said, if I was to seek beta reads out, I'd consider Hidden Gems and vibe reviews.
Hidden Gems: https://www.hiddengemsbooks.com (note Hidden Gems specializes in romance)
Vibe reviews: https://www.vibebookreviews.com.
Why these services? Because both services have been very helpful as resources for honest ARC reviews. I suspect they use a similar pool of readers for a beta read.

.. I was hoping to find a way to safely distribute beta without being tied to Kindle.
Alternative would be to send as epub, mobi, or pdf file through Bookfunnel. Bookfunnel charges $100 per year but they watermark. I use it to send arcs. I also use it for my newsletter. But, honestly, bookmarked or not, there's always a risk of piracy so tread carefully--particularly with unpublished material.
47
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Beta Readers
« Last post by R. C. on October 16, 2021, 03:05:41 AM »
I'm confused. Are you planning to send you ms. to total strangers after it has been edited and proofread and formatted? A beta reader is someone who reads the story before all that.

I am aware of what beta reading is and how it is used. What I am trying to accomplish is an expansion of the pool of beta readers. If possible, expand the pool without paying for a service. The first option is to ping my reader base. However, "new eyes" with a fresh perspective would be ideal.

R.C.
48
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Beta Readers
« Last post by LilyBLily on October 16, 2021, 02:42:40 AM »
I'm confused. Are you planning to send your ms. to total strangers after it has been edited and proofread and formatted? A beta reader is someone who reads the story before all that.
49
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Beta Readers
« Last post by R. C. on October 16, 2021, 01:35:30 AM »
You side load it directly onto their devices as a mobi.

Thank you. I was hoping to find a way to safely distribute beta without being tied to Kindle.

R.C.

50
TV/Movie Talk [Public] / Re: What movie did you recently watch?
« Last post by j tanner on October 16, 2021, 01:25:24 AM »
What are the better westerns out there - ones that might hold up?

Oh, man, where to start, and how to organize...!

OK. After a few minutes of thought I'll give you something from each era that either did hold up for me viewing a decade or more late, or absolutely felt like a classic in the moment. And I'll stop around ten years ago which I consider current.

B&W Era:
I'm still working on the classics of this era so I don't have much to recommend:
Treasure of the Sierra Madre - Bogart is a lot more relatably human than most of his more iconic tough-guy roles and it was the first time I really got what made him such a big deal in his time.

Classic Western:
Rio Bravo - The template, but one of the better versions of it.
The Searchers - The treatment of native Americans is cringe level of the time but this film frequently captures the grand scale of the landscape in a way that became the standard for the next 50 years.

60/70s Revolution:
Filmmakers really start to experiment with the form.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - Best of the spaghetti westerns that usher in this era.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - A western non-western fans can love.
High-Plains Drifter - First of several Eastwood twists on the revenge story and antiheroes.
True Grit - John Wayne doing something different.

80/90s Next Generation
Westerns have lost their box-office luster by this point, but filmmakers who loved them in their youth occasionally are allowed to play in this sandbox again.
Unforgiven - Eastwood's sharpest deconstruction of the genre.
The Quick and the Dead - Sam Raimi silliness/fun. The Hunger Games of shootouts.
Tombstone - More modern filmmaking applied to a traditional western script with a great cast.
Desperado - A latin-themed take on the Western drenched in Robert Rodreguez's signature style.

Contemporary
You don't have to accept much "of the time" stuff with these films made to modern sensibilities.
3:10 To Yuma - Another traditional western script but made to the day's standards.
No Country For Old Men - I tried to avoid westerns filmed in a contemporary setting, but this one is too good not to mention. If that's too much of a cheat or you've seen it, the Coen's remake of True Grit can replace it.
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