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Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Audible delays and Amazon's audiobook virtual voice
« Last post by alhawke on February 26, 2024, 06:52:41 AM »
They have $1.99 price for customers who bought the Kindle eBook.
Thanks for the update. Let us know if you find the work worth it in the end.
Pretty concerned here that the ease of audio release and this price for listeners could remove, or seriously curtail, human performers from the market.  :n2Str17:
Were you happy with the final product? Was it easy to create? It looks like drop and click.
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Audible delays and Amazon's audiobook virtual voice
« Last post by CaptnAndy on February 26, 2024, 06:48:07 AM »
When I received the invite, I decided to give the Amazon Virtual Audio books a try, as a means to tap into a new market segment. So far, I have 6 of my 25 Live as Virtual Audio books. I've had some books go ineligible after I updated the eBook manuscript to include my latest book in the back matter. Two of the books in my 5 book Coastal Event Memories series are Live, but the other 3 show missing TOC, even though all 5 are formatted identically, and the TOC works in the preview. Amazon is working on this issue, but they haven't responded so far.
I'm also waiting to see what kind of promotion Amazion will offer for the Virtual Audio Books. They have $1.99 price for customers who bought the Kindle eBook.
Corona Virus Public Discussions / Re: Long Covid Research
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on February 24, 2024, 01:43:51 AM »
Considering that there really was no treatment until now, yes, this is definitely progress.
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Shepherd may offer a new kind of promotion venue
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on February 24, 2024, 01:42:12 AM »
As far as tracking is concerned, that's why I picked a book that wasn't doing much. It sells when I have a promo going. Otherwise, this month, I have one sale so far. Even AMS ads don't seem to move the needle on this one. So if I suddenly start getting more than one a month, I can be pretty sure it was this site.

I'm not familiar with that Bookbub feature. It does sound neat, but I must admit that I little interest in supporting a platform that has little interest in supporting me. If I'd had better luck with BB, I'm sure I'd be more positive about it.

Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Shepherd may offer a new kind of promotion venue
« Last post by alhawke on February 23, 2024, 10:03:46 AM »
Please keep us posted and report back if you see any benefit. Problem is it's going to be hard to track.

This reminds me a little of Fantastic Fiction, only in Fantastic Fiction the site is run by the owners and there's no input by writers.

It's also a similar idea to recommending/reviewing other authors via BookBub (those reviews go to your followers and help to cross-promote).
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: Audible delays and Amazon's audiobook virtual voice
« Last post by alhawke on February 23, 2024, 08:57:07 AM »
I wonder if there is enough time to work within the current system (narrate, package, upload, etc.) or if it makes more sense to figure out the next thing and begin working within those parameters.
Trouble is, I don't see how to figure out the next thing. I think the technology for AI narration is in its infancy. So if you choose to create an audiobook on Audible now (or Apple or GooglePlay), it's not gonna be anywhere near as good as it could be in a few years. This is a reason to consider pausing AI plans.

For me, I'm moving on. I have a great narrator and she fits my series. She's also able to perform differently with a wide array of voices (something the technology can't do as well yet).
Corona Virus Public Discussions / Long Covid Research
« Last post by APP on February 23, 2024, 07:27:22 AM »
For those of you experiencing long covid or for those of you who know someone who is experiencing long covid, this article is good news—albeit I’m certain there will be at least a year or several years before they get any results. Still, it’s good news.

PolyBio announces $15 million in Long Covid research funding, new projects studying viral persistence
And so it goes . . .

Reddit sells training data to unnamed AI company ahead of IPO
If you've posted on Reddit, you're likely feeding the future of AI.

"There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always— do not forget this, Winston— always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot Reddit moderator stamping on a human face--forever."


ETA:  A comment from that article:

I can't wait for the r/wallstreetsbets ai chat bot to help me make financial decisions and r/legaladvice ai to give me legal advice so I don't need a lawyer. I'm sure my life will improve dramatically from this.

And so it goes . . .

Reddit sells training data to unnamed AI company ahead of IPO
If you've posted on Reddit, you're likely feeding the future of AI.
Marketing Loft [Public] / Shepherd may offer a new kind of promotion venue
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on February 23, 2024, 03:54:31 AM »
I'm experimenting with a new service that looks promising. I'll report back as I get results.

The first thing I'll mention is that use of the site is free. For those of us sensitive to scams, this is an important point. I do see a few ads on the site, and it uses affiliate links for books--which means it makes money by selling books, not by charging authors.

The basic structure involves authors picking one of their books to feature. They then provide a bio (a good branding opportunity) and recommendations for five books related thematically to the featured one. They also furnish brief text for the featured book and the five related recommendations. All this material appears on one page, together with buy links for both Amazon and

According to the founder, sales generated by this page generally split about 50-50. That is, 50% of sales go to the author's featured book. The other 50% divide among the five recommended books. We'll see what happens with mine, but frankly, since it's free exposure, even one sale would put it in the plus column.

Pages are accessed through a list that displays their titles, so readers can see what the genre and theme of the list is. But readers can also search directly by genre. When I search for fantasy, I get a page with most favorited fantasy books at the top, with subheadings for all fantasy books, all fantasy books published between 2022 and 2024, and most recommended. This is then followed by book lists connected to fantasy links. After that, we have sections on "Fantasy books that also have the topic," "Fantasy books that also have the genre," and links to other genre sections. In other words, there are a lot of ways for people to find their way to your particular book page.

Clicking on a specific book brings up a description plus some of the recommendations, with the ability for readers to see more if they want. Any time an author name comes up, readers can also click over to the author page.

Part of the idea is that your branding extends not just to your bio but to your recommendation of other people's books. There's supposed to be a very personal angle on why you like it, so that readers get a sense of your personality through the books you recommend as well as through your own book and your bio.

The idea behind the site is to provide book recommendations by "experts" (authors writing in the genre and "super readers," though I haven't seen any evidence of those yet).

I can see potential logistical drawbacks. There are already a lot of people on this site. (2,195 authors have already recommended fantasy books, for example.) That means it's unlikely that any given reader will see your name on just one visit. However, there are multiple ways through which a reader can stumble upon you. The site recently added the opportunity to contribute a "Best Books of 2023" list, and those are also prominently featured. Other features, like "interesting facts," and "character introductions" are planned for 2024. There will be a new release feature available by Q3 of 2024.

Also, I've noticed that going to a book title directly through search results pops up a list of similar books and related lists (in addition to the lists on which the book actually appears).

The place isn't as big as Goodreads, and it doesn't have every book available on Amazon. But it's large, and apparently, it has traffic into the millions. From what I can see, it looks like a worthwhile attempt.

I you're thinking about trying, it looks to me as if optimal visibility is provided by recommending a mix of well known and less well known books. The well known ones will come up more in searches, but there will also be a lot more authors recommending them. The lesser known ones might just be recommended by you, which means you  get seen every time that book does.

I'm still working on my texts, but I'm featuring a first-in-series book for a series I'm trying to breath more life into. I would have done that anyway, but for experimental purposes, it's also a good choice because it will be easy to spot an increase in sales.

The book is about someone who accidentally sells his soul to the devil. The theme for the recommended books will be something about the hazards of dealing with supernatural beings. The books I'm recommending are Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass (assassin gets a chance to leave a slave labor camp for a chance to become the king's champion, but that may turn out to be a metaphoric deal with the devil, as the king is both tyrannical and shady); Jim Butcher's Storm Front (Wizard Harry Dresden is constantly having to bargain with supernatural entities, most of whom are tricky); Ben S. Reeder's The Demon Apprentice (little kid is sold to a demon by his father but escapes as a teenager and tries to make amends for the evil he's done while enslaved); John Conroe's God Touched (mc is an exorcist who turns out to be much more and has to navigate a supernatural world defined by an agreement between God and Satan in which demons are constantly looking for loopholes); C. Gockel's Snow So White (technology has failed and magic now rules; there are plenty of supernaturals to maneuver around, and never make a deal with the Fae!)

I didn't want to go into huge detail, but you can see how each novel fits into the theme. The first two choices are trad #1 on the bestseller list type books. The third possibly and the last two definitely are good selling indies who do quality work. Reeder and Gockel aren't yet represented on the site. Conroe is, but he's only been recommended by two authors so far. I've mentioned why I did this kind of mix already.

Writing bio, feature, and recs in the structure recommended by the site takes time, but it looks as if it might be worth it.

Oh, and if you have trouble, the founder is willing to consult on possible themes and recommendations related to your book.


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