Author Topic: BookBub-like Apps?  (Read 943 times)

RBC

BookBub-like Apps?
« on: August 31, 2023, 12:25:04 AM »
Are there any apps that do the same thing as email newsletters like Bookbub?

Seems to make sense that notifications for new books could be done in your phone, and quite conveniently... but I don't think I've seen an app like that.

Seriously thinking about working on one, even tho it would be scary endeavour...

 

TimothyEllis

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Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2023, 12:31:42 AM »
Nothing that I know of.

I've been saying we need an app for new releases and pre-orders, where on release day, those interested in the author or the book get a push notification on their phone, with a link to the book when they open it.

This is full price releases, not promotions.

An author I follow had a book out for 2 months before I found out it was out, and it was a sequel to a series where I wanted to know the moment it was out. The day after I found it, the second book came out.

Amazon is making it harder and harder to be found even by your own fans.

And emails keep getting spamblocked without people knowing it's happening.

We're long overdue for a phone push notification system for new releases.
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2023, 03:32:22 AM »
I just poked around a little bit. There are a few apps for selling used books and some that provide additional venues for wide authors. But for promoting books or new releases specifically, I found a grand total of nothing. It does seem as if the app could fill a need, but no one appears to be trying to do that so far.


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RBC

Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2023, 03:38:15 AM »
Nothing that I know of.

I've been saying we need an app for new releases and pre-orders, where on release day, those interested in the author or the book get a push notification on their phone, with a link to the book when they open it.

This is full price releases, not promotions.

An author I follow had a book out for 2 months before I found out it was out, and it was a sequel to a series where I wanted to know the moment it was out. The day after I found it, the second book came out.

Amazon is making it harder and harder to be found even by your own fans.

And emails keep getting spamblocked without people knowing it's happening.

We're long overdue for a phone push notification system for new releases.


Oh that's crazy that readers can't get that from Amazon. They do have a massive cloud service that can handle that task seemingly.. baffling. I myself would benefit from that kind of notification for some audiobook series and come to think of it, it's not really notified in the app either.

I'd be game for adding that feature for sure. IF there is a way to get info from Amazon on that without needing authors to sign up.

I see different potential to this app too, to grow into combination of GoodReads and reviewer community too. One-stop shop to discover books, see reviews, and chat to other fans would be great. At least in my mind. BUT can't start there with all stuff at once.
 

RBC

Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2023, 03:43:38 AM »
I just poked around a little bit. There are a few apps for selling used books and some that provide additional venues for wide authors. But for promoting books or new releases specifically, I found a grand total of nothing. It does seem as if the app could fill a need, but no one appears to be trying to do that so far.

Good to know. Interesting to see used book-selling app. Doesn't sound like good business unless those are old rare books that cost a lot.

The task of gathering enough readers to make sense for authors to join does sound massive. So I can see why people hesitated or even failed.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2023, 11:40:52 AM »
I'd be game for adding that feature for sure. IF there is a way to get info from Amazon on that without needing authors to sign up.

Not really. There's no way of finding them that doesn't involve spidering the entire store.

The app would need a backend website where authors can submit their books. Or submit themselves, and from that list of authors, a spider does a search of the books on their AC account several times a day, looking for something new, or something with that day's release date on it.

But given BookReport has never been able to get the ranks off that Books list in AC, that might not be possible.


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Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2023, 11:50:42 PM »
I'd be game for adding that feature for sure. IF there is a way to get info from Amazon on that without needing authors to sign up.

Not really. There's no way of finding them that doesn't involve spidering the entire store.

The app would need a backend website where authors can submit their books. Or submit themselves, and from that list of authors, a spider does a search of the books on their AC account several times a day, looking for something new, or something with that day's release date on it.

But given BookReport has never been able to get the ranks off that Books list in AC, that might not be possible.

Yeah, would definitely have a website and backend for authors online to submit stuff.

Something to look into.

So many options to add to this app... even AI recommendations is a thing that could be a thing.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2023, 01:22:45 AM »
Or Amazon could just fix its system.

(Yes, I know, I've griped about this before, but this is a public thread, so perhaps Amazon will pay attention.)

As many of us will recall, Amazon already has an email system in place to allow readers to sign up to follow authors and then notify those readers of new releases.

As far as I know that doesn't include a phone messaging component, but I'd settle for email--if it actually happened.

What happens instead is that Amazon only sends out such notifications for authors who are already doing really well. For others, it may send out a notification months after the fact--or not at all.

The way it currently functions, the author following system is actually a detriment to most authors. It gives the readers the illusion that they'll be notified of new releases, so they don't need to worry about looking for themselves. I've occasionally interacted with fans who were surprised to learn that I've released five books since the last one they bought, and they didn't hear a peep out of Amazon.

It's not must prawnie authors like me who are treated like that. I follow some people who I know are selling enough to make a living at it, and I don't consistently get notifications, even for people like them.

As RBC points out, Amazon has a lot of server power. They could find a way to make the system work the way it's supposed to.


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TimothyEllis

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Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2023, 02:04:51 AM »
It should be really easy for Amazon to push phone notifications of new releases instead of emails, to people who follow an author.

All that needs is a mobile number, and they have that already for 2 step verification.

I've long suspected that the Amazon mail servers are overloaded. But push notifications on phones is apparently really easy to do and just needs processing power, which their server services have in abundance.

They could then push notifications through the Kindle app using the phone number on the account.

It shouldn't even be that hard to set it up.

And it would then save on email processing, while at the same time informing people in real time that a new release or pre-order is live, thus generating more sales.

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Post-Crisis D

Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2023, 02:48:59 AM »
It is highly probable that if you figure out a way to spider Amazon's site to find new releases, Amazon will find a way to block you from doing that.

At this time, probably the best bet would be:

  • Develop a website and app for new release announcements
  • Have authors set up an account on your website or app to manage announcements.
    • First new release announcement is free.
    • Subsequent release announcements are paid.
  • Don't be exclusive to Amazon.  Allow authors to select/list all sites where the new release is available and allow readers to choose the (Amazon/B&N/Apple/etc.) they want to be notified of new releases.
  • Continue to build and grow the website/app.
  • Add a bookstore to your website/app and start offering authors the option to sell direct through it with 80% royalties.
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TimothyEllis

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Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2023, 02:58:52 AM »
Add a bookstore to your website/app and start offering authors the option to sell direct through it with 80% royalties.

Add to that the listing of Audiobooks, and if possible, the generation of AI audiobooks for sale.

Being able to just upload a text file, and have it read into a saleable file, would bypass all the other ways of doing that, which are either not good enough, or not available.

Add paperback PoD, once it gets big enough, if feasible.
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RBC

Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2023, 07:21:56 AM »
It is highly probable that if you figure out a way to spider Amazon's site to find new releases, Amazon will find a way to block you from doing that.

At this time, probably the best bet would be:

  • Develop a website and app for new release announcements
  • Have authors set up an account on your website or app to manage announcements.
    • First new release announcement is free.
    • Subsequent release announcements are paid.
  • Don't be exclusive to Amazon.  Allow authors to select/list all sites where the new release is available and allow readers to choose the (Amazon/B&N/Apple/etc.) they want to be notified of new releases.
  • Continue to build and grow the website/app.
  • Add a bookstore to your website/app and start offering authors the option to sell direct through it with 80% royalties.

Wasn't even thinking of direct book sales. I guess most would benefit from Amazon/other shop ranking boost from the BB-like app. But eventually, if the reader count reaches hundreds of thousands, maybe that can be beneficial to the level where it's worth it for authors to lose Amazon ranking potential. That wouldn't be a bad thing.

Can't build an app only new release announcements tho. Amazon could then just get their sh.t together and make it useless if they see someone's doing it right. Baffling how much they're dropping the ball and losing money.
 

RBC

Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2023, 07:23:11 AM »
Add a bookstore to your website/app and start offering authors the option to sell direct through it with 80% royalties.

Add to that the listing of Audiobooks, and if possible, the generation of AI audiobooks for sale.

Being able to just upload a text file, and have it read into a saleable file, would bypass all the other ways of doing that, which are either not good enough, or not available.

Add paperback PoD, once it gets big enough, if feasible.

If it gets to million readers, I can see that maybe working. The challenge of such big app seems daunting :D

As audiobook reader, I can see use for it too tho.
 

alhawke

Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2023, 08:54:58 AM »
There probably is a way to get the top 100 new releases from all categories. If software could garner that from Amazon, that'd be something special. Then you could create some list, like Timothy's mentioning. Such a list on an app would be sought after by readers for sure.

I can't see how you're going to hit every new release created (though you probably wouldn't want to list every new book from every author anyway).
 

RBC

Re: BookBub-like Apps?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2023, 05:25:18 PM »
There probably is a way to get the top 100 new releases from all categories. If software could garner that from Amazon, that'd be something special. Then you could create some list, like Timothy's mentioning. Such a list on an app would be sought after by readers for sure.

I can't see how you're going to hit every new release created (though you probably wouldn't want to list every new book from every author anyway).

Personally, I'd ''follow'' authors, not categories.

We'll see what readers say. There's so many books there is no shortage of options. Even me, I should have been aware of this problem as a reader. But I wasn't really conscious of it consistently. Bookbub, I think, does allow to follow authors and emails with new books/deals.