THE BLOG

24
Nov

Messenger Bot for Writers: How to Build it and Use it

For the last few months, I was working on a secret project: teaching and launching our customer service chatbot, Edith. We write a lot about how writers can utilise AI and Natural Language Processing to save time with their marketing, so we thought: let’s try it ourselves! This is why we built Edith, our new customer service superstar: she knows the FAQ better than any of us, has a great sense of humor (well, she has my sense of humor) and gets smarter by the day. This article is on how to build a messenger bot using Dialogflow (API.AI) and how can authorpreneurs use it in their marketing. You can also try the bot (we used the sad and low-functionality WordPress plugin), only under this article.

Messenger Bot for Writers: Common Usages

Who doesn’t like talking to a robot? I start every morning asking my Google Assistant for the weather and traffic updates; but I often find myself just casually engaging in conversations with Siri on the iPad. (And millions of youtube videos prove that I’m not alone.)

Messenger bots are a great way to engage potential readers and keep your existing readers entertained.

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21
Nov

The Importance of Book Reviews to Get Your Book Known

This is a guest post by BookRazor writer Sarah Robinson. Read her bio at the bottom of the page.

Congratulations! You’ve just published your book! Time to celebrate, right? Not yet. In fact, you have to sell as many copies of your book as you can after putting it out for the public to make a decent profit out of writing. But relying solely on your sales pitch by reaching out to people who are likely to buy and read your book, and convincing them that it’s got something other books in the same genre don’t have isn’t enough. Some readers want more concrete proof that your book is worth buying and you’re not just pulling their leg, which is why book reviews play an important role in getting your book known.

The Two Kinds of Book Reviews That Can Get Your Book Known

Two kinds of book reviews can either pull a buyer into the direction of your book or push them away from it.

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16
Nov

Faster Publishing Time on Amazon: How to do it?

In a world where we want everything ready as soon as possible, a lot can depend on average publishing time. But how long do you have to wait for your book’s publication? Are you better off if you make your book available for pre-order? Can you make any changes during the publishing process? This article is on average publishing time in the most popular stores like Amazon, Google Play and iTunes. Do you have to be afraid of increased demand and be aware of ‘peak’ publishing time?

We are also writing about the upcoming holiday season and on how different services are taking the increased demand.
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14
Nov

Ebook Publishing Services: How to Write and Publish an Ebook in 5 Simple Steps

Writing a novel is never the work of one person only. We all know how every book ever published by traditional publishing houses has months of work behind it by editors of different responsibilities, designers and illustrators. Best case scenario, it even has a dedicated team of marketers working on photoshoots and facebook campaigns. But what are the options self-publishers face when deciding to publish a book? Do you have to do everything by yourself, or are there dedicated ebook publishing services helping you along the way?

This article is covering the most popular ebook publishing services available today and poses the question whether you need them at all. In the first part of the article, we go through the steps of publishing a book from the first idea to selling it. In the second part, we’ll have a look at the most popular ebook publishing services and see how, where and if they can help you. As we have already covered some services, we are not aiming to give you a comprehensive list, but only a selection of our favourites. Have you ever used an ebook publishing service? Do you prefer working with publishing service providers, freelancers or do everything by yourself? Let us know at the comments or start a discussion in our facebook group.
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10
Nov

Import your books straight from Pronoun

This was not an easy week for indie publishers and self-publishers: Pronoun has announced to shut down, effective immediately.

We have built an importer to help migrating your books from Pronoun.

We are sorry to see an innovative competitor go: competition drives the industry to provide better service and keep improving. However, we understand that authors are frustrated and worried. These are bad news, especially before Christmas: losing your reviews and rankings sounds awful just before the most important sales period. There is a lot of confusion: should you remove your books from sale already? Do you need a copyright statement to confirm your rights?

pronoun import

PublishDrive is here to make migrating your books easier. Our development team was busy this week working on an import tool for former Pronoun authors. You upload your ZIP file and we do the switch, keeping your reviews.

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10
Nov

Authors Leaving Pronoun: How to Choose a Distributor

On November 6th, the Macmillan owned Pronoun announced that they are shutting down their services. Pronoun gave an author-focused service, inspiring competitors to innovate, and I believe their presence will be missed. This article is aiming to help former Pronoun authors (and others looking for a change) decide what to do in the information-overload that naturally follows.

Pronoun’s closing must have come as a shock for many: as an author you could think that a self-service portal backed by a big publisher is a safe place. You have probably already planned your Christmas promotions, prepared your new releases, and now you have to start everything all over again. But looking at the current chaos: this is no time to mourn. This is the time to share verified, true information.

To decide your next steps, you will have to consider the pitfalls of ebook distribution. Choosing a distributor is never easy. How to do your due diligence on your next partner?

If you are a writer or an author taking themselves seriously, do not rush this decision. You will have to think about the long-term consequences of finding your next innovative publishing partner. There are six questions you have to ask.

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08
Nov

Distributing to Perlego – New Retail Channel

PublishDrive is proud to have partnered with Perlego, an innovator in academic publishing. We’re offering our publishers and authors a chance to showcase their books at the Perlego platform among academic publishers.

Long gone are the days when you had to pay hundreds of pounds at the beginning of every term to cover the costs of your textbooks. Dubbed as the Spotify of textbooks, Perlego is an innovative ebook platform which provides users with access to the best professional and academic content, under a monthly subscription fee. Launched in September 2016, Perlego has already established partnerships with over 280 leading publishers and has over 200 000 books in their library. Perlego is targeting businesses, institutions and students directly in the European, Middle East and African region.

Perlego works with a subscription model, offering publishers a percentage of the monthly subscription fee based on the how much of the book is read.

Disruptors at the scientific market

Prior to channeling in Perlego, PublishDrive signed a contract with Mackin Educational Resources. Scientific content is highly popular in different library models like at OverDrive and CNPeReading as well. Big publishers like Bloomsbury are currently improving their ebook sales by trying different channels and models. Will the disruption of trade publishing come from the scientific, educational world?

Book Business believes that it should be. They argue that by following student’s behavior (as they access content online in free or freemium models) educators can better analyze their own success. They will be able to track student’s progress and measure the effectiveness of learning.

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03
Nov

Frankfurt Book Fair As Indie Author – Should you go?

Are you interested in attending a book fair as indie author? Should you attend book fairs as an independent author at the first place, or is this just a waste of money? This question is driving most authors nuts: on one hand, book fairs seem like the heart of publishing industry, where experts from all fields meet, network, make deals and give amazingly interesting lectures. On the other hand, book fairs are all about signing deals and making new contracts: what can an indie author make out of it?

As a relative newbie in the publishing industry, this was the first year I ever attended book fairs: early summer I went to London (this was kind of home territory), then this October I participated in Frankfurt Book Fair: I thought it will be similar to the London one, but I was mistaken.

At this point, most big book fairs have an area dedicated to indie publishing. However, this area always is a tad detached from the rest of the fair: in London, Author HQ was right behind children’s books, at the far end of the fair; and in Frankfurt, author services were at the back of Hall 3.0, Amazon present with only a tiny stand in a whole separate building dedicated for German publishing. Definitely very far away from the rest of the fair that was happening mostly in Halls 4 and 6, with the agents’ lounge and the business tables all situated in at least 10 minutes of walk; and surrounded with German teens queuing up for signings.

Authorpreneur event at Frankfurt Book Fair 2017

Despite the hostile environment, though, the organizers of the International Independent Author Program (Porter Anderson and the Publishing Perspectives) did everything in their power to make the program interesting and engaging.

Starting with IngramSpark’s Andrew Bromley (who was the only one using the great chance to give away free books); continuing with ALLi’s Orna Ross giving an inspiring pep talk on how the indies should use every opportunity to give away free samples of their writing (by blogging for example) in order to attract much needed audience; and finishing with our very own CEO Kinga talking about smart tools indie publishers can use to increase their ebook sales, the program has something in it for authorpreneurs at all levels. Last but not least, there was a discussion involving all speakers and the audience.

I’m sure that all attendees have enjoyed it.

However, it isn’t necessary to have been present in Frankfurt in order to access all these talks and much more: ALLi organized an Indie Author Fringe to coincide with the Fair, collected great speakers on their own and published recordings of the Frankfurt speeches as well. All for free. Lecturers include Porter Anderson on whether Frankfurt Book Fair is indie author friendly, Joanna Penn and Sukhi Jutla on how to become an author-enterpreneur and Tim Lewis on using a podcast to deepen follower engagement.
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