Category: innovation

31
Jan

Amazon Advertising for Ebooks is Now Available through PublishDrive

 

Amazon’s Sponsored Products ads are among the most powerful marketing tools for authors who sell ebooks on Amazon. But the learning curve prevents many authors from ever taking advantage of this robust advertising tool.

Months ago, we set out to change that.

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve launched a built-in marketing feature that integrates Amazon advertising for ebooks.

Sign up now and try it!

Our team invested months of research into finding the best ways to simplify this tool for authors, and we are beyond excited to be the first self-publishing platform to integrate Amazon advertising for ebooks. Now authors can manage global ebook distribution and powerful advertising in a single platform.

Until the end of March 2019, beta-testing of this feature is available to all PublishDrive users who sell ebooks on Amazon. This means you can use the tool even if you distribute directly to Amazon rather than going through PublishDrive.

Learn more about Sponsored Products ads below and discover how easy it is to get started thanks to our new feature.

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18
Jan

PublishDrive’s Subscription Pricing Increases Take-Home Royalties for Authors – Learn More in Our Case Study!

Increase Author Royalties Case Study 1When we rolled out Subscription Pricing last October, some were hesitant to give it a shot at first.

After all, the ability to keep ALL royalties (after the stores’ fee) for a small monthly fee of $100 is unheard of among self-publishing aggregators.

But we’re happy to report that it’s working – and authors are loving it.

To illustrate the benefits of our new pricing option, we detailed best-selling author Rachel Morgan’s experience after she enrolled in subscription pricing. Explore the summary below to check out the highlights, and download the full case study for FREE here.

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09
Oct

Our new brand is here!

We’re super excited to be releasing several new features (like AI based category suggestion and automatic ebook conversion from docx) and a whole new redesign of our brand this week. As the team’s UX designer, I’d like to share more about our new appearance.

Why did we need a new brand?

PublishDrive started as a digital tool for global publishers. In 2017 we took part in Google’s Accelerator Program and sharpened our business model which extended our focus to authors. We realized the need to refresh our platform and our brand to get our message out there to authors around the world!

It was a huge journey we undertook, but along with working with an awesome design team, MSKTRS, we finally come to the moment we can introduce our new brand.

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16
Apr

Google’s Talk to Books: Will it Improve Ebook Sales?

I’m all for AI and chatbots – I even designed one! -, but every time I hear ‘use artificial intelligence for book discovery’, I’m sceptical. I didn’t see anything worth looking at since Oyster was closed down, and when I heard that Google has launched Talk to Books, I wasn’t sure what to think. I’m a big fan of everything Google, but most of their new features get shut down within a few months. (Remember Google Buzz?) Anyway, I have tried Google’s free to use AI features a few months back (Google Vision and Natural Language Processing), and I was hoping that Google will soon use these tools to offer better discoverability to the books in their catalogue. Maybe even increase sales?

Google Books

If you are not familiar with Google Books: it is Google’s enormous project, scanning books from all over the world and making the content searchable. The project has not always been everyone’s favourite, but they have recently overcome some copyright challenges, and are working continuously on making information freely available for everyone. It is not only public domain books and legal documents that form Google Books’ catalogue: they have access to the text of all books distributed through Google Play Books as well. Publishers and authors signing up to Google Play Books agree to their books being part of the Google Books project. It doesn’t mean that the whole book will be available on Google Books. It will, however, make the text searchable.

Why the long lead in?

Because it is exactly the gargantuan Google Books database that is used as a basis of the new project, Talk to Books. (The other new lab project is called Semantris, and it is clearly ruining the effectiveness of my workday. It is a word association game: try it, and you will no longer need Tetris. Hey, don’t blame me!)
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03
Jan

Amazon Bestseller Ranks – New Feature at PublishDrive

We have finished last year with quietly unraveling a new feature. PublishDrive is now displaying Amazon ranks directly on the platform, at the level of books.

While Amazon Bestseller Ranks are surrounded by mystery, they are very important in following how your books have been doing recently with regards to the industry.

But checking the ranks of all of your books in all the different Amazon stores in all categories can be tiring. The new Rankings feature follows your recent ranking in all major Amazon stores your books are sold in. It also creates a handy graph of your book’s journey.

What are Amazon Bestseller Ranks good for?

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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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13
Oct

Other Disruptors: New Ways of Distribution, VR and Royalty Share

This is the third, final part of our series focused on industry disruptors. The first part analysed how AI will automatize much of the marketing, and the second was interested in whether blockchain is here to decentralize distribution and pose a threat to Amazon and Google.

In the third part of the series, we are focusing on disruptors once again: how they change distribution and book production processes.

There is only a certain number of regular readers, and it seems like traditional publishers and self-publishers are fighting againsteach other to see who is able to get the biggest slice of the pie instead of simply focusing on providing better solutions to the readers.

As Richard Nash points out: there are two contrasting tendencies working against each other, both extremely low prices set by Amazon and extremely high prices set by traditional publishers. And this is the point where industry disruptors can come into picture.

Can you enter the price competition without compromising on quality? Will you present yourself as a premium service? Today’s biggest question is how to keep your professional integrity and stay on your feet.

 

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12
Oct

Blockchain: A Technology Publishers Have Never Heard of is Here to Disrupt the Industry

(This article was written in anticipation of the ALLi organized session at Frankfurt Book Fair on this topic and will be updated with the developments. It has been inspired by ALLi and the articles written by Orna Ross.)

Cutting edge technology is usually here to solve problems we never knew we had at the first place. There is much less talk, however, about problems that have been around for a while and have finally become close to being solved.

Some of the problems creative industry as a whole is facing concern author payments, licensing and rights. With an amazing amount of ‘free’ content available (speaking of music on Youtube or Spotify, news and other types of journalistic content, books and images), it is hardly traceable how and when the creators will get paid. With an astonishingly long chain between writers and readers, creators and audience, it is only a fraction of the money that gets back to the original creators of the IP. Not to mention that in addition to taking a big slice of the cake, end-distributors use data and advertising revenue generated mainly by content they don’t own – this data and revenue is never redistributed.

On the other hand, licences are difficult to get hold of. If I would like to find a picture for illustration purposes, I can search certain databases for free-to-use images and then hope that the information is correct. While the creative commons standard improved this area a lot, there is still a lot of unauthorized use. (This could be due to mechanisms being mistaken and only partially automatized.)

Unauthorized use can range from posting a cool gif on tumblr without crediting the original creator (as there is literally no way to find it) to obvious theft. It is not only end-user piracy content creators are afraid of, but monetizing stolen IP. There is always the option of better DRM. But does it really solve the problem?

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