Author Topic: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread  (Read 71002 times)  

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #50 on: November 02, 2016, 10:04:54 AM »
My Scout submission was the first in a new series. It isn't selling very well right now and I don't have enough reviews to buy the better promo sites yet. My other series is finally going great after the release of book 3. I'm going to take that as a lesson learned about series. I will do a little bit of promotion on book 1, but I will wait to push it until book 2 is ready next spring.


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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #51 on: November 02, 2016, 10:37:47 AM »
I just received my proof copy of Rise of the Darkwitch today and it was a lot darker than I anticipated. I think I'll do as you suggest and lighten the image. It's worth ordering multiple proofs to ensure the reader ends up with a quality product.

Also, I'm a Kindle Scout reject, too! It was hectic keeping on top of the campaign, but I mostly wanted to do it to make some noise about my book release, which was on Monday. I've shifted more copies already than I anticipated, which is great! Not loads, but more than I expected.
Your book appears to be doing reasonably well for a new release. If you're not advertising in any other way right now, it would be reasonable to attribute some portion of your sales to the people exposed to your book during the Scout campaign.


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Offline ZivGray

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #52 on: November 02, 2016, 10:44:36 AM »
Your book appears to be doing reasonably well for a new release. If you're not advertising in any other way right now, it would be reasonable to attribute some portion of your sales to the people exposed to your book during the Scout campaign.

I think that's exactly the case. I'm not advertising anywhere apart from periodic postings on my Facebook and Twitter. I need to get some other advertising in place, but my hands are a little tied financially. I'll have to think very carefully about where I spend the limited money I have.
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Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #53 on: November 02, 2016, 11:08:50 AM »
I think that's exactly the case. I'm not advertising anywhere apart from periodic postings on my Facebook and Twitter. I need to get some other advertising in place, but my hands are a little tied financially. I'll have to think very carefully about where I spend the limited money I have.
We could start thinking about cross promotional things to do. There are probably a lot of people who don't have enormous advertising budgets, and there seem to be a fair number of authors involved here, at least some with compatible genres.


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Offline ZivGray

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #54 on: November 02, 2016, 11:14:15 AM »
We could start thinking about cross promotional things to do. There are probably a lot of people who don't have enormous advertising budgets, and there seem to be a fair number of authors involved here, at least some with compatible genres.

You know, I'd love to read and review books on my blog for other authors for free. It's something I've been thinking of for a while. Perhaps others who haven't made it to Kindle Scout either? Might be an idea...
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Offline Mark Gardner

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #55 on: November 02, 2016, 12:40:46 PM »
What a fun idea! Glad to be here, one of the crowd. My campaign was December 5, 2015 - January 5, 2016. I had something like 2400 views (high at the time) and 96% of my time in H&T, plus nice reviews and encouragement. Ah well . . . I may still submit my work-in-progress, a related historical/biographical fiction.

Does your biographical fiction chronicle your doings in Slimy Pebble?

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #56 on: November 02, 2016, 12:43:17 PM »
You know, I'd love to read and review books on my blog for other authors for free. It's something I've been thinking of for a while. Perhaps others who haven't made it to Kindle Scout either? Might be an idea...
Yes, that's a possibility worth exploring.


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Offline ebbrown

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #57 on: November 02, 2016, 12:49:09 PM »
What a fun idea! Glad to be here, one of the crowd. My campaign was December 5, 2015 - January 5, 2016. I had something like 2400 views (high at the time) and 96% of my time in H&T, plus nice reviews and encouragement. Ah well . . . I may still submit my work-in-progress, a related historical/biographical fiction.

Hi, E.B.!

Hi Cindy!! Nice to "see" you!!  8)

Offline Mark Gardner

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #58 on: November 02, 2016, 01:06:25 PM »
That's sound advice, since the two processes are so different. I always get the Kindle edition up first, since it was the one from which most of my sales would likely come, though I can see the wisdom of people who do CS first so they can use it to distribute ARC copies and get reviews. Either way, it's better to focus on perfecting one edition, then the other.
That's what I do. I get my createspace book formatted first. Here's why: I go through the proof process, and select Amazon as my only sales channel. Then when it populates to Amazon US a day later, I remove the sales channel. This allows me to send out electronic ARCs, and people can leave reviews under the paperback that Amazon lists as "unavailable" before my "official" launch date.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #59 on: November 02, 2016, 01:11:35 PM »
My paperback proof copy arrived this morning and the book looks good, but the cover is darker than I expected. I'm not sure if there's anyway I can alter that, as Createspace uses a PDF file for the cover art.
If you're using Photoshop to build your CS cover, be sure to do your work in CMYK mode instead of RGB mode. Also, use the PDF-x 2001 profile, since that's the profile preferred by CS & LSI.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #60 on: November 02, 2016, 01:12:55 PM »
How do you go about getting your book onto library shelves?
well, I sign the book up with Biblioboard, which is connected with Library Journal. This may be a US thing only, but they will get the ebook into your state's libraries, then some libraries will buy a hard copy. Not all, but some...I also do a co-op ad in Publishers' weekly's library issue; not cheap but I have had good response to that;a lot of the winners in my Goodreads giveaway were public libraries; and finally I do try to donate copies to local libraries, although not all will take them...Since my book has no clear cut genre, I have to market it a little differently than most, and libraries are an important market for me.

Oh, almost forgot: I do the NetGalley ARC thing and a huge number of those reviewers are...guess what, public librarians!

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Offline Michele Brouder

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #61 on: November 02, 2016, 01:18:32 PM »
WOW! Lots of activity here! I guess starting this thread WAS a good idea!

Update: Day 1 of "going public." My KS notification email went out yesterday at 4:17 PM EDT. I got a whopping three sales last night, all of which could have come from my FB post announcing that my book is available, since I included the link.

This morning I resurrected my CoPromote account, which I used exactly once, the last day of my KS campaign. I added Bill and Michele B and a few others here.

My paperback proof copy arrived this morning and the book looks good, but the cover is darker than I expected. I'm not sure if there's anyway I can alter that, as Createspace uses a PDF file for the cover art.

As for how the artwork appears online, my sister Marie, the tech-savvy member of the family, lightened the cover by 40% for the eBook version, and if you look on Amazon and compare the Kindle and paperback versions, the paperback is darker and rather hard to see in thumbnail size. I doubt I can do anything about that either, but most potential buyers will be looking at the eBook version.

When I look at a large version of the original artwork on my computer it doesn't seem too dark, and the detail is much sharper than on the paperback cover. I spent a lot of money on this cover art, so it's a bit disappointing. The scene shown on the cover occurs at night, so I wanted it to be sort of dark, but not so dark you can't appreciate the details.
In regards to your cover being darker, I had this same issue with my first book with CS. After back and forth with CS and my book cover designer, I discovered that with each printing there may be color variations. Basically it depends who's at the wheel. I had copies here (from different printings) with tonal variations. It drove me mad. But my cover designer said that sometimes happened.

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Offline Kay7979

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #62 on: November 02, 2016, 02:42:03 PM »
That's what I do. I get my createspace book formatted first. Here's why: I go through the proof process, and select Amazon as my only sales channel. Then when it populates to Amazon US a day later, I remove the sales channel. This allows me to send out electronic ARCs, and people can leave reviews under the paperback that Amazon lists as "unavailable" before my "official" launch date.

I've heard of others using this method. Clever!

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Offline Kay7979

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #63 on: November 02, 2016, 02:45:03 PM »
If you're using Photoshop to build your CS cover, be sure to do your work in CMYK mode instead of RGB mode. Also, use the PDF-x 2001 profile, since that's the profile preferred by CS & LSI.

That's all Greek to me, I know the uploaded cover art was a PDF file. The art work was done by a professional artist, and a graphic designer added the title, author name and blurb etc. I'm sure the file was correct, but the artwork was on the dark side to begin with, and the publication process apparently makes it even darker.

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Offline Kay7979

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #64 on: November 02, 2016, 02:48:57 PM »
In regards to your cover being darker, I had this same issue with my first book with CS. After back and forth with CS and my book cover designer, I discovered that with each printing there may be color variations. Basically it depends who's at the wheel. I had copies here (from different printings) with tonal variations. It drove me mad. But my cover designer said that sometimes happened.

It's good to know this is a common problem. For my next cover, I'll keep that in mind and make sure I go with something lighter toned.

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Offline LoriDRV

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #65 on: November 02, 2016, 09:56:45 PM »
Oh Boy, the amount of info here is priceless. I just have no idea what 90% of this stuff is. Hopefully, I will get the time to figure it all out. Had a bit of vacation time this week, and now watching our hometown Cubs WIN THE WORLD SERIES! :D

Thank you Cindy & Bill for addressing me with your tidbits of help.

My head is spinning from all this info, but I'm grateful.

Offline Kay7979

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #66 on: November 03, 2016, 06:17:29 AM »
Day 2 post-Kindle Scout notification email. Not many sales, but I'll give it a few more days before officially pronouncing Kindle Scout a bust as far as converting nominations to sales. I posted "available now" on FB with a large cover art photo, and if anyone is feeling generous and wants to share my post, I'd appreciate it. Say the word and I'll share one of yours.

So, here's my innovative marketing strategy for today. I'll let you know if it works. I searched twitter for people who make jewelry or sell gems, specifically targeting aventurine. My book is about gems with arcane powers, and the book opens with Lana in the family jewelry store, and a customer with an aventurine bracelet. I need to target female readers, people who like fantasy novels, and people who are interested in gems. Ideally, I'll find people who weren't shopping for a book, but mine may capture their interest.   

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #67 on: November 03, 2016, 07:02:59 AM »
Day 2 post-Kindle Scout notification email. Not many sales, but I'll give it a few more days before officially pronouncing Kindle Scout a bust as far as converting nominations to sales. I posted "available now" on FB with a large cover art photo, and if anyone is feeling generous and wants to share my post, I'd appreciate it. Say the word and I'll share one of yours.

So, here's my innovative marketing strategy for today. I'll let you know if it works. I searched twitter for people who make jewelry or sell gems, specifically targeting aventurine. My book is about gems with arcane powers, and the book opens with Lana in the family jewelry store, and a customer with an aventurine bracelet. I need to target female readers, people who like fantasy novels, and people who are interested in gems. Ideally, I'll find people who weren't shopping for a book, but mine may capture their interest.
That's an interesting strategy. I tried something similar with my first book. It's set in an imaginary town near Santa Barbara, so I made a video teaser talking about the growing menace near Santa Barbara, put it up on YouTube, and ran an ad campaign directed at SB zip codes. Lost of views, no sales. Sigh!

As for the FB post, can you give us a link? (I'm too lazy to search for it!)


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Offline Kay7979

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #68 on: November 03, 2016, 07:11:12 AM »
I don't know how to link to the actual post, but it's the pinned post on my FB author page.

https://www.facebook.com/KayLLing.author

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #69 on: November 03, 2016, 08:05:15 AM »
I don't know how to link to the actual post, but it's the pinned post on my FB author page.

https://www.facebook.com/KayLLing.author
Actually, I'm reminded that I couldn't figure out the link for an individual post either! Anyway, I just shared yours.


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Offline Kay7979

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #70 on: November 03, 2016, 08:12:30 AM »
Actually, I'm reminded that I couldn't figure out the link for an individual post either! Anyway, I just shared yours.

Thanks a million! I REALLY appreciate it.

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #71 on: November 03, 2016, 08:24:41 AM »
You know, I'd love to read and review books on my blog for other authors for free. It's something I've been thinking of for a while. Perhaps others who haven't made it to Kindle Scout either? Might be an idea...
I've been thinking about the idea, and I still like it in some ways, but it could be awkward unless it is arranged loosely. In other words, I'd encourage everyone here to read the books of other authors here and do reviews of them on their blogs if they liked them. I would not encourage "You review mine, and I'll review yours," even in a blog situation, because there is always the possibility someone will read a book and actually not like it. Then things can really get weird fast...

What does work without that kind of awkwardness, though, is a pay-it-forward approach. If someone here reviews your book on a blog, make a point of reviewing the book of some thread member on your blog, but not necessarily the person who reviewed you. With all the books we have to choose from, you could surely find some book you liked in that situation.

The same approach can work for customer reviews on Amazon. Obviously, review swaps are banned, and for good reason, but customer reviews can also be paid forward: if someone reviews you, you make a point of finding a book you like and reviewing it when you can. (If you review on Amazon, it's good practice to indicate you know the author involved. None of us are close friends, but it's always good to have full disclosure.)



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Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #72 on: November 03, 2016, 08:48:17 AM »
Here's another cross promotion idea. I'm really a big supporter of cross promotional anthologies. That's a way of introducing ourselves to each other's fan bases. It does take someone to coordinate it, and in the short term I'm too busy, but it could be worthwhile. A thematically based anthology can allow for the inclusion of different genres, and using a short form like flash fiction can make it easier for people to participate.

I'll share my experience with George Donnelly's Halloween flash fiction anthology, Monster Maelstrom. (FYI, he's planning a series of such anthologies, and they're very worthwhile.) The idea was purely promotional, so the anthology was wide and permafree (Amazon price-matched within a day.) The anthology had significant downloads, at one point hitting 596 in the free store, as well as doing well in some of the international stores. Barnes and Noble stats looked good. It garnered one review on Google Play and several at Goodreads. It still seems to holding up well after Halloween, with top ten rankings in two subcategories.

Prior to Halloween, my own sales experienced two spikes, and I had one huge burst of KU activity. I was also getting more international sales. I've had sales in the UK, France, and Germany before, but seldom all three in the same month. I not only had sales in all three, but also in Canada and India (where I virtually never sell), and I picked up my first sale in Italy. All of this could be coincidence, but I think at least some of it comes from the anthology.

(By the way, George's Christmas anthology is still open if anyone is interested. http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,241013.0.html That one will be out in permafree ebook and paperback.)

While I wouldn't want to just copy George's holiday emphasis, there are several ways to create thematic collections. "Stories to read when you're___" (collections geared to a particular emotion) is just one example.

Is everyone who reads such an anthology going to become the fan of every author in it? No, of course not. However, since participation would involve no cost (except the time), it's pretty good free advertising. When the figures are in, I imagine my story will have been seen by at least a few hundred people who would never have had my stuff otherwise. Even a few sales would make it worthwhile, and conceivably one could get more than that. (Over time I think the downloads on that Halloween one will go into the thousands.)

Now, logistics. I am simultaneously involved in about four projects right now, so even though it's my idea, I can't be the coordinator for it now (though perhaps in a few months I could do one). If someone else is willing to take point, though, I am willing to contribute the cost of the cover, and I should be able to contribute at least a little time to help with editing--if we decide to do this, we want the resulting product to be good quality.

By the way, the anthology doesn't need to be limited to just us. We could start another thread and solicit submissions if we wanted. (The coordinator/editor would have to screen.)

Obviously, this couldn't happen instantly, but what do you think of it as an idea for the future?


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Offline Carey Lewis

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #73 on: November 03, 2016, 09:03:28 AM »
Here's another cross promotion idea. I'm really a big supporter of cross promotional anthologies. That's a way of introducing ourselves to each other's fan bases. It does take someone to coordinate it, and in the short term I'm too busy, but it could be worthwhile. A thematically based anthology can allow for the inclusion of different genres, and using a short form like flash fiction can make it easier for people to participate.

I'll share my experience with George Donnelly's Halloween flash fiction anthology, Monster Maelstrom. (FYI, he's planning a series of such anthologies, and they're very worthwhile.) The idea was purely promotional, so the anthology was wide and permafree (Amazon price-matched within a day.) The anthology had significant downloads, at one point hitting 596 in the free store, as well as doing well in some of the international stores. Barnes and Noble stats looked good. It garnered one review on Google Play and several at Goodreads. It still seems to holding up well after Halloween, with top ten rankings in two subcategories.

Prior to Halloween, my own sales experienced two spikes, and I had one huge burst of KU activity. I was also getting more international sales. I've had sales in the UK, France, and Germany before, but seldom all three in the same month. I not only had sales in all three, but also in Canada and India (where I virtually never sell), and I picked up my first sale in Italy. All of this could be coincidence, but I think at least some of it comes from the anthology.

(By the way, George's Christmas anthology is still open if anyone is interested. http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,241013.0.html That one will be out in permafree ebook and paperback.)

While I wouldn't want to just copy George's holiday emphasis, there are several ways to create thematic collections. "Stories to read when you're___" (collections geared to a particular emotion) is just one example.

Is everyone who reads such an anthology going to become the fan of every author in it? No, of course not. However, since participation would involve no cost (except the time), it's pretty good free advertising. When the figures are in, I imagine my story will have been seen by at least a few hundred people who would never have had my stuff otherwise. Even a few sales would make it worthwhile, and conceivably one could get more than that. (Over time I think the downloads on that Halloween one will go into the thousands.)

Now, logistics. I am simultaneously involved in about four projects right now, so even though it's my idea, I can't be the coordinator for it now (though perhaps in a few months I could do one). If someone else is willing to take point, though, I am willing to contribute the cost of the cover, and I should be able to contribute at least a little time to help with editing--if we decide to do this, we want the resulting product to be good quality.

By the way, the anthology doesn't need to be limited to just us. We could start another thread and solicit submissions if we wanted. (The coordinator/editor would have to screen.)

Obviously, this couldn't happen instantly, but what do you think of it as an idea for the future?
I'm all in on this idea. I'm supposed to be a part of my first cross promo in late December, and I love the idea of it! Unfortunately, I'll be the first to admit I know nothing about how to do this sort of thing, so I think the organization would go to someone better up to the task.

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Offline Michele Brouder

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Re: The "My Book Wasn't Accepted for Kindle Scout, Now What?" Thread
« Reply #74 on: November 03, 2016, 09:27:40 AM »
Day 2 post-Kindle Scout notification email. Not many sales, but I'll give it a few more days before officially pronouncing Kindle Scout a bust as far as converting nominations to sales. I posted "available now" on FB with a large cover art photo, and if anyone is feeling generous and wants to share my post, I'd appreciate it. Say the word and I'll share one of yours.

So, here's my innovative marketing strategy for today. I'll let you know if it works. I searched twitter for people who make jewelry or sell gems, specifically targeting aventurine. My book is about gems with arcane powers, and the book opens with Lana in the family jewelry store, and a customer with an aventurine bracelet. I need to target female readers, people who like fantasy novels, and people who are interested in gems. Ideally, I'll find people who weren't shopping for a book, but mine may capture their interest.   
Kay, I'm about 30% through your book (despite getting my book ready to launch & doing NaNoWriMo) and I am loving it! All the detail about the different gems with arcane powers is amazing. I never heard of some of these gems but I'm going to be on the look out for some aventurine. Well done, you!

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