Author Topic: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?  (Read 1505 times)  

Offline Digiterium

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Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« on: April 12, 2018, 07:30:53 AM »
Was wondering if anyone has any advice re: pros and cons in regards to those services?

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2018, 07:37:47 AM »
I use BookReport and like it. For me, as I'm not in KU, the recent price hike puts it more in the maybe pile, but I might hang on a little and see if they roll out the (rumored) ability to catch wide sales. Then my love will be unconflicted once more!

I've heard a bit about ReaderLinks and I'm very intrigued. I downloaded the free trial but, honestly, didn't get to test it out fully b/c I was in the middle of a launch. I know one friend who adores it, but I don't know. There are a few free webinars knocking around showing the different features (ARC management, ad ROI calculation etc.) so maybe check those out. Or try the free trial I guess.

The one question-mark I had was the whole system is built on these custom links (readerlinks) that you use to do all sorts of nifty things like see which ads are converting etc. But that makes me then a kind of prisoner of the program in that if I ever ditched ReaderLinks or they jacked up the price or whatever, then I've got to undertake a huge amount of work to replace those links - as far as my limited understanding goes (happy to correct if wrong).

As for AKReport, I'm worried about the threads I've seen here talking about data/security/trust issues - not issues you want to have with sensitive data. For me, there's a question mark there about the guys behind it that I don't have with BookReport or ReaderLinks.

YMMV
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Offline Digiterium

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 07:44:47 AM »
I use BookReport and like it. For me, as I'm not in KU, the recent price hike puts it more in the maybe pile, but I might hang on a little and see if they roll out the (rumored) ability to catch wide sales. Then my love will be unconflicted once more!

I've heard a bit about ReaderLinks and I'm very intrigued. I downloaded the free trial but, honestly, didn't get to test it out fully b/c I was in the middle of a launch. I know one friend who adores it, but I don't know. There are a few free webinars knocking around showing the different features (ARC management, ad ROI calculation etc.) so maybe check those out. Or try the free trial I guess.

The one question-mark I had was the whole system is built on these custom links (readerlinks) that you use to do all sorts of nifty things like see which ads are converting etc. But that makes me then a kind of prisoner of the program in that if I ever ditched ReaderLinks or they jacked up the price or whatever, then I've got to undertake a huge amount of work to replace those links - as far as my limited understanding goes (happy to correct if wrong).

As for AKReport, I'm worried about the threads I've seen here talking about data/security/trust issues - not issues you want to have with sensitive data. For me, there's a question mark there about the guys behind it that I don't have with BookReport or ReaderLinks.

YMMV

Thanks for the advice. In regards to the ReaderLinks, links, I had the same thoughts in regards to what happens if you want to leave their ecosystem, and you have their links in all your books.

I'm all in with KU so I guess it's between Book Report (which I've used until recently) and ReaderLinks.

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2018, 07:47:32 AM »
Thanks for the advice. In regards to the ReaderLinks, links, I had the same thoughts in regards to what happens if you want to leave their ecosystem, and you have their links in all your books.

I'm all in with KU so I guess it's between Book Report (which I've used until recently) and ReaderLinks.

Yeah it's the other reason - time pressure aside - I couldn't make full use of the free trial. Didn't want to go around changing all my links and then have to undo that later. Pretty sure the trial is short enough too, like 15 days or something.

Maybe if you already use BookFunnel or something to dole out ARCs and can happily peg ROI on your own it's overkill but if those features are super appealing you could take a look.
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Offline Acheknia

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2018, 07:50:00 AM »
I use BookReport and like it a lot.
I mostly like it when there is something to report, am I sad for getting excited when there's a kerching, even when it's only a penny or 2? :)

Offline Nicholas Erik

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2018, 01:32:29 AM »
The main appeal of ReaderLinks is twofold:

1) you can have one link (for your ads) that auto-redirects to the correct regional site. smartURL does this too, but they add their affiliate code, which is annoying. I wouldn't use a ReaderLink for the back of the book or whatever (though you could) because you'd have to change everything if you ever canceled or the service went down. One way around this is to actually make a link like yoursite.com/book2 and then put that in the back matter or whatever. Then, have that one redirect to the Readerlinks link which in turn redirects to Amazon. That way, you can just swap out what link /book2 redirects to from your site, instead of reformatting all your books.

2) a ReaderLink can be set to "trip" your Facebook pixel. This is the big allure of the service. With a regular redirect link from your site, it usually redirects the person too fast to trigger the pixel. So if you have them go to yoursite.com/book and that auto-redirects to Amazon, your FB pixel won't trigger. But if you have them hit the Readerlink instead, it introduces a little "pause" that you can set (the default is 1/4 second) so that it first trips your site's Facebook pixel, then auto-redirects to Amazon. It doesn't add a noticeable loading time, but it does help you build your Facebook audiences. Which is the most important part of FB advertising.

How does it help you build your FB audiences? That's a more in-depth topic, but since each person who clicks a Readerlink now registers as having visited your site, you can:

1) make a lookalike audience based on people who have visited your site.
2) make a lookalike audience based on people who have clicked a specific Readerlink.
3) create ads retargeting people who have visited your site

And so forth.

If all this is gibberish, then you don't need ReaderLinks, and I would just go with BookReport. I vastly prefer BookReport's reporting features. That might be personal preference. I subscribe to both, though I don't use ReaderLinks' reporting features.

I've tried AKReport, and it's essentially the same as BookReport in its functionality. Can't speak to any data or security issues. I've used BookReport longer, I trust it, and it's the industry "standard," so I'm not inclined to switch.

Nick
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 01:42:53 AM by Nicholas Erik »

Offline AuthorHelper

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2018, 09:59:27 AM »
Hi all

I just wanted to let you know I'm here to answer any questions you may have about ReaderLinks. You can also check out Self Publishing Formula podcast #115 to get a pretty good run down of what we're trying to do. Ambitious, but we're always tweaking!

https://selfpublishingformula.com/episode-115/

Ben

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2018, 10:02:22 AM »
Hi all

I just wanted to let you know I'm here to answer any questions you may have about ReaderLinks. You can also check out Self Publishing Formula podcast #115 to get a pretty good run down of what we're trying to do. Ambitious, but we're always tweaking!

https://selfpublishingformula.com/episode-115/

Ben

Hi Ben,

I really like what you guys are trying to do. But there's one thing holding me back from really testing out the platform. Obviously the whole system is built around the ReaderLinks themselves - but what if I migrate away from the platform? Do all those links go dead overnight? Or will they still redirect and I just won't get the analytics etc.?
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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2018, 10:39:45 AM »
Hi David

Yeah, it's definitely a commitment on the links front because if you migrate away you'll have to change up your links to your new system. Our perspective is that while links are important to us, an author can get a lot out of RL even without them. It's not an all-in proposition. You can go all-in and make all of your ad/promo/backmatter/newsletter/etc links with ReaderLinks. You could also just use it to track a couple of things. We think that you'll use our links feature more and more as time goes on but we advise authors who are concerned about committing to start slow and see if it's right for you. Especially if you have a large library of books.

Having said that, we are discussing ways to help authors migrate links into and out of the system. We have some other priorities first (some ad reporting tweaks and importing sales data from other online services) but this is on our radar.

If you need more time to review ReaderLinks, please ping me at ben@theauthorhelper.com

Thanks David

Ben


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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2018, 10:47:20 AM »
Thanks Ben!
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Offline EB

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2018, 11:54:57 AM »
I'm a huge fan of Book Report and will stick with them despite the price change. It seems like the developer is constantly looking for ways to make it better, and so far every upgrade has been something useful. I like the graphs and ease of use much better than any other similar programs. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed for wide integration.

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2018, 04:17:32 AM »
Hello there, and thanks for considering our app for your daily tracking. Ease of use, speed, presentation or even pricing are somewhat subjective matters so i won't comment on those.

But in order to alleviate some misunderstandings about the security of AKreport, I'd like to briefly mention that:

We had some security holes in the past, but since a long time all these are refined and the app is totally safe and secure to use.

As long as the data collection goes, i would like to state one more time, that our app won't save any sensitive data without the consent of the user. We have many users that don't want to share their data with us and this is the default option with AKreport.

For richer, more detailed and more accurate reporting some users can opt-in to download their Amazon revenue reports into our app, and only then our app will use this data.

For more details, you can always check our FAQ (http://akreport.com/faq) and Privacy Policy (http://akreport.com/privacy) pages.

Thank you very much :)
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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2018, 04:45:20 AM »
"Misunderstandings" is quite the euphemism. If I remember right, it was a little more than a security hole:

1. AKReport specifically promised it would never scrape and store users personal and private data, and then did exactly that, without telling users, in violation of its own Privacy Policy too.

2. AKReport also stored that data in a completely unsecured way.

3. AKReport also failed to inform its customers of this breach until publicly called out about it.

Since then, AKReport has claimed that all personal and private data was deleted, and that no third party had access to it, and nothing was done with it. But there is a trust issue there because of the above. So as a prospective customer, with some question marks here, I want to know more about AKReport and who is behind it, yet the website only gives me two first names - not a lot of trust-building there.
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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2018, 04:56:58 AM »
For example, if I discovered that the owner of AKReport had a publishing business on the side which was pumping out books via ghostwriters to hit the most profitable niches that his "research" had discovered... I would have a few questions about that.
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Offline lilywhite

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2018, 06:24:45 AM »
Also not great at that whole "respecting intellectual property" thing. AK on the left, Book Report on the right:


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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2018, 04:28:35 AM »
No response from the AKReport guys?

I'd really like to hear their thoughts. Like, maybe I'm mistaken! But if it is the case that one of the guys is running a publishing business on the side and hitting any lucrative niches he can SOMEHOW spot by using ghostwriters to fling content out there as quickly as possible, that feels relevant here.

Tell me I'm wrong.
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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2018, 06:07:10 AM »
I've been using Readerlinks.  And, while it is perhaps a minor pain to have updated all my books on my webpage with new links (and conversely will probably be a minor pain to change them back if I ever leave the service), we're ultimately only talking about an hour or so's worth of work.  The upsides definitely outweigh that upfront effort by a considerable amount.  About the only issue I'm seeing is myself: having gone so long without a service like this, I actually have to remind myself to use the various tools within.  That said, it's not a set it and forget it tool.  You get more out of it the more you put into it. 


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Offline lilywhite

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2018, 09:37:16 AM »
I've been using Readerlinks.  And, while it is perhaps a minor pain to have updated all my books on my webpage with new links (and conversely will probably be a minor pain to change them back if I ever leave the service), we're ultimately only talking about an hour or so's worth of work.  The upsides definitely outweigh that upfront effort by a considerable amount.  About the only issue I'm seeing is myself: having gone so long without a service like this, I actually have to remind myself to use the various tools within.  That said, it's not a set it and forget it tool.  You get more out of it the more you put into it. 

I have an ARC group on Facebook (no deliverability issues plus they chat with each other, which is good for community) and I'm wide. Pass on ReaderLinks or what, for me?

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2018, 09:58:06 AM »
I have an ARC group on Facebook (no deliverability issues plus they chat with each other, which is good for community) and I'm wide. Pass on ReaderLinks or what, for me?

Hard to say. Maybe check out the free trial. 


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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2018, 08:09:47 AM »
Hi lilywhite. We encourage authors to use Facebook to communicate and tend to their Reader Teams. We use Facebook for that purpose too. The ReaderLinks tool is mostly about organizing the reader feedback. It's not really a communication or community tool, per se. It gives the readers a site to go to (readerlinks.com/readers) where they can easily report issues, give notes, see what other readers have already reported (which reduces duplicate reports) and track who is participating and who is not. Give the trial a shot and let me know if you have any questions.

Offline lilywhite

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2018, 04:28:56 PM »
Hi lilywhite. We encourage authors to use Facebook to communicate and tend to their Reader Teams. We use Facebook for that purpose too. The ReaderLinks tool is mostly about organizing the reader feedback. It's not really a communication or community tool, per se. It gives the readers a site to go to (readerlinks.com/readers) where they can easily report issues, give notes, see what other readers have already reported (which reduces duplicate reports) and track who is participating and who is not. Give the trial a shot and let me know if you have any questions.

Awesome, thanks for the feedback. Sounds better than my current "I have a spreadsheet around here somewhere" approach. ;)

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2018, 05:47:35 PM »
Awesome, thanks for the feedback. Sounds better than my current "I have a spreadsheet around here somewhere" approach. ;)

HA! I remember those days  :'(

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Re: Book report vs AKreport vs ReaderLinks ?
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2018, 12:56:11 AM »
Hello there and thanks for asking for more clarifications.

Let me try to address a few of your points here.

So first of all my colleague and I, are both into publishing, and in fact, our publishing companies are our primary business entities. I think all who have started similar businesses to AKreport have done so because of their need for better reporting. Also being involved so profoundly in publishing helps us understand the needs of authors much better and implement all the features that are truly needed, maximizing authors and publishers free time by better reporting.

Moreover thinking that we would use this sensitive data to find the most profitable niches is super far-fetched mainly for three reasons.

1. Let me state this one more time. We DONT have access to these data. Like I said in the past theyre securely encrypted and not accessible. The only data we have access to are the settings of our users which you can take an idea of what these are by looking at the settings page. You are right that we have been irresponsibly careless about this very delicate issue in the past, but as I explained very analytically in this post, [https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,249749.msg3480216.html#msg3480216] we have tried our best, and weve corrected our grave error as fast as we could. Please take the time to read our comments there because we explain in more detail about all the corrective actions we took, like data encryption, password protection, giving the users the option to delete all their data from our servers, etc.)

2. Even if one would assume for a moment that we had access, taking advantage of them would be such a lame, fraudulent and short-term approach that were very deeply opposed to. Our app is online for more than two years now, and we have many happy clients that know us and trust us.

3. Again even if we assume we had access to these data for the sake of argument, it would be stupid on our end to use that very very limited data of a few hundred customers instead of other more specialized tools - like for example K-lytics - that are 100% built to provide the best niche research analysis possible.

Why would any logical person use data from only a handful of people to base ones business decisions, instead of thousands of data points of other dedicated tools, this is beyond me :)

Considering the fact that we delayed replying when this serious problem popped up, youre absolutely right. It took us a couple of days to understand what was going on and then we needed a couple more days to evaluate the whole situation and decide on what the best course of action is. In total, we replied with a 3-4 day delay which I agree is very bad, but it was the best we could at that point.

As far as our names are concerned. Again, we dont think one needs to know whos exactly built any business to trust the company. I think a stronger indicator would be the customers who have trusted us with their business analytics. But just to be 100% fair, all the people who have already joined our AKreport product development team on Facebook, know exactly who we are, because were very active there helping them on a frequent basis.

To close my short answer, were pleased to see that KDP analytics is such a vibrant place because it gives us a reliable indicator that theres a real need for what we love to develop.

Actually Ill take it a step further to tell you, that we love competition and we think competition is beneficial for all our customers because the more products there are out there (BookReport, ReaderLinks, etc.), the better the overall services provided to authors and publishers.

We also acknowledge and respect the effort fellow developers, and marketers are putting into building these products. Some are older some are newer, but we believe that all of us have a common goal in mind, help authors and publishers utilize their time more efficiently.

To us, time is the most valuable commodity because if you think about it, its the only one we cant buy. So every minuted saved from you and from us crunching meaningless numbers, is an extra minute doing things that will help your business grow larger, or an extra minuted spent with the ones we love.

Well stick around if you have any more questions we could address :)
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