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This is a new app for authors made by some author friends of mine.

I am not invested in it in any way, and am not endorsing it per se, but I'm putting it out there for everyone to take a look at. They're in the initial stages so I'm sure they would not mind feedback.

https://thebooksniffermillion.com

Here's the blurb:

***

"Follow me on Amazon!" "Follow me on BookBub!" "Follow me on Facebook!" "Follow me on Twitter!" 😴👎😕🥵
Nah... just go here:

https://thebooksniffermillion.com

We authors spend way too much of our time harrying our fans to follow us on various platforms... and what do we get for it?

Can you reach out to them? Tell them when you have a book deal? Tell them when you've got a new release date coming up? Send them a cat video? Do you have *any* control at all over communicating with those followers? Nope. 😔 1,000 followers on a social media platform might maybe get you 10 or 20 likes when you post something. Maybe a handful of clicks. Maybe. So, all that hard work and marketing money you spend trying to get followers... are they really *your* followers, or are you just promoting someone else's platform for them? 🤬

So we try to get newsletter followers. Great. If we don't constantly prune our lists, we'll get maybe 10-20% open rates, if we're lucky. If it costs you a dollar in marketing to get a newsletter subscriber, and you send an email to 100 fans, 20 of them open your email, and 4 buy your books, you've just spent $100 to sell four books.
And we try to make up for it in volume 😂🤣🤨😭

Here's the thing... our fans are TIRED of email. Email open rates keep falling because everyone, their cousin, and their cousin's best friend's sister's dog all have a newsletter. It's not that your fans don't want to hear about your new book - they do! But good luck cutting through all the spam and clutter.
Enter BookSniffer.

You can directly MESSAGE ALL YOUR FOLLOWERS on BookSniffer. Once per month. All. Of. Them. Free. Forever. Send them what you want, when you want - whether it's a book deal or a cat video.

These messages come RIGHT to their BookSniffer app - at the time of day THEY indicate they want to get new book-related messages. The reader is in control of what they see, and when they see it. YOU are in control of what you send, and when you send it.

Free for you. Free for readers. No spam, no clutter, no noise.

Now check THIS out. Not only are we going to let you message your followers for free on BookSniffer... we are going to REWARD you for getting followers.
So, we have an announcement to make.

Ahem.
*taps mic*
Is this thing on?

BOOKSNIFFER IS GIVING AWAY ONE MILLION DOLLARS IN FREE ADVERTISING BUCKS TO AUTHORS FOR HELPING US REACH ONE MILLION READERS.

You heard that right. One. Million Dollars.
It's called The BookSniffer Million.
Here's how it works:

1. Claim your free author account at https://authors.booksniffer.com. Fill out your profile so we can make you a free fancy-schmancy author page, with links to all your social media profiles and books and such.

2. Give your fans your unique BookSniffer "follow me" link (it will be there in your dashboard once we verify your account). It will take them right inside the app, whether it's iOS or Android, to YOUR stuff so they can follow you with one click. If they don't yet have the app, they can download it on the spot.

3. THAT'S IT. You get credit for the number of followers you earn, and when we reach one million readers, we'll pass out the ad bucks based on your share of followers on the platform!

You'll be able to use those ad bucks for AMAZING in-app promotional opportunities, including genre-wide messaging blasts to gain MORE followers and sell MORE books.
So let's recap:

- You can message all your followers for free on BookSniffer.
- We actually REWARD you for getting followers.
- When we grow, YOU grow - free.

We've been building other people's platforms (for free) for long enough.

Let's build BookSniffer together.

Questions? Visit https:https://thebooksniffermillion.com or shoot us an email at [email protected] We're authors, too, and we're here to help.

Note: our app is only available in U.S. stores right now, but we're adding more countries soon. Please email us and let us know where YOU'D like to see the BookSniffer app.
 

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I like the idea but it won’t let me sign in unless I give it my password for google, facebook or twitter. I’m not too overjoyed with the prospect of sharing those and usually, where given the option - goodreads for example - I decline and use my email and password. This one gives me no option to decline so it’s already a pain in the arse because I have to contact them and ask why there isn’t a normal sign up option.

With regards to the search engine: It still has a lot of trouble differentiating between writers with the same name. I think I was the first McGuire to publish indie (2010) but more McGuires have started since then, two at least, way more successful than I am: Seanan and Jamie. This means my comedic science fiction fantasy books don’t appear under fantasy at all because Seanan’s do instead. They do appear under humour though, with some joke books. A partial success then.

The usual method I advise to get round the multiple McGuires problem is for my followers to enter the name of my series: K’Barthan. However, the search on Booksniffer has trouble with an apostrophe so if you do that you just get a lot of nekkid manchest/bikini clad female books in Spanish.

They’ve listed my first in series, which is cool but not the free short story ... or anything else, to be honest. Which is a bit less cool.

So I’ve emailed them ... I’ll be interested to see what they say.

Cheers

MTM
I am wide but the book they have listed from me is only listed on Amazon.

 

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So the Booksniffer team thinks all those millions of readers out there are going to happily install their app... a portal through which those readers can then get spammed with all the same social media junk they already get from all the current main players.

And somehow that's better than a direct connection to an author they like?


 

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Feedback: The first listing I saw under fantasy showed a book on sale from $4.99 to 99 cents. Problem is that price had last been updated at least a month ago. Other listings I saw the information had last been updated back in April. No way that's useful to anyone if a book happened to be on promo when they scrape the info from wherever they're scraping it. They need current pricing info on that site if they have any hope of readers or writers supporting it.
 

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M T McGuire said:
I like the idea but it won't let me sign in unless I give it my password for google, facebook or twitter. I'm not too overjoyed with the prospect of sharing those and usually, where given the option - goodreads for example - I decline and use my email and password. This one gives me no option to decline so it's already a pain in the arse because I have to contact them and ask why there isn't a normal sign up option.

With regards to the search engine: It still has a lot of trouble differentiating between writers with the same name. I think I was the first McGuire to publish indie (2010) but more McGuires have started since then, two at least, way more successful than I am: Seanan and Jamie. This means my comedic science fiction fantasy books don't appear under fantasy at all because Seanan's do instead. They do appear under humour though, with some joke books. A partial success then.

The usual method I advise to get round the multiple McGuires problem is for my followers to enter the name of my series: K'Barthan. However, the search on Booksniffer has trouble with an apostrophe so if you do that you just get a lot of nekkid manchest/bikini clad female books in Spanish.

They've listed my first in series, which is cool but not the free short story ... or anything else, to be honest. Which is a bit less cool.

So I've emailed them ... I'll be interested to see what they say.

Cheers

MTM
I am wide but the book they have listed from me is only listed on Amazon.
Hi MT. Thanks for the comments! I'll tackle 'em one by one:

The reason we require you to authenticate via a third party platform is for security, both for you and for our readers. For one, we don't get your password when you authenticate via Google, Facebook, or Twitter - their internal authentication systems handle it; that way, we never see or store a password for you anywhere. More importantly though, authors have the ability to message their fans in our app. We have to have a way to make sure we can authenticate a person's identity in case they abuse the system - for example, say someone signs up and pretends to be Stephen King with a fake email address. Then they send a bunch of abusive stuff to Stephen King fans. Having a third party authentication in the chain (which will be way more sophisticated out of the box than anything we can yet build) helps discourage that sort of thing, and also gives us a way to find the abuser through those partners.

If you sign up on the platform, you get a "follow me" link that takes your fans directly to *your* books in the platform, so you don't have to worry about the name search issue when directing your fans to follow you. Our search is getting smarter, by the way - we have a machine learning system that is crunching data as people search more and more on the platform, and as it learns what people are really looking for, it will improve over time.

Specifically with regards to the apostrophe issue - that one is on the list. Not to get too far into the weeds on it, but that's kind of like a whack-a-mole problem; we handle apostrophes one way, it breaks how something else works. We have some logic built to handle it, but it runs slow, so we're trying to speed it up before we roll it out. I expect that fix to be out soon.

We JUST built a new function to find books on other retailers besides Amazon, which will go through our library of the millions of books we have in the system to add those other retailer links. Last I heard from our dev team, that's in QA and just about ready to roll out, as early as tomorrow.

I hope all this is helpful - I was going to reply to your email but I figured I'd just reply here, so everyone can benefit from the response :D
 

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CassieL said:
Feedback: The first listing I saw under fantasy showed a book on sale from $4.99 to 99 cents. Problem is that price had last been updated at least a month ago. Other listings I saw the information had last been updated back in April. No way that's useful to anyone if a book happened to be on promo when they scrape the info from wherever they're scraping it. They need current pricing info on that site if they have any hope of readers or writers supporting it.
Thanks for the comment - where did you see that? I just checked the app and I only see deals from today in there. If it was on the desktop site, that could be wonky today - we're migrating the web experience to more closely align with the apps this week and we might be tied to old data during testing.
 

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Jeff Hughes said:
So the Booksniffer team thinks all those millions of readers out there are going to happily install their app... a portal through which those readers can then get spammed with all the same social media junk they already get from all the current main players.

And somehow that's better than a direct connection to an author they like?
Thanks for the comment Jeff. Think of it in comparison to something like BookBub. You could sign up for a bunch of newsletter sites like that, or just log in to our apps, and all those deals are in there already, sortable and searchable. And instead of signing up for 20 newsletters, you can follow an author on BookSniffer, and you'll get the stuff you want - new release notifications, deal notifications, and direct messages from the authors you follow, no more than once per month per author. If they like what an author puts out, they continue to follow them. If they don't like what an author put out, they can unfollow them. The reader is in control of what they see and don't see, and the author is in control of what they share with readers.

We also have a lot of really awesome features that improve on the library and sharing stuff you'd see on something like Goodreads.

Give it a try, play with it, see what you think. You might find you like it :) Here are links to the apps:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.booksniffer.bksapp

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/booksniffer/id1524983177
 

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SeanHinn said:
Thanks for the comment - where did you see that? I just checked the app and I only see deals from today in there. If it was on the desktop site, that could be wonky today - we're migrating the web experience to more closely align with the apps this week and we might be tied to old data during testing.
It was a link shared in a FB group that went to a desktop site.
 

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I would assume the monetization that will eventually take place will come through ads....by other authors.?

A couple of questions. The first being, my open rate is above 20 percent by quite a bit. Even if it was not, why is your open rate/notification going to be better? Any early data you can share that validates this?

How are you securing readers? And what is the projection for the next year of number of readers? At this point I see it as a way for an Author to send their readers your way.

Lastly. If I send out a notice through newsletters, social media etc, that basically says, Hey come over to booksniffer with me. Those that do follow are already engaged. Why have those fans that are responsive happy head somewhere else ? In other words you have not solved the problem of the non responsive fans/those that don't open emails etc.
 

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Trioxin 245 said:
I would assume the monetization that will eventually take place will come through ads....by other authors.?

A couple of questions. The first being, my open rate is above 20 percent by quite a bit. Even if it was not, why is your open rate/notification going to be better? Any early data you can share that validates this?

How are you securing readers? And what is the projection for the next year of number of readers? At this point I see it as a way for an Author to send their readers your way.

Lastly. If I send out a notice through newsletters, social media etc, that basically says, Hey come over to booksniffer with me. Those that do follow are already engaged. Why have those fans that are responsive happy head somewhere else ? In other words you have not solved the problem of the non responsive fans/those that don't open emails etc.
All fantastic questions. Thank you for these.

Open rate metrics on messaging run in the 80s and even 90s, and click rates run about 30-70%. Those are early metrics though, so I wouldn't tout them as gospel just yet.

I can't share specific projections with you for number of readers next year, as it's too early to predict this. I can tell you that we've got a very aggressive marketing plan to get users, and we're raising capital for this phase of our growth now. This past year has been all about getting the apps built and building our data and corporate infrastructure so we're properly positioned to do that. Now we're just getting into audience building.

I can tell you, for example, a major player in this space raised about $4 million dollars to build its audience in its first round, and another $7 million a few years later. That data could give you some idea of what our near-term future looks like. Not saying it that way to be cagey - there are very specific SEC rules we have to follow when it comes to talking about raising capital, and to talk about our marketing plan, we have to talk about capital. So I'm a bit stuck in what I can and can't say just yet.

The real advantage to getting everyone (authors and readers) on board to building BookSniffer is this - there's really only one BIG promo platform out there that does what we do, and they reject 80% of those who apply, even more. That's got to change, but there's the chicken/egg problem, of course. Can't sell promos without fans, and can't market without money. So, we're going after it in two ways: first, rewarding authors who help us build this thing with something that has real value - marketing dollars. We know not everyone will jump on board with us right now, and that's OK. But those who do - over 600 authors so far - will be well taken care of when we succeed. They'll be the first to be able to use our platform to reach more fans in their genres. The second prong is just buying advertising to tell the world we exist. If we capitalize the way we expect to, we'll spend millions in 2020 and 2021 on marketing alone to introduce readers to our apps.

The apps themselves are pretty cool, too. You can do things like share an entire library, or a section of a library, with someone. (on iOS right now; Android is about a week behind). That opens up some great doors for people - imagine if you could send a link to a fan that they could import your entire library into their TBR, and readers can share those links. Or a list of your favorite authors - think of the cross promos you could put together!

We also tear down all the walls that other sites have. Take a look at this profile, for example:

https://booksniffer.com/angela-j-ford/

Angela has all her social media links in there. Imagine if you could put all your SM links on your Amazon page, or on any other platform, for that matter. We're not trying to be a "walled garden" like the other platforms.

And it's just a better experience for readers. What do readers like to do? Browse deals. Follow authors. Build libraries. Share memes and quotes. Start book clubs. (That comes soon.) What they don't like to do is sign up for a gazillion newsletters, and with every newsletter a reader signs up for, it becomes that much harder for authors to cut through the clutter.

We know adoption will take time. We know we'll have to continually improve our platform to give readers and authors the stuff they want most. And we will.

And, not for nothing, we're going to do a great deal of good in the world as we succeed. We'll be donating 10% of our net mobile ad revenues to libraries, literacy programs, and classrooms.

When we started this, we had 100 reasons why we might fail. We're down to one: building our audience. Given all the obstacles we've knocked down so far to build this thing, I like our chances :D
 

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SeanHinn said:
OK got it, thank you! I'm seeing what you're seeing, I'll have this fixed in a jiffy :D
This is fixed. We're still doing a TON of updates this week on the website itself though, so bear with us please. We're trying to rebuild the website experience to mimic the app experience. Big project, as you might imagine!
 

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I started using BookSniffer as an author way back in the beginning. It was neat, but didn't do a whole lot - or so I thought. I've since gained a few dedicated readers that told me they found me via the BookSniffer app.

Now they've updated things and while there are still a couple of quirks to iron out - it's much better. I'm happy to add another tool to the arsenal an indie needs to stay in front of their readers.

T.K. Eldridge
https://tkeldridge.com
 

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Coupla snafus

iBooks is called Apple Books now. Most wide retailers have no author "pages" so I can only put in search result links.

No Google Play?

No webstore option?

No audio?

When putting my location, I can put in my country, but the "state" field only ever displays the states in the US.

ETA:

"Admaker": Facebook ads are now square by preference, I think 2064 x 2064 but check on that. The old measurements were 1200 x 628 pixels, not 1200 x 700
 

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SeanHinn said:
Hi MT. Thanks for the comments! I'll tackle 'em one by one:

The reason we require you to authenticate via a third party platform is for security, both for you and for our readers. For one, we don't get your password when you authenticate via Google, Facebook, or Twitter - their internal authentication systems handle it; that way, we never see or store a password for you anywhere. More importantly though, authors have the ability to message their fans in our app. We have to have a way to make sure we can authenticate a person's identity in case they abuse the system - for example, say someone signs up and pretends to be Stephen King with a fake email address. Then they send a bunch of abusive stuff to Stephen King fans. Having a third party authentication in the chain (which will be way more sophisticated out of the box than anything we can yet build) helps discourage that sort of thing, and also gives us a way to find the abuser through those partners.

If you sign up on the platform, you get a "follow me" link that takes your fans directly to *your* books in the platform, so you don't have to worry about the name search issue when directing your fans to follow you. Our search is getting smarter, by the way - we have a machine learning system that is crunching data as people search more and more on the platform, and as it learns what people are really looking for, it will improve over time.

Specifically with regards to the apostrophe issue - that one is on the list. Not to get too far into the weeds on it, but that's kind of like a whack-a-mole problem; we handle apostrophes one way, it breaks how something else works. We have some logic built to handle it, but it runs slow, so we're trying to speed it up before we roll it out. I expect that fix to be out soon.

We JUST built a new function to find books on other retailers besides Amazon, which will go through our library of the millions of books we have in the system to add those other retailer links. Last I heard from our dev team, that's in QA and just about ready to roll out, as early as tomorrow.

I hope all this is helpful - I was going to reply to your email but I figured I'd just reply here, so everyone can benefit from the response :D
Thanks, I very much appreciate your taking the time to answer that lot. The why new sites want me to use my log in to another site thing was especially useful knowledge. On the up to date nature of the info others have raised, my iPad is telling me stuff was last updated in May so I imagine there's a fair bit to do before it's running smoothly. Also as a member of the other 250million English speakers in the world, looking forward to the day it becomes non US centric; UK, RSA and Oceania would be brilliant. :)

That said, your enthusiasm and all round passion for this project is obvious. I operate on a very small scale so I doubt I'll be troubling the million advertising dollars thing and it may turn out that I lack the time to do it properly and my books are as lost in the noise on Booksniffer as they are everywhere else, but I'll experiment with it and see how it goes!

Best of luck with it anyway.

Cheers

MTM
 

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SeanHinn said:
The real advantage to getting everyone (authors and readers) on board to building BookSniffer is this - there's really only one BIG promo platform out there that does what we do, and they reject 80% of those who apply, even more. That's got to change, but there's the chicken/egg problem, of course.

What they don't like to do is sign up for a gazillion newsletters, and with every newsletter a reader signs up for, it becomes that much harder for authors to cut through the clutter.
Thanks for responding it is appreciated. First, I wanted to say I like what you guys are doing. There are a lot of features for the reader that I think is going to work. I still have reservations though.

Concerning BookBub, yes they reject 80 percent of submissions. Of course there is a variety of reasons but one of them is quality. Yes bad books happen to get through but there is a reason BB is at top of the mountain. Quality books and minimum selection of one or two good books a day per category. It takes away the reader having to endlessly search for a deal.

It sounds like more authors are going to get "exposure" on your site, at least if the 80 percent rejection quote above is implying that. If that's the case and far more authors will be seen, then the idea of readers not being bombarded with deals (NL etc) from different authors doesn't work? Maybe a better way of saying it is, if the 80 percent rejection will be improved on with sniffer, then how will that happen?

and from your own website,

"First, we scour the web every day for the best deals on ebooks and audiobooks, listing hundreds and hundreds of new deals each day. "

This seems to be a lot of clutter and we have not even talked about advertising yet.

So, to say all this in another way.

When we take away the customization for the reader , that is their own library shelf, meme sharing, messaging, we are left with them finding a deal on a particular day. So Jane Doe goes to Sci-FI category and sees x amount of deals. Its fun searching at first but how long before she gets burnt out and no longer goes past page one?
Tell me where I'm wrong but you have taken the simplification of curated deals and made it more complicated for the reader.
 

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Trioxin 245 said:
So, to say all this in another way.

When we take away the customization for the reader , that is their own library shelf, meme sharing, messaging, we are left with them finding a deal on a particular day. So Jane Doe goes to Sci-FI category and sees x amount of deals. Its fun searching at first but how long before she gets burnt out and no longer goes past page one?
Tell me where I'm wrong but you have taken the simplification of curated deals and made it more complicated for the reader.
I think we make it simpler, but we definitely want all the feedback we can get on how we could improve the interface. Let me show you what it looks like now, these screenshots are from the iOS app:



The first shot is the home screen. You click the "Shop for Deals" button (1), and you have two ways to view deals, either in a scrollable left-to-right list of books, or, by toggling the button on the top right (2 and 3 in this image) you can see all the deals in bookshelf view. Each of those shelves are scrollable, so if you're looking for, say a 99c book, you can just scroll left and right until you see one that catches your eye and then click it to either add it to your TBR, add it to your library, or see retailers where you can go buy the book.

We plan to have a "BookSniffer Deals" button in the future which will host our own curated deals if someone just wants to see deals from BookSniffer authors. We haven't sold promos yet, though, so for now, we just make everything we can find that's on sale available in the app, so folks don't have to sign up for multiple deals site emails.

How would you improve it? Would love your ideas!
 

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I really, really hate the name. It makes me cringe every time I see it.  :-[ :-X :-\ :'( :mad: :(

Was your site started by Carmelita Spats?  :p

  The site itself seems harmless and possibly interesting. If readers actually use it, it could be okay. I like that you can tick books as already read so that you aren't constantly bombarded by books you've read before. How about a "I'm not interested?" option, or a "don't show me this ever again!".
 

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K'Sennia Visitor said:
I really, really hate the name. It makes me cringe every time I see it. :-[ :-X :-\ :'( :mad: :(

Was your site started by Carmelita Spats? :p

The site itself seems harmless and possibly interesting. If readers actually use it, it could be okay. I like that you can tick books as already read so that you aren't constantly bombarded by books you've read before. How about a "I'm not interested?" option, or a "don't show me this ever again!".
Great idea, now on the list! Thank you.
 
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