Thursday, 27 December 2018

ZeBookFreeC - free, family-friendly eBook Collectibles store

Each eBook in the ZeBookFreeC store is family-friendly and free!

The first library room opened is dedicated to ebook collectibles of the artwork of big media brands. Think Marvel, Harry Potter, Olivia the Pig, Despicable Me, Supergirl and similar. There's also collectibles from well-known independent artists (like Sandra Boynton).
ebook collectibles of much-loved characters, superheroes and pop culture

If you have a Kindle, then the mobi download is for you. For every other ebook reader, such as iBook on iPad, the Nook reader and so on, you'll want the epub download.

Why collectibles?

The collectibles are designed to allow you to enjoy your favorites as well as to build up collections for posterity. Imagine that, in an online world of nothing but change, here's a way to capture them for the future.

Each features one artwork per page that's helpfully linked to its buy-me page at the official brand / artist merchandise store, in case you want to build a physical collection as well.

The collectibles each either contain the artwork on posters or on postcards (and sometimes wrapped canvas) but the stores allow you to transfer the artwork onto other merchandise, if that's what you want (Olivia the Pig lunchbox anyone?)

If you're a parent with young kids, you can spend some quality time with them, letting them swipe their way on a journey of their much-loved characters, and having a laugh and a giggle together remembering their escapades on the way.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Find out how to get an eBook "live catalog" of your Zazzle collections

Just added to the Nifty toolbox is a new marketing tool for your Zazzle designs - eBooks from Zazzle Collections! The service is called ZeBookFreeC and is now live!

So how will this benefit you?

  • You'll be able to reach a far wider audience than you reach currently. 
  • With an eBook on your tablet / mobile / Kindle (or other eBook readers) you're never without something to show people, if / when the right time crops up. 
  • ..even when there's no internet service!
  • Easy to upload and sell in Amazon's Kindle program - more on this below

More than that, each design's title is an active link to the repsective product page on Zazzle and, as usual with Nifty tools, all links have a referral id and tracking code in place. Those links aren't really for you, they're for others to use.

Huh??? How does that work?

For others to use the links, you could email them a copy of your eBook, but there's a much,  much better way designed into our eBooks. On the back page there's two convenient ways for them to use.

They can either point their mobile / tablet camera at the QRCode - most Android phones and all recent iPhones will automatically detect it and offer to open the online version of the catalog in your mobile/tablet's browser.

Or they can type in the short link directly into their browser's address bar.

Either way, they can now tap the product links and get taken to the respective product page on Zazzle, where they can go on to personalize and buy. So easy for them and when things are made easy for potential customers, more of them turn into actual customers.

A great way to bost your sales. And now they have it in their browser, it's easy for them to pass on to to others. Small steps on the way to big things for you, hopefully :)

This tool requires a few extra steps, so I have to charge for the service. You'll be able to get more details on the eBook tool's page, once it's been released. That's where you'll be able to order your eBook.

What is the point of uploading it for sale on Amazon's Kindle program?

It's all part of a cunning plan....
  • First off, if you price it as low as it can be priced, there are suprisingly many who would actually pay for having it on their Kindle etc. So you might earn a little that way (it all counts).
  • Secondly, you get the chance to design a great cover for your eBook, one you as an artist has full control over. And you can change the default title we gave it, too
  • Thirdly, with that great cover, when you share / pin your eBook from Amazon on social media, you get a great looking post / pin.
  • And more than that, anyone clicking your share / pin gets a chance on Amazon to "look inside" your eBook.
    If they do, the links are active and some visitors will no doubt click / tap and could end up buying.
Every aspect of this Nifty "eBook from Collection" tool has been designed to give you new opportunities, remove obstacles and smooth the way to convert interest into sales. So whether you're thinking about new online opportunites or real world ones, your eBook will meet the needs of both.

So what are you waiting for?



Be aware, I've checked with the Amazon Kindle review team and got clarity from them on this key point: they only accept eBooks where you are the exclusive copyright owner of the content.

It means you're fine with collections of your own designs but not with those of others.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Nifty improved - Yaay! Dependence on YQL removed!

✅ You might notice an improvement in using the Nifty Promo Control Panel, especially if using filters.

I'm happy to say that I've been able to remove the use of YQL in the Nifty Promo Control Panels and its tools.

The only exception is in two of the widgets, the (live) Product Grid and the Slideshow (which is also 'live'). The term 'live' means that the contents are pulled from Zazzle when a visitor lands on a page using them. The alternative used by the others is a static set of products, set in stone when you first make the widget.

My code was using a service called YQL to do the pulling from Zazzle and a drawback with YQL is that it has a 5 second timeout. I found the timeout was often kicking in when using filters or if Zazzle was being a little slow to respond to "pull requests".

I've now rewritten that part of the code, so YQL isn't being used anymore. It only took 4 days 🤪 to find out how and get it right! I really am a 🙇‍♂️ coding klutz, hehe!

Here's a screenshot of the control panel with settings to filter out products with christmas, chinese or wedding in titles, descriptions or tags, shown, with a search for new years (not in screenshot):
click / tap the image to try the filters as shown


🤓 geeky bit...

The reason the timeout was sometimes kicking in when using filters is that the code:
  • ⏳ does a pull
  • ⏳ removes products matching any of the filters
  • ⏳ repeats the above until the requested page size (of products) is obtained.
and has to complete within 5 seconds.

Of course, more 'pulls' are required if there are lots of products matching any of the filters - and if there's too many pulls, eventually the timeout kicks in.