Sunday, November 1, 2009

Audiobook-Heaven Site News Archive 2011

Clipart image of a folded newspaper
See also:
2010 Site News
2012 Site News


December 31, 2011
Some big news was announced today at Audiobook-Heaven! We put the word out that we will be offering free audiobook giveaways in each month of 2012. We’re really excited about this and hope that there is a lot of favourable interest from our readers. The first giveaway is coming up soon!

December 28, 2011
Okay, the 2011 Halo Awards published today which was very exciting because I worked pretty hard on it. Hope everyone enjoys it. Also, I added a star rating gadget today where readers can rate each audiobook I review from 1 to 5 stars. If it works out, I might be able to factor those ratings into next year’s Halo Award winners, instead of just picking my own favorites. We’ll see how it goes.

December 24, 2011
I’ve spent the entire week working hard on this year’s Halo Awards and I’m happy to report that it’s finished and ready to be published sometime during the last week of December.

December 13, 2011
Today, someone contacted me out of the clear blue sky to inquire about buying some of my audiobook reviews. This person is starting up a new audiobook site and asked if I would be interested in providing some reviews for it for a fee. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me and we are currently negotiating the details. More on this later!

December 11, 2011
Still not much progress on the audio excerpts for my reviews. It doesn’t look like I can host the mp3’s at Skydrive and will have to put them somewhere else.
In the meantime, I’ve been playing around with a horizontal navigation menu for Audiobook-Heaven, to be placed just under the header/logo. I have the beginning of a menu up as of now and it seems to be working correctly. It will take a little more work to get the menu looking the way I want it.
Even though I’m supposed to be on vacation, I have started listening to a couple of new books. They’re Christmas audiobooks so I kind of needed to listen to them before Christmas (duh!). Anyway, I have some really good ones planned and can’t wait to get them out there.

December 8, 2011
Well, I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few weeks tweaking Audiobook-Heaven and I really like the way the site looks. I’ve also spent a lot of time looking around for new gadgets and have found some that I really like. My favorite is the Flag Counter gadget, and I also like the Random Title Gadget a lot. In addition, I’ve been tweaking my review template which is in a Microsoft Word document, just making it look a little nicer. The addition of cover images to my reviews has really added a lot I think. Now I am looking into the possibility of adding excerpts for the readers to listen to. I spent most of yesterday messing around with that and it looks like that will be a challenge so I hope I can get it to work.

November 14, 2011
I spent the last week sprucing up the site and I think I’ve finally come up with a look that I can live with. I chose a new blogger template, designed a new title banner, and made a few changes to my own review template to make it look a little nicer, including the addition of book cover images. I’m still working on those images actually, trying to figure out where to store them. I have a Windows Skydrive account, but I don’t seem to be able to link to photos there. Still working on that, but the site is looking great!

November 6, 2011
I am officially on vacation now and for the rest of the year. I still have plenty of new audiobook reviews to post so the content will keep coming, but I won’t be listening to any new books until January. I’ll be using this time to listen to some old favorites, and to do some renovations on Audiobook Heaven. I’m looking into possibly adding cover art images to my reviews, and also checking out some different templates and layouts. Now that I can see again, I want Audiobook Heaven to be functional and look good!

August 31, 2011
Another landmark for Audiobook Heaven! Today I posted my exclusive interview with KC Wayland, creator and writer of We’re Alive. It’s the first time I ever interviewed someone, and it was a lot of fun.

August 29, 2011
It was a record breaking day for Audiobook Heaven. Stat Counter reported 282 hits today, shattering the old record of 128. It’s all because of my review for KC Wayland’s We’re Alive, which got Audiobook Heaven a mention on the Zombie Podcast Facebook page. View the thread here.

July 29, 2011
Today, Audiobook Heaven published its 200th audiobook review! 200 audiobook reviews in just under 2 years, and we’ve loved every minute of it. We’re really looking forward to the next 200 audiobooks!

July 11, 2011
I have made two or three attempts to get in touch with Listen and Live Audio for review copies, and today they agreed to let me request audiobooks from them.

June 26, 2011
This evening I tried to access audio-books online, the site that has been stealing my reviews, and I got an error 403 Forbidden. I’m hoping that means Host Gator has shut the site down. According to the information they sent me, this is not necessarily permanent. The owner of the site will have a chance to respond to the claim, and the site could be reinstated.

June 25, 2011
Today I filed a DMCA Notification online at HostGator. This is a formal complaint to them about my content that is being stolen.

June 24, 2011
Today, Audiobook-Heaven hit #11 in the Google listings in a search for “audiobook reviews.” That’s a new record for Audiobook-Heaven and I’m very excited about that!
Later: I checked my feed today to make sure it was a summary, and it looked okay.

June 23, 2011
I’ve been looking around at the settings at FeedBurner to see if there’s any way I can stop people from re-posting it illegally, but didn’t really come up with much. It’s hard to tell because FeedBurner is so difficult to navigate. I did change it so that my feed will only be a summary instead of the full text. I should have had it that way anyway, but never gave it much thought.

June 22, 2011
Updates on the copyright infringement case. I’ve had no responses to any of my emails to anybody. I dug a little further and found that the offending site is hosted by HostGator, not WordPress, so I sent an inquiry to HostGator to let them know what was going on. They responded quickly, with a very long description of the steps I can take to pursue this matter legally. I forwarded that email to the owner of the offending site, with a note explaining that I am willing to pursue this. I also sent one more email to each of the other people he’s been stealing from to see if they are willing to act.

June 21, 2011
I have been noticing for a few days now that my hits have been climbing a little bit again. I did a Google search for “audiobook reviews” and Audiobook-Heaven is back up to number 26.
Later: still no response from audio-books online. I assumed this person was stealing content from others as well, and a quick google search confirmed this. This evening, I contacted three other people that he has stolen from to let them know what’s going on.

June 20, 2011
No response from the person who stol my reviews. I have, so far, found 14 of my reviews on this site. I believe this is a Word Press blog, so today I sent a message to Word Press support, asking them to confirm that it’s one of theirs. As soon as they confirm, I’ll file a formal complaint.
Later: I found an online tool that can look up the registration information for any web page. I looked up Audio-Books Online, the one that stole my reviews, and it gave me his name, address, phone number, and email address. This evening I sent him an email asking him to remove my reviews from his site.

June 17, 2011
I discovered today that someone stole my review for Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes and posted it on their own site. I got suspicious because Matterhorn was my most popular review one day, and the next day it dropped clean off the top ten list. A quick Google search turned up an exact duplicate of my review with the exception of a few words that had been changed here and there. After a little more searching, I found about a dozen more of my reviews on this site. It looks like they tapped into my RSS feed and everything I post is automatically going up on their site. I left a comment on each review I found asking them to remove it. We’ll see what happens.

June 15, 2011
Over the last couple of weeks, I made contact with two major audiobook publishers. Last week Simon & Schuster Audio agreed to send me review copies, and in fact I have already received one from them. And just this week, Brilliance Audio finally gave in to my relentless emails and put me on their mailing list. I requested a book the other day and they said they would mail it out next week.

June 6, 2011
I am still reaching out to various audiobook publishers on a semi-regular basis. Today I got positive responses from two of them, Simon & Schuster Audio, and a new one I just came across, Naxos Audio.

May 30, 2011
I read something the other day about Blogger comment titles creating some duplicate entry issues with search engines. The article supplied some html code to address the issue so I tried it out today. Don’t know what effect it’s having, if any, but it isn’t causing any harm that I can see either.

May 29, 2011
Today I added conditional data tags into the html code of the blog to avoid duplicate description tags on blog pages.

May 28, 2011
I finally noticed a surge in the hits. Yesterday Audiobook-Heaven got 31 hits, as opposed to the 4 or 5 we’ve been getting for the past two months. It’s too soon to tell, but I hope this means things are returning to normal. Also, today I submitted Audiobook-Heaven to the Open Directory Project. I read somewhere that inclusion in the ODP can give you a more favorable ranking in Google and other search engines.
Learn more about the Open Directory Project here.

May 27, 2011
One of the things I read recently about search engine optimization, said that search engines like Google place a lot of importance on your hyperlinks. It went on to suggest that you should try to use your primary keywords in your links. I started doing that this week, slightly altering the text of my links to include my primary keyword, “audiobook reviews.”

May 23, 2011
At the beginning of May I moved all of my search pages and site news pages offsite, in an attempt to learn if they were causing my problems with Google. In light of the fact that my Google ranking did not improve, and of yesterday’s discovery, I moved them all back onsite today. I’m glad to have them back home, I never really liked having them separated like that.

May 22, 2011
I’ve been digging into my Google ranking problem a little more deeply and found something interesting today. It was the end of March when I began having the formatting problem that a lot of other bloggers were having. At first, I thought maybe one of my settings had gotten screwed up, so one solution I tried was creating a new blog from scratch and importing all of my content from Audiobook Heaven, effectively creating a duplicate blog. That didn’t help obviously, and I just left the duplicate there, not really thinking much about it. That was on March 31, and Audiobook Heaven dropped out of Google 9 days later. Today I read a thread from the Google help forum which confirmed that having a duplicate, or mirror, site can get you banned from Google. I deleted the dupe today and will be keeping an eye out to see if that helps. I have high hopes that it will.

May 19, 2011
Well, I didn’t have any takers on the guestbook, except for my girlfriend, so I decided to remove it. It looks kinda dumb sitting out there with no one signing it.

May 13, 2011
Blogger has been down for maintenance last evening on into this afternoon. The status page said they were working on an issue some blogs were having with the Popular Posts gadget. I have that gadget, but didn’t notice any problem with it.

May 7, 2011
I’ve been thinking about that search page issue and decided to try something. Today, I moved the search pages offsite. I created a new blog, identical to Audiobook-Heaven only without the content. On this new blog, I posted my search pages and linked to them over there. If the goofy search pages are causing Google to overlook Audiobook-Heaven, that should take care of it since the search pages are no longer at Audiobook-Heaven. Since I was messing with them anyway, I went ahead and expanded the search pages, dividing the alphabet into four parts, where I only had three before. We’ll see what happens. I may move the site news and other non-review posts over there as well.

May 5, 2011
Something is seriously messed up with blogger. Since the beginning of April, I and a lot of other bloggers have been having formatting issues with our posts. At about the same time that started, my hits began dropping off pretty dramatically. In March, Audiobook-Heaven averaged more than sixty hits per day, and for April the average was about twenty. My hits have dropped off no doubt because Audiobook-Heaven is no longer showing in Google when you search for “audiobook reviews.” It’s just gone. I’m starting to wonder if it has something to do with my search pages, the way I have to blank them out every time and paste the whole thing in again every time I update them. I have no idea why that would cause a problem, but the two things started at about the same time. Curious.

May 2, 2011
For the last week or two I’ve been trying to get Macmillan Audio to send me some review copies since they have a lot of audiobooks that I would like to read, but so far no dice.

May 1, 2011
I’ve been feeling a little burned out lately, so I’m only going to post two reviews per week this month. I’ve been doing three reviews every week since December and I’m ready for a little break.

April 29, 2011
I was reading a forum thread in the blogger help area about this posting problem. Apparently a lot of people are having the same problem. The thread said that the problem was fixed, but it’s still not working for me. I’m still having to do my editing in Word.

April 13, 2011
Tieing up another thread. In February I reported that I would be reviewing some audiobooks for a publisher called Graphic Audio. They sent me one book and I reviewed it, but I guess they didn’t like my review. I told them I would be glad to do more, but they never responded.

April 11, 2011
Tieing up more threads. In February I reported that I would be reviewing an audiobook by Chris Wade since he contacted me and asked if I would. I started the book and had to decline, it wasn’t the kind of book I like.

April 10, 2011
I was looking back over the site news and see that I left some threads dangling out there, so let’s tie a few of them up, shall we? A while back, I reported that Hachette Book Group agreed to send me some review copies. Well, they never did. I’m not going to press them on it, I’m getting plenty of copies from other publishers to keep me busy.

April 7, 2011
The problem with the blogger platform persists. Through some trial and error, I’ve discovered that my posts come out okay as long as I always stay in “edit html” mode and never switch to “compose” mode. For posts that I frequently go back to for updates, like the search pages and site news, I have to do all the editing in a Microsoft Word document, then completely blank out the whole post and paste it in each time. It’s kind of a pain with the extra steps and all, but it’s working so that’s what I’ll do.

April 4, 2011
Okay, the search pages are all fixed up (I hope) and should be okay now. The work actually went a lot faster than I thought it would. Also this weekend I got signed up at Audiobook Community. It's a social networking site, similar to Facebook, where people who are interested in audiobooks can gather. I've already seen a couple of narrators over there. Today I started posting previews and links to the audiobook reviews here at Audiobook-Heaven.

April 1, 2011
Early this week, something changed in the Blogger platform. I don't know what it was, but it's causing some serious formatting issues, particularly in posts that I have to go back and update, like the search pages, and this site news page. I'm working on it, but the pages I mentioned above are going to look messed up for a few days. Sorry for the temporary inconvenience.

March 27, 2011
I added a Guestbook to the site today. Sites used to have those all the time, but it seems like you don't see them much anymore. Anyway, Audiobook-Heaven has one now, so I hope lots of people will sign it!

February 24, 2011
Yesterday, I learned of a new audiobook publisher called Graphic Audio. Graphic Audio doesn't do ordinary audiobooks, they create full cast audio productions of comic graphic novels. This excited me a great deal since I used to be a big fan of comic books before I went blind. I contacted them and they responded today, saying they would send me a couple of books to review. I didn't get to pick the books, but I'm still pretty excited about this and I can't wait to get them.

February 8, 2011
Today, author Chris Wade emailed me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing the audio of his book, Cutey and the SofaGuard. I never heard of the book, or Chris Wade, but I'll take any audiobook that anybody wants to send me. Look for the audiobook review sometime in March.

February 7, 2011
I received a shipment of audiobooks from Blackstone today, six in all. Also today, another publisher agreed to send me some audiobooks to review. AudioGo, formerly BBC Audiobooks America responded to one of my inquiries. I put in a request for five audiobooks from them so I'll be looking forward to getting those.

January 26, 2011
A while back I reported that I had reached #50 in Google in searches for "audiobook reviews." Audiobook-Heaven has been steadily climbing since then, and today reached #25.

January 25, 2011
Another audiobook publisher contacted me today! John Goodwin of Galaxy Press emailed me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing some of their titles. Galaxy Press is working on a tremendous L Ron Hubbard project, putting his older works on audio. You can learn more about this exciting project at http://www.goldenagestories.com/, and you can check out Galaxy Press at http://www.galaxypress.com/.

January 16, 2011
Today I posted the first of three narrator lists, so that now the audiobook reviews can be searched by narrator. The remaining two lists will post on Tuesday the 18th, and Thursday the 20th.

January 15, 2011
I rolled out a new feature today called Saturday Matinee. This will be reviews for some of the DVS movies I listen to.

January 11, 2011
Today a publisher actually came to me and asked me to review some audiobooks for them. Last Word Audiois a brand new publisher; their first book published last August. I love getting in on the ground floor of things, and I was pretty stoked that when they went looking for a reviewer, they found me. Look for a couple of reviews for Last Word Audio in the coming weeks.

January 10, 2011
I've finally made contact with another publisher! Hachette Book Group responded to one of my inquiries and said they would be willing to send me some audiobooks to review. Last Friday I selected three books, and today they emailed me back and said they would send them. I can't wait until they get here!

January 9, 2011
The Table of Contents page has been noticeably slow to load lately. Not surprising since there are currently 120 audiobook reviews at Audiobook-Heaven now. The problem will only get worse over time, so this weekend I split the TOC into three separate pages, Authors A-H, Authors I-P, and Authors Q-Z. It's all up and working as of right now, and the links have been updated in the Site Navigation widget.

January 1, 2011
The early January edition of SF Site is out, and I'm pleased to report that another of my audiobook reviews made the cut. Take a look at "Echo" by Jack McDevitt.


Clipart image of a folded newspaper
See also:
2010 Site News
2012 Site News

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