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Birth of a LitRPG Chatbot

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Are chatbots useful for LitRPG authors? I say yes!

I played with creating a LitRPG chatbot last year, but I never followed through with the project, primarily set-up for the LitRPG Reads Facebook page. Recently, I’ve picked up a new way to build and deploy them with the Snatchbot service. There’s a free version available (that has their branding), or you can pay for removal of their branding and better live support for help with your bots. Either way, it’s a great way for authors to automate recommendations for readers, especially for writers in the overall “cyberpunk” or “Science-Fantasy” genres.

Chatbot Overlord circa 2072

Setting up a simple chatbot is super intuitive with Snatchbot, and deploying them to a website or Facebook page is equally simple. That said, there’s the ability to add quite a bit of sophistication to your chatbot using their tools. I’ve only just begun to explore all the possibilities when it comes to a LitRPG chatbot as an author and a publisher. (What is LitRPG?) Below, I’m going to go over how I set-up and implemented a simple bot here on LitRPG Reads, on my personal Paul Bellow author website, and also the LitRPG Reads Facebook Page.

LitRPG Chatbot on Facebook

Chatbot at the LitRPG Reads Facebook page.

The first chatbot, written specifically for Facebook, starts off simple, asking how the person is doing. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is used to determine whether the answer is positive, neutral, or negative. From there it branches into various paths that can be followed. This is just a small start for this particular LitRPG chatbot. I plan to make many improvements over the coming weeks, months, and even years.

The Paul Bellow Bot

Example of the start of the Paul Bellow author bot.

The next bot also starts with asking how the person is doing and branching according to the sentiment detected by the machine learning algorithm. One difference in this chatbot is that it’s geared more toward one author. In this case, it’s to recommend my books and interact with my fans. (Yes, Paul Bellow fans do exist! Small smile.) Anyway, I want to further improve this chatbot as well, including getting people to subscribe to my newsletter. The Snatchbot service allows for all sorts of interesting things when combined with services like Zapier and Integromat, both of which have free and paid tiers available. While still a simple author chatbot, I have big dreams for the Paul Bellow bot.

LitRPG Reads Website Bot

The chatbot here at LitRPG Reads…

Next up, I’ve begun a simple implementation of a chatbot for this website. You’ll notice a round “button” on the bottom right of all pages. Click it to begin interacting with this LitRPG bot. While currently similar to the other chatbots I’ve created recently, I have plans to make it recommend books from a wide range of LitRPG authors. This one has a lot of work to do, but it’s here for you to interact with in the meantime. Contact us if you have any ideas on how to make it better! We love hearing from the community.

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A LitRPG Forum Chatbot

I’ve not had a chance to even begin this bot yet, but I plan to do one for the original LitRPG Forum (retro on purpose!) I’ll likely get to it after finishing the other three chatbots I’ve started. Once you start building these things, it’s difficult to stop. With so many possibilities available, it’s easy to build something that works for you even when you’re asleep or not connected to the internet. In my opinion, services like Snatchbot are great because they make it intuitive and easy to construct simple and even complicated chatbots for free or a low monthly fee based on the traffic of your chatbot.

Stay tuned here at LitRPG Reads and subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop about everything coming up in 2020. This is the year LitRPG booms even more, and we’ll be here to bring it all to you whether it’s blog posts, a vlog, on social media, or via a chatbot. Long live LitRPG!

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