Author Topic: FreeBookService (FBS) Update ,  (Read 70102 times)  

Online Patty Jansen

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #225 on: December 03, 2013, 08:48:14 PM »
I dunno about you, but this is totally the most educative thread on the KB right now

*passes popcorn*

Offline Deanna Chase

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #226 on: December 03, 2013, 08:49:44 PM »


Or I could TOTALLY be wrong.  If this is how they are doing it, then the ethics are completely different than a bot farm.


Maybe not quite the same level as a bot farm, but I'd still say it's shady. It's essentially paying people to download your book who probably have zero interest in it. Not that different than paying for reviews in my eyes. Or buying your way onto a bestseller list.

Offline Crime fighters

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #227 on: December 03, 2013, 08:57:18 PM »

Or I could TOTALLY be wrong.  If this is how they are doing it, then the ethics are completely different than a bot farm.


The only problem I'm seeing her is profit. For the silver package they could only spend 3 cent's a book (and that's stopping at 2500 books. Some of the test runs on here were far outpacing the guaranteed levels. Some of that is probably attributed to the higher rank that was achieved through the mass downloads). That number is also not accounting for profit. I worked for about an hour on clickworker once (I was broke) and I don't think anything paid under four cents when I was there.

Additionally, these sort of jobs didn't really fly off the shelf. So I think it would be difficult to hit 10,000 that way in a short period of time (18,000 in some of the members cases). You could be right and I wouldn't be surprised if you were, but I'm still going with bots. Either way the dishonesty is far worse than the "crime". I think it's very apparent at this point that there is no list.

I think both a bot farm or paying for downloads are both reprehensible. It now makes sense to me when he said he didn't want his competitors to know about his methods, because his competitor is the system he is trying to game. The system that will hopefully shut him down.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 08:59:04 PM by K.B. Parker »

Offline Kat Lilynette

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #228 on: December 03, 2013, 09:04:58 PM »
The only problem I'm seeing her is profit. For the silver package they could only spend 3 cent's a book (and that's stopping at 2500 books. Some of the test runs on here were far outpacing the guaranteed levels. Some of that is probably attributed to the higher rank that was achieved through the mass downloads). That number is also not accounting for profit. I worked for about an hour on clickworker once (I was broke) and I don't think anything paid under four cents when I was there.

Additionally, these sort of jobs didn't really fly off the shelf. So I think it would be difficult to hit 10,000 that way in a short period of time (18,000 in some of the members cases). You could be right and I wouldn't be surprised if you were, but I'm still going with bots. Either way the dishonesty is far worse than the "crime". I think it's very apparent at this point that there is no list.

I think both a bot farm or paying for downloads are both reprehensible. It now makes sense to me when he said he didn't want his competitors to know about his methods, because his competitor is the system he is trying to game. The system that will hopefully shut him down.

Take buying Facebook Likes for example, back when this was a new thing, it wasn't uncommon to find hundreds of people who could sell you 1000 likes on fiverr.com for $5 or cheaper on other sites. If you wanted them, you could find them. All of them selling likes from fake, duplicate or hacked accounts to reach that 1000.

What the Warrior Forum Special Offer guys would do, is find 20+ of these offers that delivered through trial and error. Then, resell the package as a one time deal of say 20,000 likes for $199. None of the little guys on their own could produce this number, but combined... Just being the middle man in this equation gets you $99ish in profit per transaction. CPA botting probably works in a similar way. Whether that's the method he's using or not, who knows.

But it seems clear that something shady (not legitimate downloads, something Amazon would probably be p'd off about) is more likely to be happening than this guy having a hugely popular free book recommendation service that no one can sign up for, and that no one's heard of.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 09:06:52 PM by Kat Lilynette »

Offline Estelle Ryan

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #229 on: December 03, 2013, 09:08:46 PM »
It's just taken me 40 minutes to catch up on the 4 pages I missed while away from my computer. Here is the latest screenshot:



I had a Bookbub ad two weeks ago with fabulous results (as usual). I will be comparing the sell-through rates of this promo with those. If the almost 17,000 downloads were from real people and not bots or fake accounts or download-elves, I should see similar results percentage-wise. If the first 10,000 downloads weren't 'real', the percentages will show that my sales came from 7,000 readers, not 17,000. Or I will have 17,000 downloads' results. That is the info I'm interested in and that's what I'll report back.

How do I feel about this? Terrified! My integrity is the most important thing I have in this business and in life. I can only hope this won't come back and bite me in the whoopsie. Reading through the 4 pages now made me realise a few things. One of those is the impossible situation Freebookservice is in, especially if they have a business model they decided to not share. If they are ligit, they are walking through fire at the moment to prove it. If they are not ligit, the fire will burn their bots and download-elves. I'm still sceptical and will not recommend this service - not yet, not while I'm only convinced of the wonderful downloads. But I am willing to wait it out, analyse the results and then make up my mind. As all of you, I have my doubts, but I'm so very, very careful to make a firm decision about something or someone when it is based on speculation and I lack credible evidence. Time will tell...

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Offline Romi

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #230 on: December 03, 2013, 09:10:27 PM »
I dunno about you, but this is totally the most educative thread on the KB right now

*passes popcorn*

I myself went through half a Dairy Milk bar (family size) while reading this entire thread.  :o

I'm so glad Kindleboards exists to help us all make informed decisions.

As for me, I don't want bots or "humans trying to earn survey rewards by downloading my book" to download my permafree book, I want humans on the lookout for books to download it, with the hope that one day--I know TBR piles can be big--the words I wrote will get read and connect with these human readers (why I write), which will hopefully lead to other not-free words being read, so I can make enough money to find the time to make more words, which will also hopefully get read one day. Climbing the charts WITHOUT all of that connecting with humans," or with only a small halo effect of "connecting with humans" after all the non-connecting drone-like ""buy now" button pushes for an incentive" means nothing to me.

Now if you'll excuse me, there are many squares of recently-consumed Dairy Milk that need to settle into my body as I sleep (conversion rate of calories to fat: 100%; now that's a number you can trust!!)


« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 09:14:07 PM by Romi »

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Offline Boyd

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« Reply #231 on: December 03, 2013, 09:17:20 PM »
Someone like Ann?  What about me? :(

Bear in mind that neither Ann nor I have any way of verifying that a list of emails are legitimate emails or that they are in fact the emails that are used in the service.

Betsy

we'd never forget you Betsy!

Offline dalya

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #232 on: December 03, 2013, 09:18:22 PM »
If someone wanted to see the free books come off of Amazon, these services that eat up their bandwidth and create small niche businesses ... um ... seem to be a decent-sized straw on the camel's back ...

The only thing that shocks me is that these services haven't been more prevalent.

Offline cinisajoy

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #233 on: December 03, 2013, 09:20:05 PM »
A  quickie search turned up nothing on Thomas Glenn and William Eloines or Thomas & William.   Absolutely nothing about books or promotions or anything.  
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,216185.msg3013849.html#new

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Offline Michael J. Scott

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #234 on: December 03, 2013, 09:22:44 PM »
Gasp. Ten pages in and I still don't know what to think!  :o I'm hoping this is legit, if only because it creates an alternative to BB, but all that skepticism makes me dizzy. I'm waiting to see how things turn out for those that have tried it.

Then again, I'm not doing any KDP promoting until January, so I've got time to assess.
         

Offline OJ Connell

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #235 on: December 03, 2013, 09:23:30 PM »
So, taking Emily's results and my own, it seems pretty clear to me that interested people (if they're people at all) ain't downloading these things until they get high up in the charts. The sell-through (especially on other permafree titles) would've been higher. I mean, they'd have to be at least a bit higher than they are. But only now that my titles have reached the top 100 free list have I seen even the slightest trickle of attention to my other books. Damn strange for a list of allegedly interested readers. Certainly doesn't act like any other list that's ever featured my book, that's for sure.

Coupled with all of the lovely dirt that's been dug up in this thread, I'm pretty confident this is a scam. A fairly elaborate one that kept a lot of us guessing and capitalized on my optimism. I was really, really hoping that this was the real deal. A legit competitor to Bookbub would be a godsend, but then, Bookbub only works because they have droves of real, interested readers. Any successes we've had so far, or will have in the days to come, will likely be minimal and will be attributed almost 100% to the real readers who stumbled on the books after they climbed into the top 100. As promised, this service gave us a crap ton of downloads and sent the books pretty high in the list. But from a marketing perspective, that's pretty worthless and totally misses the point. Shame that selling books isn't just a numbers game.

If I were you, I'd consider looking into a refund, Emily.

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #236 on: December 03, 2013, 09:30:30 PM »
How do I feel about this? Terrified! My integrity is the most important thing I have in this business and in life. I can only hope this won't come back and bite me in the whoopsie. Reading through the 4 pages now made me realise a few things. One of those is the impossible situation Freebookservice is in, especially if they have a business model they decided to not share. If they are ligit, they are walking through fire at the moment to prove it. If they are not ligit, the fire will burn their bots and download-elves. I'm still sceptical and will not recommend this service - not yet, not while I'm only convinced of the wonderful downloads. But I am willing to wait it out, analyse the results and then make up my mind. As all of you, I have my doubts, but I'm so very, very careful to make a firm decision about something or someone when it is based on speculation and I lack credible evidence. Time will tell...

Thanks for keeping up posted, Estelle. How serendipitous that you have a recent BB promo, for comparison purposes.

I don't think you should worry about your integrity. You and Monique and OJ had none of this info when you signed up, and now you're the ones helping KB figure out what's going on here. If you guys hadn't taken this offer and posted your results, we'd all know a lot less going forward.

Offline cinisajoy

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #237 on: December 03, 2013, 09:34:09 PM »
I am going to give freebooks the benefit of the doubt and say he may have misunderstood some of us.
No one is wanting to see your mailing list but there are several here that would love to be on your mailing list for the free books.   Do you see the difference?  
Sorry I am late to the party but I actually read the thread before posting.

Hi!  I am cin, queen of the free download and on every free book e-mail list I can find.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,216185.msg3013849.html#new

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Offline Estelle Ryan

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #238 on: December 03, 2013, 09:39:45 PM »
Thanks for keeping up posted, Estelle. How serendipitous that you have a recent BB promo, for comparison purposes.

I don't think you should worry about your integrity. You and Monique and OJ had none of this info when you signed up, and now you're the ones helping KB figure out what's going on here. If you guys hadn't taken this offer and posted your results, we'd all know a lot less going forward.

 :-*

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Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #239 on: December 03, 2013, 09:45:28 PM »
To: freebookservice:

First a question: We specify a "preferred" start date for the promotion of our submission. How do we know what date you actually start promotions?

Now some comments: Batting some numbers around, assuming Free Book Service does no real email promotion at all but uses recruited downloaders as has been suggested several times:

Author pays $229 for 10,000 downloads. That's $.023 per download.
If freebookservice pays 10,000 surrogate readers to download, they can't pay much more than a penny per book.

For the downloaders to make any money, say, ten bucks, they'd need about a thousand books to download. Not to mention an amazon account set up to deliver to a registered kindle device or app. With a name, email and  shipping addresses, and phone number. (You can't setup an amazon account without them.)

The effort itself would be minimal. From a list of URL links provided by freebookservice, it's only two clicks: URL->Buyit Now with One Click. So maybe they can do more than 1,000 downloads in a shift, but freebookservice would need that many books signed up every shift to make it work. Right now as they try to grow, they probably have a lot fewer than that. So the bot thing sounds more likely.

Why not let readers subscribe? Because, by using a bot and a database of sock puppet accounts and book URLs, they don't have to send out promo emails. That's the only reasonable explanation I can think of. Might not be the only one, but freebookservice is not being forthcoming with anything like a reasonable explanation. I'm not sure why he didn't see that one coming. I'd love to be a fly on the wall if he proposed this service on AW. Maybe he did; I haven't been there in a while.

This is all speculation, of course. But to believe that there is a 700,000 entry mailing list available to a service we only just heard about and that no one is allowed to join the list beggars the imagination.

Now, consider this.

These kinds of strategies and others tend to work at first when they are new and when not a lot of authors are trying them. Then, when the pioneers report good things, others climb aboard. Eventually it stops working because everybody's on the wagon, and there aren't that many buyers to go around.

There are exceptions. BookBub still works because they vet submissions and reject many of them. (And I don't think they make their mailing list available either.)

But the tagline to this story is: If authors are adventurous and want to wade into the first wave, do it soon. Because there's a chance that it will fizzle after it's run its course.

I decided to give it a try eyes wide open, the point being to bump the ratings and maybe even get some reviews. I'll let the board know.

To freebookservice I would add: If you are serious about this being a going concern, you need to do the following:

  • Redo the website. That's already been suggested.
  • Use an email that is not somebody's private gmail or Hotmail address. submissions@freebookservice.com or something like that.
  • Get a company paypal account under a company email address.
  • Don't collect the money without having already provided the submission guidelines.
  • Put a submission form on your website instead of a format of entries for an author-composed email message.
  • Lose the affiliation with Kindle Dominance and other entities that should have nothing to do with your service.
You need to do all those things because right now it looks like you live in Nigeria and are telling me I've inherited 10,000 downloads from the exiled shah, and which you are holding in escrow.


« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 10:06:58 PM by Al Stevens »

Offline Crime fighters

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #240 on: December 03, 2013, 10:00:29 PM »
. I'm not sure why he didn't see that one coming. I'd love to be a fly on the wall if he proposed this service on AW. Maybe he did; I haven't been there in a while.


I.
Can't.
Imagine.

Offline OJ Connell

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #241 on: December 03, 2013, 10:03:56 PM »
I'd love to be a fly on the wall if he proposed this service on AW. Maybe he did; I haven't been there in a while.

I laughed so hard at the thought of this that I choked on my coffee. That'd be a sight to see.

Quote
I decided to give it a try eyes wide open, the point being to bump the ratings and maybe even get some reviews. I'll let the board know.
So, wait. You're paying to give this service a go, Al?

Offline Crime fighters

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #242 on: December 03, 2013, 10:05:36 PM »
So, wait. You're paying to give this service a go, Al?

Now I'm spitting out my coffee! I didn't catch that on the first read through.

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #243 on: December 03, 2013, 10:12:27 PM »
So, wait. You're paying to give this service a go, Al?
I did. It's a gamble that the leading edge will pay off not necessarily in dollars but in exposure. And call it a bit of research that I paid a relatively small amount for. (I've started and shut down two different books about self-publishing.)

Offline OJ Connell

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #244 on: December 03, 2013, 10:31:30 PM »
Well, I wish you all the best with it, Al. Will be curious to hear about how it goes for you.

I'm nearly to 15,500 downloads at the moment. Seems the reporting is more regular now for my paid books. I've sold 10 in the last 24 hours. A respectable sum for a small fry like me. Especially when you consider that the first 10,000+ downloads might have been worthless. Whether more will trickle in is hard to say. Dunno what to make of this, either, but after being ousted pretty hard from the top 20 on the free list, I seem to have entered a more stable ranking. I was at #29 a while ago and slipped to #30 just now. A much more gradual decline than I experienced earlier. Monique's not far behind me, and Estelle seems to be holding up around the mid-20's.


Offline David Adams

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #245 on: December 03, 2013, 10:40:15 PM »

There are exceptions. BookBub still works because they vet submissions and reject many of them. (And I don't think they make their mailing list available either.)

If you go to Bookbub.com, signing up is the very first massive thing you see.

My main concern about this is that it will almost certainly destroy your also-boughts. I wouldn't be surprised that anyone who got 10,000 downloads on non-targeted buys ends up with some very strange also-boughts. That might be a case of short term gain, long term loss.

Not everything is ranking.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 10:42:34 PM by David Adams »
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Offline Mark E. Cooper

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #246 on: December 03, 2013, 11:23:02 PM »
If you go to Bookbub.com, signing up is the very first massive thing you see.

My main concern about this is that it will almost certainly destroy your also-boughts. I wouldn't be surprised that anyone who got 10,000 downloads on non-targeted buys ends up with some very strange also-boughts. That might be a case of short term gain, long term loss.

Not everything is ranking.

I don't think free books appear on the normal paid also boughts any more. The great zon made a change recently.

Offline Crime fighters

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #247 on: December 03, 2013, 11:25:45 PM »
I thought that was just permafree?

Offline Philip Gibson

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #248 on: December 04, 2013, 12:41:15 AM »
Well, this is all so interesting.

What a drama!

Makes me feel justified, as I have, in writing a series of historical books composed entirely of imaginary feeds from Social Media. This feed/thread itself could make a good book if it ends in some kind of dramatic conclusion.

Which it well may.

Personally, I think that aggressive, cunning marketing is tantamount to cheating.

But that's probably a British thing and likely daft and unworldly to consider.


What if there had been social media during important historical events?
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Offline Mark E. Cooper

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #249 on: December 04, 2013, 12:48:39 AM »
I thought that was just permafree?


Hmm, you may be right. Maybe they appear again when the book goes back to paid. It's possible.