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Author Topic: FreeBookService (FBS) Update ,  (Read 70103 times)  

Offline Lisa Grace

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #325 on: December 04, 2013, 07:27:34 PM »
But he's willing to share the secret sauce with the 700,000+ people who are already on the list? THAT'S what makes me question it.



Like I said, I googled Monique Martin's Book name & author, and the date and book clubs did pop up. He might not be sharing, and they may not be sharing.

I myself privately pm'd a bunch of book blogs I was interested in when I first released my angel book, and offered to provide an article, an interview, if they wanted it. Several jumped. Now I provided all the Q & A, and literally all  they had to do was cut and paste the thing in.
if he has a form or has arranged to provied some content, they might jump at it. Providing content is a PIA, and takes a lot of time.

Maybe he bought email lists off people who sell skins to Kindle readers. Or may be he bought lists from these book bloggers. If you think outside the box, it's not so hard to compile lists of interested active readers, it just takes time, and know how.
 
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Offline Deanna Chase

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #326 on: December 04, 2013, 07:42:32 PM »
A lot of places pick up free books that are in the top 100. I also did a search on Monique's free book while it was on promotion with Free Book Service. It did not show up on any blogs or websites. The next day it did along with all the other top 100 books. I think using where Monique's book shows up now is flawed research.

Offline Saul Tanpepper

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #327 on: December 04, 2013, 08:03:46 PM »
At this point, I'm convinced that the service gets you empty downloads and, as a consequence, ranking and exposure. It's the downloads from actual readers that you get as a consequence of that ranking/exposure that you're really paying for. If you buy the 10K package and you get 18,000 downloads, then the conversion-to-paid rate should really be calculated off the last 8,000.
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Offline Crime fighters

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #328 on: December 04, 2013, 08:16:35 PM »
At this point, I'm convinced that the service gets you empty downloads and, as a consequence, ranking and exposure. It's the downloads from actual readers that you get as a consequence of that ranking/exposure that you're really paying for. If you buy the 10K package and you get 18,000 downloads, then the conversion-to-paid rate should really be calculated off the last 8,000.

Only if you are looking for a conversion rate from list visibility alone. Those 10,000 downloads are costly and you could see better results (depending on your category) from other services. You may not get 10K downloads but outside of becoming visible, they are worthless.

Offline Saul Tanpepper

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #329 on: December 04, 2013, 08:44:03 PM »
Only if you are looking for a conversion rate from list visibility alone. Those 10,000 downloads are costly and you could see better results (depending on your category) from other services. You may not get 10K downloads but outside of becoming visible, they are worthless.

We're in agreement. My point (perhaps not well made) was that the value lies only in the organic downloads coming as a result of the increased visibility. If you pay for 10,000 and get 10,000, then you've essentially paid for a whole lot of rarefied air and nothing else. If you get 11,000 (1,000 from people not associated with the service) then you're essentially paying for the equivalent of 1,000 downloads. This increases the cost of those readers. I'd rather spend the same money for a better conversion rate.
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Offline Crime fighters

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #330 on: December 04, 2013, 08:56:20 PM »
I get what you were saying now. I think I was the one confused, looking back, I understand the first post now.

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #331 on: December 04, 2013, 09:21:24 PM »
Maybe he bought email lists off people who sell skins to Kindle readers. Or may be he bought lists from these book bloggers. If you think outside the box, it's not so hard to compile lists of interested active readers, it just takes time, and know how.

But how would adding my email address to the mailing list clue me into the addresses/identities/origins of anyone else on the list? However he generated the list he has now, adding new people to it 1) won't reveal anything about existing members, 2) would increase download numbers, and 3) is necessary to make up for unsubscribes and dead addresses, over time.

I'm still really not getting the reticence. The only thing that makes sense is that it's the email message itself he doesn't want us to see, and the only explanations I can think of for that are troubling.

I'm relieved to know, based on Estelle's reassuring communication with KDP, that no one's going to lose their publisher account with Amazon for advertising with these folks, but that risk was only part of my concern about it.

Offline Philip Gibson

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #332 on: December 04, 2013, 10:03:39 PM »
stelle's reassuring communication with KDP, that no one's going to lose their publisher account with Amazon for advertising with these folks, but that risk was only part of my concern about it.

That reply from an Amazon representative was indeed reassuring and could be used in any future defense if punitive actions were indeed taken by Amazon down the line. However, the reply was from ONE staff member who may, or may not, have looked deeply into what is going on with these downloads.

It's doin' me 'ead in trying to figure out exactly how this works and, since it seems to have got by Amazon, I can only give kudos to the OP and his company for doing something really clever.

Whatever it is.


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Offline freebookservice

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #333 on: December 04, 2013, 10:43:06 PM »
We listen to our paying clients, not non-buyers and skeptics.

Many of our largest customers ask for discretion when it comes to what they are doing promotion wise, so as I have stated before, our aim is to keep our current customers happy.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 03:44:10 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
Our website is Freebookservice.com and our email is freebooksservice@gmail.com

Offline telracs

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #334 on: December 04, 2013, 10:48:35 PM »
We listen to our paying clients, not non-buyers and skeptics.


and not readers who want to become part of your list, either, apparently.....

oh, the best way to convince people to believe you about things is to answer them.  not insult them.

Offline dalya

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #335 on: December 04, 2013, 11:03:28 PM »
Given enough time, this service will have a monopoly on the top 100 freebie spots. It's actually kind of exciting.

The next level is a 99-cent book and top 100 on the paid list. That would start around $1,000 minimum, I'd guess. The buyer would get back $350, or $700 if they're in a countdown deal. So, net expense of $300 to get visibility on that list? Not bad.

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Offline Deanna Chase

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #336 on: December 04, 2013, 11:34:00 PM »
Well, the whole back and forth with the community has been interesting. The initial suspicion was infectious and perhaps justified, but despite repeated assurances and even a response to Estelle's inquiries from KDP, a lot of doubt persists. And that's fine, I guess. I had my doubts and did my share of flip-flopping in this thread, but especially after Amazon chimed in and I began to receive new reviews/purchases on my other books, they've pretty much been absolved. I really don't think anything illicit is going on here; quite the opposite, I think we're looking at a new tool here that actually works... and it isn't Bookbub. Feels almost dirty to type that.

This thing works far better than any other promotional tool I've hitherto used and I think I'll probably use it again in the near future for something else. I don't know precisely how Freebookservice has done it, but it works. Period. He's stuck around here and weathered more scrutiny and abuse than I would have, so major kudos for that. Hope he sees a lot of business!

In the meantime, I guess I might as well have my paychecks written out to him.

I'm glad you're happy with your results.

The one question I ask is this: If it turns out this service is actually a pay for downloads service, meaning the people who FBS market to are paid to download your free book, are you comfortable with that? Are you comfortable with being associated with such a service? What do regular readers think of this? Is it on par with paying for reviews? Or buying your way onto a best seller list?

Offline David Adams

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #337 on: December 04, 2013, 11:38:53 PM »
I debated posting this, but yeah. I think I should.

Although I was originally genuinely interested, I would stay away from the OP's offer. I'll present my reasoning for it, but first I want to make a few things clear:

- What the OP is providing is a legal service.
- I was genuinely interested in the OP's product. I am no longer, obviously.
- This is not fraudulent and it delivers exactly what it promises (and no more).
- I won't judge anyone who chooses to use the OP's service. I just want them to be clear about what they're getting into.
- I can't guarantee that the information in this post is correct, but I'm confident enough to put my real name to it.

The OP is not getting your book into the hands of readers. The exact nature of their operation is not perfectly clear, but it appears to be essentially a "pay foreign citizens pennies to download free books". Those books will never be read, so all it's doing is boosting your sales rank. Your books go to accounts that will never genuinely be used.

The problems with this are:

- It costs a lot. You're paying people to download books, so that's why the OP's prices are so much higher than Bookbub.
- There is 0 follow-through. People are not going to read book #1 and then read #2 and #3. You are simply boosting a simple book that will never be read by those downloaders.
- This will destroy your also-bots. Expect a bunch of random stuff to show up. Short term gain, long term loss.
- There is no accountability. Every major promotion site has people's real names and contact information on it, there's nothing here. Just gmail accounts (anyone can make one), usernames, fake names, and faades. If I'm going to hand over hundreds of bucks to someone, I'm going to know their real name at least.
- The operation may be against the Amazon's terms of service. Specifically:

Quote from: Prohibited Seller Activities and Actions (emphasis mine)
Do not misuse the Amazon selling platform: As a community, all sellers are able to access and use the Amazon selling platform. If a seller uploads excessive amounts of data repeatedly, or otherwise uses the platform in an excessive or unreasonable way, it can create a disproportional load on the platform and impair the ability of other sellers to easily access and use the platform.  If a seller is misusing or making excessive or unreasonable use of the Amazon selling platform, Amazon may in its sole discretion restrict or block access to product feeds or any other platform functions that are being misused until the seller stops its misuse.
(Source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200414320)

Additionally:

Quote from: Amazon Terms of Service
Amazon reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders in its sole discretion.
(Source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=508088)

It's not clear, but Amazon is making no profit on these free books. 10,000 books a day is a heavy load even for a distributed system like Amazon; those servers aren't free, that electricity costs money, and that ISP will bill them. As it currently stands, Amazon is eating the cost of perma-free books (and even puts in a "free" column on our KDP reports to help us out), but it's clear that free is costing them money and they don't like it. Amazon's margins aren't that good and they tend to operate in a binary fashion. Everything's totally fine, and then your account gets banned without warning.

To use a metaphor, the OP is going to a big supermarket and stuffing his pockets with "free samples". Sure, they're free, but someone ultimately pays for them, and I don't know about everyone else but if I lost my Amazon sales I would be out of a job.

That's all fine. But here's the thing. I looked around, and the more I looked the more I became convinced that this was a bad plan.

I won't disclose my methods (sound familiar?), but here's what I found out. Anyone who is interested can PM me and I'll provide direct links, but in the interest of OP's safely and privacy, I'm not going to post them here. But if anyone wants direct links, I can provide them.

The OP's service is run by a guy. Let's call him "Leviathan".

"Leviathan" is a (banned) member of BlackHatWorld, a dodgy as hell Search Engine Optimization forum (http://www.blackhatworld.com/). This place is quite dodgy; buying email lists, spam accounts, pay-per-action, etc.

On SEOClerks, the same OP was offering to pay $3 per fake Amazon review.

I dug further and found a few other email addresses, including one that points to deleted (but cached; Google does not forget) efforts to spam blogs with links back to Amazon products. These were pretty old. There's a bunch of other stuff: disputing 1 star reviews on their books, etc.

An account on makemoney.net, with the same user name as "Leviathan", was soliciting to pay for unpublished erotica short stories. Legal, ethical, but...

Then I dug around a bit more. The books bought from those authors were getting one stars (presumably because they were abysmally written) and accounts with the same name as the above accounts were contesting those reviews. It's one step above books that just scrape Wikipedia; "Leviathan" wrote on the Warrior Forum that he has published hundreds of books on Amazon. There's only a few ways you can do that. It's pretty dodgy, and while not a smoking gun itself, when you add it to the rest it starts to look bad.

"Leviathan" is very inconsistent with what his service actually is. Compare and contrast to services like Bookbub, WeLoveVampireNovels, KFD, etc who are all very open about how their business works. On the Warrior Forums, "Leviathan" explained some of his methods:

Quote from: Leviathan
- Mailing to our lists
- Banners on our free kindle promotion sites
- Promotion on our facebook fan pages
- Promotion on our twitter pages.

We are not doing press releases or submission to publicly accessible sites so if you want to do that during your promotion that's completely fine.

I can find no evidence of any of these things existing, nor are they cached in Google's servers anywhere. I could find no Facebook group, or twitter pages, Kindle Promotion Sites under his name, or a list that anyone can join. As others have pointed out, refusing to allow anyone to join the list is highly suspicious.

"Leviathan" would have us believe that there is a list of 700,000 readers on Facebook pages, on mailing lists, twitter pages, etc, but keeps them secret. Well, if that's the case, there's only a couple of ways to get them. The main way is email scraping. The same way that people send out those "sex enhancement pills" and whatnot. Spam, basically.

And you're going to put your book on that list?

Fortunately, it's much more likely that these lists don't exist at all and the OP is, as I said before, just using CPA to get the downloads. Nobody will get spammed, most likely, just Amazon will lose a bunch of money.

Screwing your boss is a pretty bad long term strategy.

"Leviathan" is clearly comfortable stretching the truth, because he's telling one website one thing about his service, and us another story. There's no accountability, no real-world identity, nothing except easily registered email accounts and a bunch of shady deals on the side. That's a poor choice of person to send your money to.

So I dug a bit more. I found a bunch of dodgy stuff, that I won't go into huge amounts of details. Multiple accounts all patting each other on the back, books stuffed with fake 5 star reviews, but a whole bunch of "legal but shady" activities, most of which are explicitly or implicitly against the Amazon Terms of Service.

So where does that leave us?

Writers trade on their reputation. I use my real name on my books, and my real reputation is on the line here. I choose to do that because I'm confident that my real-world reputation is protected by my behaviour. I don't conduct myself dishonestly, or employ black hat techniques, or engage in rank manipulation, etc. I help people without expecting a reward. I tell the truth. That's my armour.

This service might be technically within the purvey of the rules, but it fails the smell test. This isn't an ethical action. His service will get you your 10,000 downloads and your transaction will be honestly processed. Right up until it gets you banned by Amazon, or whatever. Sure, it might not happen, but it's like they say.

Wallow in mud and you'll get dirty. But it's up to you.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 12:16:10 AM by David Adams »
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Offline Kat Lilynette

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #338 on: December 04, 2013, 11:41:58 PM »
I'm glad you're happy with your results.

The one question I ask is this: If it turns out this service is actually a pay for downloads service, meaning the people who FBS market to are paid to download your free book, are you comfortable with that? Are you comfortable with being associated with such a service? What do regular readers think of this? Is it on par with paying for reviews? Or buying your way onto a best seller list?

Pretty sure that it's been unequivocally confirmed by the stats in this thread that the initial 10,000 downloads aren't "readers" of any sort, regardless of how they claim they're generated. The ethics of that are, of course, up for debate. But, you can be sure, if Amazon allows this type of manipulation on their lists, those ethics aren't really going to matter because the Amazon free lists of every single genre will be controlled by services just like these. And until Amazon squashes it, if you want on those lists, you'll be paying for it.

And well said David. Regardless of the email received by an hourly associate from KDP in this thread (I've also sent my own, being much more specific, and am awaiting reply), you can be pretty darn sure rank manipulation is heavily against Amazons ToS.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 11:47:37 PM by Kat Lilynette »

Offline Deanna Chase

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #339 on: December 04, 2013, 11:52:13 PM »
Pretty sure this it's been unequivocally confirmed by the stats in this thread that the initial 10,000 downloads aren't "readers" of any sort, regardless of how they claim they're generated. The ethics of that are, of course, up for debate. But, you can be sure, if Amazon allows this type of manipulation on their lists, those ethics aren't really going to matter because the Amazon free lists of every single genre will be controlled by services just like these. And until Amazon squashes it, if you want on those lists, you'll be paying for it.

And well said David. Regardless of the email received by an hourly associate from KDP in this thread (I've also sent my own, being much more specific, and am awaiting reply), you can be pretty darn sure rank manipulation is heavily against Amazons ToS.

I'm not sure if you're addressing me specifically because of your quote or are just addressing what I asked of this poster. But to be clear, I do think it is a pay per download situation and I wouldn't risk my reputation or my standing with Amazon for it. I only spend money on advertising I can vet first.

Offline Deanna Chase

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #340 on: December 04, 2013, 11:56:13 PM »
That's what pen-names are for  :P

But more seriously, if this service is that kind of operation, then I see little difference between it and what traditional publishers have done for decades; that is, buying spots on the bestseller lists/ buying great reviews in top periodicals/ etc.

Even if it is a pay-for-downloads service, there's nothing immoral about using it. The people who see my book on the top of the lists aren't magically going to like it and throw money at me simply because it's up there. They'll simply know it exists and be more likely to download it. I'm not bamboozling anyone into doing anything. I'm simply using a service that has the ability to thrust it high up in the store, where they might actually see it for once. Anything that happens after that is up to the customer.

Like I said earlier, I don't think anything illicit is going on here. There's been a lot of speculation in this thread, and for the most part, it's been baseless. Rooted in understandable doubt, perhaps, but ultimately baseless.

And this leads me to: If that's the case, would you also pay for a service that guarantees 1000 people will purchase your book assuming it isn't free? And assuming you can afford whatever the cost of such a service would be?


Offline Kat Lilynette

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #341 on: December 04, 2013, 11:56:29 PM »
I'm not sure if you're addressing me specifically because of your quote or are just addressing what I asked of this poster. But to be clear, I do think it is a pay per download situation and I wouldn't risk my reputation or my standing with Amazon for it. I only spend money on advertising I can vet first.

No, I was just adding to what you had said. Not talking at you. :)

And I carry your sentiments as well. I have pretty much zero doubt that Amazon will be nuking this service in a matter of weeks, if that. Not a snowballs chance in you know where that they'd let someone control what displays on their store's most popular browse lists when the accounts used to do so aren't potential revenue sources.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 12:57:45 AM by Kat Lilynette »

Offline Crime fighters

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #342 on: December 04, 2013, 11:56:35 PM »
I honestly don't give a hoot anymore. It's like we're playing a card game of B.S, except when we call you out we don't get to see your cards. Oh well.  I think this is a scam and I don't for one d*mn second believe you have a list. And if you do, it's a list of avid candy crush users looking for extra lives. So just one more recap before I (hopefully spend my time on more productive activities).

1. The same download numbers across different genres.
2. Bookbub can't even even get these numbers across genres and they have a userbase that is multiple the size of yours.
3. Yeah, I get it, freebookservice isn't bookbub. But what is?  ;)
4. Your email and your post state two different methods that grew your user list. You went from links in books (that haven't sold enough copies to justify a 700K mailing list), to a series of blogs and websites that can't be found with a google search. (And I'm talking about doing searches on the authors and their books. You know, the ones where there were posts after your service was used).
5. I still think your whois registration is troubling, despite what another poster said.
6. The traditional scam starts out with "I've been using this service and it's worked so well, I want to share".
7. You, at one point, were involved in a CPM scam.
8. Yeah, you said it wasn't you. But the emails and names match.
9. Not one person here knows of another large mailing list. Somebody here would have heard about it by now.
10. Unless your mailing list is nothing more than blogs with visitors (which again, are nowhere to be found except for this one. Judging by the name of the blog and the fact that it was created about the time you opened your doors for business, it makes me question if this isn't your massive list.
11. Which, if it is your blog, has little to no activity
12. Despite the surge in OJ's sales above me, why is it that the other poster saw a conversion ration FAR below normal?
13. It still makes no sense whatsoever that we, readers, cannot gain access to this list. Or see a screenshot of the list. Because it's private. How. the. hell. is it private if it is sent to 700K bots/elves subscribers?
14. I know one way authors wouldn't want this publicized... Because it's an unethical rank grab.
15. You said on one page and I'm not looking for the post, that we should basically pay with our wallets, after the intial surge in equal downloads (across genre).
16. There is a plus to your service. Visibility. That's about it. There are much more ethical, thrifty ways to achieve this. And your book actually stands a chance to be read instead of thrown into the trash for another 30 second round of a crazily addictive, candy crushing game.
17. If you can't understand why we are so nosey and adamant to see a list then I don't know what to tell you. I think this has been a civil thread but when you say that you don't need to worry about us? Excuse me? What? We are your target base and any real businesmann wouldn't be so quick to cast off the skeptics. Scammers would though.
18. I'm not going to hold it against any authors who choose to use your service. That is between them and you. But you have lost many potential customers with your secrecy.
19. I would love to be wrong but you have so many strikes against you and are as tight lipped as a mime in a horror film.
20. You started your business on warrior forums of all places. I'm sure there are people over there who make a dollar. A few more who make thousands. I think that place is just about the bottom barrel of the internet. Where users sit around screwing each other out of money in hopes of becoming the next big Empower Network.
21. Your website (which is for returning customers only according to the top of the page), looks just like a thousand other premade themes used by craigslist spammers. Make a thousand dollars in two seconds! Yee-haw.
22. Which brings me to another point, and this one is actually a comment. Your a mastermind. You have restructured a get rich scheme and formatted it perfectly for authors. It has all the glitz and glam of one of those except it costs more, potentially has real (but the value is in question) results, and you didn't have to post on craigslist. You have went straight to your target market. Kudos.
23. But your target market wasn't Warrior Forum, which was unexpected.
24. It's the internet. It's so easy to get ripped off. A little transparency is required (though not always, there are many authors who will pay for your services).
25. I think you're going to make a fortune. Congratulations on that.
26. I know I'm forgetting at least ten things but It's late and I really do have full lives on candy crush. (Level 155, Jeaaahhhh!!!)

Finally, I sincerely hope that what you're offering is legit if for no other reason then I would hate to see users here get scammed. Maybe someday I'll see the light and convert. And if that day comes I'll eat my words, put on a loincloth and dance around in my living room in a live tinychat broadcast while singing a woefully awful tune;

I was wrong,
I'm a fool,
everybody head toooo
free book service dot cooooooom.

EDIT: There are quite a few grammatical errors up there. I know it's a writing forum but it's late and I can't be bothered to fix them. Please don't crucify me  8)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 01:00:11 AM by K.B. Parker »

Offline Crime fighters

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #343 on: December 05, 2013, 12:24:54 AM »
Despite my misgivings, a few pages back I said I don't think this guy is being malicious.

Well I take that back.


Offline David J Normoyle

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #344 on: December 05, 2013, 02:27:48 AM »
I don't see why not. I would never solicit fake reviews, but stuff like this? Just buyin' a spot on the list? If Amazon's not cool with it, then no. But if this kind of thing is cool by them, then absolutely. Though such services would likely be too rich for my blood.

Buying a spot on a bestseller list, even though you are not a bestseller is fine? It's like hacking into the NYTimes Bestseller lists and putting your name in at number 6 on the list, even though you haven't sold any copies. Nothing wrong with paying for a service like that at all. Hackers have to eat too.

Also, you said you are happy with the service. But you got it for free. You mightn't be so happy if you paid full wack for it, since you wouldn't yet be close to getting a return on your money.


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Offline David J Normoyle

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #345 on: December 05, 2013, 03:10:52 AM »
Providing that Amazon doesn't care about a service that might function in such a way, there is nothing morally reprehensible about utilizing it. Not. One. Thing. Now, if Amazon says "Nay", then I wouldn't use it. I'm not looking to break the rules and p*ss 'em off. But if it gets the green light, there's no reason not to use it. It'd be similar to what publishers with massive budgets do: Buy up spots on the lists.
How can you possibly think that Amazon will be okay with authors paying a third party to manipulate Amazon's bestseller lists? If they wanted to allow people to buy their way into lists, shouldn't they just charge, so they make money on the deal, rather than losing money on the fake downloads. Might take a while for Amazon to get on top of it, though, so the providers of the service and the authors using it could profit in the meantime.

Also, I think publishers generally pay for spots in bookstores, not bestseller lists. Since visibility==ranking on Amazon, there is some correspondence to the two cases, and as Dalya noted, Amazon may give extra visibility to their own imprints, but they are not the same thing. Even if Amazon give extra visibility to their own imprints I doubt they artificially push them up the bestseller lists.

Also, great post and great research, David Adams.


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Offline OJ Connell

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #346 on: December 05, 2013, 03:57:12 AM »
This thread has been an incredible time-sink and I don't feel like my rambling on about stuff is worthwhile for any of us, so I'm hoppin' out of this thread. I'll keep lurking out of curiosity though, haha. If anyone wants to know about my results further on down the line, feel free to PM me.

Thanks to the OP for letting me try it for free. Thanks for the interesting (and civil!) discussion, everyone.

Until Amazon says "Yeah, it's OK," I wouldn't recommend authors use it. I also don't feel like there's any danger in doing so, or that it's in any way illegitimate however. I just think it's prudent to hear what Amazon has to say. As with everything else, weigh the risks and decide whether this is a service you'd like to pursue. If you do decide to use it, good luck.

I let my personal opinions color my posts a bit too much, so I'm sorry for the de-rails and such, y'all.

Peace ~<3

Offline David Adams

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #347 on: December 05, 2013, 04:31:20 AM »
How can you possibly think that Amazon will be okay with authors paying a third party to manipulate Amazon's bestseller lists?

This is, if you distil it down to the absolute core, why this is a bad plan.
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Offline CDForness

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #348 on: December 05, 2013, 05:14:48 AM »
I heart you K.B. Parker...in a non-creepy, platonic, bromancely kinda way.

Offline Danni

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #349 on: December 05, 2013, 05:20:30 AM »
We listen to our paying clients, not non-buyers and skeptics.

Many of our largest customers ask for discretion when it comes to what they are doing promotion wise, so as I have stated before, our aim is to keep our current customers happy.


I have no idea what this means. We are not asking to SEE YOUR LIST. We want to receive your promotional emails. They don't exist, and that's clearly evident.

And if those authors show up on alsobots for the other authors who paid for the service and are not in hiding, the cats out of the bag. One email from Amazon will not absolve authors since we don't even know what this IS. All the red flags are going up for a reason. If this is all about getting on a list and no readers, how (again) does this separate authors from other authors who bought up their own books to end up on the NYT list and got called out?


My suggestion is everyone walk away from this thread and just let it die.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 05:32:12 AM by DDark »