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TBD
by TBD

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Kindle Edition published 2016-01-12
Bestseller ranking: 757432

Product Description
With the odd disappearance of her parents, Gussie Gibson has lived her entire life with her granny on a peaceful pecan orchard, owned by the meanest man in all of Georgia—Mr. J.P. Combs. Granny teaches Gussie many valuable life lessons as a black woman growing up in the still-segregated south. Mr. Combs is an evil underhanded banker who takes liberties beyond his privilege. When Granny dies, Combs informs Gussie she owes him back rent—but he wants much more than money for payment—and more than Gussie can live with.
After defending herself against his sexual advances, Gussie flees to escape certain vigilante justice when she meets a charming, handsome stranger, Sam Johnson, who is just returning from World War II.
Gussie and Sam’s friendship is short-lived when Mr. Combs hunts her down and drags her back to Green Ridge, driven by his craving for revenge and a grudge too deep to comprehend. Gussie fights to return to Sam and his lo...

Author Topic: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.  (Read 309702 times)  

Offline Becca Fanning

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TL;DR - If you have books enrolled in KDP Select and you think your reported page reads have been unusually low recently, you should send an email to ecr-support@amazon.com, kdp-support@amazon.com, and jeff@amazon.com. Provide them with data and if your numbers don't look right, be firm. You might get results that are worth your time. Others have.

For the past few weeks dozens of authors have been reporting that their page read counts on new releases have been...off. Not off by ten percent, but by 50-95%. These are for consistent releases with expected patterns of performance (as expected as you can be in this industry). I don't want this discussion to get bogged down in conjecture about bad books, bad promos, etc. Sales numbers and sales ranks are as expected, but page reads are drastically lower.

As authors have started to come together in their genre-focused forums and support groups, they started to compare their data and take action. Emails began to fly, initially meeting with a stalwart wall of "We looked into your pages read and can confirm that they are accurate." Most of us took that and gave up. But one didn't. They insisted on getting someone on the phone and elevating their issue up the chain.

After thirty minutes on the phone, insisting something wasn't right, something kind of miraculous happened: On Friday Sept 30, Amazon admitted that there's a problem on their end and that they have to get their legal team involved. Since then, a handful of authors have gotten emails stating that a "small number of pages" were erroneously left out of their reports and were now being credited. One author saw their September page total go up by a little over 1,000 KENP and another saw it go up by over 30,000 KENP.

But so far, those small handful of responses are the only thing we've gotten. Interestingly enough, the author who first broke through the Amazon shieldwall and got the admission that there was something wrong hasn't received an email about additional page credit yet. In fact, concurrent with these developments this weekend, Amazon was still emailing authors with massively suppressed page reads that everything was fine.

Just to make a few points clear: the pool of authors who have noticed things aren't right includes those with fewer than five books under their belt and NYT bestselling authors with over 100 books who regularly break into the top 100 or top 50. This issue does not seem to be system-wide: it's only affecting new releases (perhaps since July, but mostly those published in September). These are books which are selling well, ranking well, but the reported pages are vastly lower.

I had a promo push on September 23. The book sold 80 copies and had 100 pages read. The prior books in the series had about the same sales but 20 times the page reads on their promo day.
I had a promo push on September 30. The book sold 118 copies and had 300 pages read. This should have been 10-15 times higher based on prior series releases.

If you recently published and your page reads look off, you should reach out to Amazon and let them know. The worst case scenario (unless you're me) is that they tell you that everything is fine and you're right back where you started. We're in a weekend, and it's not clear what will happen next week. But Amazon reaching out to individual authors seems to indicate that only the squeaky wheels are getting grease.

Becca Fanning

Offline ImaWriter

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2016, 07:01:51 AM »
Check out this thread:  http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,242084.0.html

ETA a comment to my above brevity.   ;D

There's info in the above thread that includes additional experiences others are having with Amazon reporting. 
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 07:21:30 AM by ImaWriter »

Offline Becca Fanning

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2016, 07:10:19 AM »
Check out this thread:  http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,242084.0.html

That seems like a whole different issue, right? Leaving that link without comment seems to imply that that thread covers this issue, which it doesn't. But I am glad to see another data driven thread about Amazon wonkiness, so thank you.

Becca Fanning

Offline Rinelle Grey

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2016, 07:26:43 AM »
Thanks for posting Becca. I'm watching my new release closely. Page reads seem a little low to me, but not enough yet to say either way. Nowhere near the level of difference you're reporting, but lower than I expected.

I'm really hoping Amazon picks up on this, and fixes it all around for everyone! With so little data on our end, it's always hard to tell if numbers are lower than they should be, or just lower than you hoped!

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Offline bbhamel

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2016, 07:33:49 AM »
I'm seeing seriously low pages read right now, like absurdly low. I had a new release that followed my normal promo schedule, same length as all my books (so same kenpc), and it got less than half the pages read as similarly ranked books did. I had another book reach 250 in the paid store and peak at around 19k pages read on its best day.

I've talked to other authors with even worse stories than that. People, check your pages read, and compare them to previous books. Something happened in September and it's not good for us.

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Offline LadyG

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2016, 07:47:32 AM »
I haven't published anything new recently and I certainly don't get thousands of pages read on a daily basis, but mine abruptly dropped to zero. I've not had one single page in eight days now. That's definitely not normal for me.

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2016, 07:56:30 AM »
I haven't published anything new recently and I certainly don't get thousands of pages read on a daily basis, but mine abruptly dropped to zero. I've not had one single page in eight days now. That's definitely not normal for me.

Did the drop coincide with anything - Select renewal, new file upload, price change, anything that might be going through the KDP publishing process? (Just considering all options - I'm suspicious of Select renewals.)

I've had four releases recently, in June, July, early September, later September. The first was a normal pattern of pages read (a quick take-off, increasing steadily over 2+ weeks). The last 3 all saw a slower take-off, a brief spike and then a drop to lower levels. But I haven't seen zero levels and I can't be sure if this is a problem or just books that readers are less interested in.
   

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Offline Indiecognito

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2016, 07:57:06 AM »
I'm seeing seriously low pages read right now, like absurdly low. I had a new release that followed my normal promo schedule, same length as all my books (so same kenpc), and it got less than half the pages read as similarly ranked books did. I had another book reach 250 in the paid store and peak at around 19k pages read on its best day.

I've talked to other authors with even worse stories than that. People, check your pages read, and compare them to previous books. Something happened in September and it's not good for us.

Just to offer my own experience, I got in touch with Amazon over this as well, after talking to a few other authors about the issues. I'm having the same experience. Tanking page reads, while sales are spiking. It's bizarre and unsettling.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 08:00:29 AM by Indiecognito »

Offline LadyStarlight

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2016, 07:59:15 AM »
I'm adding my voice to this. I have several books in the top 1,000 along with a sizable backlist and reads are abysmal compared to past similar ranks. There is definitely something wrong or going on.
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Offline Steven Kelliher

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2016, 08:01:09 AM »
My KENP literally went from hundreds/thousands per day to zero this week, with no warning. Very strange.

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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2016, 08:04:17 AM »
This seems concerning. Authors are at Amazon's mercy, when it comes to reporting electronic sales/borrows/page-reads. That's the case for traditionally published authors, too. We all need to be able to trust their mechanisms.

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2016, 08:39:18 AM »
My page reads have basically died, but I put it off as not having released anything in that niche lately. Maybe there's something going on other than that, but I have no real basis to complain. But, I had eight sales reported, one was paid and two show as returns. What happened to the other five? No idea. I thought it was Book Report at first, but now I'm thinking it's on Amazon's end.
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Offline Indiecognito

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2016, 08:48:50 AM »
Another couple of observations:

1) My page reads occasionally jump up by 500-1000 at a time. Or by 2 pages. Two pages in an hour, say, is not typical for someone with 69 published books whose reads are normally in the tens of thousands a day.

2) I'm running a couple of advertising campaigns that are going well in terms of click-through. Normally this reflects in sales, but particularly in pages read. Well, the sales, for whatever reason, are outweighing the page reads. Which is completely atypical. Given that it now seems to be a pattern for quite a few authors, here's hoping Amazon figures this out stat. I have a bad feeling that KU3 has been rolling out with major bugs, or that this is some anti-scammer tactic gone awry, that's simply ended up hurting a lot of authors who work their butts off to get their books in front of readers' eyes.

Offline LadyG

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2016, 08:51:20 AM »
Did the drop coincide with anything - Select renewal, new file upload, price change, anything that might be going through the KDP publishing process? (Just considering all options - I'm suspicious of Select renewals.)



Nope. Nothing. Most of my books renewed in late August or early September.  I haven't made any changes to anything. In fact, I've been on sort of a hiatus from writing for a few weeks because my personal life has been a bit unsettled.

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Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2016, 08:57:27 AM »
I'm used to thousands of page reads per day across nine books. So far today, Book Report says I've made 73 cents. This following two cross-promos and giving away 750 books the past two days. Pages read started to tank the last week of Sept, but they really were below normal all through Sept, which was 2/5 that of August.

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Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2016, 09:21:07 AM »
This issue drove me out of lurking status last week to ask if Zon launched KU3 and just didn't tell anyone.
I'm down to 1/4 of my normal, very steady income in the flip of a switch. I've emailed. I've yet to hear back.

Offline raminar_dixon

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2016, 09:23:49 AM »
Yep, something is super wrong.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LY1FN6Q

New release on Friday is showing lots of sales today and yesterday, but ZERO pagereads. Not possible. I have multiple authors and readers all telling me that, yep, they are indeed reading it with KU. There should be thousands of pagereads by now, but there's not.

I've emailed everyone I know at Amazon. I'll let you know if I hear anything.


Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2016, 09:25:42 AM »
Well, the sales, for whatever reason, are outweighing the page reads. Which is completely atypical. Given that it now seems to be a pattern for quite a few authors, here's hoping Amazon figures this out stat. I have a bad feeling that KU3 has been rolling out with major bugs, or that this is some anti-scammer tactic gone awry, that's simply ended up hurting a lot of authors who work their butts off to get their books in front of readers' eyes.

One cognito to another, I'm with you.

My graph is averaging waaaaaay lower than normal, but here's a brand spanking new release. Sales spike. No borrow spike? Seriously? Reads just keep dropping and dropping.


Online Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2016, 09:30:38 AM »
So far today, Book Report says I've made 73 cents.

Welcome to my world  :D


But seriously, this is very worrying for those of you who should be getting 1000s of page reads. I hope Amazon has got some sort of system that can go back and eventually pay you for the correct reads.

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Offline KaraKing

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2016, 10:07:11 AM »
Here's my story....

The kindle version of The Power of the [kitten] consistently ranks around 800 and has daily page reads in the 6k-8k range. On Sept 30th I updated it with a new cover and a new category. I went to check and my rankings fell to the 2800 range!!! Also my page reads are waaaaaay down in the 3-4k range since I made the changes. I can't imagine these two little changes would make such a drastic and dramatic change over night.

I think this happening to new releases and anyone who is making changes to their titles that requires the review process. I am SO happy I came a cross this post because I was baffled.

Also, after I freaked out I immediately went back in to put the old cover back and my review process is going on the 48 hour mark which is unusually slow. They usually crank out the changes in 24 hours. Something is going on over there. Thank you for this post because I will be contacting them asap. I will update you guys if I get any info.

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Offline LadyStarlight

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2016, 10:21:12 AM »
Please every one, keep posting and keep sharing. This is a very serious issue. Amazon needs to be held accountable for this glitch, or intentional change they've made without notifying us.
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Offline Eric Thomson

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2016, 10:28:26 AM »
Chalk me up as another baffled puppy.  Usually, my throughput is 40% sales 60% KU, sometimes right up to 1/3-2/3.  I put out a new release at the end of Aug and not only were the pages read in Sept about two-thirds or less than my previous release at the end of May, but the sales-KU ratio was way out of whack for the first time since the introduction of KU2.  Considering June is supposed to be a slower month than Sept, and this year, June beat the pants off Sept in terms of KU reads for me...  Go figure.


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Offline Ros_Jackson

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2016, 10:32:14 AM »
New release in Select on 1st October, and I've got a rank in .com but no sales and no pagereads. Either Amazon is really slow reporting, or I've had people download through KU and read no pages. For me, it's still too early to tell. It might be completely normal ghost borrows, but I'll be watching this thread with interest.

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Online Sam Kates

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2016, 10:34:21 AM »
I released a novella two weeks ago. For the first week, I had page reads averaging 50 per day (I know, prawny, but still) and then zilch. Until reading this thread, I thought it was down to my poor visibility (and it could yet be), but maybe not. I'm afraid I can't assist with e-mailing Am because I have no historic data to present an argument - just thought I'd share here to show that it might be affecting us lesser hitters, too.
    
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Offline Indiecognito

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Re: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it's KU page reporting.
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2016, 10:36:38 AM »
Here's my story....

The kindle version of The Power of the [kitten] consistently ranks around 800 and has daily page reads in the 6k-8k range. On Sept 30th I updated it with a new cover and a new category. I went to check and my rankings fell to the 2800 range!!! Also my page reads are waaaaaay down in the 3-4k range since I made the changes. I can't imagine these two little changes would make such a drastic and dramatic change over night.

I think this happening to new releases and anyone who is making changes to their titles that requires the review process. I am SO happy I came a cross this post because I was baffled.

Also, after I freaked out I immediately went back in to put the old cover back and my review process is going on the 48 hour mark which is unusually slow. They usually crank out the changes in 24 hours. Something is going on over there. Thank you for this post because I will be contacting them asap. I will update you guys if I get any info.

This is brilliant detective work. I had recently updated backmatter in three of my best sellers, so my data is consistent with your theory. And it explains the new release issue as well. Anyone who emails Amazon should mention this. Thanks for the input!