Author Topic: Box set scams on Passive Voice  (Read 87132 times)  

Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #125 on: April 28, 2017, 07:45:33 PM »
I really can't believe this statement.

You're saying that it's all BS so if people cheat, it's of no consequence and shouldn't matter.

This is cynicism at its apex. It's nihilism. That's scary.

I actually have a conversation about "cheating" a lot with a friend of mine. I personally -hate- those "publishers" who have a cadre of ghostwriters, and make thousands, tens of thousand, dollars a month churning out re-packaged ghostwritten novels. I hate it so much. But, is that cheating, or is that using a system/market that is offered to them?

This is the same thing: You think gifting is cheating. I 100% respect that. But, is it just using the system/marketing that is offered to them?

We have differences in opinions. No one is forcing -you- to do that. Stand your high ground. But, you can't force someone to do the same. That's where the line is here for me. People trying to force others to adhere to their definition of morality. Have a civilized discussion about ethics and morality, but try not to force it on someone else.


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Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #126 on: April 28, 2017, 07:48:21 PM »
If we stop and be truly honest with ourselves, we all know we're not talking about the participating authors being USA Today and NYT bestsellers, just the box-sets. No one gathers a team of twenty runners, does the Boston Marathon as a relay race where the baton gets passed along between them at each 1/20th segment, and then says I completed the Boston Marathon!" :D

Yet I see those authors proclaim that all the time on their covers.  ::)

And I don't understand it, because it's not true. I'd like to see someone have the cojones to put on their cover "1/20th of a USA Today Bestselling Author".

I think that kind of honesty would be nice...


I view it like an Olympic team or a sports team. Like Hockey. Every Hockey player gets a ring, gets to say they are Stanely Cup champions EVEN if they never played a second during the post season.  Those 20 people helped each other to get there. Just like that team got them to the playoffs. Everyone deserves the accolades.

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #127 on: April 28, 2017, 07:49:04 PM »
I actually have a conversation about "cheating" a lot with a friend of mine. I personally -hate- those "publishers" who have a cadre of ghostwriters, and make thousands, tens of thousand, dollars a month churning out re-packaged ghostwritten novels. I hate it so much. But, is that cheating, or is that using a system/market that is offered to them?

This is the same thing: You think gifting is cheating. I 100% respect that. But, is it just using the system/marketing that is offered to them?

We have differences in opinions. No one is forcing -you- to do that. Stand your high ground. But, you can't force someone to do the same. That's where the line is here for me. People trying to force others to adhere to their definition of morality. Have a civilized discussion about ethics and morality, but try not to force it on someone else.

People are merely voicing their opinions about a particular business practice which some see as being unethical and others see as BAU. No one is forcing anything on anyone. It may hurt to have one's behaviour labeled as unethical, but that's the risk we all run when we make ethical choices. :)

Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #128 on: April 28, 2017, 07:50:05 PM »
I'm saying that you may try to avoid getting into an ethical conversation, but you do so by default by accepting or ignoring unethical behaviour.

*shrug*

Turning a blind eye is what allows a lot of bad behaviour continue to exist.

You are trying to force your definition of ethics on other people. I don't agree with that. Regardless of my own personal beliefs.

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Offline Boyd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #129 on: April 28, 2017, 07:50:46 PM »
Turning a blind eye is what allows a lot of bad behaviour continue to exist.
That reminds me of my favorite Edmund Burke quote.

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #130 on: April 28, 2017, 07:51:16 PM »
You are trying to force your definition of ethics on other people. I don't agree with that. Regardless of my own personal beliefs.

Merely stating an opinion is not forcing anything. You have chosen to disagree with me. That means you have a choice and have not been forced to do anything. :)

Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #131 on: April 28, 2017, 07:51:24 PM »
To make things even easier, if you do join the marketing group and are having a hard time finding the posts, here's some quick reference links that might help.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/permalink/1322972544443465/ < If you haven't seen nearly 300 screenshots showing receipts from how I spend buy in...then someone isn't showing you everything!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/permalink/1465963406811044/?match=Ym94ZWQgc2V0cyxib3hlZCBzZXQsYm94IHNldCxib3hlZCxzZXRzLGJveCxzZXQ%3D

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/permalink/1461579860582732/?match=Ym94ZWQgc2V0cyxib3hlZCBzZXQsYm94ZWQsc2V0cyxzZXQ%3D

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/permalink/1450050785068973/?match=Ym94ZWQgc2V0LGJveCBzZXQsYm94ZWQsYm94LHNldA%3D%3D

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/permalink/1424205744320144/?match=Ym94ZWQgc2V0cyxib3hlZCBzZXQsYm94IHNldCxib3hlZCxzZXRzLGJveCxzZXQ%3D

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/permalink/1387829321291120/?match=Ym94ZWQgc2V0LGJveGVkLHNldA%3D%3D < Relevant to someone here who said something about her experience

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/permalink/1473736586033726/?match=Ym94ZWQgc2V0LGJveGVkLHNldA%3D%3D

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/permalink/1465831436824241/?match=Ym94ZWQgc2V0LGJveCBzZXQsYm94ZWQsYm94LHNldA%3D%3D

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/permalink/1390533131020739/?match=Ym94ZWQgc2V0cyxib3hlZCxzZXRz

Those are just a few, but it's a start. Feel free to join and dig deep :) Some of the stuff you've seen online has been taken from there, so once you join for yourself, you'll get to see where they got the content, that they were aware about the stuff they didn't share with you, and then you can ask yourself why they didn't SHARE those vital pieces of information and evidence with you.

Join Group Here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/

Otherwise, I respect your choice to just go along with whatever :) this is just for those who are curious and really want to know the truth. I'm sure some people will say "They looked and there's nothing there" so be ready to hear that. Then go and see for yourself.  And after you do that - speak to Amazon for yourself. Speak to a lawyer for yourself. Heck, speak to the minister at your church if you want to, and have a conversation with them about ethics. This is your career, your life, your decision. You deserve to see for yourself, if for no other reason than to become aware if there is anyone who might be knowingly misleading you.

Those who aren't hiding anything from you should have nothing to worry about if you dive in and see for yourself, so I'm sure they will agree you should join and see the screenshots for yourself. Or they will try to tell you not to look at the screenshots...which in itself would be very telling.

I look forward to meeting more of you. there's been a lot of new faces today, so kudos to those taking knowledge into their own hands!

 Take care :)
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 07:55:20 PM by TheForeverGirlSeries »

Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #132 on: April 28, 2017, 07:51:43 PM »
People are merely voicing their opinions about a particular business practice which some see as being unethical and others see as BAU. No one is forcing anything on anyone. It may hurt to have one's behaviour labeled as unethical, but that's the risk we all run when we make ethical choices. :)

I have no horse in this race. I just call it like I see it, and try to inject logic when things seem illogical to me. I was curious about this thread when it popped up, saw some very strong untruths, and sought to educate.

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #133 on: April 28, 2017, 07:52:24 PM »
That reminds me of my favorite Edmund Burke quote.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Offline Boyd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #134 on: April 28, 2017, 07:55:55 PM »
You are trying to force your definition of ethics on other people. I don't agree with that. Regardless of my own personal beliefs.

Ethics are something I wish were set in stone so everyone was on the same page.  It isn't, and it isn't helpful that TOS differs from retailer to retailer. 

In general:
I have no horse in the race, but I am watching the debate, learning a bit on each side as things are discussed.  Civil discussion and debate is an art form that seems to have been lost in the last twenty years or so, imo. 

ETA: I multi quoted somehow.

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #135 on: April 28, 2017, 07:56:38 PM »
No comment on the ethics of what is going on as that has been covered. My thought is, what is the point of making lists if you know that real readers didn't go out and buy the book? Where is the fun in that? When I sell a book or get a new reader who contacts me, well, that's a great feeling and I wouldn't want to taint that.  ::) Sure, I guess it can help market future books, but if everyone does it, pretty soon having NYT Bestseller won't have any meaning anymore. I will probably never make a list, but I have been in the top 20 on Amazon before. It was amazing. Maybe someday it'll happen again, and if it does, I want it to be through normal advertising methods. (well, tbh, it would be even better if I didn't have to advertise at all!   ;D  )

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #136 on: April 28, 2017, 07:58:23 PM »
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Which is exactly why people are here, letting others know "hey, there's people here who aren't giving you all the facts." The saw evil, came here, and are doing something because they are good people who want other good people to SEE THE TRUTH FOR THEMSELVES.

Knowingly misleading people is, IMO, a lie. And that is what is happening in a thread where so much is intentionally being left out because it will disprove the lies being told here. What will happen, and as been happening, is people see the evidence that people here are lying, and those people then look quite hypocritical to be talking about ethics.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/

PS: We have almost 5300 in the group who have access to these screenshots. Feel free to join us :)

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #137 on: April 28, 2017, 08:02:09 PM »
Someone who wishes to remain anonymous asked me to post this on their behalf. I am only the conduit. I trust this person's opinion due to past performance on Boards and know that many of the rest of you would as well if you knew their identity. That said, I can't verify their claims. I leave that up to the reader. They want to post this info but don't want to risk the potential 1-star attacks and blackballing that has happened to others who have spoken out loud about issues raised in this thread.

Quote
I've watched this organizer's boxes for more than a year now. I've seen the rules being skirted and outright broken.

1) Books in the sets in KU during the time the sets were on pre-order. Boxes releasing wide with 4-6 books still in KU. Not theoretical. Screenshots don't lie. When caught by Amazon (with some outside help), she began not listing the actual names of the books in the boxes on Amazon to make it harder (but far from impossible) for anyone to report them.

2) Forced price-matching by putting the sets on other sites for 99 knowing the sets would be oversized when released.

3) When caught on the price-matching scheme, halving the box sets and putting 11 or 12 of the advertised 22 books on instafreebie with a link for readers to have to go to instafreebie to sideload the balance of the books.

4) Currently, keeping the original box with 22 novels up on Amazon only for release week, then allowing authors to swap out full-length novels for novellas and short stories and calling that a 2nd Edition, even though it bears little to no resemblance to the box that was released and what hit the lists.

Let's think further about some of these:

1) KU double-dipping -- ever wonder WHY Amazon started enforcing its rules for books to not only be exclusive to Amazon but to the publisher and re-emphasized exclusive meant for the preorder period too?

2) Amazon has pulled down some of this organizer's boxes as well as others for this practice. What she and the others gamble on is that Amazon won't catch them within the first week of release. All they want to do is skate through Saturday for NYT listing or Sunday for USA Today. And if they can gift enough boxes and get enough presales during the preorder period to hit the lists with just a few days' sales added on, then if the boxes are taken down late in the week, the boxes can still make the list and they can republish at $2.99.

If Amazon catches the price-matching during the preorder lockdown period or early in the week and if there aren't enough preorders to guarantee a list, then they move to #3.

3) Think about it. The box sets don't even have to physically have all the books in it. Half the authors making a list sometimes aren't even in the box set files being sold to the customer. Read that again. And again.

Now, I happened to be chatting with the person who runs the USA Today bestseller list program, and we spoke about this. She told me during the target week that all versions of a title are considered in the total sales figures, which might include hardback, paperback, ebook, screenplay versions, and so forth. If it has the same title, it gets included. And their contracts with the various vendors means USA Today counts exactly what their told to count, they don't make judgements. So she threw the burden back on Amazon for what they call/don't call an eligible version.

Other organizers who've attempted the instafreebie roll have had their books removed without recourse for republishing.

And while the box set on preorder will have the 22-book 3D box set visual without reference to the book titles the box contains, that cover will get swapped out with a generic 2D cover that lists neither titles nor authors, and often not even number of books to ensure customers can't complain no matter what winds up in the box set file they receive.

4) In an attempt to circumvent the KU exclusivity and to yet continue to capitalize on the USA Today status and keep reviews and still be able to put the box sets into KU one week after release, the organizer now employs the book swap method.

While the organizer and all who take part in her sets, as well as the others coming up behind her, should be ashamed of their blatant attempts to circumvent the Amazon TOS and to manipulate rank and sales, Amazon also shares a good deal of that blame for allowing it to happen.

Lastly, here's what I propose. Since Amazon has seen fit to allow half of several 22-book box sets to be delivered via instafreebie and still allow them to list with USA Today, then let's see how many we can get away with! What about a 50-book box set?

Better yet, let's all publish a box set that has just ONE actual book file in it (our own book, of course), and then add the links to 99 other books that are all permafree. Since we're not actually publishing those 99 books, surely we don't need the rights to them. And if we don't mention the titles on the cover or the authors, we can simply tout the sets as the ultimate 100-book megaboxes for 99 cents. How many do you think we can pop up on the USA Today list? And how many will need to list before Amazon does something about it?

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #138 on: April 28, 2017, 08:02:22 PM »
I view it like an Olympic team or a sports team. Like Hockey. Every Hockey player gets a ring, gets to say they are Stanely Cup champions EVEN if they never played a second during the post season.  Those 20 people helped each other to get there. Just like that team got them to the playoffs. Everyone deserves the accolades.

What you say would be true if the individual author wasn't referring to themselves as a bestselling author in the singular. That's the self-deception evident in this.

Offline JalexM

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #139 on: April 28, 2017, 08:05:37 PM »
Another anonymous author. Shocking.  8)

Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #140 on: April 28, 2017, 08:10:28 PM »
Motivationally speaking:

I have screenshots that show I don't profit on helping others make a bestseller list. Even if you believe that I must be gifting all of these copies, then that means for NO PROFIT I am spending how many hours gifting books? But then when you see the screen shots, you see I can't possibly be gifting thousands of copies, because I've already spent ALL the money on advertising. No matter how you look at it, according to the naysayers here, I'm either spending my time or my money (in reality it's both), to help other authors make a list...to what end? What is my motivation here? What's the punch line to this scam? According to those here, I'm an immoral scammer who helps other people make bestseller lists using methods that cost me time and money...but like...why? Why, supposedly, am I doing this?

It's SO circular. Because when I ask that, it's because "I make a lot of money pocketing the buy in of the sets" - except then it's "she only makes lists because she spends hours upon hours gifting copies that cost money" - So how can I be pocketing the money AND spending it gifting copies? AND paying for a cover designer, formatter, advertisements - and all those things people know exist even without looking at the screenshots in my group that show where the money is going. There is no end to this conversation because by time we get here, it's back to it being unethical, which just leads back to: then what is my motivation here, if I have nothing to gain? Which then goes back to I DO have something to gain. Which then goes back to apparently whatever I gain I am spending on gifting copies. It's like the song that never ends, and it doesn't add up.

AND THEN:

On the other hand, in the same group that most of these screenshots are being shared from, there's literally nearly 300 screenshots that show how money is spent that are NOT being shared on this post. It's not circular. It's linear. Money is paid. Money goes to this. X results result. My motivation to anyone in that group is CLEAR. The evidence speaks for itself. Again, there's a reason some people here don't want you to see ALL The screenshots. There's a reason they didn't show you the nearly 300 screenshots of how that money is spent. There's reason they didn't have a problem with ANY of these things until my sets REGULARLY started hitting lists.

What do I have to gain by doing the sets vs. What do they have to gain by trying to stop you from trusting someone who is helping other authors surpass them? So then, once we hit this point, it goes back to "ethics" again (more circular discussion) - but ethics coming from the fingertips of people who are knowingly withholding information from other authors and trying to dissuade them from looking at Amazon tOS for themselves, talking a lawyer for themselves, talking to Amazon for themselves, and seeing what goes on inside those groups for themselves.

In the end, there's only ONE way to know the truth. It's just up to people whether they want to know it.

See everything they screenshotted here PLUS all the things they didn't when you join genreCrAVE marketing group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/

Then decide for yourself. :)
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 08:14:40 PM by TheForeverGirlSeries »

Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #141 on: April 28, 2017, 08:11:06 PM »
What you say would be true if the individual author wasn't referring to themselves as a bestselling author in the singular. That's the self-deception evident in this.

Athletes still claim to be Olympic gold medalists even if it wasn't a solo effort. Honestly, it's all semantics. I don't mind boxset authors claiming the title they helped earn. Others do. That's your own preference. It doesn't harm me in any way if they want to run with the title they earned in the set. I don't even feel it dilutes the list, either. Yes, there are fricken dozens of USA/NYT authors I've never even heard of, and probably won't ever hear of again. But, they wanted it, they achieved their goals, so yay for them.

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #142 on: April 28, 2017, 08:12:21 PM »
Another anonymous author. Shocking.  8)

Come on, it's not anonymous. I think some of us know who that post is from. Or maybe I've hung around kboards and other writer forums too long. :D

This is such a laughable hit piece, OP. You did the same on Facebook recently. It's great to get writers more informed, and I'm thrilled to see Rebecca here in this thread defending herself. I don't think I know another indie that's had as much [crap] thrown at her and it just slides right off.

I'd encourage any writer to read this thread carefully and if you have any questions, join the genreCrave groups on FB and get the answers for yourself and then leave the group if you don't like what you see. Don't rely on secondhand information thrown around by anonymous posters. Knowledge is power and you have the means to find it.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 08:16:02 PM by Jim Johnson »

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #143 on: April 28, 2017, 08:16:49 PM »
Athletes still claim to be Olympic gold medalists even if it wasn't a solo effort. Honestly, it's all semantics. I don't mind boxset authors claiming the title they helped earn. Others do. That's your own preference. It doesn't harm me in any way if they want to run with the title they earned in the set. I don't even feel it dilutes the list, either. Yes, there are fricken dozens of USA/NYT authors I've never even heard of, and probably won't ever hear of again. But, they wanted it, they achieved their goals, so yay for them.

USA Today Bestselling Coauthor has an honest ring to it. So does Olympic gold comedalist, now that you mention it. ;)

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #144 on: April 28, 2017, 08:18:01 PM »
yes, there are fricken dozens of USA/NYT authors I've never even heard of, and probably won't ever hear of again.

Shoot, this was true when I worked at Waldenbooks in the early 90s. Tradpub's churn created tons of pop-up bestsellers you've never heard from again. Doesn't make it right, but it did show me even back then that the bestseller lists were gamed.

Offline AliceW

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #145 on: April 28, 2017, 08:18:41 PM »
You're talking about ethics? Look how you're talking to a woman whose daughter had surgery today and who is pregnant and who is a real living human being and you equate that with a fake, pro wresting belt marketing gimmick like a best seller list?

I've not seen her give any consideration to the real life circumstances of the people she has sent her followers to bully and harass. It didn't matter if people have lost loved ones, were suffering depression, or received devastating health news. If the author dared complain, ask questions, or seek a refund they were named and shamed and her followers mobilised to hound, harass and 1-star their books. I've seen authors delete their Facebook accounts and give up because of the bullying. But sure, we'll make special consideration about real life circumstances for the instigator.

Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #146 on: April 28, 2017, 08:20:36 PM »
USA Today Bestselling Coauthor has an honest ring to it. So does Olympic gold comedalist, now that you mention it. ;)

ROFL. Yes, that has a great honest ring to it. But it looks ugly as hell!

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #147 on: April 28, 2017, 08:21:14 PM »
It isn't though, only in terms of manipulating rank.

This is a response I've heard before. What is the point of the gifting then? To get enough sales to get on a BS list? Um, it's not sales that get a book on the list, but a top 100 rank. Gifting hundreds of copies, to achieve the rank needed to get on a BS list, IS rank manipulation, pure and simple. Doing it to get on a list doesn't make it okay.
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Offline JalexM

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #148 on: April 28, 2017, 08:23:01 PM »
Come on, it's not anonymous. I think some of us know who that post is from. Or maybe I've hung around kboards and other writer forums too long. :D
;)
It's almost a straight copy and paste.
USA Today Bestselling Coauthor has an honest ring to it. So does Olympic gold comedalist, now that you mention it. ;)
I won't lie, I like the ring of that.

Offline Jim Johnson

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #149 on: April 28, 2017, 08:23:08 PM »
USA Today Bestselling Coauthor has an honest ring to it. So does Olympic gold comedalist, now that you mention it. ;)

Emmy Awards for Best Ensembles is nice too. ;)