Author Topic: Box set scams on Passive Voice  (Read 81212 times)  

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #50 on: April 28, 2017, 05:40:02 PM »
What the heck? What do they have against date farming? o.O
Some people prefer figs. No accounting for tastes.

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Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2017, 05:42:13 PM »
For those interested, there are also authors in the genrecrave marketing group that have posted their before boxed set solo title sales data and their after boxed set solo title sales data. Again, screenshots, instead of empty words. I think the truth speaks for itself - once someone takes the time to look at it. Then they should ask themselves: "Why did those who have this same information try to hide it from me?" Because I think that's the biggest question of all.

Offline sela

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2017, 05:42:37 PM »
My only comment is this:

If a traditional publisher buys 20,000 copies of a book and those books sit in a warehouse somewhere unread or in a dumpster behind the printers and the book hits the NYTs because of those bulk purchases, that is illegitimate, even if the NYTs allows it or looks the other way. It makes the accomplishment meaningless. It only means that the author or publisher had enough money to buy the letters. That says nothing about a book's desirability or quality or value. Just about the author's or publisher's willingness to buy something that should be awarded based on merit or actual sales.

A bestseller should be a best seller because it actually sells the best -- to actual readers who want to purchase it. Not via manipulation by people paid to purchase books or by bulk buying.

Think of it -- it's just not ethical. It makes the designation of "bestseller" meaningless because the designation is based on a lie. In fact, it is worse because there may be true bestsellers that don't hit the list because they weren't able to out-compete the manipulated bestsellers who got there through bulk purchases. It makes the designation meaningless and unfair. It cheapens the whole business.

If an indie buys in bulk, it's the same thing. It's unethical and makes the whole business meaningless and unfair.

It's not enough in terms of ethics or morality to say that everybody does it and so it's okay. That doesn't cut it when it comes to ethics. Nor does it make it ethical or moral to say that it's only business and the businesses involved don't penalize those who do it so it's okay. That means that an unethical act has been sanctioned. That's very sad.

People have to live with themselves and be okay with the ethics of their actions. If they think it's fine to buy in bulk in order to hit a list and get a designation of bestseller, then they have to live with themselves.

Where is John Locke today?

Every indie author should be thinking about how to improve their business and their craft. That means learning, learning, learning, practicing, practicing, and more practicing. There are no short cuts. There is only lots of work to improve and move to the next level.

There's nothing wrong with box sets, or collaborations, or buying promotions that get your book in front of new readers who then choose to buy your book via their own free will. There's nothing wrong with wanting to hit a list, and have your book seen by lots of new readers. That should be your goal,

But if you have to buy your own books in bulk in order to hit some number and get letters after your name, I question if that number and those letters are legitimate.




Offline CrazyHorze

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2017, 05:49:14 PM »
The reactions I see from writers on Facebook tell me Rebecca should be very happy with the Passive Voice article and the blog post. I knew about Rebecca and Genre Cave, but I had no idea what they were doing there. It was always hush hush. The blog post explains how she is creating USA Today and NYT bestsellers. I think she can expect a whole bunch of writers to join her FB groups and boxed sets. You can't buy this kind of internet buzz.

Offline MonkishScribe

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2017, 06:02:21 PM »
The reactions I see from writers on Facebook tell me Rebecca should be very happy with the Passive Voice article and the blog post. I knew about Rebecca and Genre Cave, but I had no idea what they were doing there. It was always hush hush. The blog post explains how she is creating USA Today and NYT bestsellers. I think she can expect a whole bunch of writers to join her FB groups and boxed sets. You can't buy this kind of internet buzz.

I don't know about that, and I've never had any business dealings with her, and neither do I write in that category, but I hear people talk about her all the time as someone who is ethically challenged, at best. The more ethical the writer, the more likely they are to say negative things about her tactics. I recommend staying away if ethics are at all important to you.

Offline CrazyHorze

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #55 on: April 28, 2017, 06:03:11 PM »
Isn't marketing always manipulating sales? If I don't have money for BookBub I won't sell as many books as someone who does have money for BookBub. So using money to get sales is always part of marketing. No, the buzz on Twitter and Facebook is that joining Rebecca's boxed sets is the new bees knees for indies. This blog post is a huge triumph for Rebecca. I think where she was a marginalized book marketer only yesterday, she's now being celebrated as a hero.

Offline Abalone

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #56 on: April 28, 2017, 06:06:19 PM »
Some people prefer figs. No accounting for tastes.

Shameful. They're good, too, but dates are as old as figs if not older.

Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2017, 06:06:46 PM »
To me it sounds like a lot of you don't realize how much it costs to make a list in marketing.

When the big indies are pushing to make JUST the USA today, they've spent tens of thousands in a -week-.

Meredith Wild spent 6-figures (yes, over 100,000) when she pushed her Hacker series.

A friend of mine put together a box set (Not Rebecca). Her budget that she spent: 30,000 (and she didn't make NYT). All out of her pocket because she didn't do a buy in.

I don't have 30,000 to spend on marketing. I don't even have 5,000 to spend. What I do have is $500, and being that I want the letters, I'm A-okay with doing it in a boxset.

Really, really research things before you begin questioning about "Why it costs so much" or "Where does the money go". Because honestly, it costs a ton.


Edited to remove profanity. - Becca
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 10:05:11 AM by Becca Mills »

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Offline JalexM

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #58 on: April 28, 2017, 06:08:32 PM »
I don't know about that, and I've never had any business dealings with her, and neither do I write in that category, but I hear people talk about her all the time as someone who is ethically challenged, at best. The more ethical the writer, the more likely they are to say negative things about her tactics. I recommend staying away if ethics are at all important to you.
Weird, cause all the authors I personally know say the opposite.
I guess I'm unethical according to you, and so are all the other authors who sing her praise.

Offline MonkishScribe

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #59 on: April 28, 2017, 06:08:38 PM »
Isn't marketing always manipulating sales? If I don't have money for BookBub I won't sell as many books as someone who does have money for BookBub. So using money to get sales is always part of marketing. No, the buzz on Twitter and Facebook is that joining Rebecca's boxed sets is the new bees knees for indies. This blog post is a huge triumph for Rebecca. I think where she was a marginalized book marketer only yesterday, she's now being celebrated as a hero.

So you're saying that violating the terms of KU by shuffling books in and out of box sets, buying thousands of books to manipulate the ranks, and attacking anyone who disagrees with your tactics is all good because it's just "marketing."

Also, the accounts (and screenshots) of her attacking people who gave her bad reviews or wanted out because of shady behavior are legion. She doesn't like to be called out. So no, I don't think she likes it.


Edited. - Becca
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 09:11:35 PM by Becca Mills »

Offline sela

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #60 on: April 28, 2017, 06:08:50 PM »
Isn't marketing always manipulating sales? If I don't have money for BookBub I won't sell as many books as someone who does have money for BookBub. So using money to get sales is always part of marketing. No, the buzz on Twitter and Facebook is that joining Rebecca's boxed sets is the new bees knees for indies. This blog post is a huge triumph for Rebecca. I think where she was a marginalized book marketer only yesterday, she's now being celebrated as a hero.

Marketing is influencing sales, not manipulating them. That's why there are laws around advertising.

There's a difference between paying to put your book in front of 50,000 potential customers and having them decide to buy your book and the sales leading to a NYTs bestseller designation and buying 50,000 copies of a book yourself (or as a publisher) to get the NYTs bestseller designation.

Offline AliceW

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #61 on: April 28, 2017, 06:09:06 PM »
I recommend staying away if ethics are at all important to you.

Exactly. Everybody does business in a way that is consistent with their personal morals and beliefs. If you believe in being ethical, complying with retailer TOS, and you would rather have genuine readers than a short term artificial rank manipulation, stay away.

If you believe if its good enough for big publishers then indies can do it too and if there was anything dodgy then Amazon would have shut it down, you're not going to see a problem. I imagine there will be a long line of authors wanting to sign up to become the next USAT/NYT bestseller.

Offline MonkishScribe

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2017, 06:10:06 PM »
Weird, cause all the authors I personally know say the opposite.

We apparently walk in different (ethical) circles.

Offline JalexM

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #63 on: April 28, 2017, 06:11:23 PM »
So you're saying that violating the terms of KU by shuffling books in and out of box sets, buying thousands of books to manipulate the ranks, and attacking anyone who disagrees with your tactics is all good because it's just "marketing."

Also, the accounts (and screenshots) of her attacking people who gave her bad reviews or wanted out because of shady behavior are legion. She doesn't like to be called out. So no, I don't think she likes it.


Edited. - Becca
She doesn't buy thousands of books to manipulate ranks. She doesn't voilate the terms of KU shuffling books in and out of book sets. You're spreading a lot of hearsay and yet you said never worked with her.
Nothing she does is unethical. Some of the author's who speak ill of her are the farthest from ethical. Others just get caught up in the lies.
There are a lot people claiming she violates this and that and never post enough proof to back it up.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 09:14:57 PM by Becca Mills »

Offline Rick Gualtieri

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2017, 06:13:02 PM »
Isn't marketing always manipulating sales? If I don't have money for BookBub I won't sell as many books as someone who does have money for BookBub. So using money to get sales is always part of marketing.

That's a very naive way of thinking. There have always been white hat tactics and black hat tactics.  Just because you can spend money to do something does not make it right. Otherwise, the many KU pirates that amazon smacked down months back would have technically been in the right. There is a vast difference between, for example, creating an AMS ad and going into a group and offering to pay people to buy your book.


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Offline MonkishScribe

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #65 on: April 28, 2017, 06:16:49 PM »
She doesn't buy thousands of books to manipulate ranks. She doesn't voilate the terms of KU shuffling books in and out of book sets. You're spreading a lot of hearsay and yet you said never worked with her.
Nothing she does is unethical. Some of the author's who speak ill of her are the farthest from ethical. Others just get caught up in the lies.
There are a lot people claiming she violates this and that and never post enough proof to back it up.

I have seen screen shots of people who talk about having a certain number of copies they're required to gift before they are allowed into the set. And she absolutely does shuffle books in and out of sets. They go up sometimes claiming to sell KU books, and then shuffle out at the last minute so that what is shipped is something else so that she can be on different retailers. There have also been links inside to download books from third-party sites instead of having the books in the sets, even though they're listen on the cover. All of this is well documented.

Offline Cheryl Douglas

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2017, 06:17:56 PM »
To me it sounds like a lot of you don't realize how much it costs to make a list in marketing.

When the big indies are pushing to make JUST the USA today, they've spent tens of thousands in a -week-.

Meredith Wild spent 6-figures (yes, over 100,000) when she pushed her Hacker series.

A friend of mine put together a box set (Not Rebecca). Her budget that she spent: 30,000 (and she didn't make NYT). All out of her pocket because she didn't do a buy in.

I don't have 30,000 to spend on marketing. I don't even have 5,000 to spend. What I do have is $500, and being that I want the letters, I'm A-okay with doing it in a boxset.

Really, really research things before you begin questioning about "Why it costs so much" or "Where does the money go". Because honestly, it costs a f*ckton.


I respect that everyone has the right to make their own business decisions. And for those have made the lists, kudos. I personally, was only speaking to my own experience with the USA list. I understand it costs a lot more than that to make the NYT times list, but I don't think it's accurate to say that it takes tens of thousands for a one week ad spend to make the USA list. It took me less than $2k to make the list on my own. Again, just my experience. I'm not calling anyone's ethics into question. I've never had personal experience with these box sets or any of the organizers. 

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #67 on: April 28, 2017, 06:18:29 PM »
To me it sounds like a lot of you don't realize how much it costs to make a list in marketing.

When the big indies are pushing to make JUST the USA today, they've spent tens of thousands in a -week-.

Meredith Wild spent 6-figures (yes, over 100,000) when she pushed her Hacker series.

A friend of mine put together a box set (Not Rebecca). Her budget that she spent: 30,000 (and she didn't make NYT). All out of her pocket because she didn't do a buy in.

I don't have 30,000 to spend on marketing. I don't even have 5,000 to spend. What I do have is $500, and being that I want the letters, I'm A-okay with doing it in a boxset.

Really, really research things before you begin questioning about "Why it costs so much" or "Where does the money go". Because honestly, it costs a f*ckton.




I've almost always been in Select so I have no "letters" (just money), but I've had around 7.5k sales (not borrows) in a week a few times at a cost of $0-$400. And I'm not a "big indie." I don't think big indies spend tens of thousands or even thousands to hit lists.

Advertising is one thing. Buying your own book is another, and that's what gifting is. If you can't see the difference, then I guess you're all good here. If you're waffling, you may want to read Sela's post above. She pretty much nails it.

It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. Or the ban hammer falls. :)

Offline JalexM

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #68 on: April 28, 2017, 06:18:43 PM »
I have seen screen shots of people who talk about having a certain number of copies they're required to gift before they are allowed into the set. And she absolutely does shuffle books in and out of sets. They go up sometimes claiming to sell KU books, and then shuffle out at the last minute so that what is shipped is something else so that she can be on different retailers. There have also been links inside to download books from third-party sites instead of having the books in the sets, even though they're listen on the cover. All of this is well documented.

You say they are well documented but where are they?
Also strange is the web page with these claims are down now.
Why would that happen?  ::)


Edited. - Becca

« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 09:35:40 PM by Becca Mills »

Offline CrazyHorze

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2017, 06:21:20 PM »
I imagine there will be a long line of authors wanting to sign up to become the next USAT/NYT bestseller.
Exactly! And only for 500 dollars. BookBub? I now laugh at BookBub! And I would not have known that Rebecca was this successful had this blog post not been written. All in all this day was a triumph for Rebecca and every writer is talking about her.

Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #70 on: April 28, 2017, 06:22:02 PM »
I respect that everyone has the right to make their own business decisions. And for those have made the lists, kudos. I personally, was only speaking to my own experience with the USA list. I understand it costs a lot more than that to make the NYT times list, but I don't think it's accurate to say that it takes tens of thousands for a one week ad spend to make the USA list. It took me less than $2k to make the list on my own. Again, just my experience. I'm not calling anyone's ethics into question. I've never had personal experience with these box sets or any of the organizers.

I think there is a lot of timing around making the USA. It might be easier (cheaper) to do it during a certain month, maybe a certain sub-genre, and as a solo author box set. A lot of those who do push that sort of money also want to make the NYT, so that's why there is the higher spend. To try and do it and hope NYT doesn't vet the set out. You were very lucky to make it on $2k, and I would love to do that myself. But based on my own numbers, and my own marketing spend, it's never going to happen for me at that price point.


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Offline MonkishScribe

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #71 on: April 28, 2017, 06:22:43 PM »
Exactly! And only for 500 dollars. BookBub? I now laugh at BookBub! And I would not have known that Rebecca was this successful had this blog post not been written. All in all this day was a triumph for Rebecca and every writer is talking about her.

It's all fun and games until Amazon decides to finally crack down on the ToS violations and shuts down your KDP account in a mass purge of people associated with bad actors.

Offline JalexM

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #72 on: April 28, 2017, 06:24:14 PM »
It's all fun and games until Amazon decides to finally crack down on the ToS violations and shuts down your KDP account in a mass purge of people associated with bad actors.
Strange that didn't happen to her. It's like she's not violating anything like some are saying.
I think people need to read up on the TOS again.

Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #73 on: April 28, 2017, 06:24:47 PM »
I've almost always been in Select so I have no "letters" (just money), but I've had around 7.5k sales (not borrows) in a week a few times at a cost of $0-$400. And I'm not a "big indie." I don't think big indies spend tens of thousands or even thousands to hit lists.

Advertising is one thing. Buying your own book is another, and that's what gifting is. If you can't see the difference, then I guess you're all good here. If you're waffling, you may want to read Sela's post above. She pretty much nails it.

It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. Or the ban hammer falls. :)

You also have a huge following. For those who are going the boxset route, they might not. I was watching JA Huss' videos (I love her). And she even said when she goes to make a list, she spends tens of thousands in a week when she's pushing to make a list. And there's also no gurantee that 7.5k will make the USA today. That's also just Amazon. Trying to tempt Nook and Itunes is a different animal all together, and you need them to make the list.

I'm not touching the "buying the own books" or gifting issue. That's a different animal. I honestly didn't realize (based on trial and error a friend did during a release) that gifting altered the rank. He said it didn't, so I don't have a horse in that race. If someone wants to gift, that's on them.

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Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2017, 06:26:36 PM »
We don'tt buy our way into lists. I agree that's unethical. I understand some people are just repeating what they have heard. That's why I welcome people to join genrecrave marketing services and see the screenshots for themselves.

I mean which is it? Am I pocketing the buy in? Or using it spend 500 hours a day to gift 20,000 copies? (That sounds expensive... makes you wonder how I have money to pay a cover designer, Formatter, and get the books listed on ad sites, huh?) I know it seems like I might be able to fit 500 hours of work into a day, but I've not yet been able to pull that off. There's a reason the rumors don't add up. And a reason that the screenshots that show my spending do 😜

But hey! You know what's super cool? Instead of rumors, people can actually join the FB group and see screenshots of advertising receipts, testimonies from people who have logged into my accounts an seen the ad spend first hand, and screenshots of preorder numbers (you can't gift a preorder).

I get that people want to tear me down, but maybe pick something that doesn't hurt other authors in the process. I mean - at least go after a leg of my business that I actually profit on 😜
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 06:29:40 PM by TheForeverGirlSeries »