Author Topic: Amazon's fake book problem  (Read 15228 times)  

Online David VanDyke

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #125 on: June 17, 2017, 10:17:05 AM »
Definitions matter. Here's my take:

Legit: Writing to market, which includes the delivery system and the way you get paid. If novelettes on CD paid for via Bitcoin are the hot thing, write novelettes, put them on CD and sell them for Bitcoin. Presumes that what you are doing is transparent and aimed at pleasing the customer, i.e., traditional free-market competition and success. Provide the most desirable product, make money.

Gaming the system: Changing the content or presentation in such a way that it creates a worse experience for the customer or other content producers, but is beneficial for the individual author, distributor or retailer, in a way that does not necessarily violate TOS or law. Examples from the grocery world: reducing the amount of product without changing the size of the packaging, or deliberately putting high-quality fresh produce atop hidden, poorer, but not rotten, fruit inside a package. Example from the indie publishing world: breaking up a novel into pieces in order to get more payout, significantly inconveniencing the customer. Or: filling the book file with extraneous bonus content, also inconveniencing the customer and taking money from other authors via the common pot without providing the customer with anything of value.

Scamming: Anything that violates TOS or law, usually in order to make money, whether directly or indirectly, almost always resulting in a worse customer experience. Example: click farms, whether to increase rank, increase pages read, increase ad prices by make it falsely appear a website is getting more traffic than it is. Example: taking money from unsuspecting authors and using scam methods on their behalf (which scams everyone).


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Online hopecartercan

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #126 on: June 17, 2017, 11:44:49 AM »
Definitions matter. Here's my take:

Legit: Writing to market, which includes the delivery system and the way you get paid. If novelettes on CD paid for via Bitcoin are the hot thing, write novelettes, put them on CD and sell them for Bitcoin. Presumes that what you are doing is transparent and aimed at pleasing the customer, i.e., traditional free-market competition and success. Provide the most desirable product, make money.

Gaming the system: Changing the content or presentation in such a way that it creates a worse experience for the customer or other content producers, but is beneficial for the individual author, distributor or retailer, in a way that does not necessarily violate TOS or law. Examples from the grocery world: reducing the amount of product without changing the size of the packaging, or deliberately putting high-quality fresh produce atop hidden, poorer, but not rotten, fruit inside a package. Example from the indie publishing world: breaking up a novel into pieces in order to get more payout, significantly inconveniencing the customer. Or: filling the book file with extraneous bonus content, also inconveniencing the customer and taking money from other authors via the common pot without providing the customer with anything of value.

Scamming: Anything that violates TOS or law, usually in order to make money, whether directly or indirectly, almost always resulting in a worse customer experience. Example: click farms, whether to increase rank, increase pages read, increase ad prices by make it falsely appear a website is getting more traffic than it is. Example: taking money from unsuspecting authors and using scam methods on their behalf (which scams everyone).

THIS!!!

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #127 on: June 17, 2017, 01:11:37 PM »
Definitions matter. Here's my take:

Legit: Writing to market, which includes the delivery system and the way you get paid. If novelettes on CD paid for via Bitcoin are the hot thing, write novelettes, put them on CD and sell them for Bitcoin. Presumes that what you are doing is transparent and aimed at pleasing the customer, i.e., traditional free-market competition and success. Provide the most desirable product, make money.

Gaming the system: Changing the content or presentation in such a way that it creates a worse experience for the customer or other content producers, but is beneficial for the individual author, distributor or retailer, in a way that does not necessarily violate TOS or law. Examples from the grocery world: reducing the amount of product without changing the size of the packaging, or deliberately putting high-quality fresh produce atop hidden, poorer, but not rotten, fruit inside a package. Example from the indie publishing world: breaking up a novel into pieces in order to get more payout, significantly inconveniencing the customer. Or: filling the book file with extraneous bonus content, also inconveniencing the customer and taking money from other authors via the common pot without providing the customer with anything of value.

Scamming: Anything that violates TOS or law, usually in order to make money, whether directly or indirectly, almost always resulting in a worse customer experience. Example: click farms, whether to increase rank, increase pages read, increase ad prices by make it falsely appear a website is getting more traffic than it is. Example: taking money from unsuspecting authors and using scam methods on their behalf (which scams everyone).

That's a good breakdown.
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Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #128 on: June 17, 2017, 02:31:00 PM »
I think a lot of the visibility problem rests also on Amazon's shoulders rather than just scammers.

I went looking for Erotica>Paranormal (Angels and Demons) and came up with absolutely nothing in the top 100. Packed in 17 of the top 20 books are boxes sets that have nothing to do with angels and/or demons. Yes, a bare few were paranormal (Evangeline Anderson being legitimate) though I believe Amazon is "padding" the top 100 lists with sellers outside the category.

Under Romance>Paranormal>Angels and Demons, a slew of vampire books - which all have a different category.

Amazon really has a genre problem and I don't think it's just the authors trying to mis-label their books for more reads.
 

Online Seneca42

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #129 on: June 17, 2017, 10:42:51 PM »
Amazon really has a genre problem and I don't think it's just the authors trying to mis-label their books for more reads.

It's because I don't think they really care about categories. I don't think many books on Amazon are found that way. 

Amazon expects authors to drive the traffic to their books.

If you're under the top 100 in a cat, as 99% of the books on amazon are, you basically are non-existent. This is why everyone is doing all these crazy things like launching at 99c and spending a ton of money (ie. thousands to break even or even lose) on launch marketing to leverage the HNR list... because at least there's a chance people will see it during that 30-day phase.

This suits amazon just fine as everyone then turns to AMS to try and get visibility.


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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #130 on: June 17, 2017, 10:47:46 PM »
I think a lot of the visibility problem rests also on Amazon's shoulders rather than just scammers.

I went looking for Erotica>Paranormal (Angels and Demons) and came up with absolutely nothing in the top 100. Packed in 17 of the top 20 books are boxes sets that have nothing to do with angels and/or demons. Yes, a bare few were paranormal (Evangeline Anderson being legitimate) though I believe Amazon is "padding" the top 100 lists with sellers outside the category.

Under Romance>Paranormal>Angels and Demons, a slew of vampire books - which all have a different category.

Amazon really has a genre problem and I don't think it's just the authors trying to mis-label their books for more reads.
You are right there. One paragraph in one of my books about Mary Queen of Scots, and my book ended up in the medieval>Scottish section.


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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #131 on: June 18, 2017, 04:03:17 AM »
Definitions matter. Here's my take:

Legit: Writing to market, which includes the delivery system and the way you get paid. If novelettes on CD paid for via Bitcoin are the hot thing, write novelettes, put them on CD and sell them for Bitcoin. Presumes that what you are doing is transparent and aimed at pleasing the customer, i.e., traditional free-market competition and success. Provide the most desirable product, make money.

Gaming the system: Changing the content or presentation in such a way that it creates a worse experience for the customer or other content producers, but is beneficial for the individual author, distributor or retailer, in a way that does not necessarily violate TOS or law. Examples from the grocery world: reducing the amount of product without changing the size of the packaging, or deliberately putting high-quality fresh produce atop hidden, poorer, but not rotten, fruit inside a package. Example from the indie publishing world: breaking up a novel into pieces in order to get more payout, significantly inconveniencing the customer. Or: filling the book file with extraneous bonus content, also inconveniencing the customer and taking money from other authors via the common pot without providing the customer with anything of value.

Scamming: Anything that violates TOS or law, usually in order to make money, whether directly or indirectly, almost always resulting in a worse customer experience. Example: click farms, whether to increase rank, increase pages read, increase ad prices by make it falsely appear a website is getting more traffic than it is. Example: taking money from unsuspecting authors and using scam methods on their behalf (which scams everyone).

Quoting for clear and understandable truth. No one who wrote erotica shorts in KU to earn money was breaking an rule, law, TOS and they weren't playing around with customer satisfaction because erotica readers were actually getting more of want they'd already been paying 2.99 for, for 9.99 a month. It was a total win for them, but Amazon realized it wasn't going the way they envisioned and so they changed it.

There are people on this very site who behaved abhorrently to short story writers, and especially to those writing erotica, among them some of the so-called top indies. It was a very gleeful thread when KUv2 was announced. You'd think their team had won a championship! Party time, baby, because those nasty short story writers were going to get what was coming to them.

This was done openly, against fellow writers who had done nothing but participate legally, morally and ethically in KU, following the rules that Amazon themselves set up. People tried to defend themselves, but honestly? Being an erotica writer doesn't go over well here, and romance writers aren't treated much better. We all know short story writers are scum, right?

Quote
I'd imagine whoever implemented KU was promoted with Jeff's blessing. I'm not in a position to second-guess Jeff. Are you?

Yet, here you are, verging on being nasty and superior about every person who is expressing an opinion you don't agree with. And actually, I can second-guess Jeff Bezos all I want, every day, all day long -- here, so long as it's within forum decorum -- because so far, the First Amendment still stands. You seem to feel free to do the same. Yay. We're on the same page. The Constitution and Bill of Rights rule!
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Offline NeedWant

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #132 on: June 18, 2017, 04:11:23 AM »
Quoting for clear and understandable truth. No one who wrote erotica shorts in KU to earn money was breaking an rule, law, TOS and they weren't playing around with customer satisfaction because erotica readers were actually getting more of want they'd already been paying 2.99 for, for 9.99 a month. It was a total win for them, but Amazon realized it wasn't going the way they envisioned and so they changed it.

There are people on this very site who behaved abhorrently to short story writers, and especially to those writing erotica, among them some of the so-called top indies. It was a very gleeful thread when KUv2 was announced. You'd think their team had won a championship! Party time, baby, because those nasty short story writers were going to get what was coming to them.

This was done openly, against fellow writers who had done nothing but participate legally, morally and ethically in KU, following the rules that Amazon themselves set up. People tried to defend themselves, but honestly? Being an erotica writer doesn't go over well here, and romance writers aren't treated much better. We all know short story writers are scum, right?

All of this.

I clearly remember how novelists acted toward erotica/shorts authors when KU2 was announced, and it wasn't pretty.

Offline Shelley K

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #133 on: June 18, 2017, 06:33:02 AM »
All of this.

I clearly remember how novelists acted toward erotica/shorts authors when KU2 was announced, and it wasn't pretty.

My only quibble with this and the previous post is that you're using past tense. A few posts in this thread are pretty good evidence against that. The fact that it's a thread about Amazon's fake book problem, and we all know what that is, and it somehow becomes a condemnation of short erotica writers in KU1, says it all. And in other threads we've got people saying using Vellum is hacking. Back to the old saw that if you're not doing it my way, you're wrong.

We all inherently know if we're doing something wrong. I've never needed anyone else to define right and wrong for me, even when I was a kid. I doubt anybody else here does either.

Offline Dolphin

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #134 on: June 18, 2017, 03:25:15 PM »
Yet, here you are, verging on being nasty and superior about every person who is expressing an opinion you don't agree with. And actually, I can second-guess Jeff Bezos all I want, every day, all day long -- here, so long as it's within forum decorum -- because so far, the First Amendment still stands. You seem to feel free to do the same. Yay. We're on the same page. The Constitution and Bill of Rights rule!

That's a common misconception. The Constitution generally has no bearing on KBoards or any other private entity, and the First Amendment is an excellent example of this principle. You alluded to this very fact when you mentioned forum decorum and when you said--quite rightly--that erotica authors haven't been treated well here. Censorship is perfectly legal on a privately held forum.

Whether or not you can second-guess Jeff, I think we should all be circumspect. He's done a lot for us. KDP and KU have been very good to a lot of authors and a lot of readers, foibles notwithstanding.

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #135 on: June 18, 2017, 03:50:13 PM »
Quote
Whether or not you can second-guess Jeff, I think we should all be circumspect. He's done a lot for us. KDP and KU have been very good to a lot of authors and a lot of readers, foibles notwithstanding.

I don't see it mentioned often enough, but I assume it's true that Jeff Bezos' wife is an author and that's one of the reasons he initially opened an online bookstore. I don't think he has ever had anything but good will and good intentions for authors, especially beginning and struggling authors.



Offline Dolphin

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #136 on: June 18, 2017, 04:23:17 PM »
I don't see it mentioned often enough, but I assume it's true that Jeff Bezos' wife is an author and that's one of the reasons he initially opened an online bookstore. I don't think he has ever had anything but good will and good intentions for authors, especially beginning and struggling authors.

Huh! I don't think I knew that. She has indeed published two novels (with Knopf and a HarperCollins imprint, if you're wondering).

That's got to be awkward for her, honestly. Lord knows she should be able to take as much time as she wants to write, and she could hire any help she could ever need, but Jeff's a bit of a lightning rod in the industry. Helping indies out has been a part of that.

Online Anma Natsu

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #137 on: June 18, 2017, 04:44:04 PM »
I don't see it mentioned often enough, but I assume it's true that Jeff Bezos' wife is an author and that's one of the reasons he initially opened an online bookstore. I don't think he has ever had anything but good will and good intentions for authors, especially beginning and struggling authors.

She is, but neither of them have indicated that's why he started the site.  She was actually just then working her first book when he started the company and they'd only been married a year.  He himself said he came up for the idea after being astounded by the about the rapid growth in then fledgling Internet's use and with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that exempted mail order companies from collecting sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence.  Coming up with business ideas was literally his job.  So then he studied mail order companies looking for a gap, and realized there was no such thing for books, due to the obvious difficulties of making a reasonably sized mail order catalog for every book out there.  Perfect match for a starter Internet business :)  1 2

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #138 on: June 18, 2017, 04:52:09 PM »

If you're under the top 100 in a cat, as 99% of the books on amazon are, you basically are non-existent.

I made a similar statement on a different thread some time ago and feedback indicated a lot of top-earning authors never made the lists and many didn't advertise much if at all. Hell if I know one way or the other but I'm hoping one can achieve reasonable success "off list."


Online Seneca42

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #139 on: June 18, 2017, 05:37:55 PM »
I made a similar statement on a different thread some time ago and feedback indicated a lot of top-earning authors never made the lists and many didn't advertise much if at all. Hell if I know one way or the other but I'm hoping one can achieve reasonable success "off list."

well if you started early days and you've released a ton of books and continue do so regularly you can make a lot of money without being in the top lists.

But also remember that everyone has a different definition of things around here. Like some people consider "I hardly do any marketing" to mean they spend less than $200 a month. Whereas others consider $200 a month to be the high-end of their marketing.

So grain of salt as always, because a lot can get lost in translation.

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #140 on: June 19, 2017, 02:11:46 AM »
Don't get bogged down in whether or not it's fair. Business doesn't work like that. Last thing you need is to drive yourself nuts worrying about a problem you can't fix, or to make a poor business decision based on emotion and cognitive bias.

Very wise!

Offline Lady Runa

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #141 on: June 19, 2017, 02:17:56 AM »
As a reader, I report fake books every time I come across them but I'm yet to see any action on any of the titles I reported. :(

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Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #142 on: June 19, 2017, 06:15:52 AM »
My only quibble with this and the previous post is that you're using past tense. A few posts in this thread are pretty good evidence against that. The fact that it's a thread about Amazon's fake book problem, and we all know what that is, and it somehow becomes a condemnation of short erotica writers in KU1, says it all. And in other threads we've got people saying using Vellum is hacking. Back to the old saw that if you're not doing it my way, you're wrong.

We all inherently know if we're doing something wrong. I've never needed anyone else to define right and wrong for me, even when I was a kid. I doubt anybody else here does either.
Where did anyone say anything negative about erotica writers? I've looked twice and the comments were either removed or I totally missed them.

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Offline Herefortheride

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #143 on: June 19, 2017, 07:43:27 AM »
This thread sure got derailed quickly by people wanting to squabble!
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Offline Shelley K

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #144 on: June 19, 2017, 09:36:51 AM »
Where did anyone say anything negative about erotica writers? I've looked twice and the comments were either removed or I totally missed them.

They're not the type of comments that would be or should be removed. It's the same old contention that people writing erotic shorts during KU1 were doing very bad things. *shrug* Super old at this point.

Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #145 on: June 19, 2017, 09:45:09 AM »
They're not the type of comments that would be or should be removed. It's the same old contention that people writing erotic shorts during KU1 were doing very bad things. *shrug* Super old at this point.
Who has said that? I haven't seen anyone say that. I've seen people argue that breaking up full books and writing scamphets is bad, but I've yet to see anyone write anything bad about erotica.

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Offline Shelley K

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #146 on: June 19, 2017, 09:52:25 AM »
Who has said that? I haven't seen anyone say that. I've seen people argue that breaking up full books and writing scamphlets is bad, but I've yet to see anyone write anything bad about erotica.

Saying it's something someone 'comes clean' about is implying wrongdoing in my book. If you don't see that way, then you don't see it that way.


Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #147 on: June 19, 2017, 09:56:45 AM »
Saying it's something someone 'comes clean' about is implying wrongdoing in my book. If you don't see that way, then you don't see it that way.
Except you wrote that "multiple" posts came out against erotica writers and were negative about them. From what I've seen, everyone has been very careful to stress that they're not talking about erotica but other people doing unethical things, like breaking up books and uploading gibberish that opens at 10 percent.

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Offline Shelley K

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #148 on: June 19, 2017, 10:05:17 AM »
Except you wrote that "multiple" posts came out against erotica writers and were negative about them. From what I've seen, everyone has been very careful to stress that they're not talking about erotica but other people doing unethical things, like breaking up books and uploading gibberish that opens at 10 percent.

I said "a few." It may have been a few posts from that particular exchange, I don't remember, and I don't have time to go through all six pages to find them right now. The 'come clean' post is what sprung to mind as an example that I didn't have to look up.

If I scoured back through and discovered that I was wrong, that it was one post, I'd mea culpa that. But we both know it wouldn't take much searching here to find plenty of examples of what I'm talking about.



Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: Amazon's fake book problem
« Reply #149 on: June 19, 2017, 10:08:23 AM »
I said "a few." It may have been a few posts from that particular exchange, I don't remember, and I don't have time to go through all six pages to find them right now. The 'come clean' post is what sprung to mind as an example that I didn't have to look up.

If I scoured back through and discovered that I was wrong, that it was one post, I'd mea culpa that. But we both know it wouldn't take much searching here to find plenty of examples of what I'm talking about.
I've been through the thread three times searching and can't seem to find any posts bashing erotica.

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