Author Topic: KENPC 0.0042229 for June  (Read 11161 times)  

Online jcalloway

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2017, 04:29:12 PM »
The odd thing is that first book looks like it's from an actual--albeit struggling--author, as opposed to the Internet Marketer types who sling together ghostwritten novellas with twenty bonus books attached.

There were a few recent threads from authors who'd lost their ranks, and the commenters here followed the breadcrumbs back to the likely use of clickfarm services.

So my question is: are the clickfarms expanding their business plans? Are they being advertised somewhere as if they're a regular service provider? If so, where is this happening? Facebook groups? A dark alley behind a Subway?

It's just so flagrant. Catapulting these books to #1 in a random category is one thing, but #1 in the entire paid store is quite another matter entirely. Surely Amazon will notice this level of chicanery?

If the clickfarmers have indeed expanded their reach by appealing to struggling authors, things are only going to get worse in the land o' KU.

Online Homer

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2017, 04:30:42 PM »
I am not a fan of Mathias as a person (on the KDP/DTP forums long ago) or as a writer, but I don't think he's scamming anything. He had success before KU ever came along. He launched with long books at prices just a smidgen below what major publishers would price similarly themed works of the same length. Now, he does have a preview and a novella in there (at the back) -- but the last Jack Reacher book I read did, too. If it's ok for a book out of KU to have those reader bonuses and future work advertising, it doesn't become an illegitimate tactic because it's in KU.

I've been paying attention to his books over the last 7 months. His books regularly hang out in the tens of thousands, and then one of them published in 2011 or 2012 will spike to the top 10 in the entire Kindle store. Often it is not even book 1 in a series, but the second or third. No new reviews appear in the days / weeks after. If you scroll through the also-boughts of his books that yo-yo every few months they are strange: MMA fighter romances, gay cowboy romances, random non-fiction. Not just fantasy, like every other popular fantasy book. 

Offline DanaFraser

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 142
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2017, 04:33:22 PM »
Aside from scammers - Amazon Prime Day had a year subscription to KU for $40 [SEE ETA] per a post on my mother-in-law's Facebook page. I wept. Dry tears, but tears nonetheless.

ETA - Heh - ok, here's the deal. I talked to her. She clicked within the first minute, got a pop-up that said she was the first to take advantage of the offer. I of course cannot verify that (but have no reason to doubt her word or her memory). I DID see the invoice and it gave her a double credit of 39.56 prime savings. So there must be some kind of door prize for the first for first few clickers on some deals. I am glad to know they weren't giving everyone a year at $40
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 07:47:57 PM by DanaFraser »

Online Seneca42

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2017, 04:34:03 PM »
one way to check if something is being click farmed is to check their international listings.

The books in discussion, for instance, are #1 in the US, but have crap rank everywhere else. So it's not some promo or general marketing interest bumping them up. It's targeted purely at the US market.

Only two things can cause that: a US-specific bookbub or a clickfarm.


Offline Michael-Allen

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2017, 04:37:06 PM »

So my question is: are the clickfarms expanding their business plans? Are they being advertised somewhere as if they're a regular service provider? If so, where is this happening? Facebook groups? A dark alley behind a Subway?


Fiverr appears to be a potential place. Gigs that say they will get you hundreds of kindle unlimited downloads in less than a week. Gig sellers are from the Philippines. A country where a lot of click farms occur.

Offline C. Gockel

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3716
  • Chicago, IL
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2017, 04:45:51 PM »
Quote
Only two things can cause that: a US-specific bookbub or a clickfarm.

A U.S. specific BookBub will get you a lot of sales overseas though too. I'm not sure how or why, but it happens.


I write books about Change, Chaos, and Loki
C. Gockel | facebook | tumblr | website

Online jcalloway

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2017, 04:49:03 PM »
Fiverr appears to be a potential place. Gigs that say they will get you hundreds of kindle unlimited downloads in less than a week. Gig sellers are from the Philippines. A country where a lot of click farms occur.

Welp, you're right. I just searched Kindle Unlimited and the first result is a gem.

Quote
I will do amazing batter kindle unlimited books read. I have worked with publicists and have helped read book and promote their authors. I am a reputable author and book read. I can offer lots of ideas and suggestions as to how you can get started read, press releases and having book bloggers sign off on your latest project.

and one of the reviews:
Quote
Awesome 4 KU reads delivered with evidence
about 2 months ago

Just great.

Offline Michael-Allen

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2017, 04:53:14 PM »
Welp, you're right. I just searched Kindle Unlimited and the first result is a gem.

and one of the reviews:
Just great.

One on there says 250 KU readers for $25. The thing is that in the profile they are saying that they are :sending it to their list of readers", yet they are guaranteeing a certain amount of downloads. One of the reviews said ' I'm getting hundreds in royalties now because of the $25."

So it looks like they are trying to make it seem as if it is a promotion and not a clickfarm, yet they are guaranteeing certain amount of downloads depending on how much you pay. Fishy.

To guarantee 50+ KU downloads within a 2 day span for $5. Hmmm.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 04:55:12 PM by Michael-Allen »

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16133
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2017, 04:55:04 PM »
That's about a 14% decline since Feb. Or in real numbers, about a $680 loss per 1M page-reads per month. Or $2720 for the last 4 months at an average 1M pages per month. Steel Magnolia averages well over 1M, so by extrapolation, we're looking at a hit well into the 5-figures for the year, and that's if the payout doesn't decline more but plateaus. Not figures I sneeze at.

The gap amount needed to be made up by going wide is fast closing. I'm with Glynn. Keeping authors exclusive in a scam-ridden system that's losing value means Amazon will need to up its game.

We've made more over the past two years being in KU than we would have made out. I'm happy with the time we've spent in and would continue to be happy being fairly compensated. But I'm flexible. Pulling out and going wide again certainly isn't off the table. It's simply as much a business decision as is what Amazon decides to risk each month with its payouts and by not dealing with the scammers.
That's "supposed" to apply to the competition, not to your business partners. Although, yes, I'm well aware of the thumbscrews Amazon applies to its suppliers.
This. I have made a pretty decent amount of money in KU, but the day I would make more out, I'm gone. And that day is approaching if Amazon doesn't do something to change this trend.

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin | J. R. Tomlin | Writing and More

Online SevenDays

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2689
  • Gender: Female
  • PNW
  • Imagine something cool and witty here.
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2017, 04:55:24 PM »
If that's legit, I'll eat my hat.

There's no way that got to #1 through advertising or non-dodgy means.



Edited to remove quoted post. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 10:37:56 PM by Becca Mills »

Alex A. King | Website

Offline Dolphin

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1925
  • Gender: Male
  • Under the Sea
  • Skree'ee--eee, eeek!
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2017, 05:03:24 PM »
Aside from scammers - Amazon Prime Day had a year subscription to KU for $40 per a post on my mother-in-law's Facebook page. I wept. Dry tears, but tears nonetheless.

Why?

Offline ........

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2017, 05:15:47 PM »
Don't forget inflation either... the payout in real dollars is sliding fast.

Offline Ryan W. Mueller

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Gender: Male
  • Missour, United States
    • View Profile
    • Ryan W. Mueller
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2017, 05:21:01 PM »
This whole click farm thing is ridiculous. It might give you a temporary boost in income, but I imagine it will become obvious pretty quickly if you're getting a ton of KU reads, but no paid sales or reviews.

Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

  • Status: Shakespeare
  • **********
  • Posts: 26422
  • Gender: Female
  • Florida
  • Remembering Jeff and Harvey
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2017, 05:21:30 PM »
Don't miss this one. It's been in the Top 10 overall for days. Oddly, it hasn't gotten any new reviews...

[link redacted]

Both this and the current #1 are epic fantasy, a genre that you'd be hard-pressed to ever find in the Top 100 much less the Top 10.

Here's hoping (however naively) that Amazon catches the June scammers, recalculates the pay out, and makes adjustments. Hey, it could happen. ;)


Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

Mike is a legitimate author and used to be a member here on kboards.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 10:38:37 PM by Becca Mills »


Please visit my website to browse my virtual bookshelf.
Margaret Lake | website | twitter | youtube | facebook

Online Atunah

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 10752
  • Gender: Female
  • South of Seasons
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2017, 05:27:07 PM »
Aside from scammers - Amazon Prime Day had a year subscription to KU for $40 per a post on my mother-in-law's Facebook page. I wept. Dry tears, but tears nonetheless.
It wasn't $40. It was up to 40% off if you bought the 2 year sub, which was $140 or so. I bought the 1 year which then came out to 80something, instead of the $120 it would have been. If it had bee $40, trust me, us readers would have been all over that and spread it like wildfire.

Member since 11/20/2008 | Atunah's Romance Haus | Goodreads |
It has always been forever, for me, Sassenach -- Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Online Seneca42

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2017, 05:28:06 PM »
This whole click farm thing is ridiculous. It might give you a temporary boost in income, but I imagine it will become obvious pretty quickly if you're getting a ton of KU reads, but no paid sales or reviews.

that's why everyone is  p*ss sed. because it is obvious and amazon does nothing about it. It's also why it used to be used by scammers, but now is being used by run-of-the-mill authors who should be afraid of having their accounts banned, but clearly aren't.

That's just how bad amazon's scam/bot detection is. Some authors have literally zero fear of getting in trouble.

I'll just say it. KU is dead. May take another year to implode, but it's now so out of control that Amazon itself might have to shut it down.

Online Homer

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2017, 05:37:57 PM »
Mike is a legitimate author and used to be a member here on kboards.

The book currently at #1 is by a legitimate author. Apparently, that means very little now. A week in the top 10 on all of Amazon - hundreds of downloads a day - and only 2 reviews on Amazon and 3 Goodreads ratings? The last self-published fantasy author to get anywhere this high was Will Wight, and he had dozens of reviews after 24 hours as fans devoured his book.   

Offline Dolphin

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1925
  • Gender: Male
  • Under the Sea
  • Skree'ee--eee, eeek!
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2017, 05:42:50 PM »
If it had bee $40, trust me, us readers would have been all over that and spread it like wildfire.

Yes, please.

I'll just say it. KU is dead. May take another year to implode, but it's now so out of control that Amazon itself might have to shut it down.

Why?

Online ShaneJeffery

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1260
  • Gender: Male
  • Melbourne
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2017, 05:48:53 PM »
The search on Fiverr is pretty eyeopening. It's like that scammer Free Book Service mutated and multiplied. No more $300 for amazing results, prices are slashed and they're giving it away in smaller doses. Legitimate authors commenting after purchasing gig "Outstanding Service!" no idea what they're actually buying. Just seeing the dashboard go off and that's enough for them. I would hate for Amazon to go after the naive ones with a flamethrower but if one of them gets up to #1 in the entire store, they're basically making a mockery of KU and Amazon not acting is detrimental to everyone playing the game straight.

Offline MonkishScribe

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3820
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2017, 05:52:31 PM »
Mike is a legitimate author and used to be a member here on kboards.

He's a legit author, but that doesn't mean his marketing tactics are legit. He shoots his books into the top ten, and then weeks later they have no alsobots or new reviews? That doesn't look super, spectacularly fishy to you?

Online Furry One

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #45 on: July 14, 2017, 06:04:36 PM »
Mike is a legitimate author and used to be a member here on kboards.


He's a legit author, but that doesn't mean his marketing tactics are legit. He shoots his books into the top ten, and then weeks later they have no alsobots or new reviews? That doesn't look super, spectacularly fishy to you?

Agree with the above post. And just because someone is or was a member of KBoards doesn't exempt him/her from scrutiny. Especially when something seems a little ... off.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 06:09:47 PM by Furry One »

Offline Daniel Roy Greenfeld

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Daniel Roy Greenfeld: Indie Fantasy and Tech Author
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #46 on: July 14, 2017, 06:20:44 PM »
Reading this about KENPC and seeing the best selling list gamed this way is depressing. So many of us write and work hard on our books, do everything we can to market them honestly, and then this happens.  :(

The problem is that I don't see the alternatives (selling from personal sites, draft2digital, smashwords, etc) as being realistic places to gain much ongoing popularity in fiction the way you get with Amazon. Am I wrong in this regard? Please educate me if that's the case. Otherwise, all I can think of doing is sucking it up and staying with KDP Select. Which I can assure you, is not a happy prospect.



Daniel Roy Greenfeld | Blog | Facebook

Online Patty Jansen

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 11236
  • Gender: Female
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Destroyer of Science Fiction
    • View Profile
    • Patty Jansen Author of SF and fantasy
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #47 on: July 14, 2017, 06:27:59 PM »
Reading this about KENPC and seeing the best selling list gamed this way is depressing. So many of us write and work hard on our books, do everything we can to market them honestly, and then this happens.  :(

The problem is that I don't see the alternatives (selling from personal sites, draft2digital, smashwords, etc) as being realistic places to gain much ongoing popularity in fiction the way you get with Amazon. Am I wrong in this regard? Please educate me if that's the case. Otherwise, all I can think of doing is sucking it up and staying with KDP Select. Which I can assure you, is not a happy prospect.



You would be completely wrong. There is a good career to be made outside the poisonous KU ecosystem. Many of us are doing it.

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16133
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2017, 06:29:06 PM »
Mike is a legitimate author and used to be a member here on kboards.

"Legitimate" authors are quickly switching to not legitimate means of promotion because they can see that they can get away with it.

(I have no evidence that's the case with this author, but it does look very suspicious and it IS happening)

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin | J. R. Tomlin | Writing and More

Online Homer

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: KENPC 0.0042229 for June
« Reply #49 on: July 14, 2017, 06:35:06 PM »
"Legitimate" authors are quickly switching to not legitimate means of promotion because they can see that they can get away with it.

(I have no evidence that's the case with this author, but it does look very suspicious and it IS happening)

Does this count as evidence? This is one of the books that regularly goes to #1 in fantasy and then vanishes. Check out the also-boughts. Then find me another fantasy book with hundreds of reviews with also boughts of only that author and completely random non-fiction books. Is there any other fantasy author in the also boughts there? Little strange, don't you think?

[link redacted]



Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 10:40:01 PM by Becca Mills »