Author Topic: Scammers Breaking The Kindle Store : Skyrocketing to #1 Overall (MERGED)  (Read 71490 times)  

Offline Lauriejoyeltahs

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 231
  • Gender: Female
  • Pennsylvania
    • View Profile
    • Laurie Jo Bryant Books


I have noticed on the kindle app that all of the books I've read over the last two weeks too at some point and it will say page 988, then I turn the page and it says page 988 over and over. The most recent was a Robin Hobb book that showed a preview in the first book of a series for the last book, (I didn't understand why it wasn't for the next one but who am I.) Another was an indie epic fantasy just over 700 kindle pages and it had previews for five or six books in a different series. ( this also surprised me because this book was only recently added to KU but I guess they've picked up on the page payout t thing already except they didn't count or at least I think they didn't since the page numbers stopped and said the same page over and over.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 03:22:25 PM by Lauriejoyeltahs »

Offline Bill Hiatt

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1961
  • Gender: Male
  • California
    • View Profile
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
I have noticed on the kindle app that all of the books I've read over the last two weeks too at some point and it will say page 988, then I turn the page and it says page 988 over and over. The most recent was a Robin Hobb book that showed a preview in the first book of a series for the last book, (I didn't understand why it wasn't for the next one but who am I.) Another was an indie epic fantasy just over 700 kindle pages and it had previews for five or six books in a different series. ( this also surprised me because this book was only recently added to KU but I guess they've picked up on the page layout thing already except they didn't count or at least I think they didn't since the page numbers stopped and said the same page over and over.
Interesting! I can see why someone would want to have an excerpt of the next book at the end of the previous one. Trad-pubbed paperbacks have done that for a long time. However, it really doesn't make sense to count that kind of backmatter as part of the KENP total. It does sound as if Amazon is at least doing something.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter

Online Sam Rivers

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2362
  • Gender: Male
  • Planet Earth
  • Sci Fi Writer
    • View Profile
How scaming works
« Reply #102 on: July 17, 2017, 04:46:37 PM »
This article tells how the scamming works.  I found it interesting so I thought I would pass it on to you.

https://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/amazon-encourages-indie-authors-to-be-shady
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.

Robert A. Heinlein

Offline StephenBrennan

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
  • Gender: Male
  • Vancouver, BC
    • View Profile
    • Stephen Brennan.ca
Re: How scaming works
« Reply #103 on: July 17, 2017, 04:53:35 PM »
Don't click on it! It's a scam!  :o

Offline martyns

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 950
  • Gender: Male
  • United Kingdom
  • Author of the 'Deathsworn Arc'
    • View Profile
    • Goodreads Author Page
Re: How scaming works
« Reply #104 on: July 18, 2017, 12:56:52 AM »
Don't click on it! It's a scam!  :o

Really? What makes you think it's a scam? I was going to click on it... Now I kind of don't want to.


Book 1 of the Deathsworn Arc 'Deathsworn Arc: The Last Dragon Slayer' is FREE to download!
Martyn Stanley | Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon | Google+ | WattPad

Offline dgaughran

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3291
  • Gender: Male
  • Dublin
  • Let's Get Digital
    • View Profile
    • David Gaughran
Good Ereader is not a reliable source. I didn't even click on it - please refrain from doing so either. Don't quote them, don't link to them, they are garbage.

They write misogynistic trash which smears all indies with braindead generalities. And they make huge dough from it - the site owner sold the company for a big wedge last year.

Don't give them any more clicks.

David Gaughran | mailing list | blog | website | facebook | twitter
LET'S GET DIGITAL 2 Free for purchasers of the 1st edition! Instructions here

Offline Mylius Fox

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Cognitive syntactical wizard.
    • View Profile
Good Ereader is not a reliable source. I didn't even click on it - please refrain from doing so either. Don't quote them, don't link to them, they are garbage.

They write misogynistic trash which smears all indies with braindead generalities. And they make huge dough from it - the site owner sold the company for a big wedge last year.

Don't give them any more clicks.

Cool, our very own fake news.  8)

Privetstvuyu, moi russkiye druz'ya!  :-*

Offline #############

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 88
    • View Profile
Good Ereader is not a reliable source. I didn't even click on it - please refrain from doing so either. Don't quote them, don't link to them, they are garbage.

They write misogynistic trash which smears all indies with braindead generalities. And they make huge dough from it - the site owner sold the company for a big wedge last year.

Don't give them any more clicks.

I did, out of curiosity. :( But I quickly backed out at their implication was that all indies were scammers.

Offline Perry Constantine

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2594
  • Gender: Male
  • San Diego
  • Action Fiction Author
    • View Profile
    • Percival Constantine - Action Fiction Author
If I said what I really thought about Good Ereader, I'd probably break KBoards' cursing filter.

Offline CLStone

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Obsession is the Goal
I did, out of curiosity. :( But I quickly backed out at their implication was that all indies were scammers.

How dare we write great books and offer them at lower prices and keep low overhead! :p

Granted though the reputation for indie being scammy can end up being like people who think all 'work at home jobs' are scams. There are a lot of scams, a lot of people who are merely ignorant and try some dumb things, and then you have the small, genuine group trying their best and are too busy working their tails off.

But I used to do what dgaughran has been up to, following a few questionable people who seem to be going under the radar and pointing out the issues, only I was doing it in the work at home job world.

But I've had to do my fair share of the opposite, too, when someone was innocent but a mob mentality broke out, no research to base it from but everyone was angry. I'd have to dig in, figure out the mess and sort out what was going on.

It's good to be careful and ask questions and to presume innocence. When I used to teach a class how to spot scammers, I ended up making a list of what were warning signs and red flags. Warnings were things like no website, just an email address, or no internet history at all. Red flags were things that were definitely not okay, like charging a fee to turn in an application, or like here in the publishing world, an ebook filled with repeat paragraphs and links to the back of the book, etc.

Teach people how to spot scams, and you get fewer people just pointing fingers randomly, which I think is what the biggest concern. No one wants a KU filled with scammers, but no one also wants to get the boot when they had a good, random week and are suddenly questioned by Amazon when someone gets a jealous streak and starts pointing fingers. 

You could say if they are innocent that Amazon would be okay with it, but we know how long it takes for Amazon to get to some things, and if you were an innocent who had a random lucky streak and suddenly get ranking on pause while they look into it, you lose that streak. It still hurts innocent authors, so I feel it is better to teach exactly what to look for, and at what point you should get in touch with Amazon about it.

New covers and second book release: Coming soon!
Ask me for a freebie!

Offline Desmond X. Torres

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
  • Gender: Male
  • Kingston, Ontario Canada
  • Transplant from The Bronx to Canada
    • View Profile
FWIW, I think their site's down.
Crawley House: A tale of The Hauntings of Kingston

If you're new and need some guidance on setting up Mailchimp, I have a thread on it here at Kboards:http://www.kboards.com/index.php?topic=165780.msg2374500#msg2374500

Online Jim Johnson

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5953
  • Gender: Male
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Storyteller and Cat Minion
    • View Profile
    • Ineti Press
Got this email from Amazon ECR following the email I sent late last week:

Quote
Thanks for taking the time to contact us.  We take any manipulation of our programs and services very seriously and have forwarded your concerns to the appropriate team for investigation. Although we cant disclose the outcome of the investigation, and corrective actions are not always visible to the public, we appreciate your feedback. Along with our ongoing investigations, well continue to dig into any example you provide to us.

Nothing new to other folks' responses, but someone's reading the emails.

Offline PhoenixS

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4044
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Got this email from Amazon ECR following the email I sent late last week:

Nothing new to other folks' responses, but someone's reading the emails.

Total boilerplate response, though. I've got a stack of those piled up with that exact verbiage. :(
  (click to enbiggen)

Offline Perry Constantine

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2594
  • Gender: Male
  • San Diego
  • Action Fiction Author
    • View Profile
    • Percival Constantine - Action Fiction Author
Total boilerplate response, though. I've got a stack of those piled up with that exact verbiage. :(

Yup, I got the exact same email. Exact same wording.

Offline dgaughran

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3291
  • Gender: Male
  • Dublin
  • Let's Get Digital
    • View Profile
    • David Gaughran
Same boilerplate email - in response to a report they asked me to compile. I offered them a whole pile of info. They didn't want it.

David Gaughran | mailing list | blog | website | facebook | twitter
LET'S GET DIGITAL 2 Free for purchasers of the 1st edition! Instructions here

Offline Phxsundog

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Scammers have Amazon by the tail so long as clickbots run on legit books. Not just who ordered them. Amazon can't tell the difference. Neither can anyone else.

Offline jckang

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 179
  • Gender: Male
  • Richmond, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Scammers Breaking The Kindle Store : Skyrocketing to #1 Overall
« Reply #116 on: July 19, 2017, 04:43:43 AM »
I genuinely appreciate this concern. However, let me try and reassure you: as I noted in the comments of my own post, I didn't post all of the evidence in my possession for various reasons. I have offered that to Amazon of course, we'll see if they bother replying this time. (I don't want scammers to know the exact ways in which I determine clickfarmed books or how I find their books. I gave a broad overview of some of the means in my post so that people could see what I was talking about, but I don't want to give scammers a list of what to avoid, or a template on how to do it in a more invisible way either.)


Is this also true of the book that you mention hitting #1 two Sundays ago? The author went onto Facebook and categorically denied all wrongdoing, but I'm still quite skeptical.


Multicultural Epic Fantasy
JC Kang | Facebook Page | Twitter | Newsletter

Offline jcalloway

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
I got the same email.

Amazon is willing to act when bots swarm AMS ads. They reimburse authors for false clicks without hesitation. I assume they are also active behind the scenes, swatting the bots and fortifying their security to ensure the ads aren't abused.

And yet, after well over a year, authors and readers are still receiving the same copy+paste responses to complaints about the bots/clickfarms/scam books. The difference, I suppose, is that the AMS bots have the potential to impact Amazon's bottomline, if authors stop using the ads.

But when its our bottomline, they send form replies. Great. Nothing new, then.


Offline Doglover

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3880
  • Gender: Female
  • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • View Profile
    • Margaret Brazear Author
Philippa Gregory is ranked at 6 thousand something in the entire UK store but doesn't have a single review. That could well look dodgy if she were not a famous, trad published author.

Just proof that we shouldn't jump to conclusions.


The past is another country; they do things differently there
Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Readers Group | Comic Covers

Offline Perry Constantine

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2594
  • Gender: Male
  • San Diego
  • Action Fiction Author
    • View Profile
    • Percival Constantine - Action Fiction Author
Philippa Gregory is ranked at 6 thousand something in the entire UK store but doesn't have a single review. That could well look dodgy if she were not a famous, trad published author.

Just proof that we shouldn't jump to conclusions.

Dave's not just using current rank as an indicator here. In his post, he talked about how he could find no presence of this book on book promotion sites and how it's over eight months old and has always had a pretty low rank until this happened. The author isn't well-known and when asked how he achieved such a high rank, he coyly responded that he has "friends in high places."

Online Monique

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 10981
  • Gender: Female
  • California
    • View Profile
    • Written by Monique
Fwiw, the author posted the following statement on FB regarding the issue. The photo is pretty damning evidence.

https://www.facebook.com/talesofashkar/photos/a.768331256598272.1073741828.597605267004206/1359890214109037/?type=3&theater

Monique Martin | author website | facebook | twitter

Online zzz

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 258
    • View Profile
Fwiw, the author posted the following statement on FB regarding the issue. The photo is pretty damning evidence.

https://www.facebook.com/talesofashkar/photos/a.768331256598272.1073741828.597605267004206/1359890214109037/?type=3&theater


Very illuminating. I wonder why the click farm didn't bother to "read" a few hundred of those borrows and at least let the guy make back some of his investment.

Online Tilly

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1182
    • View Profile
Fwiw, the author posted the following statement on FB regarding the issue. The photo is pretty damning evidence.

He admits he paid a "marketing" company (who apparently have now vanished without a trace) and maintains he had no idea how they generated their results to catapult him to #1? He is also trying to cast shade by claiming he can name others who do the exact same thing. Colour me sceptical...

Offline David VanDyke

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1303
    • View Profile
I think it's very likely he was innocent of all but naivete'. These operations spam lots of authors. He tried it out. Stuff happened. He's so clueless he doesn't know the difference between a legit and non-legit service--but remember, we've all pretty much been that clueless at one point.

« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 10:58:26 AM by David VanDyke »


Futuristic Thrillers, Mysteries and Science Fiction
David VanDyke | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Contact

Offline jckang

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 179
  • Gender: Male
  • Richmond, VA
    • View Profile
I think it's very likely he was innocent of all but navet. These operations spam lots of authors. He tried it out. Stuff happened. He's so clueless he doesn't know the difference between a legit and non-legit service--but remember, we've all pretty much been that clueless at one point.

I'm thinking the same thing. The sales and KENP numbers look more like Top 5000, and that is AFTER he hit #1.


Multicultural Epic Fantasy
JC Kang | Facebook Page | Twitter | Newsletter

Buy Scrivener for Windows or Mac