Author Topic: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran  (Read 9771 times)  

Online Patty Jansen

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 11517
  • Gender: Female
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Destroyer of Science Fiction
    • View Profile
    • Patty Jansen Author of SF and fantasy
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2017, 07:35:52 PM »
 
There's a reason Amazon sells KY Jelly. If you're in KU, I suggest picking some up. It's usually on sale, just make sure it's not a Chinese reseller or you might experience a burning sensation.

3... 2... 1... until this comment is deleted.

 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

Offline BillSmithBooksDotCom

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 243
  • Gender: Male
  • Adirondack Mountains, Northern NY (almost Canada)
  • BillSmithBooks.com, Outlaw Galaxy &Star Wars books
    • View Profile
    • www.BillSmithBooks.com
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2017, 08:05:17 PM »
If authors did more to promote Amazon's competitors and steer readers to other options, eventually things would change. Simple things like highlighting your links to other vendors ahead of Amazon should, over time, produce a noticeable change.
Bill Smith is the author of the Outlaw Galaxy series and several Star Wars books. Visit him at www.BillSmithBooks.com or www.OutlawGalaxy.com. Blogging at www.BillSmithBooks.blogspot.com. The Outlaw Galaxy series features free-wheeling space fantasy action-adventure...fun for readers of all ages.


Outlaw Galaxy: Hunter's Truth and Other Tales (short story collection) is now available at most retailers.
Bill Smith | Outlaw Galaxy: Hunter's Truth and Other Tales | BillSmithBooks.com | BillSmithBlog.com

Offline Going Incognito

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1618
  • Gender: Female
  • It's always the quiet ones...
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2017, 08:27:27 PM »
I suspect Hanlon's Razor applies.

Thank God. Can you imagine what damage they could do if they turned their minds to it for real?

There's a reason Amazon sells KY Jelly. If you're in KU, I suggest picking some up. It's usually on sale, just make sure it's not a Chinese reseller or you might experience a burning sensation.

LOL!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 08:29:48 PM by Going Incognito »

Online Seneca42

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 922
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2017, 09:07:55 PM »
The truth is, Amazon would lose lots of money if a good percentage of authors were to suddenly disappear. We're not powerless, nor are we beneficiaries of a benevolent godlike entity.

What do we have to do to get better terms with Amazon? At this rate, it's only after hitting rock bottom and leaving KU en masse that anything will change. Part of that process would be losing money, losing livelihoods and extreme frustration/stress. I would rather not wait.

The thing that's going to blindside Amazon isn't anything happening this moment. What's going to blindside them are the unknown authors out there today... the ones they don't care about in the least... who blow up in a year or two. And they will blow up on other vendors. And they will publicly state that they have no love for Amazon because Amazon had no love for them.

This is always how the giants fall. It's not the big dogs today, because most of them are white listed. It's the big dogs of tomorrow.

I know saying this will catch me some flack, but whatever. A lot of the big dogs (not all, but a lot) in zon today were playing in the amazon pond 2014 and prior. They built their baes in a totally different ecosystem than exists today (edit: different in terms of launching a book and reaching readers). They are going to stick with zon because it's where they built their base of operations.

But there's a new generation of authors (let's define "generation" as being every three years in the self-pub industry) that zon is taking the boots to hard and heavy. These authors are going to be the big dogs down the road, and they won't forget how they were treated.

Zon is behaving like an unstoppable juggernaut and has no idea the level of damage it is doing to itself. It can't really be seen today, but in five years, it will be obvious. At which point they'll have to try and repair the damage they are doing today (and usually companies fail in that endeavor).

But, I gotta admit, if I was worth $80B i don't know if I'd give a &*%$ either.  :P
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 09:17:54 PM by Seneca42 »

Online Seneca42

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 922
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2017, 09:16:23 PM »
Moral of the story. If you sign up with Amazon you must abide by their rules and that means you are responsible for checking to see that your books are not listed elsewhere. If they are you have to deal with it. No point him crying when he agreed to their rules.

Moral of the story is that KU is a mess.

Where I agree with your sentiment though is that, at this point, anyone going into KU really can't complain about anything that happens while they are in there. It's like walking through a violent neighborhood at 2am... sure, no one has the right to rob you, but you really can't complain if you do get robbed.



 

Offline Herefortheride

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 880
  • Gender: Male
  • Chengdu
  • Loving every minute
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2017, 10:08:25 PM »
I remember during the big-time scam season many authors joined together and we pointed out the books that were scams "Boy and donkey", "Clever man", etc. They were the same page copied over and over again for thousands of pages yet they remained up for WEEKS after we reported them. Yet if there is the word "KU" or some other strange typo somewhere in the text we get suspended immediately.

Why?  =  (
Blood Cauldron (DoH book 3): 89%
H.C. Harrington

Offline josielitton

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 294
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2017, 04:32:59 AM »
A union for authors would be illegal under U.S. law.

Good thing because the very idea gives me cold chills. But then I associate it with this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_of_Soviet_Writers

Offline Evenstar

  • Moderator
  • Status: A A Milne
  • *****
  • Posts: 4370
  • Gender: Female
  • South West England
  • YA and PNR
    • View Profile
    • Author Website
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2017, 05:23:51 AM »
Perhaps what we need is some 'Robin Hood' who loads pirate copies of scam books up to other sites. Then Amazon would swing it's hammer on them without hesitation.

Offline PaulineMRoss

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2757
  • Gender: Female
  • Nairn, Scotland
    • View Profile
    • The Brightmoon Annals
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2017, 05:33:07 AM »
Perhaps what we need is some 'Robin Hood' who loads pirate copies of scam books up to other sites. Then Amazon would swing it's hammer on them without hesitation.

LOL. But talk about karmic justice!
   

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub rejections: 57 and counting...

Offline ParkerAvrile

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 160
    • View Profile
    • Parker Avrile's Steamy Gay ROmance
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2017, 08:21:47 AM »
A union for authors would be illegal under U.S. law.

Simply not true. There are author's unions in America, any number of them, the problem is some of them seem more interested in collecting dues than in protecting writers. The screenwriter's union is an exception, which is probably one reason screenwriters (even the little known) tend to be better paid for their work.
Visit my website for free reads & giveaways for lovers of steamy m/m romance https://parkeravrile.wordpress.com/blog/

Offline sela

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Gender: Female
  • Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do.
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2017, 08:57:27 AM »
I remember during the big-time scam season many authors joined together and we pointed out the books that were scams "Boy and donkey", "Clever man", etc. They were the same page copied over and over again for thousands of pages yet they remained up for WEEKS after we reported them. Yet if there is the word "KU" or some other strange typo somewhere in the text we get suspended immediately.

Why?  =  (

THIS.


Offline Mercia McMahon

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3430
  • Gender: Female
  • London
    • View Profile
    • Mercia McMahon
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2017, 09:28:19 AM »
I remember during the big-time scam season many authors joined together and we pointed out the books that were scams "Boy and donkey", "Clever man", etc. They were the same page copied over and over again for thousands of pages yet they remained up for WEEKS after we reported them. Yet if there is the word "KU" or some other strange typo somewhere in the text we get suspended immediately.

Why?  =  (

Probably because the KU bit is a robot, although I suspect that the plankton of the Amazonian basin have their initial query answered by robot, and these robots are not Data.


Mercia McMahon | Author Site | Publishing Site | Pinterest

Online crow.bar.beer

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 633
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2017, 09:43:57 AM »
Simply not true. There are author's unions in America, any number of them, the problem is some of them seem more interested in collecting dues than in protecting writers. The screenwriter's union is an exception, which is probably one reason screenwriters (even the little known) tend to be better paid for their work.

When I say illegal, I mean that, as independent contractors, efforts to unionize, or act as a union, with the aim of forcing a company like Amazon to concede on certain issues would very well be in violation of anti-trust laws. This is why the "unions" you're talking about don't really do much more than generally advocate. Independent contractors by law have no collective bargaining rights, nor federal protections. The screenwriters guild has agreements with the film corporations, and I don't think the screenwriters themselves are hired as independent contractors, either, so it's a different issue with them.

Offline elizabethbarone

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1022
  • Gender: Female
  • Watertown, CT
  • Contemporary Romance & Suspense
    • View Profile
    • Elizabeth Barone: Contemporary Romance & Suspense
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2017, 10:32:01 AM »
Poor David. That's definitely frustrating.

The problem is, there are so many employees, you often get different responses and results depending on the person you speak with -- or you get your Countdown yanked when you still had time to fix things, or you get no response at all. That's incredibly frustrating. It's nothing nefarious but it is a sign of a company grown too big too fast. There's a lack of organization.

This is why -- and I'm sure you guys are sick of me saying this, but -- I don't bother with KU and I stay wide. I just can't deal with the anxiety, and I like my multiple honey pots. I think Seneca is right: in a few years, the overwhelming number of successful authors who won't get into bed with Amazon will be what changes things.

Connect With Me: BlogFacebook | Instagram

Offline writerlygal

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #39 on: August 13, 2017, 09:07:27 PM »
This just shows why authors shouldn't be in KU & I think David knows that. He's someone who has been raging against Amazon as being a big corporate entity that doesn't care about indie authors. Yet he was enrolling his books in KU at the same time he was raging. Purposefully volunteering to be exclusive to Amazon & taking his books off other sites in order to do it. Folks, if you really think Amazon is so bad for authors, vote with your wallet & put your books on other sites. Put your money where your mouth is so to speak. You shouldn't trust Amazon as a reliable place to run discount deals on books. I think that someone who has been really negative about Amazon would know to expect this so I'm just over here scratching my head. I do have sympathy for his plight but it feels hypocritical to me that someone would be telling the world how awful Amazon is at the same time they're willingly signing up to be exclusive to them.

Offline David VanDyke

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1345
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2017, 10:21:54 PM »
This just shows why authors shouldn't be in KU & I think David knows that. He's someone who has been raging against Amazon as being a big corporate entity that doesn't care about indie authors. Yet he was enrolling his books in KU at the same time he was raging. Purposefully volunteering to be exclusive to Amazon & taking his books off other sites in order to do it. Folks, if you really think Amazon is so bad for authors, vote with your wallet & put your books on other sites. Put your money where your mouth is so to speak. You shouldn't trust Amazon as a reliable place to run discount deals on books. I think that someone who has been really negative about Amazon would know to expect this so I'm just over here scratching my head. I do have sympathy for his plight but it feels hypocritical to me that someone would be telling the world how awful Amazon is at the same time they're willingly signing up to be exclusive to them.

I think that's overstating the case on both ends.

He's never raged at Amazon as a whole that I know of, but he's criticized KDP and especially at Select/KU--always with the intention and hope of getting them to improve and fix things, rather than just attacking them out of spite or hate.

And he's not "being exclusive" except with one book out of his list, for a specific period of time. He was giving them a chance. It didn't work out, and it's more grist for the blog mill. In fact, it seems like a win no matter what. At worst, he gets another effective blog post out of it, with the benefit of personal experience.

Now, if he goes and does it all over again, that would seem like the cliche definition of stupidity, but he's far from stupid. From my point of view, it's another cautionary tale and a service to the community to tell us about it.


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

Offline she-la-ti-da

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5884
  • in the bunker
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2017, 04:36:50 AM »
This just shows why authors shouldn't be in KU & I think David knows that. He's someone who has been raging against Amazon as being a big corporate entity that doesn't care about indie authors. Yet he was enrolling his books in KU at the same time he was raging. Purposefully volunteering to be exclusive to Amazon & taking his books off other sites in order to do it. Folks, if you really think Amazon is so bad for authors, vote with your wallet & put your books on other sites. Put your money where your mouth is so to speak. You shouldn't trust Amazon as a reliable place to run discount deals on books. I think that someone who has been really negative about Amazon would know to expect this so I'm just over here scratching my head. I do have sympathy for his plight but it feels hypocritical to me that someone would be telling the world how awful Amazon is at the same time they're willingly signing up to be exclusive to them.

None of this is true. Whether you just don't know, or you're trying to stir the pot, I don't care. David is and has been a staunch supporter of indies for years, and there are many reasons to put a book into KU. Isn't there a scammer somewhere you need to defend?

Quote
Nup. It's often the Kobo affiliates. Not the little stores.

Oh, it's the little stores, some of which you get to through Kobo, and some through Smashwords, and sometimes bigger stores. There has been trouble for years with these stores either not taking something down, or taking it down and somehow mysteriously ending up selling the work again, without permission. For all that Kobo is touted here and elsewhere, you'd think they would have better control over this. D2D seems to be able to get and keep books down when you ask.
Queen of Procrasti Nation

Genres: speculative fiction under main pen name.




Offline dgaughran

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3309
  • Gender: Male
  • Dublin
  • Let's Get Digital
    • View Profile
    • David Gaughran
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2017, 10:54:41 AM »
Just to give a brief update re the OP:

Executive Customer Relations has been in touch a couple of times over the weekend - just to say they are looking into why my Countdown deal was cancelled again. I don't have any more info than that. Presumably it won't take too long to find out.

And catching up on the comments:

I don't think there is anything nefarious going on. There are plenty of examples of other authors caught up in something like this.

As to whether I personally should be in KU or not, I enrolled these titles before the scamming scandal broke, and I might well have made a very different decision if that had all happened a couple of weeks earlier. Characterizing me as some kind of foaming anti-Amazon type is quite well wide of the mark - my blog and books should serve as ample counter-evidence.

Anyway, whether I personally enroll in KU or not is pretty irrelevant. I'd say I'm pretty similar to most authors in that I hate exclusivity and only enroll in KU on a case-by-case basis and don't consider it a long-term play in general. If being exclusive works for you, great. If being wide works for you, great. Whatever decision any given author makes shouldn't have any bearing on how they are treated by retailers or the logic of any position they are advocating.

It's kind of a weird position too. So if you are advocating for greater transparency or increased payment or not to have books arbitrarily yanked or not to have the charts flooded with scammers you can't use KU? How far do we take that logic? Should I yank my books from Amazon and sell them from a car boot? Does that allow me to enter the conversation?

As for this comment:

Moral of the story. If you sign up with Amazon you must abide by their rules and that means you are responsible for checking to see that your books are not listed elsewhere. If they are you have to deal with it. No point him crying when he agreed to their rules.

If you had read the post, you will see that I had checked to see if the titles were down everywhere before enrolling in Select. I know some people like to roll the dice but I'm always quite careful on that front. Subsequent to enrolling the titles, a retailer had a bug which relisted old titles - some going back years, I'm not the only author affected by that bug.

In fact, if any authors have used Smashwords or D2D or any other distributor to reach Tolino at any point in the last four years I would recommend checking Weltbild for your own titles: https://www.weltbild.de/

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

Online Al Stevens

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1952
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2017, 11:29:20 AM »
When I say illegal, I mean that, as independent contractors, efforts to unionize, or act as a union, with the aim of forcing a company like Amazon to concede on certain issues would very well be in violation of anti-trust laws.
Total nonsense. The American Federation of Musicians has been doing just that since 1896.

Online Rickie Blair

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 425
  • Gender: Female
  • Southern Ontario
    • View Profile
    • Rickie Blair
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2017, 12:20:02 PM »
In fact, if any authors have used Smashwords or D2D or any other distributor to reach Tolino at any point in the last four years I would recommend checking Weltbild for your own titles: https://www.weltbild.de/

This is very good advice.

I just took a look on Weltbild and all seven of my books are offered for sale on that site. What the ...? I've only been wide for a few months, and I guess I checked the Tolino box on D&D and Smashwords, but how would I know that meant my books would be on Weltbild? I've never even heard of it, and it's clearly a German-language site, so why would they even want my books?  ???
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 12:22:21 PM by Rickie Blair »


In Leafy Hollow, murder is always in season!
Rickie Blair | RickieBlair.com | GoodReads | Facebook

Offline Kyra Halland

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1425
  • Gender: Female
  • Arizona
    • View Profile
    • Welcome To My Worlds
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #45 on: August 14, 2017, 02:30:35 PM »
Quote
In fact, if any authors have used Smashwords or D2D or any other distributor to reach Tolino at any point in the last four years I would recommend checking Weltbild for your own titles: https://www.weltbild.de/

Mine are on there, which as far as I'm concerned is Yay, another way for people to discover my books! (Not in KU, no intentions of ever going into KU.)


Tales of fantasy, heroism, and romance.
Kyra Halland | Website | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | Goodreads

Online T. M. Bilderback

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 523
  • Gender: Male
  • Friday the 13th comes on a Tuesday this month.
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #46 on: August 14, 2017, 05:42:05 PM »
In fact, if any authors have used Smashwords or D2D or any other distributor to reach Tolino at any point in the last four years I would recommend checking Weltbild for your own titles: https://www.weltbild.de/

I just checked them, because I suspected them of offering a couple of my titles for free...they aren't, so that's good!

I don't plan to go into KU, either.

T. M. Bilderback | Newsletter | Facebook

Offline ParkerAvrile

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 160
    • View Profile
    • Parker Avrile's Steamy Gay ROmance
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #47 on: August 14, 2017, 06:05:37 PM »
This just shows why authors shouldn't be in KU & I think David knows that. He's someone who has been raging against Amazon as being a big corporate entity that doesn't care about indie authors. Yet he was enrolling his books in KU at the same time he was raging. Purposefully volunteering to be exclusive to Amazon & taking his books off other sites in order to do it. Folks, if you really think Amazon is so bad for authors, vote with your wallet & put your books on other sites. Put your money where your mouth is so to speak. You shouldn't trust Amazon as a reliable place to run discount deals on books. I think that someone who has been really negative about Amazon would know to expect this so I'm just over here scratching my head. I do have sympathy for his plight but it feels hypocritical to me that someone would be telling the world how awful Amazon is at the same time they're willingly signing up to be exclusive to them.

Good people have an amazing belief in the goodness of other people, and they don't want to believe that a large powerful entity would hammer them down for no better reason than they pointed out a situation.


Visit my website for free reads & giveaways for lovers of steamy m/m romance https://parkeravrile.wordpress.com/blog/

Offline ParkerAvrile

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 160
    • View Profile
    • Parker Avrile's Steamy Gay ROmance
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #48 on: August 14, 2017, 06:08:08 PM »
Total nonsense. The American Federation of Musicians has been doing just that since 1896.

Thank you, Al.

Independent contractors do not have to lay down in the street and be carpet for billionaires to walk on. Not even in America.
Visit my website for free reads & giveaways for lovers of steamy m/m romance https://parkeravrile.wordpress.com/blog/

Offline dgaughran

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3309
  • Gender: Male
  • Dublin
  • Let's Get Digital
    • View Profile
    • David Gaughran
Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #49 on: August 15, 2017, 01:47:52 AM »
Minor update: Amazon still doesn't have any explanation of what happened, but is working with the "technical team" to find out. Which sounds like a brush off to me, but we'll see.

The last message included a proposed "goodwill offer" of a new KCD or five free days.

Not exactly bowled over by that, as you might imagine.

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