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Stone and Silt
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Big Al's Books & Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards: Young Adult Nominee

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

Author Topic: bookclicker.com  (Read 9681 times)  

Offline Spicy Boi

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #50 on: September 05, 2017, 05:24:26 AM »
I could believe you, a random person popping up to muddy the waters, or I could believe people like Phoenix and David Gaughran who have been trusted members of this community for years and have backed up their assertions with hard evidence.

Way to miss the entire point... The paragraph you quoted literally starts "You do not need to believe me"  ???

Let me spell it out again. You do not need to believe me.

The point is: Civilized interaction presumes innocent until proven guilty. Not vice versa.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 05:36:07 AM by Spicy Boi »

Offline jason2505

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #51 on: September 05, 2017, 06:22:04 AM »
So I hesitantly joined Bookclicker because I see its potential in helping facilitate swaps between myself and other authors in my genre. The tool itself has the potential to be fantastically useful. It's only a tool, and one I'd really like to be able to use for the very basic service it provides.

However, I realize that the Bookclicker app's integrity is only as strong as the authors who actually use it. What I am HOPING is that more authors who DON'T perpetuate those damaging practices will get on board and make it a healthy, useful community.

I admit one of my biggest reservations about it to start with was precisely your worry - that this monetizing of lists won't be done in a way that has our readers' best interests at heart and will only wind up alienating them (the readers) and ruining the effectiveness of author newsletters altogether. But as Chance says, it's up to the list owners to behave and he has no interest in policing their emailing behavior.

Still, if you use it, you are under no obligation to 1) buy spots on the list of someone whose practices you find sketchy, or 2) sell spots to those people either.

Also, you can do what I am choosing to do and restrict your list to swaps only, and be super picky about who you actually choose to swap with. The fact that this is possible is what makes the application so attractive to me, even though there are still several kinks that need to be ironed out where the features are concerned. I don't want to monetize my list, and I don't particularly want to work with authors who do.

Obviously this presents Chance with the complicated issue of how to pay for the creation and maintenance of the app itself (which was NOT cheap). Taking a cut from the fees authors charge each other makes sense, but that wouldn't work for authors like me who don't charge and have no interest in doing so. I appreciate that he's made it free to start with, (it's effectively in beta now, so there's no sense charging for something that isn't 100% functional as far as I'm concerned). If he gets all the kinks worked out so it's as useful as I'd like it to be, I would be willing to pay him a regular fee for it.

Of course, if I don't see a lot of the current issues being worked out, then I will just move on. In the meantime I am excited about the potential it has and want to try to help it along by using it as an author with integrity.

Great post. It's crazy how people hop on a thread like this just to outright bash other authors and try to denounce them. If you don't want to join bookclicker, fine. No one forces you to. I very much agree with everything in your post above - you can use this as a tool to spread the word about your books, either through paid spots or through swaps, whatever you prefer.

I've seen that legit newsletter promotion sites like Excite Spice/Steam, Hidden Gems or ReaderArmy are available at this platform as well - in my opinion bookclicker makes these services even more transparent as you see the exact details of their lists (size, opens, clicks etc).

Offline Evenstar

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2017, 06:44:14 AM »
After a lot of discussion the moderators have decided to reopen this thread. I have deleted a lot of posts that do not relate directly to this service and, by necessity, some of those that respond to them. We will not look kindly on personal attacks of other members, though you are very welcome to share your thoughts and experiences regarding this site. This is not an endorsement and as always, we encourage due diligence.
Please keep it on topic and civilized.

Feel free to PM me with any concerns regarding deletions or edits.

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« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 01:02:12 PM by Evenstar »

Offline TellNotShow

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #53 on: September 06, 2017, 07:03:28 PM »

Will it mean the best books make the most money?
No, the books with the most emails will make the most money.


People. Please. This whole "The person with the biggest email list wins" thing is simply untrue.

Here's what I noticed about the books belonging to authors who use his service:
Some of them do indeed sell lots of copies at launch. Almost none of them are selling at all within a month of launching. In some cases within a week or so. Basically, it seems that when the ads stop going out, the sales stop coming in.

Think about it.
You can pay the big bucks for advertising -- whether through this service, PPC ads on many platforms, newsletter ads, or a combination of them all -- and if you're lucky, break even or maybe even make a profit after paying for your cover and other expenses. But you WILL get bragging rights about the rank you achieved for that short time.

That's assuming your book isn't great.

See, if your book IS really great, sure, you still have to do some advertising to get it under people's noses. But an actual good book advertises itself. Word of mouth is real.

Yes, intense advertising will sell even terrible books in the short term. And for self-publishers who believe their job is marketing, it's probably fine to make a thousand dollars or whatever from a terrible book. The quality doesn't matter to them. If it costs them $20,000 to have that book written and produced and advertised, and they make back $21,000, they are happy that their marketing skills made them $1000. And they go do it again. (Many such people hang out on the Warrior forum, I believe.)
However.
I'll say it again.
The person with great books is who actually wins, as long as they get SOME visibility for at least one of their books. That person WILL win. NOT the person who has the biggest email list at their disposal.


I would say bookclicker is currently used by people who focus on marketing more than on the craft of writing.


Well, yes. Which is probably the biggest reason almost none of their books keep selling at all once the ads stop.

Look, I'm all FOR smart marketing, and can see the potential for a service of this kind. I'd have even signed up and invested a little time looking further into it, then possibly used it if others in my (next) genre signed up too -- but unfortunately, the names he showed us in his screenshots, and their type of results, and various other factors such as the one below, really soured it for me, so I'll stay away. (It's a shame really, because the idea is great.)

But in the interests of balance, if you think marketing is much more important than craft, and you believe you can successfully navigate through the potential dangers even Chance has admitted exist there, maybe the service is for you.
We all have to think for ourselves.
I wouldn't risk using this service, but you might.


I know there are people in my groups who pass around csv files of mailing subscribers and put them on lists without permission. I don't ever do that and I hate that practice. But that's rampant in romance and some of the biggest and most loved list builder promos do just that. If I see a promo is going to pass around a csv file afterwards, I steer clear of it. But I don't make it my mission to condemn it.


I'll try to be careful how I word this.
I'm genuinely curious about the legality of this.
If an individual (Chance, in this case) KNOWS that certain individuals are using his service with the intention of doing something illegal, isn't he some sort of accessory to that crime? Or facilitating it in some way?
I believe I understand what Chance is saying, that he as an individual steers clear of being personally involved in any such particular person's promo with his own books, but I'm genuinely curious whether he's breaking the law himself by knowingly facilitating this, rather than policing or reporting it.
Surely you can't just run a service knowing others are using it illegally, throw your hands in the air and say, "Hey, it wasn't me!"
But then, not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not American (or Canadian), and I probably know less about the law than most people. I am genuinely curious about this though. It just doesn't quite seem right to me.





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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #54 on: September 07, 2017, 06:13:39 AM »
I'll try to be careful how I word this.
I'm genuinely curious about the legality of this.
If an individual (Chance, in this case) KNOWS that certain individuals are using his service with the intention of doing something illegal, isn't he some sort of accessory to that crime? Or facilitating it in some way?
I believe I understand what Chance is saying, that he as an individual steers clear of being personally involved in any such particular person's promo with his own books, but I'm genuinely curious whether he's breaking the law himself by knowingly facilitating this, rather than policing or reporting it.
Surely you can't just run a service knowing others are using it illegally, throw your hands in the air and say, "Hey, it wasn't me!"
But then, not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not American (or Canadian), and I probably know less about the law than most people. I am genuinely curious about this though. It just doesn't quite seem right to me.

Most "Safe Harbor" clauses in U.S. legislation protect services from liability for things they don't know about. However, the same Safe Harbor clauses require due diligence. For example.YouTube is not required to actively police for copyright material, but they are required to A. inform their users that they are not to use the service to illegally share copyright material and B. provide an easy way for copyright holders to report infringement and C. Act immediately on such reports.

CanSpam laws are similar. Chance would have a legal obligation to A. inform his uses that adding such address swapping is, in fact, a violation of CanSpam and that the use is prohibited in the service B. remove people who he knows are breaking the law and C. If someone reports to him that they were illegally added to a list, take action.

If Chance KNOWS people are doing this and he takes no action and does nothing to protect subscribers, he could be on the hook of the FTC comes knocking. He can't claim Safe Harbor protection if he KNOWS people are doing this and he is profiting from it.


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Offline Anarchist

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #55 on: September 07, 2017, 06:34:26 AM »
I think bookclicker is a wonderful idea. I wish posters would focus on how to improve the platform rather than trying to tear it down.

I get that Kboards' members like to vet new services. But sometimes the "vetting" process becomes acrimonious, which helps no one.

I applaud Chance for his transparency and willingness to receive (constructive) feedback regarding bookclicker.
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Offline Phxsundog

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #56 on: September 07, 2017, 06:45:22 AM »
The service is in a legal gray area. The owner isn't going to care. The email abuse happening in his group is already met with a shrug.
Don't think this is just about recouping money invested in the platform and breaking a profit. Sure that's part of it, but just like another poster said, Chance needs new suckers whose lists haven't taken heavy damage by illegally swapping subscribers, sending three emails per day and the other shady stuff. You can see them starting to lose their foothold in romance. They'll be in real trouble in six months ...unless of course more romance authors join with new lists for them to feed on. Even better if they can branch out beyond romance and make every other profitable indie niche radioactive. Don't be fooled by this folks. It's not so much a service as it's an email pyramid scheme.


Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 12:46:06 PM by Becca Mills »

Offline Crystal_

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #57 on: September 07, 2017, 09:51:20 AM »
People. Please. This whole "The person with the biggest email list wins" thing is simply untrue.

Here's what I noticed about the books belonging to authors who use his service:
Some of them do indeed sell lots of copies at launch. Almost none of them are selling at all within a month of launching. In some cases within a week or so. Basically, it seems that when the ads stop going out, the sales stop coming in.

Think about it.
You can pay the big bucks for advertising -- whether through this service, PPC ads on many platforms, newsletter ads, or a combination of them all -- and if you're lucky, break even or maybe even make a profit after paying for your cover and other expenses. But you WILL get bragging rights about the rank you achieved for that short time.

That's assuming your book isn't great.

See, if your book IS really great, sure, you still have to do some advertising to get it under people's noses. But an actual good book advertises itself. Word of mouth is real.

Yes and no. Are you a romance author? Romance competition is crazy right now. Even if you have a great book and a lot of readers, you'll struggle to get visibility if the Amazon algos do not smile upon you.

I made a lot of money from FB ads last year. This year, not as much. They're too expensive and too saturated. People love my series, but word of mouth isn't what got me all those sales. Amazon recommendations and great FB ads got me those sales.

When I asked my readers, about half of them said they found my books through FB ads and another half said they found them through Amazon recommendations (a negligible percentage found them through recs of a friend, book bloggers, etc). I asked in my FB group, so that skews the results, but it still confirms my theory that word of mouth is often, really, word of Amazon.

It's possible my books just aren't "buzzworthy" kinds of books (what does that even mean?), but all my readers will tell you they're great, so I don't think it's a quality issue.

I do know the types of books you mean, the gw trend of the month, and I agree that no one is recommending those books to their friends. But those books can still get Amazon recs and do really well.

The service is in a legal gray area. The owner isn't going to care. The email abuse happening in his group is already met with a shrug.
Don't think this is just about recouping money invested in the platform and breaking a profit. Sure that's part of it, but just like another poster said, Chance needs new suckers whose lists haven't taken heavy damage by illegally swapping subscribers, sending three emails per day and the other shady stuff. You can see them starting to lose their foothold in romance. They'll be in real trouble in six months ...unless of course more romance authors join with new lists for them to feed on. Even better if they can branch out beyond romance and make every other profitable indie niche radioactive. Don't be fooled by this folks. It's not so much a service as it's an email pyramid scheme.


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

It's concerning. This new BookClicker is a big improvement over Slack or Ryver, but I need an easier way of vetting potential authors. There are many authors who pump out low-quality content or content that belongs in erotica who I'm not going to swap with. I generally don't want to swap with people who write vastly different kinds of books (my readers don't like dark romance and dark romance readers don't like my books, etc). I also don't want to swap with any authors who have new releases at crappy rankings, because I doubt their lists are any good.

Going to Amazon to check every single author I don't know is a lot of work. If I'm already doing that, I might as well set up swaps via FB PM with authors I already know and trust not to do shady things.

I'm also reluctant to keep using the service if the owner is going to take such a laissez fairer attitude towards scammers. I don't know how people got their ranks frozen, but I've heard a lot of people saying it had something to do with swaps. That makes me even more likely to just stick with FB swaps with authors I know.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 12:47:18 PM by Becca Mills »

Offline Chance_Carter

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #58 on: September 07, 2017, 10:54:57 AM »
Let me just explain what this platform does again. Because I don't see why there's so much drama in this thread.

And I don't know what people think I'm doing behind the scenes that deserves so much acrimony.
I don't have a cabal of evil geniuses working on destroying this industry.
I'm sitting by myself at a coffee shop in Ontario on a laptop.
I've got a reputable accountant, lawyer, and software developer and none of them are the slightest bit concerned about the legality of helping authors promote each other's books. We tie in to the API's of legitimate email marketing services and give information about the mailing lists available to the members of the platform. We don't engage CanSPAM at all, we don't send a single email to a reader, and we don't control the content of any email. We don't have access to a single reader email address.

We just list authors who are willing to promote books.

I'll post a screenshot below of the front page of the marketplace.
The lists are named after the Pen Name that owns the list, so that you know 100% who you're doing a promo with. This is important to people who want to avoid working with certain other authors for personal reasons. It's also important so that you can keep track of how well your books do with someone else's audience.

The little check mark to the right of the pen name, means that the person has given a link to their amazon profile page so that you can see exactly what they publish, whether they're wide or in KU, and whether they're likely to have the sort of readers who will read your book.

Then you see their list size, list provider, the provider's stats for that list, and the cost of doing a promo, with Swap being a price they can also set.
We have payment built into the app, and we charge 2% of transactions. Nothing for swaps.
We have calendars built into the app so you can keep your sending schedule.
And we have a launch page, which shows you how many emails you've booked on the platform for your launch.

Whether this platform is used by people you love, or people you hate, isn't up to me.
It's up to the users who decide to use it.

Those users will be able to see who else in their genre will promote their books, and they'll be able to get the word out about their book effectively and at a reasonable cost.

I know there are people on here who are vocally adamant this is a terrible platform.
But there are also people who are reading this and signing up. The marketplace is growing every day.

I'd say the fairest approach is to let each author decide if they want to use this for themselves. The platform's functionality is extremely simple, extremely secure, and extremely self explanatory.

You can't do much with it, but what you can do will make your books launch higher.
If you think launching your books higher is somehow bad for your business, I'm not going to argue with you.
If you think authors promoting books is worse than Facebook, AMS, and Instagram promoting books, I'm not going to debate that either.

If you're concerned about spam, which I for the record am, then this platform guarantees that the promos you book from other authors are sent using one of four reputable mailing list providers who do not tolerate spam.

If you're concerned about authors lying about the size of their platform, it's value, or whether or not they'll actually send your promo, and afterwards, how many people they sent it to, how many of them opened it, and how many of them clicked, as I am, then this platform goes a long way to providing you with the stats you need.

And ask yourself if this platform is going to level the playing field somewhat, and allow good writers who spend more time writing than marketing, to launch their books just as high as marketing focused people do.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 10:59:49 AM by Chance_Carter »

Offline Chance_Carter

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #59 on: September 07, 2017, 11:11:14 AM »
And here's a screenshot of my Launch Page for an upcoming release.
It shows how many emails I've got booked from other members for each day of the launch.

Solo means my book is the only one promoted in the promo.
Feature means mine is the first book promoted in a multi-book promo.
Mention means it's a later book mentioned in a multi-book promo.

I think keeping things organized and transparent like this improves the quality of the promos authors can send. They can set a fair price and aren't pressured into spamming, because their stats are on display. Send good promos, get better open rates, charge more.

The idea is simply that it encourages us all, as a community, to take over more of the work of promoting books, so that we're less reliant on Amazon, Facebook, Bookbub, etc.

My book is contemporary romance so that's why there's so much inventory available. If it's another genre, there would be less authors to book promos from. But hopefully that will change as more authors decide that they want to promote books, and have their books promoted by authors.

I know I could get this exposure from Facebook and AMS, but now I can get it from authors, and pay them what I would have paid Facebook. That's it, that's my platform that so many people are opposed to.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 11:13:38 AM by Chance_Carter »

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #60 on: September 07, 2017, 12:54:35 PM »
The idea is to allow you to find other authors in your genre who will promote your new release to their list.
And you can return the favor.
It's not actually a favor. You pay them to do it and they pay you.

Is it possible to use Bookclicker only to buy a spot on other people's mailing lists, without also selling space on your own? Or without even having your own? (I noticed on the signup page that you have to select your mailing list provider.)

I'm a noob, yeah - don't have my mailing list (yet). Probably getting ahead of myself, but anyway  ;D

I would definitely be interested in buying space, but probably not swapping or selling.

Also: Would the service allow you to advertise a free reader magnet, so it could be used for list building, or only links to books on Amazon?

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #61 on: September 07, 2017, 12:56:15 PM »
Chance,

I think a service like this does have value. I don't know you personally nor have we ever done business, so I can't and won't get into the drama. I will, however, reiterate my point that if you KNOW of people using your service who are swapping their lists, you do have an ethical and legal obligation to act. If you have not done so already, you should

A. update your site TOS to remind people that it is a violation of Can-Spam and most anti-spam laws to "swap" mailing lists or to add people to a list without their consent, and that members who do so will be removed from the group.
B. Act on point A and remove people whom you know are violating the law

It is easy to say that two authors breaking the law doesn't concern you, but when people  p*ss  in the pool, we all have to deal with the stench. Because when a critical mass of readers get fed up with spam, they will take it out on ALL AUTHORS and stop signing up for newsletters.

We have already seen the damage that bad players can do. Too many readers no longer leave reviews because a handful of bad actors engaged in horrific behavior (stalking, harassment, physical threats). Too many readers no longer trust reviews at all because bad actors bought reviews by the hundreds. Now a growing number of readers don't even trust bestseller lists because of rank manipulations. This behavior hurts us all and hurts our industry. As a service provider who is facilitating the program, you have an ethical obligation to not only discourage the behavior but take proactive steps to mitigate it on your platform.

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Online Becca Mills

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #62 on: September 07, 2017, 01:08:19 PM »
Folks, rigorous vetting and criticism of the Bookclicker service is fine, including reasonable speculation about larger negative effects this type of marketing might have on genres, on Amazon's posture toward authors, and on readers' willingness to subscribe to authors' email lists. But name-calling directed at Chance or at other individuals will not be tolerated (some deletions and edits have been made), and posts in this thread do need to focus on Bookclicker, not on other services/groups Chance runs. We understand that some of you see all his activities as interconnected. Nevertheless, the focus of posts in this thread needs to be on Bookclicker.

Chance, it looks like we haven't placed in our vendor-rules boilerplate in the thread yet, so here it is:

Greetings! You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe.

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages, found here: http://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again when you want to post. You may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (as I'm doing with this post), you may reply to them, but otherwise you must wait seven days. Please note that very short or (one- or two-word) posts with no meaningful information are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion. Lastly, your posts and images will need to meet our "forum decorum" guidelines, which is the case for every member.

Note that members are allowed to provide civil and honest feedback about your service to this thread. This feedback may include criticisms as well as kudos. You may respond in a civil manner. Members may also ask questions -- about how the service works, for example, or what they will get for their money, or whether your service adheres to Amazon's terms of service.

Disputes between you and clients should be handled off-site.

Thanks,
Becca
KBoards Moderator

(Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.)

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #63 on: September 07, 2017, 01:14:41 PM »
Are comments/questions about Chance's own publishing practices allowed? I would think that the personal business practices of the person offering the service are an important part of deciding whether to do business with them. If they cut corners, cheat, break TOS as an individual, it's fair to assume they would consider these same things okay for the business they're pimping, no?

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Offline Chance_Carter

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #64 on: September 07, 2017, 01:22:29 PM »
Ok thank you Becca and Evenstar for moderating this.
I appreciate the job you do and I'm sorry this post has required supervision.

And to Julie's point, I do 100% agree with you. If people are doing something unlawful or what I deem immoral, basically using bots to climb the charts, or ripping off other authors by not sending promos that have been paid for, I kick them out of any group I own.

And I don't turn a blind eye to spamming.
I didn't mean to imply I don't care when other people do it.

I just know in romance it's really widespread for people to gather contestant entrants on a plain, unlocked, unprotected spreadsheet, and then send it to all the promo participants. Technically that's probably legal since all the authors were on the contest page etc, (I'm not a lawyer), but I know for a fact that it's highly likely such spreadsheets will get swapped around, especially when so many romance authors share the same Personal Assistants, etc. So I steer clear of those promos not because I know they facilitate spamming, and not because I think the people involved in them share the lists unlawfully, but because common sense tells me that's almost inevitable with an unprotected spreadsheet file. At least some of the time.

Basically whenever anyone comes to me with a promo based on gathering a spreadsheet of emails, instead of using something robust like bookfunnel, I tell them off, I tell them I don't think it's smart to pass around a csv, but I don't get involved in preventing it, because if the file is kept safe, it's not actually illegal or unethical (probably). I just don't think the file will be kept safe based on human nature.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 01:25:03 PM by Chance_Carter »

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #65 on: September 07, 2017, 01:46:11 PM »
because if the file is kept safe, it's not actually illegal or unethical (probably). I just don't think the file will be kept safe based on human nature.

No. Whether or not the file is protected or "kept safe" has nothing to do with the law. If author A has a mailing list and gives that list to author B, whether or not the list is protected is not even part of the equation. The law requires that the addresses not be shared in any way, shape or form without the subscriber's consent. Period. Full stop.

If I subscribe to your mailing address, I give you permission to email me. I did not give you permission to give my email address to other people. The SECOND you give my email address to someone else, whether the spreadsheet is protected or not, you broke the law. And if that person then adds me to their email list, they broke the law.

In regards to the contests you described, they CAN be legal IF, and only IF, the person running the contest has explicitly stated that email addresses will be shared with contributing authors. There has to be something, normally a disclaimer that says "By entering this contest, you agree to have your email address and contact information shared with all participating authors." If there is no disclaimer, then the sharing is illegal. It isn't a gray area. There is no middle ground.

This is why when you sign up for most services these days, they make you check off a half dozen boxes giving them permission to do various things with your data. Because the law requires that.

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Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #66 on: September 07, 2017, 01:54:09 PM »
In theory, this is solving a need. And it looks like a nicely designed piece of software. So kudos for that. In practice, though, it wouldn't be something that I would be into doing. Every time I mail my peeps with another author's books, I am eroding my "email capital." I don't mail often, unless it's something that I think they'll be interested in (like a new book, bless 'em). I don't want to expend that capital on things that aren't related to my books. Selfish? Possibly. But my list is my most valuable marketing asset, and worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to me. Probably millions. I guard it jealously.

Also, there's the unsaid contract between my readers and me. They signed up for news on my books, not Joe Author who's paying me $50 to send out an email.

That's just me, though. Others will have different views, and it certainly looks like the tool makes it easier to swap.

(And, as a repentant lawyer - although not in the business of dispensing advice any more - I think Julie is right on the legal responsibilities. I'd be pretty careful if this was something I was facilitating as part of a commercial transaction).

Offline Chance_Carter

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #67 on: September 07, 2017, 02:05:13 PM »
Yes, Julie.

That's what I was trying to say too.

If they have a contest where a reader agrees to be on ten random authors' lists to enter, it's legal (I presume), but still a really bad idea if the way the signups are distributed afterwards is an unprotected file. So I steer clear of those. And I discourage them.

Lots of people in romance arrange contests like that. I don't.

Anyway, my involvement in list building is taking part in the odd bookfunnel promo and running FB lead gen ads.
Bookclicker.com is not a list-building platform.
It doesn't do anything to a list. It doesn't add readers to lists.
It just shows you stats about the lists authors already have.

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #68 on: September 07, 2017, 02:05:37 PM »
In theory, this is solving a need. And it looks like a nicely designed piece of software. So kudos for that. In practice, though, it wouldn't be something that I would be into doing. Every time I mail my peeps with another author's books, I am eroding my "email capital."

That's why I'm hoping it is possible, or will be in the future, to just buy space on other people's lists with Bookclicker and not sell space on your own : ;D

Offline Chance_Carter

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #69 on: September 07, 2017, 02:12:46 PM »
That's why I'm hoping it is possible, or will be in the future, to just buy space on other people's lists with Bookclicker and not sell space on your own : ;D

Boba, the platform assumes you'll promote other people, and get them to promote you.

To sign up, you have to link with a supported mailing platform.

But I don't force you to buy or sell once you're there. You can do whatever you like. There are many promo services on there and they're open to selling you space in an email and don't want anything other than your money.

Offline SuzyQ

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #70 on: September 07, 2017, 02:17:41 PM »
I've heard a lot of readers getting newsletters they didn't sign up for. Are you saying that people are using your service to do that? Coz that's what it sounds like...

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #71 on: September 07, 2017, 02:19:01 PM »
Are comments/questions about Chance's own publishing practices allowed? I would think that the personal business practices of the person offering the service are an important part of deciding whether to do business with them. If they cut corners, cheat, break TOS as an individual, it's fair to assume they would consider these same things okay for the business they're pimping, no?

Any questions/comments that relate directly to Bookclicker are fine. In contrast, questions/comments about Chance that have no connection to Bookclicker beyond "the same person did both these things" probably aren't. Between those two poles will be a whole lot of gray areas. Moderators will need to make case-by-case calls, and that will take time, as we need to discuss these decisions with one another and reach consensus. If someone has information they think is fair game, but they aren't certain, they can always send it to the moderation team for a look: Ann, Betsy, Evenstar, and me. For something like that, reaching one of us = reaching all of us. Lastly (speaking generally, not just about this thread), it's worth keeping in mind that some posts we end up moderating would have passed muster had the same content been conveyed in somewhat different words. So if there's something you want to say, it's worth thinking about ways to say it that are most likely to jibe with our Forum Decorum.

Speaking personally, no, I don't think we should assume that because Chance did something he now labels "shady" in publishing his own work, Bookclicker is also "shady" in some way. Some people are utterly consistent, behaving the same way in every situation they find themselves in, forever. Others behave more cautiously in some situations than in others. Still others change over time. So ... I don't assume. If there does turn out to be something shady about Bookclicker, this thread can get the word out, but only if it remains open.

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #72 on: September 07, 2017, 02:22:53 PM »
I would like to thank Chance for giving us Indie publishers the opportunity to compete with trad. publishers' huge marketing budgets. In my genre, advertising is necessary if you want to make a living from your writing. Therefore, gaining easy access to effectively promote my books with other authors is a tool that I will sign up for. I also value your transparency and nerves of steel. This isn't an easy group to stand up in front of (sadly). I just hope there are also authors in here that focus on their own game and are enthusiastic about this opportunity.

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #73 on: September 07, 2017, 02:25:05 PM »
But I don't force you to buy or sell once you're there. You can do whatever you like.

Sounds good, thank you for responding!

Offline Chance_Carter

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Re: bookclicker.com
« Reply #74 on: September 07, 2017, 02:26:14 PM »
In theory, this is solving a need. And it looks like a nicely designed piece of software. So kudos for that. In practice, though, it wouldn't be something that I would be into doing.

Yes, exactly. This, I would say, is a completely valid reservation.

The platform allows you to promote other people's books.
And it allows you to get them to promote your books.

Via email.

It is completely up to each individual whether or not you want to have your books promoted via email, or promote other people's books via email, and if you don't want to do either of those two things, this is not going to be for you.

If you decide your list is worth more to you being used in other ways, that's a valid reason not to use it in this way.
If you decide that the way you've gathered your list would make it unacceptable to promote other people's books, and you don't want to ask their permission to do so, that's valid too.

It's common sense. Why rent out your Ferrari for $50 a day when you need it yourself? And you don't need $50. And you've got a hot date tomorrow.

But many people have a list of 10,000 readers of military sci fi, or whatever other genre you want to use as an example, and they don't realize that this is an option. They don't realize that those readers would be happy to get military sci fi recommendations from a military sci fi author. And they don't realize how much money other military sci fi authors are willing to pay them to do that.

If your readers like the recommendations, and you're making a good fee for offering the service, and you've gotten your readers' permission to email them in this way, it's a good option for some people.

The more difficult part of this thread for me hasn't been that people have a better use of their mailing list, but that some people imply or state outright that it's scamming to do this.

I don't see how it's scamming to tell my readers about books they like, once I've got their opt in to do so.
In fact, if you use bookbub to email readers about your book, or any other email promo service, then I think it's hypocritical to say it's scamming for authors to do it. Why can a marketing service do it, and not an author, if they both seek the same permission from the subscribers?

Also, if you don't already have an audience that reads your genre, then you must somehow get your book in front of that audience using some form of advertising. If you want lots of sales. So, why not get authors in that genre to sell you that advertising? Is that scammier than getting Facebook and AMS to do it for you?

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