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Author Topic: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books  (Read 10557 times)  

Offline Seneca42

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #100 on: October 07, 2017, 11:15:47 AM »
Not in a good way, no. Greed won't make you a better writer. In fact, the evidence points the other way. There's a lot of less than terrific writing crowding the Top 100 lists. For the most part, they reflect marketing, not writing skills.

million percent this!

Don't get me wrong, if you run a business you have to be aware of money issues. But I definitely fall into the "follow your passion and the rest will work itself out." I mean, that doesn't mean you can be blind to economic realities, merely that they should be considerations rather than driving forces.

But there are so many paths to "success", I don't know if any one way is the right way. I just know that most artists would prefer to focus on their art. SP is a very unique industry where there seem to be a lot of people who are marketers/business people first, and writers second.

Like when I see people writing stuff they don't want to, simply because it's a hot market, I cringe. Not to say they are wrong, just that I couldn't do it. I need to really care about what I'm writing; art first, money second.

But I'm sure that view is just as alien to them as writing primarily for money is to me.

I'm purely lucky that in another life I learned about business. But if I hadn't, i doubt I'd have much interest in SP, because I want to spend 90% of my mental energy on writing.

Offline Rosie A.

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #101 on: October 07, 2017, 11:15:56 AM »
I don't think greed is the same as moving the goal posts as a natural part of career growth. By greed I meant scamming--the very things we're talking about in this thread. There's absolutely nothing wrong with writing for money. It's when money leads you to screwing over your fellow authors/everyone else that it becomes a bad thing in my book. Cheating in the marketplace is wrong, I don't care what a person's excuse is. Others will disagree and I'm cool with that. All I can do is focus on my own career.


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Offline Anarchist

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #102 on: October 07, 2017, 11:33:59 AM »
Not in a good way, no. Greed won't make you a better writer. In fact, the evidence points the other way. There's a lot of less than terrific writing crowding the Top 100 lists. For the most part, they reflect marketing, not writing skills.

And I'm fine with that.

Becoming a better writer is less important to me than creating products that people want.

Let's use James Patterson as an example. He could arguably become a better writer. He's good, but he's no Proust. In my opinion, that's fine. He pumps out products that make his fans happy. I find that heroic.

Marketing is important, but it can't perpetuate brand success. Dissatisfied customers will eventually migrate to competitors who serve them better.

If the majority of Patterson's sales came from one-time buyers - i.e. folks who buy one of his books and never buy another - you could make the case that his success is due mostly to marketing. But I know folks who love his stuff, and buy over and over (even the "co-written" books).

That suggests he's serving his market.

If we define greed as the selfish pursuit of wealth, I'd say Patterson's greed works towards the customer's benefit.





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Offline MM Burke

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #103 on: October 07, 2017, 11:39:40 AM »
Ha, this post actually made me register instead of just reading!
Sorry if already mentioned, but this is one method for money laundering and international money movement.

I would report it . . . or use it as a topic for your next novel. 

Offline DrewMcGunn

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #104 on: October 07, 2017, 12:04:59 PM »
I realize writing books is a business. No need to get offended. I have bills to pay, too. It was just a side comment from something I've observed on these forums, not necessarily from something you said Sela. I happen to think greed plays into all the scamming going on.

So yeah...just my 2 cents.

IMO, the nature of this thread, Rosie is a study in the economic impact of scammers on KU.  Scamming KU is simply about the money, and unfortunately, as best as we understand thing (which is adamantly, not that much), KU is a likely a zero sum game.

Most of us assume that the pot for payouts in KU is based upon two factors, the money set aside and the page reads.  Because there is a tremendous amount of fraud committed against legitimate authors by (one assumes) folks putting fake books into KU, and them colluding with click farms, generating lots and lots of "reads" in these fake books, the result is that each legitimate author takes home less money for each of their own books read in KU.


Offline sela

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #105 on: October 07, 2017, 12:18:21 PM »
Why does it always have to be about money money money? I see numbers on here I'd be so very grateful to have and people still say it's not enough.

Well, in my own defence I took your post in a general sense, as chiding authors who want more money. That we should be grateful for what we have and not want more. That we should be satisfied with what we have.

There is an undercurrent in the writer community that looks down on authors who are concerned with money. Some think we should only think of the art of writing rather than filthy lucre.

Perhaps you meant those scammers who use blackhat techniques to scam money out of KU and who don't want to do the actual work of writing books people want to read.

If that's what you meant, then I agree but your statement was so general that it could have applied to me because I want more money and money is important to me as an indie publisher.

I am very grateful that I get to write for a living. I am grateful every day that I drive by my old workplace and am able to thumb my nose at the cubby-hole world of government policy drones that used to be my job.

Now, my job is to drink coffee and make [deleted] up.  8)

I thank my lucky stars that I stumbled onto Joe Konrath's blog and decided to stop sending out queries to Manhattan agents. I've earned a more than very nice income from writing since 2013.

I'm exceedingly grateful. I love what I do and love that I get to do it for a living.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 12:44:54 PM by sela »

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #106 on: October 07, 2017, 12:21:27 PM »
Rosie, you asked why it always has to be about money. I think it's because you're newer to the market and you haven't seen those scammers. (I mean really see them operate like on FB, Warrior Forum, or other places). It's about $$ because these aren't writers. I've seen them. Many of them call themselves "marketers" or "publishers". Many of them don't even write their own books. They're solely here to prey on the system. They can care less about books.

And these were people from a 1-2 yrs ago.  I guess now they figured out they don't even need books with actual content (even if bad content. Just gaboodygook that fills the pages.




Offline Tilly

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #107 on: October 07, 2017, 12:54:11 PM »
Why does it always have to be about money money money?

Because for some of us writing is how we support our families and pay the bills. We have to keep an eye on the bottom line to see if we tracking inline with the minimum we need to make the mortgage and utilities. If sales are falling we dig deep to figure out why - such as a book not hitting reader expectations/tropes, writing craft, packaging, marketing approach etc.

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #108 on: October 07, 2017, 01:39:08 PM »
With Zon, it's the scammers, scammers, scammers.

That needs to end.
 

Offline Rosie A.

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #109 on: October 07, 2017, 01:56:30 PM »
Because for some of us writing is how we support our families and pay the bills. We have to keep an eye on the bottom line to see if we tracking inline with the minimum we need to make the mortgage and utilities. If sales are falling we dig deep to figure out why - such as a book not hitting reader expectations/tropes, writing craft, packaging, marketing approach etc.
I understand. At some point, I'd like to stop waiting tables and write for a living. It's been my dream since I was a little girl. I don't look down on other authors for their reasons for publishing. That's none of my business. I love writing and have/always will do it and I assume it's the same for many on this forum. :)

@Sela, I apologize for my offensive comment. You're right, it was a general statement triggered by your comment. It just reminded me of all the greed surrounding this business. Greed which affects the market in general. But I see that it was not the kindest thing to say right after your statement. I'm sorry! (You are not a scammer, but a person working hard to earn what you do and I meant no disrespect) What gets me is that you said you were making X one year and now it's less than that...and that you are being forced to publish faster and market more. It could be a balance of a maturing market as well as scammers. Maybe we're all underestimating the consequences of the scammers?

Cheating in the marketplace is something I despise. As a waitress, there are often other servers who steal tables, therefore stealing income in tips from other servers. It makes me want to fight I hate it so much. This thread reminds me of the wolves out there than only think of themselves and don't care about the consequences of said actions on their fellow humans. Or the market in this case as well.

A lot of authors still do well despite all this. Btw...my comment was quick because my husband got mad at me for burning the bacon (was on my phone instead of watching it).

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Online Dpock

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #110 on: October 08, 2017, 09:52:15 AM »
I published a new title the other day and earlier this morning looked to see if it was appearing in new releases. Filtering by publishing date, I was surprised to see books listed for publication in 2050 (which you could preorder - e.g.: The Fireside Grown-Up Guide to the Meeting, published by "Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.").

I checked New Adult and Romance. You can preorder Unti Armentrout Novella #2, scheduled to launch in 2075, published by "HarperCollins". I assume they're still waiting for its author to be born.

Tight ship, Amazon.


Offline Anma Natsu

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #111 on: October 08, 2017, 05:41:22 PM »
I published a new title the other day and earlier this morning looked to see if it was appearing in new releases. Filtering by publishing date, I was surprised to see books listed for publication in 2050 (which you could preorder - e.g.: The Fireside Grown-Up Guide to the Meeting, published by "Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.").

I checked New Adult and Romance. You can preorder Unti Armentrout Novella #2, scheduled to launch in 2075, published by "HarperCollins". I assume they're still waiting for its author to be born.

Tight ship, Amazon.

To be fair to Amazon...that's what S&S has listed on their website too, 2050....I've seen that sometimes with video games where the release date isn't set yet, though usually not quite that far out LOL

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #112 on: October 08, 2017, 06:20:50 PM »
LOL. Yes, those are just placeholder dates the Big 5 are allowed to use. They don't want to overcommit at all with a preorder that hasn't been scheduled. But that's been routine practice for years. The advantage, of course, is that the book can stay on the new release list for a year or more. The disadvantage is that it's accumulating a lot of history of no sales. Not sure what "unti" might be publisher code for, but Jennifer Armentrout is a well-known YA/NA author. And once the novella gets a scheduled date and a cover and some promo, it'll likely sell enough to overcome that no-sales-history handicap once it does start selling.

Offline SerenityEditing

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #113 on: October 08, 2017, 07:39:36 PM »
LOL. Yes, those are just placeholder dates the Big 5 are allowed to use. They don't want to overcommit at all with a preorder that hasn't been scheduled. But that's been routine practice for years. The advantage, of course, is that the book can stay on the new release list for a year or more. The disadvantage is that it's accumulating a lot of history of no sales. Not sure what "unti" might be publisher code for, but Jennifer Armentrout is a well-known YA/NA author. And once the novella gets a scheduled date and a cover and some promo, it'll likely sell enough to overcome that no-sales-history handicap once it does start selling.

Unti = Untitled, maybe?
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Offline SusanMayWriter

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #114 on: October 11, 2017, 07:15:42 PM »
You have to wonder at the pure incompetence of KDP these days. While multiple threads here have authors scrambling accused by KDP of using manipulation tactics to scam, when they are not. Then you have this reply, to my moderator of my Facebook Group.

She'd asked me how the KU lower figures were going and if they were fixed and I replied that it didn't look like it and here is some of the problem. I gave her the link to this thread and those books on Amazon. Without prompting she wrote to Amazon and asked why these books were there. Here's the comical reply she just received.


Amazon   
Your Account   Amazon.com
Message From Customer Service
Hello ....

From your comments, I understand that you'd like to know why the books you're referring to has no description.

I've checked with the link you've provided and I was able to see that the language of the title of the book is Russian. The author of the books prefers to put the same cover to all the titles and even I am not sure why.

As for the description I am not even sure why the author didn't put up the "look inside" feature for the all the books. I was able to see only 6 books had the "look inside" feature and they all are purely Russian language.

If you'd like to, you can check by clicking on the link you provided(I've shortened the link).

http://amzn.to/2ygqJRv

If you have any further queries, you can contact us using the below provided link.

https://www.amazon.com/help/contactus

We look forward to see you again soon!

We'd appreciate your feedback. Please use the buttons below to vote about your experience today.

Best regards,

Amazon.com


Whilst I appreciate this is a reply from a low level customer service agent, it just shows you there's no training on this scam stuff. So that shows you the importance of it to Amazon.

In another life I used to be on Chamber of Commerce councils in my city and the politicians would come in to talk to us. We'd tell them all the things we needed in business, so we could grown and prosper and help them fill their tax coffers and employ people. We'd usually get replies like, "We'll look into it." "Will put it on the agenda." The catch phrase in our council was how do we get this item on the agenda to create political will?

There's our problem. There is no political will on Amazon's part to change anything. They've got too much stuff on the go and this is all small potatoes and we do not matter. No emotion behind that. It's just a fact in business.

Our only hope is to help their competition because then that will change their political will. They do not like competition. I'm still in Select because I haven't got the time to get out. I have quite a bit to lose but early next year I'm hoping to set aside some time to move out. Definitely will be doing that with my Audibles, now that D2D with Findaway have some options. Nothing to lose there because my Audible business has died from their add-on price-point move. Again once I have the time.

And that is probably the only response you can make to this sort of garbage on Amazon. Try and help someone overthrow the king. It will happen because it always happens. History tells us this. In the meantime, you can only control your own territory and that is to write and do the best you can and ignore this trash that makes Amazon look like a junk store.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 07:40:43 PM by SusanMayWriter »

Offline SusanMayWriter

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #115 on: October 11, 2017, 10:47:45 PM »
My awesome moderator wasn't going to let this lie, so she asked about these Russian books on a chat on Facebook today.  For your viewing pleasure, here is a Monty Python moment on these. Apparently, they might be from an 'up and coming author.' Sorry the images are so big. I don't know how to make smaller. 

Note: Amended thanks to Jeff so that images aren't huge now. Learned something new today! :)


[img width = 700]http://i.imgur.com/olyeQMT.jpg[/img]
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 01:02:51 AM by SusanMayWriter »

Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #116 on: October 11, 2017, 11:28:37 PM »
Resized.   :)






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Offline SusanMayWriter

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #117 on: October 12, 2017, 12:12:33 AM »
Thank you Jeff. How do I do that to mine? I tried copying your address of the images into my post but that didn't resize them.

Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #118 on: October 12, 2017, 12:40:43 AM »
I upload to imgur, get the BBCode (Forums) share link, and then put width or height restrictions inside the first image tag.  And remember to remove the "s" in https.  It looks like this:





I use the "preview" feature to see if it's big enough or small enough.  Then I lower or raise that number inside the tag accordingly.
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Offline SusanMayWriter

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #119 on: October 12, 2017, 01:03:16 AM »
Thanks Jeff, I've fixed it now. Learned something. ha ha.

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #120 on: October 12, 2017, 09:10:40 AM »
You have to wonder at the pure incompetence of KDP these days. While multiple threads here have authors scrambling accused by KDP of using manipulation tactics to scam, when they are not. Then you have this reply, to my moderator of my Facebook Group.

She'd asked me how the KU lower figures were going and if they were fixed and I replied that it didn't look like it and here is some of the problem. I gave her the link to this thread and those books on Amazon. Without prompting she wrote to Amazon and asked why these books were there. Here's the comical reply she just received.


Amazon   
Your Account   Amazon.com
Message From Customer Service
Hello ....

From your comments, I understand that you'd like to know why the books you're referring to has no description.

I've checked with the link you've provided and I was able to see that the language of the title of the book is Russian. The author of the books prefers to put the same cover to all the titles and even I am not sure why.

As for the description I am not even sure why the author didn't put up the "look inside" feature for the all the books. I was able to see only 6 books had the "look inside" feature and they all are purely Russian language.

If you'd like to, you can check by clicking on the link you provided(I've shortened the link).

http://amzn.to/2ygqJRv

If you have any further queries, you can contact us using the below provided link.

https://www.amazon.com/help/contactus

We look forward to see you again soon!

We'd appreciate your feedback. Please use the buttons below to vote about your experience today.

Best regards,

Amazon.com


Whilst I appreciate this is a reply from a low level customer service agent, it just shows you there's no training on this scam stuff. So that shows you the importance of it to Amazon.



What a joke!!! I don't care that this is a low level customer service agent. Does he/she realized that (1) Russian is not an Amazon supported language currently, and (2) THESE ARE THE SAME BOOK!!!! I can't read Russian but all you need to do is open the Look Inside and you'll see from pg.1 that they are the SAME content. This is a direct TOS violation. Can your moderator tell her Amazon rep?

This is not a Russian author trying to sell books with the same cover. (Some even have NO cover!!!) This is a botter taking advantage of KU cash, and doing it just below the radar enough (i.e. not at the top 100 overall store) but in more obscure niche categories.

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #121 on: October 12, 2017, 11:12:47 AM »
What a joke!!! I don't care that this is a low level customer service agent. Does he/she realized that (1) Russian is not an Amazon supported language currently, and (2) THESE ARE THE SAME BOOK!!!! I can't read Russian but all you need to do is open the Look Inside and you'll see from pg.1 that they are the SAME content. This is a direct TOS violation. Can your moderator tell her Amazon rep?

This is not a Russian author trying to sell books with the same cover. (Some even have NO cover!!!) This is a botter taking advantage of KU cash, and doing it just below the radar enough (i.e. not at the top 100 overall store) but in more obscure niche categories.


As to the 'what a joke' aspect of customer service? This was my fav part of the response:
"I am not even sure why the author didn't put up the "look inside" feature for the all the books..."

Lol! Like we're in charge of anything? But she/he doesn't even know that the author can't just choose to put up or not put up a look inside.  ::)

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #122 on: October 12, 2017, 12:48:48 PM »
Thanks Jeff, I've fixed it now. Learned something. ha ha.

You're welcome.   :)
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Online Dpock

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #123 on: October 12, 2017, 01:09:49 PM »
Amazon clearly seems intent on sucking all the joy out of self-publishing.


Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #124 on: October 12, 2017, 02:37:36 PM »
Well I guess if nothing else, these responses (presumably from live human beings) just debunked our theory that having real staff people going through the books will do any good. They apparently don't even know that (1) Amazon only supports a few specific languages, (2) that multiple books with the same book cover is a glaring sign that something is amisss, (3) that the interior is showing the same book content in mulitiple uploaded books, (4) that even if the author is indeed Russian or whatever, the author names are clearly gaboodiegook, as are the titles and the "blurbs".

It is hopeless.