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Author Topic: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books  (Read 10559 times)  

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #50 on: October 03, 2017, 11:50:57 AM »
It's threads like this that have me considering going wide.  :-\

If you aren't in KU, going wide should be an immediate priority. Gaining traction outside of Amazon takes a long time. Adverts help, but if you're just putting books out there without it, you want to be in as soon as possible.

If you are in KU, that's a whole different story.
 

Online Seneca42

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #51 on: October 03, 2017, 12:23:30 PM »
It's threads like this that have me considering going wide.  :-\

I think wide is for people who like to be ahead of the trends and people who are convinced where the market is heading (or at least where they want to be in the market in the future). Let's remember that the vast majority of authors are still in KU. So while many of us have walked away, that's not the norm yet in self-publishing; it's still the exception (just that the anti-KU voices have grown louder lately on kboards).

I'd say anyone on the fence should sit tight and monitor KENP rates.

Treat it a bit like holding a stock. You have your thesis, and you have your sell number. If you think the stock is going up from $45 to $50, but instead it goes from $45 down to $40... then you have to acknowledge you got something wrong and cut your losses. 

Similarly, if you don't believe in the thesis some have put forward here, but think KENP is going to stay strong and profitable for you as an author... just hold in there until you are either proven right or wrong.

Everyone (well, most) who have gone wide have done so because they experienced something with zon that crossed a lined for them and convinced them they had to diversify. Until that happens for you, whatever that line is, there's nothing wrong with trucking along as is.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 01:40:28 PM by Seneca42 »

Offline jaehaerys

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #52 on: October 03, 2017, 01:25:30 PM »
If you aren't in KU, going wide should be an immediate priority. Gaining traction outside of Amazon takes a long time. Adverts help, but if you're just putting books out there without it, you want to be in as soon as possible.

If you are in KU, that's a whole different story.


I was in KU, but then unpublished everything I had recently because in my opinion the books simply aren't good enough. So, I'm writing something new and plan to start fresh. I've been planning on going back into KU with my fresh offering(s), but this thread is frightening. As far as advertising goes, I'm not planning on advertising at all until I've built up a big back list.

I understand advertising is likely a must whether I'm in or out of KU, but from what I've been reading advertising is tricky and expensive and I can't justify the money I'd have to spend in trying to gain visibility in a toxic environment like the one being talked about in this thread, at least not until I have many books under my belt that I feel are worth readers' time.

Still, I'm not sure what to do. Wide is enticing given that KU seems a mess, but I also understand there are plenty of authors out there doing things right who are enjoying financial success in KU despite the program's issues (though I also get that they, like all indie successes, are outliers). There's definitely a lot to consider.


I think wide is for people who like to be ahead of the trends and people who are convinced where the market is heading (or at least where they want to be in the market in the future). Let's remember that the vast majority of authors are still in KU. So while many of us have walked away, that's not the norm yet in self-publishing; it's still the exception (just that the anti-KU voices have grown louder lately on kboards).

I'd say anyone on the fence should sit tight and monitor KENP rates.

Treat it a bit like holding a stock. You have your thesis, and you have your sell number. If you think the stock is going up from $45 to $50, but instead it goes from $45 down to $40... then you have to acknowledge you got something wrong and cut your losses. 

Similarly, if you don't believe in the thesis some have put forward here, but think KENP is going to stay strong and profitable for you as an author... just hold in there until you are either proven right or wrong.

Everyone (well, most) who have gone wide have done so because they experienced something with zon that crossed a lined for them and convinced them they had to diversify. Until that happens for you, whatever that line is, there's nothing wrong with trucking along as is.






Yes, well, this thread constitutes approaching that line if not crossing it entirely. Having said that, it's hard to know what's the right move/wrong move. Self-publishing understatement of the year, I realize.   :P


It's not an easy business by any stretch. (chalk up another one for Captain Obvious) Diversifying makes sense in the objective...subjectively it's trickier.


Like I'd said above, I have no plans to spend on marketing for the foreseeable future, i.e. not until I have a sizable library of marketable work to sell.
Whether or not that makes KU a more viable play for me in the short term, I have no idea. I'm not sure it matters as I'm not likely to gain much if any visibility until I do spend on marketing, so then that makes me think: wide is smarter because going wide you're not going to get any visibility at all without spending on marketing and since I'm already anticipating that lack of visibility anyway - regardless if I'm in or out of KU - then I might as well go wide, build up a list and pay out the wazoo for ads hoping for good ROI at that point.


Online Seneca42

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #53 on: October 03, 2017, 01:55:00 PM »
wide is smarter because going wide you're not going to get any visibility at all without spending on marketing and since I'm already anticipating that lack of visibility anyway - regardless if I'm in or out of KU - then I might as well go wide, build up a list and pay out the wazoo for ads hoping for good ROI at that point.

There's a reason this is a contentious issue... it's because no one knows for sure what is right. Some believe zon simply cannot be beaten back, end of story. So it's irrelevant if they drop rates to .001... you take what you can get and that will be the state of self-publishing. I've fully acknowledged that zon may win in the end, but if they do, then we're all dead anyway. The world that will exist in a zon-only world is not one I have any interest of self-publishing in. So wide isn't even an option for me, it's a necessity long-term.

Others, don't share the view that zon has to win. Some of us have gone wide and found we do very well and so think everyone in KU is basically drinking the Jim Jones kool-aid.

Time will tell. I can tell you this, if KENP rates bounce up to .0045 the KU crowd will come roaring back with cheers that everything is going to be A-OK and people like me will look silly to them. But I don't see that happening :)

But the next 3-4 months are going tell us all a lot. So nothing wrong with waiting just a bit longer to get that data before solidifying your view on the market and your place in it.

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #54 on: October 03, 2017, 02:41:56 PM »

I was in KU, but then unpublished everything I had recently because in my opinion the books simply aren't good enough. So, I'm writing something new and plan to start fresh. I've been planning on going back into KU with my fresh offering(s), but this thread is frightening. As far as advertising goes, I'm not planning on advertising at all until I've built up a big back list.


I am totally against KU. However, for a new author (you're putting your new series out) I absolutely recommend KU.

Despite KU authors getting ripped, let's look at some hard reality. Look at the top 100 in anything. 90% are in KU. Hot New Releases, 90% in KU. The boost to ranking is incredible and simply can't be ignored. I don't want to sound mean here, but you'd be a fool to not put your first book in KU. It's like getting advertising without paying money.

Your first book.

I imagine you can sense my aversion to placing anything other than that first book in KU. Simply put, the exposure is invaluable to a new author. Yeah, you're going to get ripped. You won't get paid for real page reads - you're going to get paid on Amazon's fanciful and deliberately vague definitions. You're going to see your page reads drop to appalling levels.

But it's the exposure you want.

I have nothing in KU, but I have a customer base. Until you have a customer base, you need every advantage you can get - even if it means you get cheated by KU.

Put your first book in. My advice? Don't put anything else in - it's a trap.
 

Offline jaehaerys

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #55 on: October 03, 2017, 08:45:44 PM »
I am totally against KU. However, for a new author (you're putting your new series out) I absolutely recommend KU.

Despite KU authors getting ripped, let's look at some hard reality. Look at the top 100 in anything. 90% are in KU. Hot New Releases, 90% in KU. The boost to ranking is incredible and simply can't be ignored. I don't want to sound mean here, but you'd be a fool to not put your first book in KU. It's like getting advertising without paying money.

Your first book.

I imagine you can sense my aversion to placing anything other than that first book in KU. Simply put, the exposure is invaluable to a new author. Yeah, you're going to get ripped. You won't get paid for real page reads - you're going to get paid on Amazon's fanciful and deliberately vague definitions. You're going to see your page reads drop to appalling levels.

But it's the exposure you want.

I have nothing in KU, but I have a customer base. Until you have a customer base, you need every advantage you can get - even if it means you get cheated by KU.

Put your first book in. My advice? Don't put anything else in - it's a trap.


I was under the impression that while you might get a tiny boost in visibility in KU it's still microscopic overall and not really useful without also buying advertising. Is that not true? You're making it sound as though the boost in visibility is sizable, or maybe I'm misunderstanding?

So, if the boost from KU is tiny or not that great then wouldn't it make more sense to just release everything wide right from the get-go and try to build from there?


I mean, yes, going wide you're not going to get ANY visibility AT ALL...I get that, but if the boost from KU is tiny to small then is it worth putting up with all of the problems in KU given you're not likely to get your work seen regardless without also paying out the wazoo for ads?


I'm genuinely curious about this, so no snark intended at all. Just wondering your opinion on this. Thank you for your advice, I truly appreciate it. :)





Online Seneca42

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #56 on: October 03, 2017, 09:18:30 PM »
I was under the impression that while you might get a tiny boost in visibility in KU it's still microscopic overall and not really useful without also buying advertising. Is that not true? You're making it sound as though the boost in visibility is sizable, or maybe I'm misunderstanding?

That's correct. They are just saying it's going to be near impossible either way, so might as well enroll where there's no cost barrier for readers (and maybe make $2-10 a month off KU reads and get a few reviews if you're lucky). If you have a great cover and great blurb, there is a chance that KU readers might give it a look if they somehow stumble across it in the New Release List; after that, yes, it will sink fast and become invisible.

Technically that should have always been what KU was for. A place for authors to toss in a book or two for readers to test out at no/low cost. But zon severely underestimated (or perhaps they knew) that SP authors were willing to build their entire business around the cost of a hot dog and were happy to throw all their books in there.

So now KU isn't all that different from the main store. 10 billion books and no visibility. 


 

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #57 on: October 04, 2017, 04:19:03 AM »
I'm genuinely curious about this, so no snark intended at all. Just wondering your opinion on this. Thank you for your advice, I truly appreciate it. :)

I lean more towards the visibility boost being substantial.

With no advertising, you can drop an ebook into KDP and watch it sink faster than the Titanic. I recently released a paranormal romance that wasn't dirty enough to be erotica. So instead of the name you see, I posted it under my real name (which hasn't published enough to build a customer base). Not a single sale in 3 months. Good cover, blurb, peek inside, etc. Just no adverts. No one has seen it. No one knows it's there. 0 sales. I mean, not even 1. Thanks, mom.

Whereas, if I had dropped it into KU, freebie readers would be picking it up and reading it. From there, I could rebuild/build back my original name customer base. Some sales = exposure and bump in algorithms. No sales = none and Amazon algorithms are harsh burials.

So I do think a new author stands much to gain and I don't think its insubstantial. If the new author can overlook the cheating of his income, then KU is a great first-book strategy.
 

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #58 on: October 04, 2017, 07:05:00 AM »
I don't know whether KU gives a book substantial or minimal exposure. What I do think is that if you're a newbie, then once you dipped your toe into KU and you're selling at least 40% through KU, you simply do not know if you can get out. You don't know if KU is cannibalising your sales, or if your book will tank if it wasn't for KU. Then everyone tells you how hard it is to get traction wide, so you don't know what to do and you stay put.

I understand why some authors say it sucks that other authors will stay in KU and willing to be paid crap. But it's not really just that. It IS getting harder and harder every year for new writers to get visibility. If I'd gotten into this 4 or 5 years ago, I might've gone wide from the start and probably would have an audience wide enough to not worry much about KU. I got into this about 2 years ago and it's tough for me to figure things out. And I actually consider myself lucky because I see that it is probably 10Xs harder for anyone getting in now to try to build an audience. I used to get a continious stream of organic newsletter subscribers. Now they trickle through. I believe lot of readers have authors NL fatigue. A lot of things that used to get readers excited are no longer new and fresh anymore. I really feel sympathy for new writers trying to get a foot in the market now.

It's not so easy to say put one book in KU as a sampler. If you have a series and you put just one book in, all you'll do is p'd off the KU readers. I've got a series and a standalone and 2 anthologies. I still feel like I don't have enough books to go wide yet. I feel like I need to have at least 2, maybe 3 series before I can take something wide and keep something in KU to safely test how things will go wide. I honestly wouldn't know what to tell a newbie with one or two books to do, whether to stay in KU or go wide.

I suppose you can say take the books out of KU for a month or two and see how it goes. But it's like stepping off a cliff. It's hard to do. You really don't want to risk your books tanking. If I have several other series then I wouldn't feel so unsure because even if it turns out the books in one series tank out of KU, I'd feel better that there are others I can keep the momentum going.

So it's not that many authors are willing to be paid crap and be "abused" etc by KU. It's just that the wide platforms aren't exactly so well oiled to assure us we won't fall into obscurity if we make an effort.

Offline SerenityEditing

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #59 on: October 04, 2017, 07:15:43 AM »
I've just skimmed the responses so my apologies if someone else has already mentioned this possibility, and double apologies if I am about to make myself look like a raving lunatic, but my first thought was code/cryptography/steganography. Then my second thought was no, surely they'd use more subtle techniques than that, then my third thought was well maybe, if they assume that anyone who sees the books would simply assume them to be scammers stuffing books full of nonsense.

Off to the store, I've run out of tin foil early this month for some strange reason!
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Online Seneca42

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #60 on: October 04, 2017, 08:10:27 AM »
It IS getting harder and harder every year for new writers to get visibility.

Not just new writers. While I can't prove it, I think even the established authors are finding it harder to maintain momentum. The market is saturated at this point, especially the trope genres. You don't see the level of botting and fake reviews (which, btw, I think have exploded in the past 3 months; they are 10 times the problems the bots are, just that bots get the attention because they are mucking up the ranks) if authors are in a growth cycle.

Which, in my view, all roads lead back to KU. When you squeeze your margin you MUST make up for it in volume. So if you need to sell 1,000 books at $5.99... you need to sell 5,000 in KU to make the same money. You put that kind of demand on indies (that they all sell 5 times as much to make the same as they would direct) and you get chaos where people feel they must cheat just to survive.

But a declining margin business ultimate results in everyone losing. There's a reason investors won't touch a business with declining margins; high margins are what they look for.

I really feel bad for people entering the market today, because it's just so chaotic and overcrowded. It's starting to feel like one of those audition lines for American Idol (is that even on tv anymore?). Just a line of human beings for as far as the eye can see hoping that someone tells them they have what it takes.




Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #61 on: October 04, 2017, 10:44:03 AM »
It IS getting harder and harder every year for new writers to get visibility.

But a declining margin business ultimate results in everyone losing.

I really feel bad for people entering the market today, because it's just so chaotic and overcrowded. It's starting to feel like one of those audition lines for American Idol (is that even on tv anymore?). Just a line of human beings for as far as the eye can see hoping that someone tells them they have what it takes.

I liken KU to a swimming pool. Limited space up top for air. Scammers are crowding the surface and the rest of us legitimate authors are being pushed under as the scammers cheat to the surface.

Unfortunately, the "pool" of KU is even forcing those outside the pool under water. There is no "good" end to KU. If the scammers have to hook up two hundred phones for page flips and churn enough even at 1 cent per book, they'll gladly do it. It's almost free money once the equipment is bought or stolen.
 

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #62 on: October 04, 2017, 10:58:54 AM »
I think it's not just the saturation of market. At the end of the day, the only books that are selling are the ones ranking below 200K. So it doesn't matter if there are 1 mil, 3 mil, or 5 mil+ books. We know that a book is only moving if it's consistently 200K or below. So at the mini-mini-minimum, you got to be in the top 200K. (Not talking about hitting it big or making a living. I'm just saying what keeps a book going.) So in that sense, I don't think that saturation is all that matters. The competition is always among the top 200k books.

What's changed since I got in 2 years ago:

1. Free books free books everywhere. So a free promo is nothing special anymore.

2. Promo sites lost effectiveness. It's still recommended that you use them for launch because you got to get the book off and start word of mouth marketing, but more likely than not, you won't make your $$ back.

3. Amazon tweaked its algo so your spike from promo, no matter how well you planned it, won't give you a tail.

4. Readers have too many books on their devices so even if they downloaded your free or 99c book, they might not read your book till later (if ever), so you don't get nearly as much of a tail.

5. I don't do free or perma free but Amazon hides the free books and the scammers have mucked it all up anyway.

6. Instafreebie was a great thing and also a bad thing. Readers have way too many newsletters being sent to them and they stopped signing up organically. They're too busy unsubbing.

7. Newsletter swaps are not always done carefully for readers' benefit or tailored to their interests. They're done by authors being short-sighted and wanted to get in on the latest NL swap. The NLs thus look more and more like bad SPAMS, further causing readers to unsub and not sign up in the first place.

8. FB ads have gotten very expensive than from 2-3 years ago and now a sinkhole

9. AMS ads -- great initially but not anymore and still all voodoo as far as I can see

10. Amazon now has it own imprint to promote

11. Bookbub now cares more about promoting trad pub books and trad pub backlists. Their interest also directly conflict with Amazon KU. Indie authors are caught in the middle.

These are just some of my observations. I'm sure there are more. Everything has converged to make the market very very tough to crack.

Offline Catherine Lea

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #63 on: October 04, 2017, 11:59:14 AM »
"Give me your money cause this little black book rocks."
Not a bad title.


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Online Seneca42

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #64 on: October 04, 2017, 12:41:37 PM »
I think it's not just the saturation of market. At the end of the day, the only books that are selling are the ones ranking below 200K.

First, excellent list of all the issues going on right now. Bang on the money.

Second, honestly, a TON of the books you see in the top 200k are NOT being read to the degree their rank suggests. It would take too long but when I say the botting is out of control... i mean it's REALLY out of control. I think many legit authors, while making sales, are also supplementing with bots.

When the DS thing hit you saw so many authors just crash in rank. Two weeks later, BOOM, a good junk were back up in the ranks. A month later? They are almost ALL back up in the ranks. The word has gone out that it's safe to get back in the water, and they all are. You also see authors shifting the bots to their latest book; their back catalog which sells gangbusters one month suddenly sinks the moment they have a new book (and it's not just redirection of marketing dollars).

You can check out the also-boughts and it's very clear there are clicks of authors working together with various tactics, hence why they are all populated in each other's also boughts, but not dispersed throughout the genre category nearly as much. It's not rocket science to see who is working with who in terms of gaming zon.

So I honestly don't think the top 200k means as much as we think at this point. Add that wide authors drop in rank twice as much and a non-KU book could have a rank of 100k but be selling BETTER than a KU book with a rank of 25k.

The charts are F'd. The cats are F'd. The data used to extrapolate sales is all F'd. The reviews are F'd. The promos are F'd because they can't compete with the bots (but at least they are generating actual readers).

hehe, the only silver lining in all this is that the more things get F'd, the more chance zon will eventually do something.

I'm calling it now... the 5 lawsuits they launched will just be the beginning. More will be coming in the future. But time will tell.

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #65 on: October 04, 2017, 02:55:32 PM »
The charts are F'd. The cats are F'd. The data used to extrapolate sales is all F'd. The reviews are F'd. The promos are F'd because they can't compete with the bots (but at least they are generating actual readers).

Seneca with her words of wisdom again.

This is why KU scammers even hurt direct authors. They're pushing everyone out of the category listings and visibility.

Remove KU and those scammer vanish instantly. I think I'm wishing.
 

Offline jaehaerys

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #66 on: October 04, 2017, 04:16:00 PM »
Thank you, Laran, Seneca and Alexa for your replies. I appreciate it. I guess I'll have to hold my nose and launch in KU when it comes time. All of the issues you've laid out though are concerning. Basically, to crack the market you have spend a ton of dough and hope the marketing works and/or get lucky. Great.  ???


Online Seneca42

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2017, 04:21:39 PM »
Thank you, Laran, Seneca and Alexa for your replies. I appreciate it. I guess I'll have to hold my nose and launch in KU when it comes time. All of the issues you've laid out though are concerning. Basically, to crack the market you have spend a ton of dough and hope the marketing works and/or get lucky. Great.  ???

which is why it's so important to write because you love writing. Tell stories because you have something to say. Then no matter what happens, you'll have left the mark you want to leave.

The business side of all this is maybe one rung up from the back alley of a strip club in the seediest part of town. Try to keep it at a distance and not let it ruin what should be a noble pursuit.

Offline great_gazoo

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #68 on: October 04, 2017, 05:20:34 PM »
Okay my jaw just dropped bc I just checked those books and looks like every single one is still in the store.

I only clicked inside one of them and it is a reprint of Wizard of Oz. Clearly they're using PD books.

Online DrewMcGunn

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #69 on: October 04, 2017, 05:59:20 PM »
Okay my jaw just dropped bc I just checked those books and looks like every single one is still in the store.

I only clicked inside one of them and it is a reprint of Wizard of Oz. Clearly they're using PD books.

The Tin Woodman of Oz appears to be a favorite of the fertilizer farmers of the clickfarm universe.

I report them when I have the time.  But it's like a vicious game of whackamole


Online Rosie A.

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #70 on: October 04, 2017, 10:09:15 PM »
I think it's not just the saturation of market. At the end of the day, the only books that are selling are the ones ranking below 200K. So it doesn't matter if there are 1 mil, 3 mil, or 5 mil+ books. We know that a book is only moving if it's consistently 200K or below. So at the mini-mini-minimum, you got to be in the top 200K. (Not talking about hitting it big or making a living. I'm just saying what keeps a book going.) So in that sense, I don't think that saturation is all that matters. The competition is always among the top 200k books.

What's changed since I got in 2 years ago:

1. Free books free books everywhere. So a free promo is nothing special anymore.

2. Promo sites lost effectiveness. It's still recommended that you use them for launch because you got to get the book off and start word of mouth marketing, but more likely than not, you won't make your $$ back.

3. Amazon tweaked its algo so your spike from promo, no matter how well you planned it, won't give you a tail.

4. Readers have too many books on their devices so even if they downloaded your free or 99c book, they might not read your book till later (if ever), so you don't get nearly as much of a tail.

5. I don't do free or perma free but Amazon hides the free books and the scammers have mucked it all up anyway.

6. Instafreebie was a great thing and also a bad thing. Readers have way too many newsletters being sent to them and they stopped signing up organically. They're too busy unsubbing.

7. Newsletter swaps are not always done carefully for readers' benefit or tailored to their interests. They're done by authors being short-sighted and wanted to get in on the latest NL swap. The NLs thus look more and more like bad SPAMS, further causing readers to unsub and not sign up in the first place.

8. FB ads have gotten very expensive than from 2-3 years ago and now a sinkhole

9. AMS ads -- great initially but not anymore and still all voodoo as far as I can see

10. Amazon now has it own imprint to promote

11. Bookbub now cares more about promoting trad pub books and trad pub backlists. Their interest also directly conflict with Amazon KU. Indie authors are caught in the middle.

These are just some of my observations. I'm sure there are more. Everything has converged to make the market very very tough to crack.
Great analysis. The question is, what do we do now? How can we gain visibility and readers? It's always been hard for authors to crack the market since the dawn of time. But in this digital age, it seems much more feasible.

All I can think of is to keep writing, publishing, praying, and figure out the promotion side of things. I don't know how to find/gain readers effectively anymore. I tried InstaFreebie and that did not work for me. Promotions are expensive and although I've seen some results, I don't have the funds to spend constantly on ads and furthermore, it seems like a waste of time with my tiny back list. I have 25 names on my email list--not enough to power a new release or anything. KU is helping to bury my books because I write in a genre that is KU driven. So basically, the only answer I can come up with is to keep writing good books, publishing them..and HOPING I'll get read. Somehow, hoping seems like a terrible business plan.

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Online Seneca42

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #71 on: October 04, 2017, 11:17:01 PM »
Great analysis. The question is, what do we do now? How can we gain visibility and readers? It's always been hard for authors to crack the market since the dawn of time. But in this digital age, it seems much more feasible.

The market will clear at some point. Like any bubble it will pop and then the serious players will remain. By that I mean the people who are writing because they love to write. The "marketing writers" (ie. people for whom writing a book is merely a means of generating a "product" that they can market), will eventually bail on SP. This notion that you can make a living at this simply by marketing is not going to last. I think we're already there, and hence why the bots are out in full force and you get the insanity of people write a book a week just for visibility. Pure insanity.

All bubbles pop. Are we in a SP bubble becomes the question. Lowering KENP rates suggest we are. Increasing marketing costs and difficulties attaining visibility, suggest we are.  Increase in authors engaging in gray hat tactics suggests we are.

So my view is the only thing one can do is just put their head down, write good books, market as you can... and one day you'll look up and all the marketing gerbils will be gone because the bubble popped.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 11:18:36 PM by Seneca42 »

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #72 on: October 05, 2017, 04:10:50 AM »
If Amazon fundamentally changes the sub function so it can't be gamed, the scammers will move out of publishing to something else. The bubble always changes and the scammers chase it.

Or maybe they'll just go back to phishing.
 

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #73 on: October 05, 2017, 08:10:37 AM »
Unfortunately, KU isn't going anywhere. We can lament all we want but the subscription model is here to stay. It's what the entire entertainment culture is migrating to so I think it's pointless to hope that Amazon will one day change course. 

There are only two things combined that can fix KU: (1) Amazon stop the "pot" payment and just outright set a fee for page reads. Then authors earnings would not be affected by bots regardless. But Amazon is not going to hurt its onw pocket so this aint gonna happen. (2) Amazon hires real people to gatekeep and guard against botted books or scam books, at least for books that make it to the 10k level and lower. Again, Amazon ain't going to do that. Some bean counter has done the math and this is not worth their $$.

So what's left is how we can increase our readership DESPITE KU. I don't have any solution or idea. You have to find a way for your book to make noise and stand out from the crowd. If you can figure that out, then you got a chance.


Offline jaehaerys

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Re: Almost makes me appreciate the KU Scammers who stuff real books
« Reply #74 on: October 05, 2017, 09:27:54 AM »
Maybe the ubiquitous adoption of the blockchain will pop the bubble? If transparency reigns and everything becomes traceable there'd be no climate in which scammers and botters could survive. That's the tech-optimist in me...hoping against hope.