KB Featured Book
Stone and Silt
by Harvey Chute

$2.99
Kindle Edition published 2013-08-14
Bestseller ranking: 713665

Product Description
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: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo  (Read 31630 times)  

Offline TimothyEllis

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3685
  • Gender: Male
  • Somewhere in space.
  • Aussie in the 27th century.
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Ellis Author
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #200 on: October 21, 2017, 07:02:19 PM »
Are you a programmer who has worked on large systems like Amazon's?

Yes to the programmer, no to Amazon, since they didn't exist back then.

But as far as I can see, all Amazon's problems could be solved with a lot of old fashioned array handling, and a computer with some serious grunt.

I cant see why you cant store bot data, run a series of array handling programs against it, generate search criteria for more bots, store that data, and then spit out a series of actions. You could do this any number of times, using back end processing to refine bot searches, until you get solid data to base a decision on.

There is no part of Amazon's problems which cant be solved by a good programmer who isn't bogged down in flashy graphics work. It needs good old fashioned procedural processing.

I think this would be more than some "simple code."

Sure. But its doable by any competent programmer who enjoys a challenge.

I could have done this myself 30 years ago, and would have enjoyed it immensely.

The thing is though, you cant do this with fancy graphical languages. The likelihood is, Amazon doesn't have the right programmers or programming language to do this job properly.

Addressing a couple of other points....

I use a gift card now for all Amazon purchases. Its a lot easier than having a whole heap of small cc transactions every month, with bank fees on each one. Now I buy a gift card with my cc, apply it to my amazon account, and run it down whenever. I usually top up the gift amount a couple of times a year.

I sent off a KDP message the other day, advising them I had a Bookbub coming. Received a very nice message back this morning thanking me for advising them, and wishing me well with it.

I think part of things now is letting KDP know what your promo schedule is.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 08:40:43 PM by TimothyEllis »

Online Anma Natsu

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2570
  • Gender: Female
  • Texas
    • View Profile
    • Anma Natsu
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #201 on: October 21, 2017, 07:40:26 PM »
I was going to say, what land do you all live in, where gift cards are cheap and plentiful? I would like to move there.

I don't buy anything on Amazon with a gift card. The notion that it's standard seems utterly alien.

A lot of people I know default to gift cards as gifts these days as a way of just giving people a way to get what they want at a store they like. Gift cards don't cost anything but the amount on them.  They sell Amazon gift cards all over the place: CVS, Walgreens, Home Depot, I've even seen them at Walmart. :-)  Both with set amounts or load your own.  Amazon itself even started a thing, last year I believe, encouraging people to set up auto reloading gift card balances for themselves, either monthly or when their account goes below a certain amount.  Some use it as a way of giving themselves fun money, parents use it for their college kids, etc. 

For me, I use Amazon gift cards for myself a few times a year.  Pretty much whenever someone gives me cash as a gift, I go over to CVS, get an Amazon gift card with it, and load it into my account.  I've also had people give me Amazon gift cards, either digitally or physically, often because people know I read a lot and they think "buying books", they tend to think Amazon or B&N (I get those now and then too).

Offline dgaughran

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3370
  • Gender: Male
  • Dublin
  • Let's Get Digital
    • View Profile
    • David Gaughran
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #202 on: October 22, 2017, 02:18:58 AM »
The conversations on this topic usually devolve into a discussion about what kind of system Amazon could design to catch scammers.

While that is well-meaning, I think it's a little moot when Amazon has yet to display any serious desire to stop the scamming. In other words, there's little point arguing about the means when Amazon has yet to display the will.

So instead of getting ahead of ourselves, I'd suggest focusing on how to get Amazon to take this problem seriously, and how to convey to Amazon the level of author anger surrounding this issue, because I'm still not convinced that Amazon is taking this problem seriously enough.

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

Offline TimothyEllis

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3685
  • Gender: Male
  • Somewhere in space.
  • Aussie in the 27th century.
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Ellis Author
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #203 on: October 22, 2017, 02:46:23 AM »
So instead of getting ahead of ourselves, I'd suggest focusing on how to get Amazon to take this problem seriously, and how to convey to Amazon the level of author anger surrounding this issue, because I'm still not convinced that Amazon is taking this problem seriously enough.

I wonder if Amazon follow Quora?

Someone asked the other day if there was an alternative subscription service to KU. As far as I can tell, it was a reader.

Maybe a small snowball in hell, but I thought it might be the start of something.

Online Patty Jansen

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 11614
  • Gender: Female
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Destroyer of Science Fiction
    • View Profile
    • Patty Jansen Author of SF and fantasy
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #204 on: October 22, 2017, 03:06:42 AM »
The conversations on this topic usually devolve into a discussion about what kind of system Amazon could design to catch scammers.

While that is well-meaning, I think it's a little moot when Amazon has yet to display any serious desire to stop the scamming. In other words, there's little point arguing about the means when Amazon has yet to display the will.

So instead of getting ahead of ourselves, I'd suggest focusing on how to get Amazon to take this problem seriously, and how to convey to Amazon the level of author anger surrounding this issue, because I'm still not convinced that Amazon is taking this problem seriously enough.

We can talk about this until we're blue in the face, but there is nothing we can do with devising ideas how to catch abuse of the system.

We can also talk until we're blue in the face about how Amazon should take it seriously. We can petition Amazon to death but they have shown zero will to do anything about it, and I don't think anything will change that.

We *should* talk about how we can survive (control your own audience and don't reply on Amazon's algorithms. Mailing list, mailing list, mailing list), but I don't see *anyone* talking about that.

Offline dgaughran

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3370
  • Gender: Male
  • Dublin
  • Let's Get Digital
    • View Profile
    • David Gaughran
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #205 on: October 22, 2017, 03:23:33 AM »
I'm as cynical as the next person, but I think we have seen Amazon bow to public pressure before. We may not have been overjoyed with the action taken, but I think we have been able to nudge Amazon into action on occasion. Better than doing nothing, and securing your own independence through mailing lists and whatever else, these things aren't mutually exclusive (and I think everyone talks about mailing lists all the time btw).

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

Offline Betsy the Quilter

  • To paraphrase Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: "I'm a goddess; not THE Goddess. I don't think."
  • Administrator
  • Status: Shakespeare
  • *****
  • Posts: 62931
  • Gender: Female
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Love all, moderate all, to quote my friend Harvey
    • View Profile
    • Betsy True Designs
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #206 on: October 22, 2017, 03:25:19 AM »
I was going to say, what land do you all live in, where gift cards are cheap and plentiful? I would like to move there.

I don't buy anything on Amazon with a gift card. The notion that it's standard seems utterly alien.

As has been pointed out, many of the heavy readers on the forum use gift cards to fund their Amazon accounts to avoid myriad small charges on their credit cards.  It's also a way to set a budget for their ebook habits.  (Pretty sure my co-mod Ann does this...) Amazon even has a way to auto purchase a gift card for your account each month so that you always have one:
https://www.amazon.com/asv/autoreload/ref=asv_reload_create_off
Or to reload when your GC balance runs low.

As for only teens using GCs, as another poster suggested, I haven't been a teen in a very long time, unless we switch to a different base ;D, and my family knows that Amazon GCs are always a good gift.  And we just had a birthday party where the multiple adult celebrants, including our granddaughter who just bought a house, received Amazon GCs as gifts.

And, as has also been already pointed out, the settlement with Apple resulted in many people getting a lot of money via GC added to their accounts.  We have a thread in Let's Talk Kindle about It.

So, yeah, it's pretty common.

Betsy
Goodreads Goal -- 75 books


Joined 10/27/2008  | Miss you, Harvey, Jeff & Dona!
Harvey Chute (1962-2015), KB Founder

Proud Owner: Oasis/Voyage/Touch/Basic/K1/Fire HDX
Betsy True Designs Facebook | My Store

Online My Dog's Servant

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 850
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #207 on: October 22, 2017, 05:49:00 AM »
What's depressing about this whole thread is that the possible whys and hows of every critical issue being discussed are speculation. Intelligent, thoughtful speculation, but speculation nevertheless....because we haven't got anything else to go on, and no leverage to force better or demand accountability.

Back when I was trad pubbed, I at least knew and understood the various and sundry ways in which my publishers were sc**ing me over--basket accounting (sign or go away), unreasonable reserves against returns, incompetence, not reporting print runs being hidden under new ISBNs with no change in book or cover (you quickly figured out how to keep an eye on that), "selling" the books to a subsidiary in order to pay a significantly smaller percentage to the author, and the ever popular just plain not reporting royalties earned (you could at least hire an accountant for a yearly audit, and they pretty much always found monies owed, sometimes substantial monies). But this...  I love being fully in control of my creations, but I've never felt more at sea on the business side of things. (And starting wide wasn't any better--every platform has its own set of ways to make life difficult.) I don't ever want to go back to trad, but there are times....

Online TobiasRoote

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
  • Gender: Male
  • Greece
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #208 on: October 22, 2017, 06:05:35 AM »
What's depressing about this whole thread is that the possible whys and hows of every critical issue being discussed are speculation. Intelligent, thoughtful speculation, but speculation nevertheless....because we haven't got anything else to go on, and no leverage to force better or demand accountability. ...........
.................every platform has its own set of ways to make life difficult......

Yeah! All of this.


Tobias Roote | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Online dianapersaud

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1765
    • View Profile
    • Diana Persaud
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #209 on: October 22, 2017, 06:19:35 AM »
The conversations on this topic usually devolve into a discussion about what kind of system Amazon could design to catch scammers.

While that is well-meaning, I think it's a little moot when Amazon has yet to display any serious desire to stop the scamming. In other words, there's little point arguing about the means when Amazon has yet to display the will.

So instead of getting ahead of ourselves, I'd suggest focusing on how to get Amazon to take this problem seriously, and how to convey to Amazon the level of author anger surrounding this issue, because I'm still not convinced that Amazon is taking this problem seriously enough.
[/b]

Agreed.

I sent an email about 91 books that were in violation of the TOS. The corporate team VERIFIED that they were in violation of the TOS and gave me the boilerplate "we won't tell you the results of our investigation."

They don't have to. The books are still up.

I found more books but there is little point in letting Amazon know. All that does is waste my time.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 06:22:36 AM by dianapersaud »

Diana Persaud | My Website

Offline ElHawk

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3930
  • Gender: Female
  • San Juan Islands, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #210 on: October 22, 2017, 07:47:21 AM »
David's right: there's no will (yet) at Amazon to seriously fix this issue, and that might be because it hasn't been communicated to them yet in a way they can't ignore.

Whenever KDP has screwed up for me, the only way I've been able to resolve it (after wasting my time going through the various provided channels, which never get me anywhere because nobody in KDP customer service cares) has been to email Jeff Bezos directly.

I would suggest a coordinated email campaign to contact Bezos and alert him to the very serious nature of this problem, how it's affecting customer experience, and how it's affecting Amazon's and KDP's bottom line. If an email from one KDP user will get an actual resolution from a person who will truly listen to what you have to say, and will work to fix the problem, then surely many emails from many users over the course of 24 - 48 hours will draw attention to the problem from higher up the ladder, and we might hope to see Amazon invest some actual time, money, and brain cells in solving this problem.


Take Off Your Pants and see what everybody is talking about!
Libbie Hawker | Site + Blog | Mailing List | Twitter

Offline boba1823

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 108
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #211 on: October 22, 2017, 08:17:13 AM »
Right now the thing with the cases that we know of, in terms of what they had in common, was they all had bubs.

A while back, I recall that there seemed to be a fair number of authors in KU who were having trouble with the false positive warnings - probably because they were being targeted (either directly or randomly) by botters scooping up legit KU books.

Is this something that still seems to be going on? Or has Amazon improved things to stop the false KU accusations and/or have the scammers moved on and left the KU stuff behind?


I'm just trying to work out whether there remain any reasonable safe methods for releasing books nowadays. (Since I'm new and don't have a whole list of books, if Amazon happened to zap my one... well, that's pretty much game over for the foreseeable future.)

From past problems that have been brought up, I gathered the safest approach is: A) Don't offer it for free; botters might hit it. B) Don't put it in KU; botters might hit it. And now, latest development: C) Don't price at 99cents (with a BookBub, at least); botters might hit that too.

Yeesh. I mean, it's silly that you can't avoid getting sliced by just, you know, not trying to cheat. But lately, it seems like the practical options for playing it safe are drying up pretty quickly.

Offline ParkerAvrile

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 218
    • View Profile
    • Parker Avrile's Steamy Gay ROmance
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #212 on: October 22, 2017, 08:20:41 AM »


I sent off a KDP message the other day, advising them I had a Bookbub coming. Received a very nice message back this morning thanking me for advising them, and wishing me well with it.

I think part of things now is letting KDP know what your promo schedule is.

Same here. I only forgot once to tell KDP (in September), and that BB did have my shortest tail, although it could also be related to the usual September glitchiness + a less popular book being promoted in the first place.  I have just informed them of the upcoming and also received an acknowledgement. Can't see how it would hurt.
Visit my website for free reads & giveaways for lovers of steamy m/m romance https://parkeravrile.wordpress.com/blog/

Offline Marty South

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #213 on: October 22, 2017, 08:24:34 AM »
The conversations on this topic usually devolve into a discussion about what kind of system Amazon could design to catch scammers.

While that is well-meaning, I think it's a little moot when Amazon has yet to display any serious desire to stop the scamming. In other words, there's little point arguing about the means when Amazon has yet to display the will.

So instead of getting ahead of ourselves, I'd suggest focusing on how to get Amazon to take this problem seriously, and how to convey to Amazon the level of author anger surrounding this issue, because I'm still not convinced that Amazon is taking this problem seriously enough.

Amazon takes it seriously, but its response is misdirected. Instead of targeting the wrongdoers, at least some of whom it appears to have identified, it is putting the onus on authors and publishers to prevent it.
 
I was concerned about an upcoming Bookbub promo, so I emailed Amazon. Their response was that a genuine third party website shouldn't be a problem, but that publishers are ultimately responsible for ensuring third parties don't use tactics to manipulate Kindle services or programs.

So Amazon is putting it on me to ensure every promo site I use is legit, and I don't know how to do that.

Offline Seneca42

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 977
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #214 on: October 22, 2017, 08:39:37 AM »
A while back, I recall that there seemed to be a fair number of authors in KU who were having trouble with the false positive warnings - probably because they were being targeted (either directly or randomly) by botters scooping up legit KU books.

From past problems that have been brought up, I gathered the safest approach is: A) Don't offer it for free; botters might hit it. B) Don't put it in KU; botters might hit it. And now, latest development: C) Don't price at 99cents (with a BookBub, at least); botters might hit that too.

Oh for sure, this was an issue with KU before it spread. I just meant to say that the recent cases seem to be correlated to bub.

I think 99c paid is still safe. We have all of one case out of hundreds of bookbubs where a derank occurred. If we start getting more cases, then it's time to panic. But personally I wouldn't be worried on a paid promo (not yet anyway). 

Offline ParkerAvrile

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 218
    • View Profile
    • Parker Avrile's Steamy Gay ROmance
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #215 on: October 22, 2017, 08:43:31 AM »
I wonder if Amazon follow Quora?

Someone asked the other day if there was an alternative subscription service to KU. As far as I can tell, it was a reader.

Maybe a small snowball in hell, but I thought it might be the start of something.

Speaking now strictly as a book-a-day reader...

I have always looked for alternatives to KU. It doesn't matter if there are two million books if they can't be easily searched for the kind and quality of book I want. Here is where BookBub steps up for me, because at the very least, they can showcase one book a day to consider, by an author or publisher who has proven their willingness to invest in their book. This eliminates a lot of cruft right off the top.

A partial alternative: There's a free service hoopladigital.com via your public library that offers a good many indie books, at least LGBT books, which used to be my main issue with my public library. I can now order 5 books a month, no fees whatsoever from hoopla. That isn't a TON of books for a book a day reader, but it means I can now order almost all trad pub titles in hardback free and at least SOME good LGBT small press/indie book titles delivered directly to my phone, Kindle or Fire with the hoopla app. Combine that with all the indie free/99cent deals, for me it no longer makes any sense to subscribe to KU. The thing is, that $10/month to KU is not all you spend anyway.  With KU, there are almost NO trad pub books I want to read that I can borrow.

Sooner or later, people are going to figure out that all these books that are $12-15 to buy from the Amazon store can be sent by public library directly to your Kindle for free if you have a library card. The ones direct from my library send me to Amazon to check out, and the book appears in my Kindle app for free. The ones via hoopla (usually the smaller press/indie LGBT titles) appear in my hoopla app. Still free...

My sense of things is that many readers honestly don't realize they could be ordering these books directly to their device from their public library. My library is currently doing a push to get the word out and teach people how to get the books they want on their devices. It's only a matter of time before people find out.

I guess I'm saying I suspect public libraries will step up and become that alternative, although they're not there yet.
Visit my website for free reads & giveaways for lovers of steamy m/m romance https://parkeravrile.wordpress.com/blog/

Online PaulineMRoss

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2812
  • Gender: Female
  • Nairn, Scotland
    • View Profile
    • The Brightmoon Annals
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #216 on: October 22, 2017, 08:49:36 AM »
So Amazon is putting it on me to ensure every promo site I use is legit, and I don't know how to do that.

With promo sites, all we can do is our due diligence in sticking only to tried and trusted sites, and checking with other authors (on Kboards or in FB groups, for instance) for feedback on new sites. Beyond that, there's not much we can do. There have been a few sites recently that stated unequivocally on their websites that they complied with Amazon's TOS in every respect - and they lied. It's not easy to tell the good guys from the dubious ones.

What we cannot possibly do, no matter how careful we are, is to prevent any malicious scammer/cybernutter/competitor from buying or downloading our books in dodgy ways. We just can't defend ourselves against that, and if it happens, we can't convince Amazon that we knew nothing about it.

All any of us can do is be careful, keep ourselves squeaky clean and hope for the best, but it's like tiptoeing through a minefield. :(
   

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub rejections: 58 and counting...

Offline dgaughran

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3370
  • Gender: Male
  • Dublin
  • Let's Get Digital
    • View Profile
    • David Gaughran
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #217 on: October 22, 2017, 08:59:56 AM »
Let me just quickly remind everyone that everyone affected only used legitimate, established sites. Some of those affected didn't use any discount sites at all.

Doing even the most extreme levels of due diligence won't necessarily protect you.

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

Offline Seneca42

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 977
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #218 on: October 22, 2017, 09:00:59 AM »
So instead of getting ahead of ourselves, I'd suggest focusing on how to get Amazon to take this problem seriously, and how to convey to Amazon the level of author anger surrounding this issue, because I'm still not convinced that Amazon is taking this problem seriously enough.

Because they don't think there's a problem. And from their end, where they can actually see the data, there may not be a problem. Shady accounts used, derank, simple.

What people want from zon is impossible. They want them to be able to attribute "intent" of the author. Zon will never be able to do that.

So either they let everyone bot because they can't prove the author themselves applied those bots. Or they deal with the bots. Their solution to the false positives is for the punishment to be as weak as possible (deranking).
 
I'd really like to know what people want zon to do here? How do you ensure you never get a false positive?

It sucks, but that's the world KU has created (and all this bot crap was born out of KU).

Offline TimothyEllis

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3685
  • Gender: Male
  • Somewhere in space.
  • Aussie in the 27th century.
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Ellis Author
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #219 on: October 22, 2017, 09:17:51 AM »
I'd really like to know what people want zon to do here? How do you ensure you never get a false positive?

It sucks, but that's the world KU has created (and all this bot crap was born out of KU).

I want them to do 2 things.

They should be proactive in removing anything to do with bots and scammers. Remove the books permanently, delete the accounts they come from, and proactively stop the books being uploaded again. It can all be done with some serious data crunching.

They should shift all KU borrow ranking to a KU ranking chart, so borrows do not impact the paid store at all. The product page for a KU book then has 2 rank sections, one for paid, and one for KU, each with three best cats.

KU must be removed from the paid store, so botting and scamming gains no rank bonus, except in the KU ranking chart. This doesn't mean separate product pages, just more information on them. When you move to the category charts, there will paid, free and KU to choose to look at.

The discrepancies between sales rank and KU rank would then be obvious to readers looking for a book.

Offline Thetis

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #220 on: October 22, 2017, 09:27:17 AM »
I'm not going to hide behind the couch. I have emailed KDP to inform them of the upcoming BookBub featured deal with the title of the book and the date to let them know I expect a spike in sales. 

If you have other effective sources of promo, run them in advance to lift the rank of the book so it won't spike as much. In LGBT, there is really nothing like a BookBub, so I'll do what I can and refuse to panic until there's something to panic about.

I have a BB coming up, too, and I was thinking about doing this. If they respond, I'd love to know what they say...although I'm not sure it will do any good. :(

Offline Seneca42

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 977
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #221 on: October 22, 2017, 09:33:20 AM »
They should be proactive in removing anything to do with bots and scammers. Remove the books permanently, delete the accounts they come from, and proactively stop the books being uploaded again. It can all be done with some serious data crunching.

They should shift all KU borrow ranking to a KU ranking chart, so borrows do not impact the paid store at all. The product page for a KU book then has 2 rank sections, one for paid, and one for KU, each with three best cats.


I suspect they don't delete accounts because their big fear is they false-positive an actual customer hehe. Can you imagine those headlines? "Amazon banning their own customers". Screwing us is fine, but the customer? They aren't going to risk that; even one false positive is too much on the customer end.

And yes, I agree with you. Breaking otu KU rank or even just removing rank bump from borrow would clean up a lot. But zon isn't going to give up the thing that's driving exclusivity. That's the whole point of KU, to keep content off the other vendors.

So yes, there are things zon could do, but they never will because the pain points don't affect them. Fixing things would actually cause them more pain in terms of their business model.

Offline Susanne.

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2141
  • Gender: Female
  • Europe
    • View Profile
    • Susanne
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #222 on: October 22, 2017, 09:44:59 AM »
I have a BB coming up, too, and I was thinking about doing this. If they respond, I'd love to know what they say...although I'm not sure it will do any good. :(

I just emailed them about my BB promo on Tuesday. Hope it'll prevent them rankstripping it.

Susanne O'Leary | website | blog | facebook | writer's forum

Offline C. Gockel

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4071
  • Chicago, IL
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #223 on: October 22, 2017, 10:04:12 AM »
What's depressing about this whole thread is that the possible whys and hows of every critical issue being discussed are speculation. Intelligent, thoughtful speculation, but speculation nevertheless....because we haven't got anything else to go on, and no leverage to force better or demand accountability.


Individually we have no leverage, as a group we do! If we all start unclicking our "Auto-renew" on Kindle Unlimited Amazon will notice and respond--well, at least they will when people like Rosalind James, M.R. Forbes, Michael Anderle (sp?) or others start unchecking.

Kindle Unlimited 2.0 was a direct result of popular authors leaving the program and Unlimited customers calling it "Kindle Limited."


I write books about Change, Chaos, and Loki
C. Gockel | facebook | tumblr | website

Offline HopelessFanatic

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 371
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Reply #224 on: October 22, 2017, 10:07:22 AM »
I want them to do 2 things.

They should be proactive in removing anything to do with bots and scammers. Remove the books permanently, delete the accounts they come from, and proactively stop the books being uploaded again. It can all be done with some serious data crunching.

They should shift all KU borrow ranking to a KU ranking chart, so borrows do not impact the paid store at all. The product page for a KU book then has 2 rank sections, one for paid, and one for KU, each with three best cats.

KU must be removed from the paid store, so botting and scamming gains no rank bonus, except in the KU ranking chart. This doesn't mean separate product pages, just more information on them. When you move to the category charts, there will paid, free and KU to choose to look at.

The discre*pancies between sales rank and KU rank would then be obvious to readers looking for a book.
+

But if they do that, authors who are caught up in this (like possibly the authors David mentioned in his article) won't just have to deal with deranking, but also having their account closed. One of the biggest issues is that Amazon will punish first, then wait for the author to say something. And even when an author contacts Amazon, they are given boilerplate and the run around, if it ever even gets resolved.

If all it takes to get your competitors (perceived competitor) account closed is to target one of their books with bots, things will get very, very ugly fast.

Bestsellers list are only one list. The pop. list also matters, maybe even more since it's easier to access the pop list than the bestseller list and the pop list doesn't cap at 100. The pop list includes free books, as well as KU and paid. It just factors more than just sales to determine the list. Authors botting will still rank high on the pop list, especially with a higher priced book or many reviews.

I'm not against separating the lists, but Amazon will never do it. Separating out free books made sense because free doesn't equal money to Amazon and they don't value it. Separating out KU from paid (which you can already do if you click a button) doesn't benefit them at all. It'll change the bestseller list to look like no KU titles are ranking since KU titles tend to have more borrows than sales. Great boon for wide authors, but it would be detrimental to exclusive authors. If Amazon ever did separate the lists, wanna bet which list would be the default? I doubt it'd be the paid list. Then wide authors have even less visibility with the bestseller lists.

I think people forget that the bestseller list is not the only list that matters. Most of the people I've talked to about how they find books on Amazon don't even know how to access the bestseller lists. Pop list is actually the default if you just go to the category page. You have to specifically look for the bestsellers list or access it via a book's product page, and then only for the top 3 the author is ranking in.

I don't know why people think changing how KU works with get rid of scammers. It won't. They'll just figure out a different way to scam. A book doesn't have to be in KU in order to be scammed to the top, it's just more profitable and easy at the moment.