Author Topic: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video  (Read 24280 times)  

Online Rick Gualtieri

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #100 on: January 04, 2018, 12:28:50 PM »
Personally, I'm all for personal ethics. I'm incapable of understanding why people want to screw over others in this manner. I'm also incapable of understanding why anyone would argue for a lack of ethics. I just can't wrap my head around it.

Ditto. Write a better book than me, churn out content faster than me, out-market me, have more rabid fans than me, or just plain get luckier then me. Those are all risks we take being in business.  It's the name of the game.  I have no interest in taking the low road, though.


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #101 on: January 04, 2018, 12:35:15 PM »
I will have to read the article later (still have 1400 words to write). That is not how it was explained to me by an Amazon rep but I will definitely ask about it. As for stuffing, I think it is a black or white issue. Would people stuff if they didn't get more money out of it? No. Where is the money coming from? The pot. Does stuffing affect the rate? Yes. So, is that taking money out of other author's pockets? Yes. How is theft not a black and white issue? I don't think it's that difficult.
As for ARCs, I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. I happen to be against all ARCs (whether paid or not), but that's neither here nor there. ARCS aren't really stealing money from other author's pockets. Stuffers are, for sure, but I'm not sure how ARCs would work in that manner.
Let's put it another way. Say a bunch of high-selling authors each have catalogs of 100 books. Say they inflate their books and stuff them to the point where they get a bigger piece of the puzzle (say twenty top authors take over 50 percent of all reads, which is feasible) but those who don't have 100 books to stuff get even less page reads now because people are too busy reading stuffed books and now they're getting even less per page. Say the per page readout drops to the point where it takes 10K out of your pocket every month. How do you feel then?
Now, give me one reason why people can't just not stuff. Just one feasible reason why they can't just not stuff.

The only reason I would put bonus material in is the hope that they love my work so much that they'll keep reading. If they do keep going and read a second book, they're not going to return that book and go check out the single title of the bonus book. So, there's little danger of double dipping in that situation.

The reason to do it is to remove a barrier. If someone likes your book and they have to click out of it to go to Amazon and check out another book, there are a 1000 things that could distract them. They may never make it to another book. If they can just keep reading, it's better. You're not stealing. You're getting paid for someone reading your work. Like I said, they're not going to to go out and check out that bonus book as a single title and read it again (unless they really, really love it) So, you haven't taken anything away from anyone else.

Now, if people are putting "click here for a sneak peek" and that click bypasses 5 books that they never read (and the author still gets paid) that's shady.

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #102 on: January 04, 2018, 12:36:00 PM »
The mail-order bride books in Western romance are greatly affected by this. As a reader, I've been burned by purchasing what I thought was a novel but was instead a collection of (oftentimes bad) shorts. The books are marketed as a single novel but lies. They are not and I have felt ripped off when the story I thought I was buying ended up not being the case.

As an author, the tactic annoys me but we live in an imperfect world where not everyone adheres to the same morals.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 12:38:20 PM by Rosie A. »

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Offline andycat

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #103 on: January 04, 2018, 12:39:34 PM »
Maybe it's just me, but I think it's usually pretty easy to deduce probable intent by how something is presented.

In your example of someone buying book 1 and then a bundle: did I as the author make it clear what the bundle is?  If so, then I'd say that's on the customer.   Maybe they bought book 1, then realized they could still save money by buying the full bundle.  The author getting paid by KU in this case is less a case of them trying to scam the system and more a result of a broken page read mechanism.  I'd like to hope the author in question here is perfectly fine with not being paid for those extra reads when said shoddy system is finally fixed.

Conversely, if I open book 1, find a completely different story up front, then see a mysterious link that tells me "Hey, if you want to read the story you paid for, Click here", which conveniently takes me to a spot near the back of the book, well, personally I wouldn't feel all too bad about making a judgement call as to that person's true intentions.

Yes, I agree about those two scenarios, and Amazon has indeed made it clear that you can't link to the back like that. But there are a hundred different scenarios in between the two you detailed, and that's where I think the grey area lies. And why I think it is very dangerous to start suggesting Amazon police people based on intent, or to paint everyone who 'stuffs' with the same brush. Just my opinion!

Like I said, I don't stuff and I dislike the practice, but for me that's because I think it devalues our work ("our" being all of us collectively as authors.) But I guess I don't get oh-my-god-so-enraged as some people do, because I don't think people are stealing from me personally when they stuff (let's be honest, the "pot" is an illusion and Amazon makes the payout whatever they want. lol.) 

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #104 on: January 04, 2018, 12:42:17 PM »
The only reason I would put bonus material in is the hope that they love my work so much that they'll keep reading. If they do keep going and read a second book, they're not going to return that book and go check out the single title of the bonus book. So, there's little danger of double dipping in that situation.

The reason to do it is to remove a barrier. If someone likes your book and they have to click out of it to go to Amazon and check out another book, there are a 1000 things that could distract them. They may never make it to another book. If they can just keep reading, it's better. You're not stealing. You're getting paid for someone reading your work. Like I said, they're not going to to go out and check out that bonus book as a single title and read it again (unless they really, really love it) So, you haven't taken anything away from anyone else.

Now, if people are putting "click here for a sneak peek" and that click bypasses 5 books that they never read (and the author still gets paid) that's shady.
In that case you would be putting an excerpt chapter to entice a reader to look at another book, which is not stuffing. What reason would there be to stuff twenty books -- including a cook book, scraped Wikipedia content, stolen erotica, bad translations and a public domain history textbook -- after the initial book?

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #105 on: January 04, 2018, 12:44:17 PM »
In that case you would be putting an excerpt chapter to entice a reader to look at another book, which is not stuffing. What reason would there be to stuff twenty books -- including a cook book, scraped Wikipedia content, stolen erotica, bad translations and a public domain history textbook -- after the initial book?

There's no reason for that. I agree with you.

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #106 on: January 04, 2018, 12:45:10 PM »
The only reason I would put bonus material in is the hope that they love my work so much that they'll keep reading. If they do keep going and read a second book, they're not going to return that book and go check out the single title of the bonus book. So, there's little danger of double dipping in that situation.

I have seen multiple customer reviews where someone said, "Oh and this book had these three other books I'd already read by this author, but since they were there I read them again."  That's double-dipping because the author is getting paid for reads of the same book more than once.


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #107 on: January 04, 2018, 12:46:21 PM »
I have seen multiple customer reviews where someone said, "Oh and this book had these three other books I'd already read by this author, but since they were there I read them again."  That's double-dipping because the author is getting paid for reads of the same book more than once.

If they love the books that much, then the author deserves another payout. But, that's my opinion. If you write content so good that people want to read it over and over, you should be paid more.

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #108 on: January 04, 2018, 12:47:56 PM »
Netflix pays an upfront licensing fee, so that's different from KU. It would be awesome if they did pay us an upfront licensing fee, but that's not how the business model works. On the other hand, Prime Video does pay out everytime someone watches a video. Not just once. Every time.

So, why should KU be any different?

When a reader buys a book, the author only gets paid once, no matter how many times the person reads it. Why should the author get paid multiple times just because the book is in KU?
     

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #109 on: January 04, 2018, 12:49:14 PM »
But that's not how KU is supposed to work. Someone borrows Book A and reads it ten times you get paid once. Stuffing gets around that. (And each time that happens that money is taken from other authors in KU because all authors in KU split a set pool of money each month.)


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Offline dgaughran

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #110 on: January 04, 2018, 12:51:23 PM »
These discussions always get caught up in legalities and technicalities - because there is a lot of room for discussion about potential ambiguity there, as any courtroom will testify. And cheaters will always find some half-phrase they personally consider ambiguous, no matter how clear the rulings are.

The intent, however, is 100% clear.

Nobody put in "bonus books" under KU1. As soon as Amazon started paying per page, certain people started stuffing whatever they could get away with into each book.

Newsletters, excerpts, bonus books - whatever content they could feasibly shove in there to inflate their page count, they did it. And are still doing it. Some change tactics, based on public outcry or reprimands. Others brazen it out.

The intent is the same.

You can argue the legalities and technicalities all you want (and I'm confident the rules 100% ban this practice, as explictly outlined above). But if you engage in stuffing, I know you are a cheater, and so does everyone else.
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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #111 on: January 04, 2018, 12:52:13 PM »
If they love the books that much, then the author deserves another payout. But, that's my opinion. If you write content so good that people want to read it over and over, you should be paid more.

Then they could buy the book outright, if they love it that much. But even then, when a book is purchased, the author only gets paid once, no matter how many times the reader reads it.
     

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #112 on: January 04, 2018, 12:54:08 PM »
But that's not how KU is supposed to work. Someone borrows Book A and reads it ten times you get paid once. Stuffing gets around that. (And each time that happens that money is taken from other authors in KU because all authors in KU split a set pool of money each month.)

Again, if you write a book so good that someone reads it 10 times, you deserve to be paid more. If you're worried about people taking a piece of your pie by reading someone else's book 10 times, then write books your readers want to read 10 times.

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #113 on: January 04, 2018, 12:59:33 PM »
Again, if you write a book so good that someone reads it 10 times, you deserve to be paid more.

Yes. It's called word of mouth. 


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #114 on: January 04, 2018, 01:01:15 PM »
Yes. It's called word of mouth. 

Or "I read this paperback so much, it fell apart so I bought another." 


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #115 on: January 04, 2018, 01:03:29 PM »
I'm totally against people putting random stuff in a book to skim extra page reads, but getting mad because other authors are getting second read-throughs, is a very "crabs in the bucket" mentality.

People are actually reading the book in that case. We should be focused on the people who are getting paid for pages that weren't actually read. imho.

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #116 on: January 04, 2018, 01:05:06 PM »
Again, if you write a book so good that someone reads it 10 times, you deserve to be paid more. If you're worried about people taking a piece of your pie by reading someone else's book 10 times, then write books your readers want to read 10 times.

There are very few things that require the creator to be paid every time a thing is used. By that thinking, the company should get paid every time someone uses the Keurig machine to make a coffee.
     

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #117 on: January 04, 2018, 01:06:39 PM »
There are very few things that require the creator to be paid every time a thing is used. By that thinking, the company should get paid every time someone uses the Keurig machine to make a coffee.

you mean like how they get paid for the little cups?

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #118 on: January 04, 2018, 01:07:03 PM »
You can argue the legalities and technicalities all you want (and I'm confident the rules 100% ban this practice, as explictly outlined above). But if you engage in stuffing, I know you are a cheater, and so does everyone else.

hehe, pretty sure the people cheating could care less what people think of their cheating :)

I'm truly baffled how all the focus is on the perpetrators and not on the bank that leaves the vault open with a big sign above it saying "please, come in fill your pockets, we won't call the police, we promise."

I truly cannot understand how people are so upset over this and then stay in KU at the same time. I mean, i understand that view a year ago. But now? After everything we know?


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #119 on: January 04, 2018, 01:07:27 PM »
I'd like to remind everyone how these practices first became known.

At the start of 2016, I started blogging about plagiarizing scammers who were destroying the free charts. These guys were using bots to put their stolen crap at the top of the charts, and using a variety of tricks to inflate their KU payout.

I hosted a post from Kboarder Phoenix Sullivan in April 2016 which detailed how the whole, crazy, multi-pronged scam worked... and what little Amazon was doing to combat same.

Many of you guys will have read that and most of you would have reacted like everyone else: with anger.

Some people were different. They saw an opportunity. And they were smart, way smarter than this first wave of dumb scammers. They didn't plagiarize, they hired ghosts. They didn't steal content, they paid ghostwriters to read what was in the charts and clone the hits.

But they kept many of the dirty tricks. Quoting from my comments under Phoenix's guest post from April 2016, this was the toolbox of those plagiarizing scammers. These are the practices that the group we shall call "bad boy stuffers" are engaging in. Remember this was written almost two years ago.

And these are the scammer practices some of you are defending:

Quote
2. Page bloat. A common ruse is to upload 25 titles with different covers, but each containing all 25 books, with the order rotated slightly. Others fill the books with translations of the main title, or random content pulled from who-knows-where. This can turn a $1 KU payout into a $12 payout from the common pool (i.e. your pocket).

3. Click here tricks. Once the page count is bloated, then various inducements are given to readers to click to the end whether thats some kind of Table of Contents manipulation, telling the reader the real content is there, or offering them free books, or whatever.

4. Category squatting. Titles are often added to a bunch of additional categories often completely unrelated to the advertised content for extra visibility.

Here is the post if you are curious: https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/ku-scammers-attack-amazons-free-ebook-charts/

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #120 on: January 04, 2018, 01:08:32 PM »
you mean like how they get paid for the little cups?

They're not getting paid for the cups, they're getting paid for the coffee in the little cups. The cups are just packaging.
     

Offline Jena H

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #121 on: January 04, 2018, 01:10:01 PM »
If they love the books that much, then the author deserves another payout. But, that's my opinion. If you write content so good that people want to read it over and over, you should be paid more.

Wow.  What a statement.  Tell that to the mom who gives her four-year-old one cupcake (of the dozen she baked for a bake sale) and then the kid steals three more.  "But mom, they're so good!"  Does that "compliment" mean the mom shouldn't be mad at the kid for stealing earnings from the PTA book committee?

And by the way, how do I pay Jane Austen next time I read Sense and Sensibility for the eighth time?
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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #122 on: January 04, 2018, 01:10:24 PM »
I'm also sure it won't be a huge surprise for you to hear the truth about these "bad boy authors". I've investigated them. Many started out as authors of crappy non-fiction - 10 page junk titles designed to scam the first iteration of KU.

Least surprising plot twist ever...
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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #123 on: January 04, 2018, 01:22:56 PM »
Again, if you write a book so good that someone reads it 10 times, you deserve to be paid more. If you're worried about people taking a piece of your pie by reading someone else's book 10 times, then write books your readers want to read 10 times.

Maybe my readers do read my books multiple times. But because I don't stuff books and "sell" customers the same thing in ten different configurations I don't get paid for those ten reads whereas someone who stuffs might. Stuffers are creating an unequal playing field. Deliberately. It doesn't cost Amazon (because the pool is fixed). It costs their fellow writers.


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #124 on: January 04, 2018, 01:23:39 PM »
you mean like how they get paid for the little cups?
Not really. You can buy your own coffee or tea and not pay the Keurig folks a dime after the initial machine purchase.

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