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Author Topic: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video  (Read 24279 times)  

Offline Jena H

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #150 on: January 04, 2018, 03:04:24 PM »
OK, there are people who read old paperbacks repeatedly. But we are talking about KU books and book stuffing. If you want to read the same book ten times, it would make sense to keep it in your kindle instead of borrowing another book and reading it at the end of ten other books. That makes no sense.

Totally agree with that.
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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #151 on: January 04, 2018, 03:08:59 PM »
Y'all need to cut out the personal attacks and denigrating commentary if you want this thread to stay open.

Just sayin'

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Offline Crystal_

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #152 on: January 04, 2018, 03:10:48 PM »
Why? Why on earth would that make it difficult to take the issue seriously? It's an accurate name for a current bunch of scammity scammers. They're morphing into some new creature so perhaps a rename will come, although why you want it, I don't know.

Not David but I'm pretty sure he knows what's what here. If you feel he's somehow calling all "bad boy" author scammers, you are mistaken. If not, I don't understand why you would care.


Pretty sure he's never implied they are. He's ON THE GOOD AUTHORS' SIDE. Why do you think he does this? For fun? To help those who are most affected.

LOL. Stuffing is NOT allowed. Amazon's failure to properly enforce their rules on any sort of consistent basis doesn't mean they don't exist. I can't grok this mentality.

Ethical discussions are critical. Clearly, from this thread they are needed now more than ever.

It doesn't really bother me, because I know the group he's talking about, but I've seen a lot of authors react negatively to it. It's hard to explain the mentality of many romance and erotica authors if you aren't around them. We're constantly under attack by people who take issue with what we do.

You say stuffing is not allowed. But Amazon will not say the same thing if I email them with a different example than David's. I know because I have done so. I asked a KDP Rep at RT if bonus was allowed and she said yes, point blank. It's in the ToS that bonus content is allowed. Do I want that to be the case? No. But my wishes don't change reality. Saying "of course it's not allowed" doesn't change reality either. And it's not a productive discussion.

Even if it wasn't (irrelevant, but for the sake of argument), by continuing to do nothing, Amazon is making it allowed. A law that isn't enforced isn't a law.

Crystal, I'm not trying to make generalizations. I'm trying to keep within the strict parameters set by the mods. If they want me to be explicit and name names, I have mountains of actual evidence, screenshots and the like, to back up every single claim.

It seems they don't want names named, so I have to use some form of words to express who I am talking about.

The group I am talking about is well known to most people. They write bad boy romances. They all engage in book stuffing. Many use ghostwriters. Many squat in inappropriate cats. Many use click here inducements. Many incentivize reviews and engage in mass gifting.

The people are generally known to those paying attention, I wish I could be more explicit.

I'm obviously not talking about all people who write bad boy romance. That is the sandpit in which they have chosen to play. If you have a better identifier for this group of people, I'm all ears.

When you make broad generalizations against romance authors, romance authors stop listening to you. It's human nature. I think it would help to be a bit more specific about how this is one specific, small group of authors. That is, if you want romance authors to stay on your side.

Offline dgaughran

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #153 on: January 04, 2018, 03:17:43 PM »
When you make broad generalizations against romance authors, romance authors stop listening to you. It's human nature. I think it would help to be a bit more specific about how this is one specific, small group of authors. That is, if you want romance authors to stay on your side.

Not making broad generalizations about romance authors, obviously.

Happy to entertain how exactly I can be more specific without naming names. I referred to the niche they are operating in. You seem to find that objectionable as a signifier. What do you propose as an alternative?
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Offline Monique

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #154 on: January 04, 2018, 03:21:22 PM »
When you make broad generalizations against romance authors, romance authors stop listening to you. It's human nature. I think it would help to be a bit more specific about how this is one specific, small group of authors. That is, if you want romance authors to stay on your side.

Where is he making broad generalizations against romance authors? If you read the actual articles he writes it's v clear who he is talking about and who he is looking out for. I'm flummoxed by this part of your post. (And others but I'm too tired to address them, and don't see the point. This one though, really bugs me.)

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Offline dgaughran

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #155 on: January 04, 2018, 03:21:59 PM »
It doesn't really bother me, because I know the group he's talking about.

This seems to indicate that the way I described them was successful in communicating who I was talking about... which makes me unsure what the problem is exactly.

But if you have a superior form of words, I'm happy to entertain same.
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Online Mark Dawson

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #156 on: January 04, 2018, 03:22:49 PM »
Simple way to fix this - lower the max for KENPC to, say, the equivalent of a doorstep novel. Lets say 700 KENPC, for the sake of argument. No more incentive to stuff.

Online Rick Gualtieri

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #157 on: January 04, 2018, 03:31:02 PM »
Simple way to fix this - lower the max for KENPC to, say, the equivalent of a doorstep novel. Lets say 700 KENPC, for the sake of argument. No more incentive to stuff.

I have two box sets, one of which skirts the 3000 kenpc limit (I write long books).  And Id be fine with this. Relegate bundles to non KU eligible (as theres technically no monetary incentive for KU readers to borrow them.)


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #158 on: January 04, 2018, 03:32:00 PM »
Thats it - if KU subscribers can get the novels, whats the point of the box set?

Offline MyraScott

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #159 on: January 04, 2018, 03:34:10 PM »
Simple way to fix this - lower the max for KENPC to, say, the equivalent of a doorstep novel. Lets say 700 KENPC, for the sake of argument. No more incentive to stuff.

I do think this is a little of a sledgehammer approach, but it seems they need a sledgehammer since they aren't capable of writing the software to actually count page reads.  It wouldn't stop the 12-page short stories stuffed with other junk, but it would be a dent in the currently unlimited gold rush that is stuffing.

Online PhoenixS

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #160 on: January 04, 2018, 03:41:03 PM »
Again, as much as I hate stuffing, Amazon's continued inaction makes it clear to me that stuffing if allowed. If it's allowed, people will do it. Debating ethics is entertaining, but, at the end of the day, it doesn't do anything to change people's behavior.

Inaction doesn't mean allowed. Remember when Amazon didn't take action against Select books being pubbed by the author as a single title AND being pubbed by someone else in a box set? That rule was in place for 2 years before Amazon got around to taking action. And when they did, a lot of box sets got slapped down. That particular rule continues to be policed, too.

It's a sad world when [generic] folk believe personal ethics (such as abiding by contract terms they've signed) have to be followed only when they're policed.

Offline CN_Crawford

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #161 on: January 04, 2018, 03:41:29 PM »
The original video seems to be pulled down?

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Offline Monique

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #162 on: January 04, 2018, 03:43:02 PM »
Agreed, Phoenix. It's akin to "It's not a crime if I don't get caught." Stealing from a place of business that doesn't have a security guard is still stealing, isn't it?

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Offline Gentleman Zombie

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #163 on: January 04, 2018, 03:49:36 PM »
Simple way to fix this - lower the max for KENPC to, say, the equivalent of a doorstep novel. Lets say 700 KENPC, for the sake of argument. No more incentive to stuff.

I'm sure some kind of limitation to KENPC is coming. Much like the changes to KU in regards to shorts. It's inevitable really.

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #164 on: January 04, 2018, 03:49:48 PM »
Not sure if any of you want to hear from a reader on this issue. But here it is anyway.

I appreciate the work dgaughran and Phoenix and others are doing on this. I am a reader, not an author. Since romance is being brought up, I am a huge romance reader, its my favorite genre. Its the best selling genre. Guess where these stuffing and scamming issues abound? Yep, romance.

I am a former reader of indie contemporary romance. Or I should say, most indie romance. There are still a few "old" ones.
Why? Because I can't find anything anymore in the sea of stuffed, scammed and regurgitated garbage. I actually read the genre, I hang out where readers hang out. I am not alone. I like me a bad boy romance, a mail order bride romance, a highlander romance. Can I find them now on Amazon? No. They have been infected by the same type of "marketing packages". Are there still well written romances by indie authors? Of course there are. But I can't find them anymore. Once in a blue moon I get a recommendation by a reader I trust and then I can try one. I won't even touch them with a 10 foot pole otherwise anymore, I been burned so many times. Unless I already know you, I don't care. And the saddest thing is that some authors that are known are doing this stuff now. That is the maddening.

I have a KU subscription. I also buy books outright and get some from library. When you browse, you can't sort out KU books, so its all in one blob. I don't browse anymore for books for those reasons. I am tired of seeing a cover and a blurb and then finding out its a short porn story with 20 other short stories tacked on to it. Or that it looks like a book, but ends at 40% when I read. Or its full of what I call "slap-and-chop" marketing. You know, but wait, click here......

There is a severe lack of impartial reader based recommendations sites that are not based on paid ads and marketing. I can't tell the good from the bad anymore and yes, I used to be able to do that. My vetting system still works. Its just much more strict and eliminates most gems I used to find on my own. And it eliminates pretty much most new authors.

And those that actually write the good stuff are missing out when we readers get run off by this stuff. I see reads going down for some of you each month and often so called page flip is blamed. But what about all of us that just can't find you guys anymore. Or we lost the will to sift through the bog. I been reading back list titles in KU, indies I know like Amanda, Madeline Baker, etc. Outside of KU I stick with indies also that are known to me. Many of them from KBoards. I been here since 2008 so I know those that been around a bit.

I said it before many times. The only way I think KU can be fixed is doing curation. It also fixes the overall issues. No mis-categorizing, no stuffing, no bonus, no nonsense translations, no box sets, etc. Every book gets looked at. If you are a proven author you get an auto in. You get caught "cheating" you are out. All they have to do is expand the prime reading into KU. I much rather have 100,000 books to pick from that are curated than 5 million that are not.

And yes, I have send feedback to amazon. I also send reports on books I see that are stuffed, scammy or wrongly categorized in obvious ways. I am not the only reader out there that has had it. Its really upsetting to read all those excuses being made. Not just here, but I see it on other places too. Justifying loopholes. But the end result is that reader experience has gone to the dogs. Sad.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 03:52:21 PM by Atunah »

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Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #165 on: January 04, 2018, 03:50:31 PM »
Simple way to fix this - lower the max for KENPC to, say, the equivalent of a doorstep novel. Lets say 700 KENPC, for the sake of argument. No more incentive to stuff.
That's what people thought when the limit was cut to 3000 KENPC. In response the scammers just created more bundles that were shorter, which is exactly what they'd do if Amazon limited it to 700.

As for eliminating box sets from KU, given how ineffective Amazon's bots have been at identifying EASY scams, do you really think they could implement something like that without thousands of innocent authors being nuked in the process and having their legit books yanked by mistake? (And undoubtedly right before their Bookbubs kicked off...) Amazon can't identify basic issues like nonsense computer-generated text and screen scrapes, but you expect them to come up with something to identify a box set that actually works? I wouldn't hold my breath on that one...

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Offline MaryMcDonald

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #166 on: January 04, 2018, 03:50:58 PM »
The only way this will ever resolve is if Amazon gets rid of the pot. Without a pot to split, stuffers will get a much harder look from Amazon as the stuffers will be stealing from Amazon, not authors.  Amazon doesn't care about indie authors, we're just content providers. Only indies and small publishers have to deal with the pot--major publishers are on a different pay scheme (The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc)

A question for those with Amazon imprints; do books with an imprint get the same as indies or is there some other payout for those books?


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Offline MonkeyScribe

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #167 on: January 04, 2018, 03:53:28 PM »
You say stuffing is not allowed. But Amazon will not say the same thing if I email them with a different example than David's. I know because I have done so. I asked a KDP Rep at RT if bonus was allowed and she said yes, point blank. It's in the ToS that bonus content is allowed. Do I want that to be the case? No. But my wishes don't change reality. Saying "of course it's not allowed" doesn't change reality either. And it's not a productive discussion.

Bonus content = okay
Book stuffing = not bonus content = not okay

Offline Crystal_

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #168 on: January 04, 2018, 04:00:35 PM »
Thats it - if KU subscribers can get the novels, whats the point of the box set?

Less friction.
More opportunities for promotions.
Buyers.

Inaction doesn't mean allowed. Remember when Amazon didn't take action against Select books being pubbed by the author as a single title AND being pubbed by someone else in a box set? That rule was in place for 2 years before Amazon got around to taking action. And when they did, a lot of box sets got slapped down. That particular rule continues to be policed, too.

It's a sad world when [generic] folk believe personal ethics (such as abiding by contract terms they've signed) have to be followed only when they're policed.

I don't recall that ever being in the ToS. No one was joining multi-author bundles maliciously. It was simply a way to cross-promote. My understanding was that they were allowed until Amazon changed their rules. But that just goes to show how unclear the ToS are.

Again, my read of the ToS is that stuffing is allowed (Amazon could very easily solve this by getting more specific).

Quote
If you choose to include bonus content (e.g. other stories, or previews of other books), it should be relevant to the customer and should not disrupt the reading experience. To meet these guidelines, we recommend placing additional content at the end of the book.

Content must meet all program guidelines (e.g., bonus content in KDP Select titles must be exclusive). Translated content must be high quality and not machine generated. Disruptive links and promises of gifts or rewards are never allowed.

There is no mention of duplicate content.

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #169 on: January 04, 2018, 04:05:50 PM »
It doesn't really bother me, because I know the group he's talking about, but I've seen a lot of authors react negatively to it. It's hard to explain the mentality of many romance and erotica authors if you aren't around them. We're constantly under attack by people who take issue with what we do.

You say stuffing is not allowed. But Amazon will not say the same thing if I email them with a different example than David's. I know because I have done so. I asked a KDP Rep at RT if bonus was allowed and she said yes, point blank. It's in the ToS that bonus content is allowed. Do I want that to be the case? No. But my wishes don't change reality. Saying "of course it's not allowed" doesn't change reality either. And it's not a productive discussion.

Even if it wasn't (irrelevant, but for the sake of argument), by continuing to do nothing, Amazon is making it allowed. A law that isn't enforced isn't a law.

When you make broad generalizations against romance authors, romance authors stop listening to you. It's human nature. I think it would help to be a bit more specific about how this is one specific, small group of authors. That is, if you want romance authors to stay on your side.
I'm a romance author. I listen to David. I know exactly who he's talking about, and to me, that group does not "write" romance. They are not in the same business as I am. They're in the business of putting up ghostwritten books that often cross my personal lines on issues of consent, cross-marketing them with each other, and, let's say, pushing the rules to the limit, if not skirting them.

I don't have any problem with them being called out, because getting rid of them would get rid of a taint on my genre.

Meanwhile I'll go along and write my stuff and put it out there. I can't do anything about what Amazon or any other vendor does. I have expressed my dissatisfaction to KDP multiple times, and that's about what I can do. I hope someday they'll limit KU books to one title. Period. Will they? No idea. But I'm glad that people like David and Phoenix are on this, willing to spend their time and energy pushing for reform.

(And I too have had a very clear message from the Content people at KDP that book stuffing is not allowed. And yep, a law that isn't enforced or isn't enforced strictly enough is still a law. For Heaven's sake. Of course it is.)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 04:07:48 PM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline doctorshevil

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #170 on: January 04, 2018, 04:06:20 PM »
This seems to indicate that the way I described them was successful in communicating who I was talking about... which makes me unsure what the problem is exactly.

But if you have a superior form of words, I'm happy to entertain same.

I also dislike hearing them called bad boy authors, because they are such a small group, and I don't really consider them "authors," which those of us who are actually, legitimately writing in that genre are.

How about calling them what they have called themselves? The masterminds?

Offline dgaughran

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #171 on: January 04, 2018, 04:08:41 PM »
New link for the video for those who want to share/watch/hair-split: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7xronSRNEU
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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #172 on: January 04, 2018, 04:12:55 PM »

Again, my read of the ToS is that stuffing is allowed (Amazon could very easily solve this by getting more specific).

There is no mention of duplicate content.

And that is because you are looking in the wrong section. The duplicate content section does not fall under the description of bonus content.

Quote
Disappointing Content
We do not allow content that disappoints our customers, including but not limited to:

    Content that is either marketed as a subscription or redirects readers to an external source to obtain the full content
    Content that is freely available on the web (unless you are the copyright owner of that content or the content is in the public domain). For more information, you can refer to the sections titled Illegal and Infringing Content and Public Domain and Other Non-Exclusive Content in the Content Guidelines.
    Content whose primary purpose is to solicit or advertise
    Content that is not significantly differentiated from another book available in the Kindle Store
    Content that is a non-differentiated version of another book available in the Kindle Store
    Content that is too short
    Content that is poorly translated
    Content that does not provide an enjoyable reading experience


https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200952510

Online Usedtoposthere

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #173 on: January 04, 2018, 04:20:12 PM »
Yep. Specifically, the Content people told me that the "significantly differentiated" test was the problem--that you can't re-order the same content multiple different ways and call it different.

Now if only they'd enforce that. I do think that at some point they will, and the screaming will be loud and long, as it was when the boxed set rules changed due to abuse. I don't think I'll feel sad.

Offline MaryMcDonald

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #174 on: January 04, 2018, 04:26:11 PM »

Even if it wasn't (irrelevant, but for the sake of argument), by continuing to do nothing, Amazon is making it allowed. A law that isn't enforced isn't a law.


Um, yes it is. I think Amazon even enforces the 'law' (ie, TOS) from time to time. Maybe daily. We'll never know because it's not like the stuffers are coming here and telling us they were caught. But to say it's not a law because so many people are getting away with it is like saying it's fine and dandy to go 85mph in a 55mph zone because the cops aren't catching everyone doing 85 mph. If you take your argument to a judge, he'd laugh you out of court and tell you to pay your fine on the way out. Not being able to catch everyone is not the same as saying it is isn't enforced.

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