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Author Topic: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video  (Read 24252 times)  

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #525 on: January 06, 2018, 01:15:04 PM »
I have been a member here for years and have shrugged off a lot of questionable moderator shut downs of conversation, but this just totally crossed a line for me. To say I'm disgusted and angry is a total understatement. In this time, with the #metoo movement so prevalent, and to see a female mod here shut this down as if it isn't important, well, I guess you can say this will be my last post and I won't be back... ever.

Pretending to be a woman and engaging in sexual talk with fans as if one is a woman, while asking very personal questions and gaining womens' trust, is so totally gross I don't even know where to start.

I'm sorry to hear that, Deanna.

The issue is important, but this is not the place to pursue these allegations, IMO. We're not going to host screenshots of sexually explicit conversations here, and we're not going to identify anonymous authors' by their real names, which would be necessary in order to prove they are men. So, we're stuck at hearsay level and would end up with profound contention and argument with none of the evidence that would allow those arguments to be resolved in anyone's minds. I have not deleted the allegations, although they're stuck at hearsay level, but we're not going to take it further here, at least for the time-being. Maybe the other moderators will feel differently when they come online, but I'm the only one here now, and the best I can do is call it like I see it.

Offline MonkeyScribe

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #526 on: January 06, 2018, 01:17:33 PM »
I'm sorry to hear that, Deanna.

The issue is important, but this is not the place to pursue these allegations, IMO. We're not going to host screenshots of sexually explicit conversations here, and we're not going to identify anonymous authors' by their real names, which would be necessary in order to prove they are men. So, we're stuck at hearsay level and would end up with profound contention and argument with none of the evidence that would allow those arguments to be resolved in anyone's minds. I have not deleted the allegations, although they're stuck at hearsay level, but we're not going to take it further here, at least for the time-being. Maybe the other moderators will feel differently when they come online, but I'm the only one here now, and the best I can do is call it like I see it.

Screenshots? From where? There's a guy in this very thread who admitted, in his comments in this thread, that he is impersonating women while having frank sexual discussions with his readers. There's no need for hearsay. HE ADMITTED IT OPENLY.

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #527 on: January 06, 2018, 01:21:46 PM »
Not everything can be discussed productively here, lilywhite.

Perhaps the ethics of male authors using female pen names could be discussed more broadly in a separate thread, where it would not be based on hearsay reports of what this "mastermind" group is doing. If you're interested in OPing such a thread, please drop the mod team a line, and we'll discuss. Obviously, it would be extremely contentious and, thus, a major uptick in moderation load. We would need to be prepared.

@beccamills

I unwillingly removed my advice to @bobfrost about his interaction with women while he poses as one. I didnt want to because now its on the table I think people have the right to voice their opinion to what hes posted, however this isnt my circus so I deleted that part of my post. For what its worth, if you wont let anyone react to his admission, then I dont think its a good idea to leave his posts about the subject either.

Offline SevenDays

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #528 on: January 06, 2018, 01:23:47 PM »
I have been a member here for years and have shrugged off a lot of questionable moderator shut downs of conversation, but this just totally crossed a line for me. To say I'm disgusted and angry is a total understatement. In this time, with the #metoo movement so prevalent, and to see a female mod here shut this down as if it isn't important, well, I guess you can say this will be my last post and I won't be back... ever.

Pretending to be a woman and engaging in sexual talk with fans as if one is a woman, while asking very personal questions and gaining womens' trust, is so totally gross I don't even know where to start.

I completely agree.

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Offline MyraScott

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #529 on: January 06, 2018, 01:24:14 PM »

I said its no big deal if someone does, and that I frequently communicate with women while pretending to be a woman, because I write under female pseudonyms, and interact as such with my fans.

But it is a big deal.  Insisting that it isn't, justifying it over and over, makes you more and more creepy, not more right. 

It is chilling.

Offline Deanna Chase

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #530 on: January 06, 2018, 01:30:16 PM »
I'm sorry to hear that, Deanna.

The issue is important, but this is not the place to pursue these allegations, IMO. We're not going to host screenshots of sexually explicit conversations here, and we're not going to identify anonymous authors' by their real names, which would be necessary in order to prove they are men. So, we're stuck at hearsay level and would end up with profound contention and argument with none of the evidence that would allow those arguments to be resolved in anyone's minds. I have not deleted the allegations, although they're stuck at hearsay level, but we're not going to take it further here, at least for the time-being. Maybe the other moderators will feel differently when they come online, but I'm the only one here now, and the best I can do is call it like I see it.

I'm not alleging anything. See this post on the matter:

Screenshots? From where? There's a guy in this very thread who admitted, in his comments in this thread, that he is impersonating women while having frank sexual discussions with his readers. There's no need for hearsay. HE ADMITTED IT OPENLY.

Online MmmmmPie

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #531 on: January 06, 2018, 01:31:37 PM »
For what its worth, if you wont let anyone react to his admission, then I dont think its a good idea to leave his posts about the subject either.

I get where you're coming from, but I respectfully disagree. His posts shed some very important light on this topic, and hiding them doesn't really do anyone any favors. It might be unflattering information, but it is useful information, particularly to female authors, many of whom happen to be romance readers, too.  This dynamic is something we should all be aware of, if only as a reminder to be extra-careful.

Offline thesmallprint

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #532 on: January 06, 2018, 01:33:39 PM »
Looks like the thread is breaking down and I can't see it staying open much longer, which is a real shame. It's probably the most enlightening thread I've read on here, not least due to bobfrost putting so much time and work into his posts.






Offline TwistedTales

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #533 on: January 06, 2018, 01:35:47 PM »
I get where you're coming from, but I respectfully disagree. His posts shed some very important light on this topic, and hiding them doesn't really do anyone any favors. It might be unflattering information, but it is useful information, particularly to female authors, many of whom happen to be romance readers, too.  This dynamic is something we should all be aware of, if only as a reminder to be extra-careful.

I knew what you meant. The problem with leaving up an admission like that and not letting anyone react is there can be an implied acceptance. You either let people react or you dont allow the content of the post. I happen to agree with you about leaving it up, but I also think people should be allowed to react to it.

Online MmmmmPie

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #534 on: January 06, 2018, 01:39:47 PM »
It's probably the most enlightening thread I've read on here, not least due to bobfrost putting so much time and work into his posts.

I agree. And it's provided much food for thought. Personally, I'd hate to see any of the posts go away. This kind of information is really important for all of us authors as we move forward. And whether or not we agree with the approach that other authors are taking, it's good to know more about their inner workings.

Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #535 on: January 06, 2018, 01:39:56 PM »
People, have you never been on the internet before? If you trust anyone you don't know In Real Life with personal information that you consider privileged, you need to have your Intarwebs Card revoked. Trusting that the person on the other side of the screen is who she says she is displays depressing naivete in 2018. There are entire TV series about this. It doesn't matter if it's a private forum, if you haven't met that person in Meatspace you don't know them. Talking about extremely private or personal matters with them when you don't know them is 100% on you.

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Offline bobfrost

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #536 on: January 06, 2018, 01:40:30 PM »
I talked openly about being a male writing under a female pseudonym. Read my posts again and you’ll see I’m using a lot of “if I did” statements regarding authors who allegedly talk sexy with their readers. I was saying if I did these things I wouldn’t think they were creepy.

I expressed the opinion that this could be a business related decision to build an audience, and further explained that I frequently engage my readers in conversation that is not unlike the discussions taking place on every female romance author’s Facebook wall.

I wasn’t trying to offend the entire world. I was sharing a point of view.

People took that waaaaaaay further. Whatever you guys are imagining I’m saying, it’s not like that at all.

I often publish extremely explicit romance and erotica. I don’t think there is anything wrong with interacting with my fans who are interested in reading my books. There is nothing “chilling” about it. I’m running a business here. Fan interaction on social media is part of operating a successful penname. If my penname is female, I’m going to interact as a female.

In the same vein, I am not lgbtq. I have a MM romance penname that is very successful. I interact with those fans as a gay man. That is their expectation. My audience wants to read books written by a man who shares their interests.

I write and sell fantasies. The “persona” of my penname is part of the fantasy.

If I were writing horror books, I would be playing up a bombastic spooky vibe as an author. If I were writing travel books, I’d be posting up pics of my amazing travels.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 01:47:34 PM by bobfrost »

Offline Lydniz

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #537 on: January 06, 2018, 01:44:55 PM »
I just want to put it on the record that I expressed my objection to a male author encouraging women to share their sexual fantasies under the guise of a woman way upthread and the comment was deleted. I'm kind of disappointed.

Online ShayneRutherford

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #538 on: January 06, 2018, 01:49:47 PM »
In the same vein, I am not lgbtq. I have a MM romance penname that is very successful. I interact with those fans as a gay man. That is their expectation. My audience wants to read books written by a man who shares their interests.

I think their expectation is that the author actually BE a gay man. Not be masquerading as one.

You don't share their interests, because you are not gay. Being interested in making money off people who want to read MM romance is not the same as being interested in MM romance.


eta: edited for poor grammar
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 01:54:14 PM by ShayneRutherford »
     

Offline JA Konrath

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #539 on: January 06, 2018, 01:49:57 PM »
According to Wikipedia: "The first law of holes, or the law of holes, is an adage which states that "if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging". Digging a hole makes it deeper and therefore harder to get back out, which is used as a metaphor that when in an untenable position, it is best to stop carrying on and exacerbating the situation."

I've learned that there are two things you can't do on the net.

The first is that you can't explain yourself. It just makes it worse.

The second it that you can't apologize. That makes it really, really worse.

The best thing to do is leave the conversation and spend some quality time with family, and never return to the topic.

That said, when people tell me I'm horrible, I thank them for their gracious insight. Drives em nuts.

Offline Anarchist

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #540 on: January 06, 2018, 01:50:35 PM »
Thanks to bobfrost for elevating the signal-to-noise ratio of this thread.

In my opinion, his posts describe fascinating stuff.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

Offline wheart

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #541 on: January 06, 2018, 01:53:29 PM »
Anybody sharing sex talk on FB is doing so because they are just open about it. FB groups, even if private, must have members who are of both genders (yes, even in romance genres). Unless a group specifically weeds out males from the group, female members should know their posts will be read by males.

From my experience (not with FB groups) but in Goodreads groups and life in general, there are a lot of females willing to talk openly about sex with members of both genders. Those who would be offended if males were reading their posts, shouldn't post, period. Nothing on forums/groups are private, as we all well know since many so-called "private" convos from FB groups have been disclosed on other constroversial threads.

Those who aren't willing to risk having their posts shared, better not post their intimate secrets. That's just common sense.

Now, if Bob was private messaging his female fans to discuss sex privately and intimately, then that's a whole different matter. Didn't sound that way to me.

Joe ... Mystery can be done but it still won't get the traction that Romance does. Romance readers are just much more enthusiastic about posting/sharing books they love. I've experienced this when I was writing romance and had a book hit #500 ranking at $3.99 price without any advertising except asking for reviews on Goodreads "romance" groups. I was a new author pen name with NO mailing list or any fans.

When I started writing mystery recently, I tried to do the same but it fell flat, lol. I couldn't get mystery groups to be as enthusiastic about sharing my books with their friends. Asking for reviews is tough in this genre.

I doubt those romance authors hitting the top lists are botting, because as Bob said, they're risking their accounts. Their success is in writing fast, writing to market (or rather, to the demands of the genre), and letting the enthusiasm of this group of readers promote their books via Goodreads/Blogs/word-of-mouth.

You just have to look at how romance readers at Goodreads and romance blogs write up their reviews to see how enthusiastic and fun they can get (with animated gifs, especially, lol) that just entices others to want to read the book.

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller genre just doesn't have that same kind of energy/synergy in my experience.

But, networking still can be done, and especially if you're already well-known. I thought you were doing that with a few authors in the past. How come you didn't keep that up?

Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #542 on: January 06, 2018, 01:54:30 PM »
Quoting to archive in case of edits. Not to mention screenshot.

This needs to be shared all over FB to warn readers to BE VERY CAREFUL who they share details of their lives with.

Because this IS creepy, not sorry to say.

Yup. Sure sounds creepy to me. I'm old enough and wary enough that I don't share especially intimate details with anyone I don't know personally but I sure am glad this kind of 'marketing' wasn't around when I was younger.

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #543 on: January 06, 2018, 01:54:56 PM »
Screenshots? From where? There's a guy in this very thread who admitted, in his comments in this thread, that he is impersonating women while having frank sexual discussions with his readers. There's no need for hearsay. HE ADMITTED IT OPENLY.

Yes, and I think we all get the picture that many people think this behavior is very, very, very wrong. What more do you want the opportunity to say to bobfrost, exactly? That what he's doing is very, very, very, very wrong? Now it's all about bobfrost. None of that would get at the masterminds' alleged behavior, which remains hearsay.

From the perspective of a moderator, this kind of thread is frustrating. Y'all you've been here for a long while know that Harvey started KB to be a nice space for chatting about the Kindle device. He did not start it with an eye to discussions of, as I think Seneca42 put it, the seamy underbelly of indie publishing ... obviously, since indie publishing didn't exist at the time.

So the forum has shifted into something else now, but it needs to remain true to its identity as a nice place, because that's what Harvey's family wants it to be. As does the entire moderation staff. We all agree on this.

So threads like this one come up. Someone wants to use KB to discuss some industry ne'er-do-well. To bring that person/group of people *down*. And we say, "Okay, you can discuss this, but the conversation needs to remain civil," and then we spend *days* deleting and editing posts from people who ignore the civility request.

And it turns out there are 50 facets to the wrongdoing, and we say, "You know what, ONE of these is simply too contentious/too whatever for us to cover here." And there is outrage. How dare we only permit you to discuss 49 out of the 50 facets?!? Suddenly the one prohibited facet is the only one that anyone cares about, and folks will go to the barricades and get the whole thread locked down because of the ONE thing we've deemed inappropriate to discuss here.

So, yeah ... frustrating. It's my second day not writing at all so that I can watch this thing and keep it open. Because of the 49 things. Because communication within the community matters, and a lot of people have been able to air their views on this thread. Because KB has the Google-fu to spread news. But if y'all aren't willing to live with the constraints of this place, to accept that it is not going to always be the perfect vehicle for the message you personally may want to send or the discussion you personally may want to have, then there's not a whole lot more we can do.

So, yeah. Locking this. Unhappily.

Edit: typo fix


Follow up by Betsy:  I've reviewed the thread.  Having read the entire thread, I agree that the latter discussion of the ethics of male authors posing as women authors and interacting with female readers has permanently derailed the thread, despite repeated requests by moderators to keep the discussion to the very useful topic of stuffing and its impact on authors. For those who are disappointed, let me reiterate Becca's invitation for anyone interested in starting a thread about male authors posting as women authors to contact the moderating staff about your goals for the thread.  As you know, we don't normally allow continuation of a discussion from a locked thread, but a general discussion of such behavior has merit.  PM any of the mod staff if you wish to discuss.    --- Betsy/KB Admin
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 04:31:58 PM by Betsy the Quilter »