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Author Topic: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video  (Read 24213 times)  

Online Rick Gualtieri

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #50 on: January 04, 2018, 09:41:53 AM »
I think it's better for bonus content to be clearly listed in the product description.

Exactly. If you're adding anything beyond a bonus chapter, minor content etc, you're selling a bundle and you should label it clearly as a bundle, box set, collection etc.  It takes relatively little commitment to add in the description exactly what the customer is getting when they purchase.  Not going to say everyone who does is trying to game the system, but I will definitely give side-eye to any product description that doesn't tell me what I'm getting for my dollar.


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #51 on: January 04, 2018, 09:42:37 AM »
I think it's better for bonus content to be clearly listed in the product description. The Look Inside typically opens at the beginning of the actual content, so a customer has to scroll backward to see the TOC. Also, the TOC listings could be misleading. If you think you're looking at one novel, you might interpret the any divisions you see other than chapters as parts of that novel. (Some novels are divided into parts, each of which has chapters within it.)

Also, keeping in mind an ebook TOC has no page numbers, a prospective buyer might not be able to tell how long the bonus material is, leading to the scenario that was discussed earlier. It's one thing to buy a novel and have a little related bonus content, quite another to buy a handful of novellas.

Well, yes. The point is to provide full infomation in the TOC or in the product description so there is no confusion. What I think is not feasible is providing full information on the cover. But in general, I think any reader should look at the table of contents before buying a book, if there is a TOC. If the length of items matter, the word count can be included in the TOC. I take my guide as an author from my experience as a reader. As a reader I want as much information as possible up front and if I have to scroll back from the opening content to get it, that's fine. In general, a reader has an oblication to find out as much as possible about a book before they buy it, and the author has an obiigation to provide as much information as possible, given the constraints of a digital book. Anyway, I think we have no real disagreement between us.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 09:44:22 AM by Modi Gliani »

Offline SuzyQ

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #52 on: January 04, 2018, 09:44:13 AM »
Once again...

 Bonus Content
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.

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202018960

Online Rick Gualtieri

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #53 on: January 04, 2018, 09:44:49 AM »
What I think is not feasible is providing full information on the cover. But in general, I think any reader should look at the table of contents before buying a book, if there is a TOC. If the length of items matter, the word count can be included in the TOC.

Forget even the TOC, you have the marketing description where you can list all this stuff up front.  Easy, no mess, and doesn't even require people to crack open the Look Inside.


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Offline TobiasRoote

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #54 on: January 04, 2018, 09:49:03 AM »
Once again...

 Bonus Content
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.

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202018960

Yes, that's clear. People will still argue their own personal definition of what constitutes 'bonus content' though :/


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #55 on: January 04, 2018, 10:01:06 AM »
The point is by staying in KU you accept that you're a willing participant in this harassment. You become party to it and are therefore complicit.

That's a hell of an accusation.



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Offline Anna Drake

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #56 on: January 04, 2018, 10:03:27 AM »
This question is mere curiosity as I personally dislike stuffing as a reader, but wouldn't it make all the difference if the front cover simply added the line: Includes bonus content?

That way there would be no terms broken and no one being misled?

I was thinking the information could be added to the description.

I'm really torn by this. I'd like to add the first chapter of the next book to the back of the previous book. Trad publishers do this. Or at least they used to. But I'm conflicted because several people have said this should not be done. Beats me why not, though.


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2018, 10:04:53 AM »
I'm really torn by this. I'd like to add the first chapter of the next book to the back of the previous book. Trad publishers do this. Or at least they used to. But I'm conflicted because several people have said this should not be done. Beats me why not, though.

I think most (hope) of us are more here arguing against full books without proper disclosure. I've always added a bonus chapter to my stuff - ie. a teaser of what's to come.  I don't see any issue with that.  It's been a common practice for a long time.


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #58 on: January 04, 2018, 10:12:27 AM »
Seriously???? That is clear as day. It is NOT against TOS. They even give you a handy dandy guide to what is okay! Trust me, I wish it WAS not allowed. But can the witch hunt please stop now?

Quote
...it should be relevant to the customer and should not disrupt the reading experience...


So when I buy a book that claims to be a mail order bride romance novel, only to find that I've actually bought a 12-page short story followed by 17 other "novels" ranging from Amish romance to Viking or Scottish erotica and a cookbook thrown in just for snicks, that's "relevant to the customer"? Or when that 12-page story is followed by a link to "special bonus content" at the back of the book, it doesn't "disrupt the reading experience"?


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Offline Anna Drake

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #59 on: January 04, 2018, 10:19:28 AM »
I've said it before, on the direct side I think zon is running a good operation. On the KU side it's a total gong show.

The best post yet.

And to those who say we in KU are sellouts. Consider this:

I was wide and, since Pronoun's demise, I have come back to Zon and KU. Why? Because I learned through my time with Pronoun most of my sales and downloads happened at Zon. I might not like it. I might even wish it were not true. But there it is. Zon today. Zon tomorrow. Zon ad infinity.


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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2018, 10:22:19 AM »
I think most (hope) of us are more here arguing against full books without proper disclosure. I've always added a bonus chapter to my stuff - ie. a teaser of what's to come.  I don't see any issue with that.  It's been a common practice for a long time.
I agree. That's a frequent publishing practice, even though I haven't yet done it myself.

To avoid minor problems with KU pages read, Amazon probably shouldn't count back matter (which I would assume includes sample chapters). I thought those parts weren't counted, but I'm not sure.


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Offline lilywhite

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #61 on: January 04, 2018, 10:30:21 AM »
There is the law and then there is what is ethical and the two do not always coincide.

THIS. Times 1000000000.

I am heartily tired of hearing folks say something is "allowed," as though their entire moral compass and belief system is based only on what they can get away with. How about doing what's right?

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #62 on: January 04, 2018, 10:31:31 AM »
Forget even the TOC, you have the marketing description where you can list all this stuff up front.  Easy, no mess, and doesn't even require people to crack open the Look Inside.

Yes, but I WANT the reader to open the book and read the Look Inside and get hooked (I hope).

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #63 on: January 04, 2018, 10:42:16 AM »
THIS. Times 1000000000.

I am heartily tired of hearing folks say something is "allowed," as though their entire moral compass and belief system is based only on what they can get away with. How about doing what's right?

Sure. But who determines what is right? Or ethical? At least what is allowed, or the law, is explicit.

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #64 on: January 04, 2018, 10:45:59 AM »
The video is gone now. I wonder what happened?

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #65 on: January 04, 2018, 10:48:39 AM »
The video is gone now. I wonder what happened?

It's being edited to correct some erroneous information and will be reposted shortly.

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #66 on: January 04, 2018, 10:49:44 AM »
It's against the TOS. I emailed KDP Executive Customer Relations to establish exactly that. I'll copy the emails here for you.

My email to ECR in July:

Their completely unambiguous response (emphasizing the most relevant part):

It's been clear for awhile that you can't publish the same content re-ordered. But it seems you can publish bonus content so long as the total package is different.

I.E.

Book A contains B then C
Book D contains A then B
Book F contains A then C

I would like bonus content to be against the ToS, but Amazon has made it clear bonus content is okay by their inaction. This has been going on for over a year.

If everything that is in a book is listed in the Table of Contents, all you need to do is look at the TOC to know what is in the book before you buy it. If you don't bother to look at the TOC, that's your choice, but then it's caveat emptor. So in general, I think "stuffing" may be relevant in KU because it has an effect on author payout, but for direct sales, as long as there is no mass repeated duplication of content, it can be a problem only when texts are not in the TOC. If a reader chooses not to look at the TOC, that is equivalent to a someone in a supermarket buying a box without knowing what is actually inside. As far as confusion about the length of the title text, if the description on the product page says it's a short story or a novella or a novel, any serious reader knows the difference.

Ah, but this isn't true. Lots of authors are putting their bonus books in their ToC as chapters, so their ToC look something like this:

Book For Sale
Ch 1
Ch 2
Ch 3
etc.
Mailing List
Author's Note
Other Book 1
Other Book 2
Other Book 3

To where it's not clear if those are samples are entire books. I know I often list my excerpts samples by the book's title. But I use Vellum, so the exact chapters of everything are very clear.

Offline Evenstar

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #67 on: January 04, 2018, 10:50:41 AM »
I don't like locking threads, but please try not to start attacking each other for personal choice regarding KU V Wide, otherwise I'll be forced to hit the time out button.

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #68 on: January 04, 2018, 10:56:44 AM »
It's been clear for awhile that you can't publish the same content re-ordered. But it seems you can publish bonus content so long as the total package is different.

I.E.

Book A contains B then C
Book D contains A then B
Book F contains A then C

I would like bonus content to be against the ToS, but Amazon has made it clear bonus content is okay by their inaction. This has been going on for over a year.

Ah, but this isn't true. Lots of authors are putting their bonus books in their ToC as chapters, so their ToC look something like this:

Book For Sale
Ch 1
Ch 2
Ch 3
etc.
Mailing List
Author's Note
Other Book 1
Other Book 2
Other Book 3

To where it's not clear if those are samples are entire books. I know I often list my excerpts samples by the book's title. But I use Vellum, so the exact chapters of everything are very clear.

Agreed. But do you want to ban all bonus material because some authors are devious?

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #69 on: January 04, 2018, 11:06:50 AM »
Sure. But who determines what is right? Or ethical? At least what is allowed, or the law, is explicit.

To me, the ethics are pretty clear. If they aren't, it says a lot about those who don't get the ethical issues.

Don't steal. Don't cheat. Don't lie.

Anything that equals stealing or cheating or lying is unethical. And wrong. People should know this just from growing up in our society. These things shouldn't have to spelled out in elaborate detail in the TOS so that people don't scam.

In moral development terms, sticking to the letter of the law rather than being informed by the spirit of the law is at the school-aged kid level.

In KU, we are supposed to be paid for actual pages read. That's our contract with Amazon. If a book with a KENP of 300 is read in full, we expect to be paid $1.35 when the payout is $0.0045 per page. We trust that Amazon can count the actual pages a customer reads. Whether it can or not is another question entirely.

That is our legal contract.

An ethical author would believe that if a customer only reads 100 KENP, we should get $0.45. If the customer reads the whole book, the author expects to get paid for the full KENP. An ethical author would want what was their rightful due and not more -- or less.

Now, the unethical author sees that Amazon can't actually count real pages read. So they stuff their books full of bonus content, other books that are already published, translations of those books, and material that has no relationship to the titled content. They do not describe this content in the product page. They also include a special never-before-seen epilogue at the end and a link to that bonus content in the TOS -- KNOWING that their readers will skip to the back of the book to read that special epilogue. Their book is now 10,000 KENP. The unethical author gets paid for a full 10,000 KENP even though the customer has not actually read those pages. They get $45 instead of $1.35.

SCORE!!!!

If anyone thinks that's kosher, they are ethically challenged.

I don't know about anyone else, but my mother and father -- and the Bible -- teach us not to lie, cheat or steal.

- knowingly including unlabelled bonus content, hiding content, bad translations, etc, to get around TOS. Lying.
- knowingly including stuffed content with incentivized link to the end to get unread pages? Cheating
- knowingly getting paid out of the KU pot for pages that were not actually read? Stealing.

Seems pretty darn clear to me.

Online Rick Gualtieri

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #70 on: January 04, 2018, 11:12:22 AM »
To me, the ethics are pretty clear. If they aren't, it says a lot about those who don't get the ethical issues.

Don't steal. Don't cheat. Don't lie.

Anything that equals stealing or cheating or lying is unethical. And wrong. People should know this just from growing up in our society. These things shouldn't have to spelled out in elaborate detail in the TOS so that people don't scam.

In moral development terms, sticking to the letter of the law rather than being informed by the spirit of the law is at the school-aged kid level.

In KU, we are supposed to be paid for actual pages read. That's our contract with Amazon. If a book with a KENP of 300 is read in full, we expect to be paid $1.35 when the payout is $0.0045 per page. We trust that Amazon can count the actual pages a customer reads. Whether it can or not is another question entirely.

That is our legal contract.

An ethical author would believe that if a customer only reads 100 KENP, we should get $0.45. If the customer reads the whole book, the author expects to get paid for the full KENP. An ethical author would want what was their rightful due and not more -- or less.

Now, the unethical author sees that Amazon can't actually count real pages read. So they stuff their books full of bonus content, other books that are already published, translations of those books, and material that has no relationship to the titled content. They do not describe this content in the product page. They also include a special never-before-seen epilogue at the end and a link to that bonus content in the TOS -- KNOWING that their readers will skip to the back of the book to read that special epilogue. Their book is now 10,000 KENP. The unethical author gets paid for a full 10,000 KENP even though the customer has not actually read those pages. They get $45 instead of $1.35.

SCORE!!!!

If anyone thinks that's kosher, they are ethically challenged.

I don't know about anyone else, but my mother and father -- and the Bible -- teach us not to lie, cheat or steal.

- knowingly including unlabelled bonus content, hiding content, bad translations, etc, to get around TOS. Lying.
- knowingly including stuffed content with incentivized link to the end to get unread pages? Cheating
- knowingly getting paid out of the KU pot for pages that were not actually read? Stealing.

Seems pretty darn clear to me.


Once more I must rue the lack of a like button on kboards.


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Offline TobiasRoote

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #71 on: January 04, 2018, 11:12:54 AM »
Their book is now 10,000 KENP. The unethical author gets paid for a full 10,000 KENP even though the customer has not actually read those pages. They get $45 instead of $1.35.


But, didn't Amazon put a roof on these books at 3,000 KENP?


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Offline EB

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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #72 on: January 04, 2018, 11:20:48 AM »
Their completely unambiguous response (emphasizing the most relevant part):
Quote
Their completely unambiguous response (emphasizing the most relevant part):

Quote
Hello David,

Thank you for your questions about bonus content. Generally, bonus content is permitted, so long as it and its placement do not create a misleading or disappointing customer experience, this applies to all books including books enrolled in KU.

To your specific example, authors are not permitted to publish the same work multiple times with only minor changes or a reordering of content, regardless of whether the book includes bonus content. When we determine authors are publishing undifferentiated titles like this, the titles are subject to removal from the Kindle store and the author is subject to potential account-level action.

If you have other examples you would like us to look into, please send them to content-review@amazon.com

Regards,

Executive Customer Relations

KU is filled with this kind of nonsense and those who are doing it just get better at packaging it. This is one of the main reasons I've stopped running promotions (closed to submissions indefinitely); I simply do not have the man power to super-scrutinize or buy/read start to finish every book that is submitted. My usual method is cover/blurb/book sample/customer reviews, which can miss stuffed books, books with duplicate content, and plagiarized books. When this topic blew up a few months ago, I went over submission records and I was not happy.

All I can say is that yes, there are a handful of individuals that are responsible for dozens of pen names doing things like book stuffing, duplicate content, and Facebook Ads with stolen/unauthorized use of celebrity/other copyrighted images, and frankly, I am shocked at the connections. These are not just fly-by-night scammers; these are authors who have been in the business for a long time (some are successful and well-known in other genres), who know the self-pub industry well, and have figured out a way to monetize their product in an extreme way. They know the key ingredients to sell a book: genre-appropriate cover, good blurb, interesting sample, and customer reviews. The stories are common troupes, quick, easy, steamy reads, generally enjoyable. The content is minimally edited, but they don't care; they get those reviews up, sell a bundle in a week or two, and then abandon any promo on that book because the next one is ready to release. Books are unpublished, rewritten, and republished; the same stories are rotated as bonus material between the books. Most of the shenanigans teeter on the edge of Amazon's TOS.

Shady? Yes. Unethical? Yes. Against TOS? Sometimes. Are they getting Amazon All Star Bonuses? Yes. Make of that what you will.


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #73 on: January 04, 2018, 11:21:20 AM »
Ok, please don't scream at me because I'm asking this as a valid question. I've never stuffed, added, or anything else naughty, but...I do have a shed load of 10K shorts that had been previously published in the good old days when shorts were hot, but I took them down after KU2, and the covers were really awful. I don't want to pay for new covers, etc, but they are sitting around doing nothing of value.

So, question 1; Is it against TOS to put these as bonus content in the backs of new books if they aren't published anywhere else?


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Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« Reply #74 on: January 04, 2018, 11:24:12 AM »
Ok, please don't scream at me because I'm asking this as a valid question. I've never stuffed, added, or anything else naughty, but...I do have a shed load of 10K shorts that had been previously published in the good old days when shorts were hot, but I took them down after KU2, and the covers were really awful. I don't want to pay for new covers, etc, but they are sitting around doing nothing of value.

So, question 1; Is it against TOS to put these as bonus content in the backs of new books if they aren't published anywhere else?

You can put all your shorts in one volume; you can use your shorts as extra content at the back of other books.

If you put 10 shorts in one volume, then change the order around for the same 10 shorts 10 different ways and publish it as 10 different books, that is likely to get you into trouble.