Author Topic: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.  (Read 36239 times)  

Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2018, 12:27:59 PM »
I suspect this is the problem. Amazon is likely removing accounts they suspect botting page reads. Any page reads from the botting account will disappear.

If this is the case, then it should only happen to authors who get A LOT of page reads because I suspect the bots target the same books over and over again.
Possibly. My usual measly pages read haven't dropped at all.

If we're right, it's unfortunate that Amazon didn't address the issue a lot sooner. Waiting until millions of pages read were involved is certainly going to be hard on the legitimate authors whose books were used as camouflage for the true bad actors. Particularly for people dependent on their writing income, seeing sudden large drops like that is going to be hard to take.


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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2018, 12:45:38 PM »
Off to check my March figures on BookReport.

Back to say they remain the same huge amount of $4.39 earned over six books in page reads including 2 x 6 page reads and 1 x 3 page reads  ::)

(Sometimes being a low earner is far less stressful. I can't imagine the stress of losing the huge amounts some writers have posted about  :o. I hope they get things sorted out)

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Offline AWritersLife

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2018, 12:56:19 PM »
Why are you guys complaining? Amazon is doing what they need to in order to keep KU going. Amazon enabled ebook publishing and everyone should be thankful to them, not complaining when they take $300 or $1000 or $10,000 of your money. If they didn't exist you wouldn't even have that money in the first place.

Whatever zon wants to do, it's the right thing to do.

Would you rather not have KU?

Give everyone a break, dude. People are losing $100s of dollars. They don't need you to come in with your (only funny to you, apparently) snark and rub salt in the wound.

Offline cindypk

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2018, 03:20:13 PM »
The difference is over 300,000 KENP reads, this is not a minor error or related to delayed reporting. The Excel report just mirrors what the graph says now, but it was different before...

I honestly can't remember if I have posted here before, although I have been a member for years. Eye and back and insomnia issues, so I restrict my computer time. But I wanted to let you know you're not alone. Last night, during Day 2 of free days on Title 3 for a pen name, I logged into KDP to see - in shock - that my KENP on Title 1 was stripped of over 197,000 reads for March to 5000 app. for March. 192,000 reads stripped. The $835 or so that BookReport said I'd earned just disappeared. I was actually in the midst of checking into BookReport when it happened. I got the paywall and wondered why, because I didn't realize BR goes in 30 day cycles. I thought it was March and then separate April. March was my first month using BR. Suddenly, BR was saying I made junk money in March. I went back to KDP and saw the damage of my suddenly axed KENPs.

I immediately went to KDP dash and emailed a "Dear Amazon, Help!" email. I have yet to hear back. Someone in an FB indie author group let me know to check here and that this might have happened to someone else in February.

I am just sick over this. Irony, it was free days on Title 2 from same pen name that started the reads climbing. And now during free days of Title 3 the reads have been stripped. The book with the reads was in a KCD during its 90-day period. I've been doing AMS and other KU promo. All reputable sites. I just canceled a promo date for next Sunday because I can't even think right now. I'm in the midst of free days, and Amazon has stripped my KENPs on title 1. Title 1 is a novel, titles 2 and 3 are shorts in a series. I also write as Cindy and am wide there. But I thought it would be handy to have all my Kate St. James stuff in KU and use the proceeds to help my wide expenses as Cindy. I have tried KU twice before on a Cindy book but not for at least a couple of years.

Just know you are not alone. I am compiling a list of all the promo I've done and the price changes that I can remember. I happened to be away visiting my elderly parents when the page reads started climbing during free days I had specifically coordinated to run on the last days of a Select period.

I am flummoxed and in a state of disbelief. Waiting to hear back from Amazon before taking next steps. Just going on the fly here.

Cindy

Offline cindypk

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2018, 03:25:29 PM »
You need to to ask KDP why you lost them, and give them all the details of all your ads for the month (and the one before), so they can see you were advertising more than normal.

Do that now!

If I've already emailed KDP asking for help, should I wait to hear from them before sending a reply with my advertising and promos? Or compile and send again? I'm on pins and needles waiting for them to respond, but in reality it's been less than 24 hours since I emailed them. I'm compiling and hoping I don't miss something.

Offline Seneca42

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2018, 03:52:28 PM »
Give everyone a break, dude. People are losing $100s of dollars. They don't need you to come in with your (only funny to you, apparently) snark and rub salt in the wound.

They aren't losing hundreds of dollars. If bots were reading their book you want them paid for that? Give me a break.

Unless you're implying amazon is removing legitimate page reads? If you are then that would be criminal on amazons part as it is literally stealing from authors.

If you're in KU then that means you have blind faith in Amazon. If you have blind faith in Amazon then why complain? If they are sorting out the data, then that's what they are doing and you'll get what you are supposed to get.

You aren't losing money, you merely thought you had more than you actually did. Either that, or Amazon is stealing from you. If it's the latter then why are you in KU?

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2018, 04:49:57 PM »
They aren't losing hundreds of dollars. If bots were reading their book you want them paid for that? Give me a break.

Unless you're implying amazon is removing legitimate page reads? If you are then that would be criminal on amazons part as it is literally stealing from authors.

If you're in KU then that means you have blind faith in Amazon. If you have blind faith in Amazon then why complain? If they are sorting out the data, then that's what they are doing and you'll get what you are supposed to get.

You aren't losing money, you merely thought you had more than you actually did. Either that, or Amazon is stealing from you. If it's the latter then why are you in KU?

Seneca, either dial your tone well back into the "compassionate" range, or leave the thread.

Offline Seneca42

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2018, 05:01:50 PM »
Seneca, either dial your tone well back into the "compassionate" range, or leave the thread.

I thought I was being compassionate. No one is being harmed here, they only think they are. Once they realize they aren't they'll feel a lot better.

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2018, 05:04:52 PM »
I thought I was being compassionate. No one is being harmed here, they only think they are. Once they realize they aren't they'll feel a lot better.

Also known as choosing the prize behind door No. 2.

Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2018, 05:07:10 PM »
I thought I was being compassionate. No one is being harmed here, they only think they are. Once they realize they aren't they'll feel a lot better.

No, they do not, and your response disgusted me.

I'm not in KU and my reads are a flat line from month to month, but people base their ad spend on projected income, and when Amazon goes ha, ha, we were only joking and takes a sizeable chunk away, then you're well up the creek with FB ad spend (because you can't say to Facebook ha, ha, I never meant to spend that money so now give it back).

I'm no friend of KU or Amazon apologist, but they least they can do is provide content providers with a system that does not make financial promises and then takes them away without any communication whatsoever.

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2018, 05:08:35 PM »
Let's move on, folks. Further posts from or responding to S42 will be removed.

Offline cindypk

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2018, 05:08:55 PM »
I thought I'd pop back in with an update. I just heard back from Amazon.

They are being pleasant in tone. My email to them asked for their help, and I said I was horrified (as, like others, I thought my page reads were because of promos and advertising done since the book came out Dec. 29th). But so far I haven't received any compliance emails or the like. I emailed them.

The gist so far is, paraphrasing, 'Happy to help, sorry for frustration, can understand your worry, need time to look into it, have reached out to technical team. Will get back to you by end of day Monday April 9th.' 'And, btw, are you satisfied with my support?' (It's way too early in this process to answer that). I am still compiling all my advertising and promos regardless, in case they ask for them.

Meanwhile, there are a group of us in 20booksto50K that this has happened to. If anyone else here has heard back from Amazon, I would be interested in the response. I am just trying to remain calm and go about my to-do list, as per my usual weekend activity...

Cindy

Offline PhoenixS

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2018, 05:17:30 PM »
I honestly can't remember if I have posted here before, although I have been a member for years. Eye and back and insomnia issues, so I restrict my computer time. But I wanted to let you know you're not alone. Last night, during Day 2 of free days on Title 3 for a pen name, I logged into KDP to see - in shock - that my KENP on Title 1 was stripped of over 197,000 reads for March to 5000 app. for March. 192,000 reads stripped. The $835 or so that BookReport said I'd earned just disappeared. I was actually in the midst of checking into BookReport when it happened. I got the paywall and wondered why, because I didn't realize BR goes in 30 day cycles. I thought it was March and then separate April. March was my first month using BR. Suddenly, BR was saying I made junk money in March. I went back to KDP and saw the damage of my suddenly axed KENPs.

I immediately went to KDP dash and emailed a "Dear Amazon, Help!" email. I have yet to hear back. Someone in an FB indie author group let me know to check here and that this might have happened to someone else in February.

I am just sick over this. Irony, it was free days on Title 2 from same pen name that started the reads climbing. And now during free days of Title 3 the reads have been stripped. The book with the reads was in a KCD during its 90-day period. I've been doing AMS and other KU promo. All reputable sites. I just canceled a promo date for next Sunday because I can't even think right now. I'm in the midst of free days, and Amazon has stripped my KENPs on title 1. Title 1 is a novel, titles 2 and 3 are shorts in a series. I also write as Cindy and am wide there. But I thought it would be handy to have all my Kate St. James stuff in KU and use the proceeds to help my wide expenses as Cindy. I have tried KU twice before on a Cindy book but not for at least a couple of years.

Just know you are not alone. I am compiling a list of all the promo I've done and the price changes that I can remember. I happened to be away visiting my elderly parents when the page reads started climbing during free days I had specifically coordinated to run on the last days of a Select period.

I am flummoxed and in a state of disbelief. Waiting to hear back from Amazon before taking next steps. Just going on the fly here.

Cindy

Cindy, assuming the US is your biggest market, then there are some possible oddities.

If Title 3 is on Day 2 of free, are you promoting it at all? Its free rank would indicate maybe 5 to 10 downloads only over the past couple of days.

Title 2 appears to have been free mid-March. It was not already in the Tracker database I use, so the rank history I can see there may not be accurate. But what I do see indicates no more than 5 or so downloads per each day it was free. Per current rank on the product page, it was not borrowed or sold in at least the last 3 or 4 weeks (meaning no sales or borrows from before it was free till now).

Title 1 looks like it was on Countdown Feb 20-26. Best rank seems to indicate 60-65 sales/borrows for the one day. 197,000 page reads, if we assume a 400 KNPC, would be 492 full reads. It seems to have slid very quickly in rank, and looks like it hasn't had a sale or borrow in maybe a week in either the US or the UK store.

So if Title 2 really didn't have many free downloads and no sales or borrows, why did Title 1 reads tick up 3 weeks after a modest Countdown run?

While I can't trust the rank for Title 1 that I can see because the data hasn't had a chance to populate in the tracking program I use, you can see what the rank for that book was via Author Central. That rank trend, coupled with the sales of the book, can give us a good idea of how many borrows the book actually had, and if 197,000 page reads (or around 500 borrows at a minimum) seems to be likely.

From what I can see, and the history you've provided, things don't add up. But right now, my view is limited.

Offline TM285

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2018, 05:22:47 PM »
No response yet. I shall remain hopeful they don't make some lame excuse because they can't be bothered to get to the bottom of the problem/take the time to fix it, knowing that I can't do ANYTHING about it.

Considering my AMS ad spend in March was almost $1000 and April ad spend barely $20 (I paused it, then tried to start it up again, big mistake, couldn't get it to spend), the fact that my KU reads now in April almost double those in March suggest something is deeply wrong. We also did a huge community blitz in March. Again, this means my March KU reads should be higher.

My actual paid sales in March were coming in at five times the rate of April sales. One would assume that would mean significantly higher KU reads in March. And they were, until Amazon retroactively removed them. Now my April KU reads double my March reads. Unless my April KU reads are also full of these bots (who were supposedly removed permanently by your argument, Seneca42) then this is nothing to do with bots covering their tracks by reading books at random, and their reads being removed.

These were genuine reads. They spiked after our sales spiked, they dropped as our sales dropped.

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2018, 06:13:49 PM »
They aren't losing hundreds of dollars. If bots were reading their book you want them paid for that? Give me a break.

Unless you're implying amazon is removing legitimate page reads? If you are then that would be criminal on amazons part as it is literally stealing from authors.

That's exactly what I'm saying. This is only partly about bots. It appears to be mostly about reviewers doing the wrong things, and it seems that with the removal of real live reviewers, their reads are being removed as well.

And that isn't fair to authors.

Frankly, Amazon has failed to deal with bots and other people doing the wrong things for so long, they should be wearing the cost of the cleanup, not authors.

Kick out the people doing the wrong thing, yes. But why punish innocent authors at the same time?

Reminds me of Avengers 1. They send in a nuke, when the team hasn't even lost yet, on the basis that killing millions is an acceptable loss.

Well Amazon is using a nuke as well, as it always does. And taking away reads from struggling authors is like nuking the roaches living in their garbage.

Amazon should just wear the read cost this month, complete their house cleaning, and we all start again fresh in May.

On  the other hand, if the payout rate goes well above .005 because all the bot reads and scams are gone, maybe it wont hurt money so much. Have to wait and see. However, as always it'll be May 16 before we find out.

Offline solo

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2018, 07:09:48 PM »
I spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars generating those reads. It's going to destroy my bottom line.

Just curious - generated through ads? AMS? Bookbub? Other sites? Could be useful in future marketing efforts getting readers. Though I think the term should be "getting those reads"

Offline Lucey Phillips

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2018, 09:49:08 PM »
It happened to me too. For about 20 days in March, my page reads for book one in the series spiked way higher than where they usually are. I thought something looked really weird because I wasn't doing any special advertising or marketing. I was also suspicious because my read-through to the next books in the series is usually quite high, maybe 80%. But for that time period, the page reads for books two and three stayed at their usual levels. At first I thought it was a mistake. Then when it continued for several weeks, I thought 'okay maybe Amazon promoted that book or a blogger liked me or something like that.'

So when I checked my dashboard tonight, all those extra page reads -- maybe about $500 worth -- were gone. The page reads for March now look like they are on trend with other months.

The only explanation that makes sense is that my book was targeted by bots and Amazon fixed the problem. It's a mild disappointment, but I'm glad the system is being fixed.

tl:dr I had a ton of extra page reads, they never look legit, now the extra page reads are gone and things are back to normal.

Offline lyndabelle

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2018, 11:49:58 PM »
I have to say that all the hoopla in the last week of March seems to be doing a part 2.
As suspected, something is going on with the Zon and KU.
If it is clean-up of reviewers, okay. Or whether it was bots from scammers trying to make themselves look legit?
Geez. The KU drama is getting to be too much for me.

I've already started pulling my full catalog out after almost 3 years. I understand how you have to spend so much or write monthly to get noticed on the Zon these days. But to be honest, to have a retailer have that much power over my career and not caring about any fallout that affects me reminds me too much of my old day job before the heart attack. (Trying to avoid any more of those, trust me.)

I've watched KU1, KU2, and whatever this will be called. Maybe KU3? The way things are cleaned up or fixed tends to just snag TOO MANY legit authors just trying to earn their rightful buck. But I guess, everyone has to decide whether something still works for their business plan. This all has been grounds to stay in the program or not. I decided to leave and go wide. And so, I gather, other authors may make the same decision. Whether this affects the Zon or not? I guess that depends on the number of authors that stay with KU or leave. Either way, I'm guessing, The Zon figures it will win.

But who's bottom line really counts. Yours or The Zons? Because what will be the next cleaning step? And how will it affect us? That's not a good way to do business for anyone. We shouldn't be in fear of what will happen next when all you're doing is just writing books.




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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2018, 12:29:31 AM »
I wonder if all this drama is also happening to trad published books, and if so, what the publishers are doing about it.  ::)

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Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2018, 12:58:35 AM »
Maybe KU3?

Been KU3 since last August.

As far as pulling out is concerned, remember you can ask KDP to pull all of them at once, on the basis of reader satisfaction, or lack of it when the books come out in the wrong order, leaving them stranded in the middle of a series.

I also suggest you write and tell them exactly why you're pulling out.

Good luck with it anyway.

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2018, 01:00:55 AM »
tl:dr I had a ton of extra page reads, they never look legit, now the extra page reads are gone and things are back to normal.

This  :-*

Offline mawnster

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2018, 01:23:25 AM »
We all knew a true clean-up of KU would be messy and snare a lot of innocents. I'm confident those innocents will have their numbers restored (why feel otherwise at this point?) if they appeal. On the bright side, if Amazon is successful, zillions of KENP pages will be wiped from stuffer's and schemer's dashboards. Keeping the rose-tinted glasses on for a further moment -- that would have a dramatic positive effect on payouts.

If this is a clean up of "book stuffers" and scammers - well... all I can say is I hope it was worth hurting the incomes of a huge number of authors in order to grab a group of 10 or 20 or maybe 30 bookstuffers/scammers. Seeing how many of my friends have been devastated by this, I can honestly say it wasn't worth it to me.

Offline EllieDee

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2018, 01:27:55 AM »
Although I'm pretty deeply angry about how Amazon is handling this entire thing...

Quote
On  the other hand, if the payout rate goes well above .005 because all the bot reads and scams are gone, maybe it wont hurt money so much. Have to wait and see. However, as always it'll be May 16 before we find out.

I think this is a possibility.  Will wiping all these accounts make enough of a difference in the payout to offset what authors have lost?  No idea.  I'm in a pessimistic mood this morning so I doubt it, but we really won't know until the numbers hit.  I predict ... drumroll... some kind of small, token rise to offset some of the negative responses, but not nearly enough to compensate writers for what they've lost.

Also, this:

Quote
If you (general you, an author) have been getting extra pages read because of bots, that's not your money.

Scammers  p*ss  me off.  Screw them and let them lose their ill-gotten money. 

But what the honest authors who are getting punished for others' bad behavior, are being ignored by Amazon, and if history repeats itself the little guys (and bigger guys who are also honest players) will never, ever see that money again.  It will fall down the black pit of Amazon's soul and help buy the CEO another yacht.

It really sends my blood pressure up.  Especially for smaller authors who have no real clout to defend themselves.  It's like a full grown man going into a kindergarten playground and slapping the kids around for their lunch money.

Offline mawnster

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2018, 01:48:57 AM »
Although I'm pretty deeply angry about how Amazon is handling this entire thing...

I think this is a possibility.  Will wiping all these accounts make enough of a difference in the payout to offset what authors have lost?  No idea.  I'm in a pessimistic mood this morning so I doubt it, but we really won't know until the numbers hit.  I predict ... drumroll... some kind of small, token rise to offset some of the negative responses, but not nearly enough to compensate writers for what they've lost.

Also, this:

Scammers  p*ss  me off.  Screw them and let them lose their ill-gotten money. 

But what the honest authors who are getting punished for others' bad behavior, are being ignored by Amazon, and if history repeats itself the little guys (and bigger guys who are also honest players) will never, ever see that money again.  It will fall down the black pit of Amazon's soul and help buy the CEO another yacht.

It really sends my blood pressure up.  Especially for smaller authors who have no real clout to defend themselves.  It's like a full grown man going into a kindergarten playground and slapping the kids around for their lunch money.

Two things.

1) The KU global fund is based on how many page reads total there are, and what Amazon thinks we will tolerate being paid. So if there's less pages being calculated, that doesn't mean the page rate will go up. It could just as well stay the same since we've all shown we're more than fine accepting less than .005 per page in payment. Why would Amazon pay us MORE? They don't have to.

2) You're always going to have someone cheating the system. That's life. You can try to fix it, and close up those loop holes, but if it just ends up costing a bunch of innocents and hurting EVERYONE, then it's not worth stopping the scammers. At least, not to me. I have seen so many people, friends, acquaintances, losing up to 50% of their page reads. A scammer or stuffer can afford a drop in page reads. Some of these people, making $10 a month, $500 a month, can't afford that drop.

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: Help! My KU page reads from last month have been retroactively halved.
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2018, 02:32:01 AM »
If this is a clean up of "book stuffers" and scammers - well... all I can say is I hope it was worth hurting the incomes of a huge number of authors in order to grab a group of 10 or 20 or maybe 30 bookstuffers/scammers. Seeing how many of my friends have been devastated by this, I can honestly say it wasn't worth it to me.

The number being talked about is 1000's of people being ejected, not 20-30. Completely different scale.