Author Topic: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits, Amazon Taking Action (MERGED)  (Read 117771 times)  

Offline Crime fighters

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #100 on: June 02, 2018, 09:53:55 PM »
Tia Siren is already trying this. It's just a parenthesis added to the title.



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« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 09:56:34 PM by K.B. »

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #101 on: June 02, 2018, 10:47:15 PM »
You are making a good point, and I don't really want to see legitimate authors lose what has been a useful strategy. However, I also think the scammers will take books with bonus content and relabel them as box sets. Maybe that will be less appealing to readers. Maybe not. But is there a way to prevent this kind of modified scam without eliminating box sets?

Require all books inside to be listed on the cover?

This will obviously be a problem for the multi-author box sets, especially the ones with 10+ books inside. And would likely limit the number which can be in them.

But it would point out to the reader exactly what is inside.

KDP could take it one step further, and for box sets have another section where title and author of each book inside has to be listed, and this has to agree with the titles on the cover. This would also allow them to list the books on the product page, perhaps even before the blurb.

For normal box sets with 3 books in them, this wouldn't be an imposition. It might make huge box sets be re-thought by those doing the work.

And it makes what's in the book totally obvious to those looking at the product page.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #102 on: June 02, 2018, 11:25:03 PM »
Well. If people call it a compilation and list the books in the TOC... I don't see what the problem is. Like, if Tia Siren does that? So what? She's obeying the rules as laid out by Amazon.

I feel like Amazon got pestered about bonus books, put something in as a "there there" pat on the head "see we did something! loook!" knowing that it could easily be skirted by a simple addition of a few words to covers/titles, which kinda makes me feel like they don't really GAF.

Offline dgaughran

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #103 on: June 03, 2018, 01:22:24 AM »
Well. If people call it a compilation and list the books in the TOC... I don't see what the problem is. Like, if Tia Siren does that? So what? She's obeying the rules as laid out by Amazon.

I feel like Amazon got pestered about bonus books, put something in as a "there there" pat on the head "see we did something! loook!" knowing that it could easily be skirted by a simple addition of a few words to covers/titles, which kinda makes me feel like they don't really GAF.

We're going to find out pretty quickly if Amazon's rules mean anything or not. If stuffers can just add (Collection) to the title of all their stuffed books then the rule is a sham.

This is why I said we don't need new rules when people were advocating for a KENPC limit of 1000. We just need Amazon to enforce the ones they already have. If they have no interest in proper enforcement, then it doesn't matter if they bring in 20 new rules.

It's an early test, and I'm interested to see what happens next.
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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #104 on: June 03, 2018, 01:33:14 AM »
Amazon's notice made a special point about prompt compliance to qualify for All Star Bonuses. They didn't have to mention that. So it reads like a preemptive legal/PR thing to me. In other words, if someone loses money and kicks up a fuss Amazon can respond with "You were warned. Specifically."

So it seems promising to me. But time will tell.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #105 on: June 03, 2018, 01:44:31 AM »
Amazon's notice made a special point about prompt compliance to qualify for All Star Bonuses. They didn't have to mention that. So it reads like a preemptive legal/PR thing to me. In other words, if someone loses money and kicks up a fuss Amazon can respond with "You were warned. Specifically."

So it seems promising to me. But time will tell.

I find that reassuring and worrying at the same time. Reassuring that they specifically said that All Stars are on the line for June onwards if people don't immediately comply. Worrying that they felt the need to say that (should be on the line anyway) and, a bigger concern, that perhaps Amazon are only going to look at who is getting All Stars and not engage in a wider sweep.

I mean, that's better than nothing but perhaps a sign this is more about PR than fixing the problem.
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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #106 on: June 03, 2018, 02:24:30 AM »
The issue with the just adding "Collection" to a new release should be a non-issue, because there is a rule that already exists that should counteract that:

Duplicate Content

The author cited above is stuffing her new release with old books that are already in KDP. If she were releasing a new book and stuffing with with a collection of unseen books, would anyone here care? Of course not... But she's still breaking the old rule with her book packed with duplicate content.

I think Amazon is really trying to give authors a chance. They understand that people want to write six books series and then release box set of that series and have them all in KDP select without flagging them for duplicate content.

But they REALLY need to start enforcing the duplicate content rule or book stuffers simply will not learn. They'll just add "collection" to their title and pretend that their new release is somehow a collection just because they stuffed a bunch of old books in it.

This is how these guys work... Amazon releases a positive policy that only seeks to help the community, but some people try to twist it to their advantage. Don't attack Tia Siren for releasing a new book that's part of a collection. Attack her because she released a new book and stuffed it will duplicate content that's already in KDP select. It is in no way a real collection and violates the duplicate content policy.

Offline Phxsundog

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #107 on: June 03, 2018, 02:31:12 AM »
Several more of the stuffed romances in the Top 100 now have Compilation, Collection, or Bundle in the title and on the cover (sometimes in tiny lettering). This appears to be the official Mastermind strategy going forward. Hope Amazon proves it's a poor one. This group is not giving up the bundles unless Amazon brings out the banhammer. Their entire business model depends on 3000 pages volumes disguised as single title books as much as possible.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #108 on: June 03, 2018, 02:36:08 AM »
... My other pen names (aka mysteries) will only have the one novel, plus a bonus chapter or two from other books. In both cases I'm in the clear correct?

See I wouldn't have said a chapter from another book by the same author was 'bonus content' I thought that was standard.  Trad books I've bought since I was a teen have often done that and never labelled it as a bonus.  I personally just thought it was with regards to extra books/additional stories/deleted scenes...

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #109 on: June 03, 2018, 02:52:09 AM »
I agree that Amazon didn't need new rules to tackle stuffing but I also hoped the simplification of those rules would help with enforcement.

I've blogged about Tia Siren's attempt at a loophole: http://davidgaughran.com/2018/06/03/amazon-book-stuffing-scamming-kindle/

I think this is a crucial moment, and a real test for Amazon. If it lets this BS fly, then we know this whole thing was a sham. I think all honest authors should be asking Amazon publicly and loudly if they will apply their new rules.

I should also point out she has only bothered doing this for her new release... and that she is a Kindle All Star, because of course she is!
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Offline dgaughran

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #110 on: June 03, 2018, 04:38:39 AM »
Here's why Amazon doesn't need new rules, it just needs to enforce old ones. Tia Siren is triple spacing all her books to artificially increase page count:






Post edited--but discussion of formatting used to artificially increase page count is allowed as germain to the discussion.  --Betsy
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 11:09:01 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #111 on: June 03, 2018, 04:52:55 AM »
The answer is simple: dont allow duplicated content in KU.

 KDP have no interest in fixing this or any of the enormous issues with KU. Thats the devil we know. If we want to play in KU and sell on Amazon, we basically have to agree to all these shady tactics and the way Amazon wield their ban hammer. Theyve had ample opportunity to fix KU over the past few years and havent. Its time to push to iBooks, Kobo, etc.

Offline dgaughran

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #112 on: June 03, 2018, 04:56:11 AM »
Amazon customers aren't fungible. They won't move to Kobo or iBooks just because we start pushing those retailers. And I'm not prepared to hand off the Kindle Store to scammers just yet...
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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #113 on: June 03, 2018, 05:00:35 AM »
And I'm not prepared to hand off the Kindle Store to scammers just yet...

The problem is, Amazon are.

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #114 on: June 03, 2018, 05:02:19 AM »
Here's why Amazon doesn't need new rules, it just needs to enforce old ones. Tia Siren is triple spacing all her books to artificially increase page count:



Edited quoted post.  --Betsy/KB Mod

If this works, then everything Amazon has been telling us about how KENP is calculated is a lie. I can't imagine that actually works. By that standard, I should boost my font to 14pt also, and use 1.5 spacing, and a bunch of other tricks that wouldn't be near as noticeable or damage the readability.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 11:09:40 AM by Betsy the Quilter »

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #115 on: June 03, 2018, 05:06:14 AM »
Yep, as predicted the word 'compilation' is springing up all over the place, but do they realise that they can't use duplicate material in KU, and will amazon actually care enough to sort through these sets?

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #116 on: June 03, 2018, 05:23:38 AM »
If this works, then everything Amazon has been telling us about how KENP is calculated is a lie. I can't imagine that actually works. By that standard, I should boost my font to 14pt also, and use 1.5 spacing, and a bunch of other tricks that wouldn't be near as noticeable or damage the readability.

This was removed in the first KU2 fix, when they downgraded KENPC by a third for lots of people.


As I understand it now, no sort of spacing or font size has any baring on KENPC. And hasn't for a long time.

Yep, as predicted the word 'compilation' is springing up all over the place, but do they realise that they can't use duplicate material in KU, and will amazon actually care enough to sort through these sets?

I wonder if Amazon have actually triggered this, in order to have something to target?

If I was Amazon, I'd have been this devious. Set out a word where anyone trying to get around the new rule would use in a hurry. Target the word, and scrutinize the book it's used on. Catchee monkey. Nuke monkey.

But are Amazon this devious? Probably not. Or they'd have caught them during re-submission.

Offline DonovanJeremiah

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #117 on: June 03, 2018, 05:39:12 AM »
One thing that strikes me about amazon is that they don't just burn at the source. If behavior is allowed to go 'unchecked', how do we know it's unchecked? Or can we assume that amazon is building their case. Watching what the stuffers are doing. Compiling their list to hit with the next round of adjustments.

Just like the guy they went after for clickfarming? Surely they didn't uncover the fraud and go after him in the same week. Surely, they would have built their case, double checked their numbers and then lowered the boom in one fell swoop.

Or am I being cutely naive?

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #118 on: June 03, 2018, 05:49:26 AM »
If I was Amazon, I'd have been this devious. Set out a word where anyone trying to get around the new rule would use in a hurry. Target the word, and scrutinize the book it's used on. Catchee monkey. Nuke monkey.

But are Amazon this devious? Probably not. Or they'd have caught them during re-submission.

I think they're not that devious lol. But what they have done is to draw a clear distinction between a single title book, with up to 10% extra material, and multi-book compilations/collections/whatever. Previously there was this swamp in the middle with loads of books that looked exactly like single titles but were stuffed to the gunnels with other things.

So now they have an easy way to treat the two differently. If they should be so minded. Now it may be that all they're looking for is a way for *readers* to spot the difference between a stuffed book and non-stuffed. But it also makes it easier for *Amazon* to spot, too, if they should want to (say) ban collections/compilations/box sets altogether.
   

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #119 on: June 03, 2018, 05:50:00 AM »
Maybe they should go back to the old KU 1.0 system, but have a tiered borrow payment.

10 page minimum for a payout.
10-50 pages = 50
51-100 pages = $1.00
101-200 pages = $1.50
200+ pages = $2.00.

That lets people write shorts, novellas, etc., and caps the payout like it used to be, except for novels. You'd see more shorts, like in the old days, but for 50 a pop, the shorts wouldn't be eating all of the pot.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #120 on: June 03, 2018, 05:58:19 AM »
Maybe they should go back to the old KU 1.0 system, but have a tiered borrow payment.

10 page minimum for a payout.
10-50 pages = 50
51-100 pages = $1.00
101-200 pages = $1.50
200+ pages = $2.00.

That lets people write shorts, novellas, etc., and caps the payout like it used to be, except for novels. You'd see more shorts, like in the old days, but for 50 a pop, the shorts wouldn't be eating all of the pot.
How would that stop people from stuffing to get the higher payout?

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #121 on: June 03, 2018, 06:05:12 AM »
If this works, then everything Amazon has been telling us about how KENP is calculated is a lie. I can't imagine that actually works. By that standard, I should boost my font to 14pt also, and use 1.5 spacing, and a bunch of other tricks that wouldn't be near as noticeable or damage the readability.

I have an idea about how they are doing it but not going to detail it for obvious reasons.

The key point is that it works. You may have noticed that stuffers are putting in less books now. It's 3 or 4 or 5, where it used to be 8 or 9 or 10. Same books, still hitting 2500+ in the page count (before they wipe that off by pairing with an unstuffed print edition).
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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #122 on: June 03, 2018, 06:17:37 AM »
One thing about the tiered system, there would only be a $2 per book maximum. Not a lot of profit in that, when you have to pay click farms and bot firms. Ten books would get you two bucks. One book would get you two bucks. Figure out how much extra work there's going to be in making even more titles, that only get you two bucks.
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Offline dgaughran

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #123 on: June 03, 2018, 06:28:45 AM »
We can talk about systems, but Amazon is yet to demonstrate the will to tackle this comprehensively.
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Offline Avery342

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #124 on: June 03, 2018, 06:31:05 AM »
I have a couple of questions about the TOS and metadata guidelines, etc. Please humor me, as I am most definitely NOT an evil mastermind, so my brain doesn't think that way.

Question 1: Shouldn't a title be, well a title? As in all in the same place and all in the same, or very similar, font size? If you are naming your book "Love Next Door (A Romance Compilation), then shouldn't that title be one cohesive string of words on the book's cover? And not, for reference sake, LOVE NEXT DOOR as the title in large descriptive font and then up in the corner of the book in tiny little print "and Romance Compilation". When I say tiny little print--I mean it! How is that considered to be a part of the title?

Question 2: About using print books in order to show a lesser number of pages for the Kindle version. Don't paperbacks and the Kindle versions have to match up in order to be... well, matched? Surely there is something in the behemoth rule book that says that, right? How can they match a single book to a stuffed one that is, I don't know, ten times longer?

There are so many ways that Amazon could stop this, but truthfully, the easiest would be to come up with unambiguous language regarding Duplicate Content. With any hope, that will be next.

And for those who wonder, I no longer have a horse in the race, I was one of the innocent ones forced out by "illegitimate page reads". And yet, the scammers and stuffers live on...

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