Author Topic: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED  (Read 41626 times)  

Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #125 on: June 03, 2018, 06:31:26 AM »
Honestly, the only surefire way to fix things is to say content can only be in KU one time. I have omnibuses in KU, but the real appeal to an omnibus for me is audio. Just keep the omnibuses on Amazon but don't allow them in KU. I do think this is where things will end up. How soon? I have no idea. I do find it interesting that they're looking to shake things up signicantly at this time of year, though. I guess we will know in a few weeks if more changes are coming (which I'm hearing whispers about but nothing concrete). 'Tis the season.

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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #126 on: June 03, 2018, 06:34:54 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.
Depending on the payout, a scammer might make about $13.50 on 3,000 pages, so $2.00 is a pretty substantial drop. It removes most of the incentive to stuff. Regular novels will all be in the $1.50 or $2.00 tiers (depending on how pages are calculated). It also gives people a clear idea of what they'll be paid per unit when they sign up, rather than long after the fact.

Someone could still use click farms and bots to inflate payout, so I guess the question is whether or not that's economically feasible. None of us probably know how much those practices cost.

I actually thought counting pages read was an interesting innovation, but since Amazon can't actually do it accurately, it makes sense to return to some kind of pay per borrow model. A tiered model avoids incentivizing the creation of scamphlets.



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Offline MonkeyScribe

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #127 on: June 03, 2018, 06:36:11 AM »
We can talk about systems, but Amazon is yet to demonstrate the will to tackle this comprehensively.

They won't devote resources to enforcement, that's the number one problem. So modifying the system to make certain things impossible would be an improvement. It's like the difference between a speed limit sign and a speed bump. The speed limit requires someone to sit there with a radar gun and then hand out fines. The speed bump destroys cars that go over it too fast.

Since Amazon only invests (weakly) in speed bumps, let's see what better speed bumps we could install.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #128 on: June 03, 2018, 07:38:39 AM »
Yeah I get that. Like the 1000 KENPC ceiling isn't an ideal solution, but it would make things a good deal better. As would several other solutions which have been mooted.

I'm taking a slightly different tack in that I think we have a pretty unique moment right now to affect change, and if that's possible, I'd like to take advantage of that window as much as possible, rather than with a half-measure (which would undeniably be an improvement, but I feel these guys would just pivot...).
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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #129 on: June 03, 2018, 07:41:27 AM »
As a legitimate author that routinely stuffed, this is very concerning for me.

Fact is, this is going to hurt authors like me way more than the scammers you guys get up in arms about. I write my own books and I work really hard to do it. I've built a fanbase over years and I actively give those fans what they want. When KU1 hit, I had to find a new way to stay competitive, and including one or two bonus books at the end of a new release was one way to stay afloat. That became the new norm, and I just continued the practice. Readers got used to it and nobody complains anymore, and sometimes I get readers saying that they like getting free content (big shock there).

Unfortunately, I'm going to stop stuffing my books, which means I'm going to take something like a 1/3rd paycut. That means my family makes less money. That means my hard work on every release makes less money. I don't have ghostwriters churning this stuff out for me. I'm not "triple spacing" my files or whatever David's complaining about now. I have never, ever used a link scam / click to back scam. I'm a real, hardworking author trying to make a living, and I used book stuffing to stay competitive. I don't get bonuses every month and I'm not making millions (far from it) but I am making enough to support myself and my family.

Every time this board gets up in arms about something and forces Amazon to make sweeping changes, WE ALL MAKE LESS MONEY.

KU2 was a paycut. This bookstuffing thing is going to be a paycut. The rate IS NOT GOING TO INCREASE, which is the only way this could be a good thing. Now I have to try and find a new strategy, one that may be less effective. And you know what? The scammers are still going to keep doing what they're doing, because they don't care in the end.

When are we going to be happy with what we have? Petitioning Amazon, getting up in arms, that will never solve anything. I don't know how many times we have to go through this before you all realize that Amazon always makes it harder and worse for us, never better.

The scammers will never go away, no matter how much you beg Amazon. They will keep selling. In the end, the only people you're hurting are people like me, legitimate authors just trying to keep up.

Anyway, that's all. I'm posting this anonymously because this board has a loooong history of brigading and I'm afraid to use my real author name.  I don't want to risk my career, so normally I'm quiet, but this is getting absurd. I just want everyone to stop and think about what they're doing, and really ask: has pushing Amazon for big changes ever actually benefitted anyone other than Amazon itself? If not, why do we keep doing it?

I hope I'm wrong and the rate goes up. I hope I'm wrong and the scammers slowly disappear. History tells me I'm not wrong, though.



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« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 09:59:30 AM by Betsy the Quilter »

Offline dgaughran

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #130 on: June 03, 2018, 07:45:24 AM »
Dude, you realize your the part of the problem right? And that you are cheating the authors on this forum? And you want sympathy.

LOL.
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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #131 on: June 03, 2018, 07:48:46 AM »
Dude, you realize your the part of the problem right? And that you are cheating the authors on this forum? And you want sympathy.

LOL.

You're going to make it waaaay worse for all these authors. All because of this agenda you have.

I'm asking, when has making Amazon put in place big, sweeping changes EVER helped authors?

It only benefits Amazon.



Edited.  PM me if you have any questions.  --Betsy/KB Mod
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 06:59:30 AM by Betsy the Quilter »

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #132 on: June 03, 2018, 07:49:50 AM »
Unfortunately, I'm going to stop stuffing my books
....
KU2 was a paycut.
:o
The only way KU2 was a paycut, was if you write short.
If you put 3 original new shorts in a book to make it up to novel size, this is not stuffing. This is bundling. It gets recommended all the time.
But if you're putting out 1 new story, with several old ones after it, then yes, you're stuffing, and sorry, but ....
In the latter case, all you need to do is shift strategy to only bundling new stories. You'll take a hit, but in time you'll build it back.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #133 on: June 03, 2018, 07:53:55 AM »
Geez guys, get a room!
I hear the patter of mod feet.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #134 on: June 03, 2018, 07:56:47 AM »
Geez guys, get a room!
I hear the patter of mod feet.

I  still stand by my original post. And KU2 was a paycut-- there are a ton of blog posts out there doing the math, even for authors writing long, up to like the 100k+ range, and even then it barely breaks even until you're getting up past where most authors are writing, even in the high wordcount genres.


Edited.  PM me if you have any questions.  --Betsy/KB Mod
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 08:31:29 AM by Betsy the Quilter »

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #135 on: June 03, 2018, 08:02:49 AM »
I still stand by my original post. And KU2 was a paycut-- there are a ton of blog posts out there doing the math, even for authors writing long, up to like the 100k+ range, and even then it barely breaks even until you're getting up past where most authors are writing, even in the high wordcount genres.

The only way I can see that happening is if readers are not reading the whole book. If so, that's a content problem, not a KU problem. Full book reads on 70k+ books pays more than KU1 did.


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« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 08:31:13 AM by Betsy the Quilter »

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #136 on: June 03, 2018, 08:06:42 AM »
KU2 was a pay cut for a lot of us. I wrote novellas and my income dropped by over half, but I didn't cheat to get my share of the pot back. Instead, I wrote longer, put out less but made more income that way and built it back up again.

I think it's a little rich that you admit to taking money from other authors who have a family of their own to support, and yet, you expect sympathy because your income is going to drop now that you've been caught.

There is no legitimate stuffing - it's stuffing.

Offline K.B.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #137 on: June 03, 2018, 08:10:49 AM »
I wonder if this "legitimate" stuffer ever worried about paying their ghostwriters more than a measly one cent per word. Their plates were probably thin while poor miss (or mr.) stuffed carried a hundred thousand from Amazon in a duffel buffer bag.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #138 on: June 03, 2018, 08:20:19 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.

Do we know that this is an attempt to increase earnings and not just bad formatting or an artifact of using the preview or look inside or whatever was used for the screen grab? Because, frankly, I saw formatting like this for years before KU existed.  Maybe this is a naive question, but I thought I'd ask. :)

And setting the font size shouldn't matter, should it? --Kindle owners set the default font and size on their devices.
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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #139 on: June 03, 2018, 08:22:26 AM »
Geez guys, get a room!
I hear the patter of mod feet.

And you would be right....

Folks, let's knock off the personal comments.  The folks making them know better.  I'd hate to have to start banning people from the thread, putting them on post approval or have to lock the thread

David, I thought you said you didn't want us to work too hard this weekend.  >:(

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« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 08:28:18 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #140 on: June 03, 2018, 08:32:13 AM »
As a legitimate author that routinely stuffed, this is very concerning for me.

Fact is, this is going to hurt authors like me way more than the scammers you guys get up in arms about. I write my own books and I work really hard to do it. I've built a fanbase over years and I actively give those fans what they want. When KU1 hit, I had to find a new way to stay competitive, and including one or two bonus books at the end of a new release was one way to stay afloat. That became the new norm, and I just continued the practice. Readers got used to it and nobody complains anymore, and sometimes I get readers saying that they like getting free content (big shock there).

Unfortunately, I'm going to stop stuffing my books, which means I'm going to take something like a 1/3rd paycut. That means my family makes less money. That means my hard work on every release makes less money. I don't have ghostwriters churning this stuff out for me. I'm not "triple spacing" my files or whatever David's complaining about now. I have never, ever used a link scam / click to back scam. I'm a real, hardworking author trying to make a living, and I used book stuffing to stay competitive. I don't get bonuses every month and I'm not making millions (far from it) but I am making enough to support myself and my family.

Every time this board gets up in arms about something and forces Amazon to make sweeping changes, WE ALL MAKE LESS MONEY.

KU2 was a paycut. This bookstuffing thing is going to be a paycut. The rate IS NOT GOING TO INCREASE, which is the only way this could be a good thing. Now I have to try and find a new strategy, one that may be less effective. And you know what? The scammers are still going to keep doing what they're doing, because they don't care in the end.

When are we going to be happy with what we have? Petitioning Amazon, getting up in arms, that will never solve anything. I don't know how many times we have to go through this before you all realize that Amazon always makes it harder and worse for us, never better.

The scammers will never go away, no matter how much you beg Amazon. They will keep selling. In the end, the only people you're hurting are people like me, legitimate authors just trying to keep up.

Anyway, that's all. I'm posting this anonymously because this board has a loooong history of brigading and I'm afraid to use my real author name.  I don't want to risk my career, so normally I'm quiet, but this is getting absurd. I just want everyone to stop and think about what they're doing, and really ask: has pushing Amazon for big changes ever actually benefitted anyone other than Amazon itself? If not, why do we keep doing it?

I hope I'm wrong and the rate goes up. I hope I'm wrong and the scammers slowly disappear. History tells me I'm not wrong, though.


Hopefully, I can offer you some  constructive feedback.

I hear what you're saying. Offering bonus books definitely leads to more income, but it also gives you an unfair advantage over other authors. Essentially, you are getting more page reads for producing less content and if you are stuffing your books with books that are already in KDP select, you're often getting paid multiple times for reads on the same book, which isn't allowed. A non-bookstuffing author would have to produce twice as much content or more as someone who stuffs every book with extra books.

Is that fair? No, of course not.

It's unfortunate that your family will take a little bit of a pay cut by not being able to book stuff, but it's equally as unfortunate that all the non-bookstuffers aren't getting as much money as you simply because they're not uploading duplicate content.

There's only two routes to make things fair. Not allow book stuffing, or everyone book stuffs. If every author stuffed their books, Amazon would be forced to drop the payout, and you'd lose money either way. Essentially, the only reason you're making more money by book stuffing now is because *the vast majority of authors don't do it*. For a healthy and fair store, Amazon has to put some limitations on book stuffers to make sure that KU payouts are fair and that no author has an advantage over another other than writing better content and marketing their content better.

Don't look at a book stuffing ban as a loss of well-deserved income, but look back and be happy that you were able to gain so much extra money while it was still allowed. So long as Amazon enforces their new rules, you will now be on an equal playing field with every author in your genre. You can and will earn just as much as you did before if you can write harder, faster, and produce better content. You can do it if you put your best foot forth. Don't give up just because tricks to obtain more for less are getting tightened up on. Look at it as an opportunity to up your writing game and challenge yourself to do better than everyone else that you'll be on a level playing field with from now on.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 11:51:10 AM by Betsy the Quilter »

Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #141 on: June 03, 2018, 08:47:39 AM »
Ok, threadlock commencing in 3...2...1...

Too many personal comments.

I expect to reopen in a few hours after discussion in the smoke filled Admin caves.  PM me if you have any questions.

EDIT:  We've been pruning and discussing.  The goal *is* to reopen the thread.  Thank you for your patience.

EDIT2:  And, we're open...please keep it civil and on topic.  Next threadlock will be permanent.

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« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 04:52:21 PM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #142 on: June 04, 2018, 12:20:15 AM »
Worth pointing out whatever happens this week will be the true test of the new policy. Amazon hasn't had time to react or clarify anything due to the weekend. The new compilation loophole, if it exists, won't save the megastuffers from consequences outside Amazon either. New Twitter accounts are firing up as we speak from the GetLoud movement to spotlight stuffers. Amazon is sure to review the Tia Siren book since it's been reported dozens of times already.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #143 on: June 04, 2018, 12:28:25 AM »
Worth pointing out whatever happens this week will be the true test of the new policy. Amazon hasn't had time to react or clarify anything due to the weekend. The new compilation loophole, if it exists, won't save the megastuffers from consequences outside Amazon either. New Twitter accounts are firing up as we speak from the GetLoud movement to spotlight stuffers. Amazon is sure to review the Tia Siren book since it's been reported dozens of times already.

It may be that the TOS changes are just laying the groundwork for bigger changes down the line, say on 1st July. It's worthy of note, I think, that Amazon has said explicitly that it expects compliance before the June All-star bonuses are dished out. So nothing significant may happen before then.

What is the GetLoud movement?
 

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #144 on: June 04, 2018, 12:47:40 AM »
It may be that the TOS changes are just laying the groundwork for bigger changes down the line, say on 1st July. It's worthy of note, I think, that Amazon has said explicitly that it expects compliance before the June All-star bonuses are dished out. So nothing significant may happen before then.
Could be Amazon is trying to get people to self-change, and July 1, or Aug 1, are when planned enforcement's no-one is going to like will kick in if they dont.
The whole thing could be detected at the time you upload a book. They already look for spelling mistakes. Wouldn't take much programming to check for how much bonus is included.
In fact, I'd like to see this done.
"Your book was not accepted due to excessive bonus material being found. Please remove the offending material and submit again."
And do it 3 times in a row, and the book is locked and banned permanently.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #145 on: June 04, 2018, 12:57:28 AM »
It may be that the TOS changes are just laying the groundwork for bigger changes down the line, say on 1st July. It's worthy of note, I think, that Amazon has said explicitly that it expects compliance before the June All-star bonuses are dished out. So nothing significant may happen before then.

What is the GetLoud movement?

This is very possible.

#GetLoud is the hashtag on social media covering most of the book stuffing issues. It's an outgrowth of the activity around Cockygate and Tiffanygate.

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #146 on: June 04, 2018, 01:08:02 AM »
So bonus content was allowed all along. Who could have guessed?

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #147 on: June 04, 2018, 01:43:05 AM »
So bonus content was allowed all along. Who could have guessed?

What do you mean? We all knew bonus content was allowed but most people assumed that meant a short story or a chapter of the next book. Amazon have confirmed that now by saying 10% or label it as a boxed set, which means people sticking tons of books in one file and pretending it was one title are no longer allowed to do so.

I think the formatting is interesting. I wonder when Amazon does react will it claim back money paid already?

Three books do not usually =2500 pages unless the books are an epic length. If they are knowingly inflating page count, could that be seen as fraud?

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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #148 on: June 04, 2018, 02:56:29 AM »
So bonus content was allowed all along. Who could have guessed?

Yeah except for the part where Amazon has repeatedly and unambigiously stated in writing - including in court papers dude - that it is against the TOS.

Try again.
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Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #149 on: June 04, 2018, 03:01:45 AM »
In case anyone missed it, Chance Carter's new release has been yanked down by Amazon.

He said in a video to his readers that he will be removing all bonus content from his books and that he expects other authors to be doing likewise.

This is only beginning.


Edited.  PM me if you have any questions.  --Betsy/KB Mod
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 04:06:33 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
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