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Author Topic: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.  (Read 21581 times)  

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #75 on: June 08, 2018, 09:33:01 PM »
297 (I'd just released book 2 on 4/28). So I probably would have had about 200,000 page reads for the month (one book 355 KENP, one 500 KENP). Sales probably would have been higher too, because rank and visibility really dropped after pulling out of KU.
None of that makes any sense.
Can you list each book just before the removal, listing sales, reads, and KENPC? Not interested in monthly projections or last month. Just the 7 or 8 days for this month.

Offline johannesrexx

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #76 on: June 08, 2018, 09:51:30 PM »
After reading through this thread I received a vision of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and the robots overlooking the Mos Eisly Space port. He says "It is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."
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Offline C. Gold

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #77 on: June 08, 2018, 10:38:53 PM »
The issue with banning collections from KU is that authors use that as a marketing strategy to appeal to buyers who want a discount or a means to quickly catch up in a series. And if the individual stories are in Select, then the collection has to be in Select, as well as the reverse. This means even honest authors are double dipping if they use this very typical strategy.

If you ban all bundles and authors remain in Select, then readers who like to purchase books will never get bundled discounts from those authors.
If you ban all bundles and authors exit Select in order to do bundle deals, then you hurt the KU subscribers because they lost access to those books in KU.

I don't see a way to do this without a loss for someone unless Amazon makes a tool for Select bundles where you can set a bundle price and they do the combining. And they can turn off royalties for any pages the reader has already read from either the single books or the bundle.

Online Ryan W. Mueller

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #78 on: June 08, 2018, 10:43:13 PM »

Hello,
We are reaching out to you because we detected accounts attempting to manipulate Kindle services by simulating reading or borrowing activity on your titles. You do not need to take any action, however, we will block the activities of these malicious accounts and their effects on payments. This means that you will still receive royalties associated with legitimate reading activities, but you will not receive royalties associated with activities related to these accounts.
Please note that this notice does not represent a change to your account status but is sent to make you aware of how our security countermeasures will affect your previously reporting page count and your royalty payments.
We understand you might have questions regarding the nature of how we detect these activities, however, please be aware that we cannot provide details that might compromise the integrity of our security systems. 
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email us at content-review@amazon.com.
Regards,
Amazon KDP

That gives me hope. Maybe I will stay in KU now.

Going forward, I wonder if we'll just have to go in with the idea that we may lose up to half our page reads. Perhaps this will be resolved at some point.

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Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #79 on: June 08, 2018, 10:46:33 PM »
The issue with banning collections from KU is that authors use that as a marketing strategy to appeal to buyers who want a discount or a means to quickly catch up in a series. And if the individual stories are in Select, then the collection has to be in Select, as well as the reverse. This means even honest authors are double dipping if they use this very typical strategy.

If you ban all bundles and authors remain in Select, then readers who like to purchase books will never get bundled discounts from those authors.
If you ban all bundles and authors exit Select in order to do bundle deals, then you hurt the KU subscribers because they lost access to those books in KU.

I don't see a way to do this without a loss for someone unless Amazon makes a tool for Select bundles where you can set a bundle price and they do the combining. And they can turn off royalties for any pages the reader has already read from either the single books or the bundle.

Not my experience.

When I had box sets, people still mainly read the individual books in KU. Removing the box sets had no impact on my total reads.

There is no reason why box sets cannot be done just for sale, and the individual books continue in KU.  Its not a one or the other thing. You enter the individual books into KU, and have the box sets there discounted for buyers. Best of both worlds.

Offline D.A. Boulter

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #80 on: June 08, 2018, 10:59:51 PM »
The issue with banning collections from KU is that authors use that as a marketing strategy to appeal to buyers who want a discount or a means to quickly catch up in a series. And if the individual stories are in Select, then the collection has to be in Select, as well as the reverse. This means even honest authors are double dipping if they use this very typical strategy.

If you ban all bundles and authors remain in Select, then readers who like to purchase books will never get bundled discounts from those authors.
If you ban all bundles and authors exit Select in order to do bundle deals, then you hurt the KU subscribers because they lost access to those books in KU.

I don't see a way to do this without a loss for someone unless Amazon makes a tool for Select bundles where you can set a bundle price and they do the combining. And they can turn off royalties for any pages the reader has already read from either the single books or the bundle.

Not correct. You don't need to put the collection in Select even if you have all -- or any number of the individual stories there. Neither do you need to put any of the individual stories in Select if you put the collection in. HOWEVER, you can't go wide with the collection if ANY of the individual stories are in Select, NOR can you go wide with any of the individual stories if the collection is in select. That's where the exclusivity clause takes effect.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 11:02:38 PM by D.A. Boulter »


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Offline Acrocanthosaurus

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #81 on: June 08, 2018, 11:00:35 PM »
The issue with banning collections from KU is that authors use that as a marketing strategy to appeal to buyers who want a discount or a means to quickly catch up in a series. And if the individual stories are in Select, then the collection has to be in Select, as well as the reverse. This means even honest authors are double dipping if they use this very typical strategy.

If you ban all bundles and authors remain in Select, then readers who like to purchase books will never get bundled discounts from those authors.
If you ban all bundles and authors exit Select in order to do bundle deals, then you hurt the KU subscribers because they lost access to those books in KU.

I don't see a way to do this without a loss for someone unless Amazon makes a tool for Select bundles where you can set a bundle price and they do the combining. And they can turn off royalties for any pages the reader has already read from either the single books or the bundle.

You dont have to have a bundle in Select if the contents are in Select.

You cant publish them on other outlets.

KU readers dont care about discounts. Discounts matter for purchasing readers.

Offline C. Gold

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #82 on: June 08, 2018, 11:03:47 PM »
Not my experience.

When I had box sets, people still mainly read the individual books in KU. Removing the box sets had no impact on my total reads.

There is no reason why box sets cannot be done just for sale, and the individual books continue in KU.  Its not a one or the other thing. You enter the individual books into KU, and have the box sets there discounted for buyers. Best of both worlds.
I was assuming box sets were more for paying readers. I also assumed Amazon would never let go of their Select exclusivity. That would be wonderful, but unlikely.

Offline chrisanthemum7

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #83 on: June 08, 2018, 11:36:38 PM »
wow, you guys are pretty effing smart. I wonder if there's something that makes certain books a good target for bots then, if they're causing fraudulent page reads on legitimate accounts. Are they targeting other non-keyword/non-categorized books? Would a best-seller give them away or could they hide in daily big numbers like those

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Offline okey dokey

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #84 on: June 09, 2018, 01:55:27 AM »
What is this nonsense about limiting the number of books we can publish?
The Queen of Romance Barbara Cartland could write a book a day by dictating to a secretary.
A pulp writer could fill a whole magazine each month by using six pen names.
Do we try to limit how much music a composer can write?
What nonsense. Trying to put a meter on creativity.
We're going crazy over a problem CREATED by Amazon, a company that works very hard to avoid payng U.S. taxes.
The problem, CREATED by Amazon, can only be FiXED by Amazon when indie writers, who aren't working by negotiated contracts, finally throw up hands and say "we're out of here" unless you HOLD OUR FUNDS IN TRUST and TREAT US WITH RESPECT.
Amen

Offline Ryn Shell

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #85 on: June 09, 2018, 02:05:06 AM »
I'm sorry that happened to you.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 02:09:07 AM by Ryn Shell »

Offline Lisa5

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #86 on: June 09, 2018, 02:30:55 AM »
I guess I should have expected it to hit me, but I wasn't prepared. :'( I was going through my pages read totals today and noticed that many of my books were zeroed out in pages read. Some only show 2 to 4 pages being read. I keep a strict record of my pages read and sales and I've calculated that my pages read for the month went from a total of 94,000 to 38,000. :o That's a huge drop. My numbers are small potatoes but they're great numbers for me. I had two new releases that month and I didn't have huge sudden spikes in pages read for either release. It gradually went up. Here's the kicker. I don't advertise other than to my fans. I posted that the books were available on my Facebook page, my blog, and website, that's all. And even then maybe 60 people see my posts at the most. So how can Amazon say that scammers drove up my numbers? Why would they even notice me for that matter? >:( It's utter bull and I feel so helpless. I honestly don't know who to contact to clarify what happened or even if it would be worth it. Amazon has lost all my respect. I haven't had an issue with them until now and this is unforgivable. Why should we, the honest writers, suffer because of the scammers? How can they even prove that those numbers were from scammers to begin with? Ugh, I'm just so frustrated and angry. I can't decide whether to cry or scream.

The news I heard on this issue is that apparently scammers are trying to cover themselves by putting bots on innocent authors to confuse Amazon?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 02:33:48 AM by Lisa5 »

Offline Atlantisatheart

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #87 on: June 09, 2018, 02:43:48 AM »
The news I heard on this issue is that apparently scammers are trying to cover themselves by putting bots on innocent authors to confuse Amazon?

I think that let's amazon off the hook. If people have been losing 50% of their page reads for the last three months because amazon can detect botted pages now then why haven't the scammers lost 50% pages? If they had then they would have stopped botting because they'd taken a 50% hit.

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #88 on: June 09, 2018, 02:47:19 AM »
Thought out of left field....

Has anyone asked Amazon to give their book a whole new ASIN?

Seems to me the problem is the ASIN is given to a bot for reading. If the book is taken down completely, you get no new reads on it, where taking it out of KU and it still gets reads. The reads are the problem. So if the book is taken down completely, and relaunched exactly the same, getting a new ASIN, the bot is not going to be able to find it.


Now instead of doing that, why not ask KDP to change the ASIN themselves, and transfer all the reviews and history to the new ASIN? This removes the book from being botted, and incidentally demonstrates by no more reads from the bot, that it wasn't the author's fault. Amazon might even be able to detect the bot attempting to find the old version, and follow that to the bot itself.

Anyone tried this?

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #89 on: June 09, 2018, 03:46:23 AM »
Quote
And if the individual stories are in Select, then the collection has to be in Select, as well as the reverse.

Not true. The works not in KU only need to be exclusive on Amazon and not published on other platforms.

Like with capping the KENPC limit hurting the long book writer, only allowing a certain number of books to be enrolled in Select/KU would certainly hurt the rare person who is writing that fast. But come on, really? How many people are writing and publishing a book a day? Or five a month, even? Not a lot. Not someone who is really writing their own books, but possibly someone doing the ghostwriting thing.

Still, if it would help with the issues we're seeing, then I'm okay with it. Something has to be done, and until Amazon hires people to review every book submitted to Select -- which I've said before needs to be done -- then it has to be some automated program sniffing around.

I'm okay with collections, compilations, bundles or box sets not being in KU. If that's what it takes to reduce the worry I have every damn month, then let 'er rip. I'm okay with a 1K KENPC limit. I've advocated for both of these things. Limiting the payout to equal the sales price of the book, up to the 9.99 limit Amazon thinks is the optimal highest price for a book would work for me, but I'd rather see it be half that. Many of the gargantuan uploads are bringing in about $14, so lowering it only a little wouldn't stop anyone.
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Online Acheknia

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #90 on: June 09, 2018, 04:10:22 AM »
The people that leave KU are those that have had page reads removed. Most other people just stay and believe it will not happen to them. Amazon knows this so doesn't have to react. Losing a few authors is not a big deal.

Not everyone, I don't get enough reads to have any stripped but I'm pulling most of my books out as the current contract ends just because of how unfair it is.

I get that pages should be stripped if they were not genuine reads, why should anyone have megabucks that they didn't actually earn? That just spoils it for everyone else, but it's the closing of people's accounts that spurred me on to leave (I know they've changed that bit now but they hadn't when I starting unticking for KU) or possibly stripping legitimate reads as well because they're guestimating which are real & which are botted. (I read that a lot of people were losing 50%, which makes no sense that each account was botted at exactly 50%, surely some would be more than others if reads were worked out correctly).

They're not losing just a few authors, I'm in other forums & see lots of people unticking or asking to be let out early.

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Offline Book Cat

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #91 on: June 09, 2018, 04:25:14 AM »
AS some of you wanted data, here is mine. This is in Australian dollars using Book Report. There is a USD total loss down the bottom. AUD is worth about $0.72 USD

Costs
Book 1
$342.50  pre launch
$355.79 ads (includes UK)
Total
$698.29

Revenue
Was before page read hit $1,126.56

NOW AFTER HIT! $890.11

Lost revenue
$236.45   (I want to cry)

PROFIT BOOK 1
Was before hit $440.24 
NOW AFTER HIT: $191.82   

And the book 1 disappeared for 33 hours the days leading up to hit in the other Amazon drama of the week.

book 1 data before JUNE hit (I was also hit back in early May and lost 50k page reads)

Sales   Pages    Borrows*
353          94,675         363

book 1 data after hit
Sales   Pages    Borrows*
359          53,045          203

Book 2

COST BOOK 2
$237.98   (have not included ad costs)

Revenue               THREE QUARTERS PAGES GONE!!!!!   
$285.50  (remember this is down from $376.34)

PROFIT BOOK 2
$47.52

BEFORE HIT
Sales   Pages    Borrows*
117          22945           92

book 2 data AFTER HIT
Sales   Pages    Borrows*
118          7,113               28

PROFIT SERIES
$239.34

Lost profits $331.94  :(    $252.41USD loss
I write 2600 words per hour!

Online Klendark

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #92 on: June 09, 2018, 04:25:50 AM »
t's the closing of people's accounts that spurred me on to leave.

That's exactly why my wife and I left in April after getting the "Strip and Threaten" e-mail. It wasn't the "Strip" that drove us out, it was the "Threat."

Klendark

Offline dgaughran

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #93 on: June 09, 2018, 04:41:53 AM »
One thing we are currently pushing hard for with Amazon is due process. I believe that everyone is entitled to due process, not just all the innocents swept up in this mess, but even the black hats deserve due process - i.e. the right to see the evidence against them and then mount a defence/appeal. At the moment Amazon is just asserting guilt and applying sanction and authors have zero participation in that process and no recourse whatsoever.

It violates all basic principles of justice and fairness and we are hoping to get that changed. Even those who commit the most heinous crimes are entitled to due process.

Right now Amazon is claiming that these reads were illicitly earned or never real in the first place and that the authors are essentially losing nothing by having them reduced. I'm not so sure we can 100% believe that, given Amazon's history, which is another reason why it is so essential that we have due process.

I'm sorry for anyone swept up in this - it has happened to several friends of mine and it SUCKS.
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Offline Atlantisatheart

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #94 on: June 09, 2018, 04:43:39 AM »
I haven't been hit - yet, and I've been in KU since the beginning, but I'm slowly taking my books wide because I'm not prepared to have reads stripped for no good reason (50% - yeah right, amazon) if amazon decided today was the day. Why? Because my earnings dictate my ad spend.

I've haven't trusted amazon since it came out that they couldn't count pages, what makes anyone think they can actually detect botting? Surely, they would have closed this down by now and a lot more authors would have been tossed out the store.

Nope, I'm of the firm belief that they are lying ... again, but trying to make it look like they're doing something, and we know amazon like to break eggs.

Online Saboth

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #95 on: June 09, 2018, 04:45:35 AM »
None of that makes any sense.
Can you list each book just before the removal, listing sales, reads, and KENPC? Not interested in monthly projections or last month. Just the 7 or 8 days for this month.

Well, this month hasn't been hit by Amazon yet, plus I've been out of KU for almost 4 weeks now, so I barely have any page reads this month. They always hit the previous month about 10 days into the month.

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #96 on: June 09, 2018, 05:01:18 AM »
book 1 data before JUNE hit (I was also hit back in early May and lost 50k page reads)

Sales   Pages    Borrows*
353          94,675         363

BEFORE HIT
Sales   Pages    Borrows*
117          22945           92

This makes no sense at all.

This is less than what I'd call normal reads for the number of sales.


I was expecting read values way in excess of sales, not less.

There is nothing here in the stats to suggest anything untoward is happening. If bots were illicitly reading these books, the reads value should be an order of magnitude higher.

Which makes me wonder, what else is going on here we dont know about, and Amazon wont tell us?

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #97 on: June 09, 2018, 05:35:55 AM »
This makes no sense at all.

This is less than what I'd call normal reads for the number of sales.


I was expecting read values way in excess of sales, not less.

There is nothing here in the stats to suggest anything untoward is happening. If bots were illicitly reading these books, the reads value should be an order of magnitude higher.

Which makes me wonder, what else is going on here we dont know about, and Amazon wont tell us?

Yeah, doesn't really make sense. Now, if I saw I had 20K page reads one day, I'd say "damn bots", but for April, I'd have 100 one day, 500 one day, 900 one day, 200 next day (I hadn't released in about 5 months). When I released, that changed to 4,000 one day, 5,000, 6,000, but I was also getting 25-30 sales a day. In the end, April would have been 50K page reads. For comparison, previous months were 70K, 60K, 50K. So April probably would have been around 40K, except for a new release, that bumped it up to about 50K. Instead, April ended up being 25K, because Amazon said 1/2 of my page reads were elicit. So my range would have looked like: 70, 60, 50...25k? Why a 50% drop in borrows in one month?

Plus, how are spammers giving me exactly 50% (or close to it) page reads each month? So April they give me 25K page reads (supposedly), but in May they gave me 40K? Two explanations: Amazon is using some kind of formula to punish someone for page reads and isn't actually removing only illicit page reads, or since September of last year, scammers have been giving me 50K page reads one month, 45K the next month, 35K the next month, 25K the next month and Amazon didn't catch on until April (personally I believe they are just using a formula and subtracting page reads even if they aren't illicit in order to really slam some fear into authors). Nothing else adds up.

Offline T. M. Bilderback

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #98 on: June 09, 2018, 05:38:53 AM »
This makes no sense at all.

This is less than what I'd call normal reads for the number of sales.


I was expecting read values way in excess of sales, not less.

There is nothing here in the stats to suggest anything untoward is happening. If bots were illicitly reading these books, the reads value should be an order of magnitude higher.

Which makes me wonder, what else is going on here we dont know about, and Amazon wont tell us?

I don't trust Amazon any longer...even with ebook sales.  I'm struggling with whether to withdraw all ebooks from Amazon, and sell them everywhere BUT Amazon.

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Offline Avery342

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Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« Reply #99 on: June 09, 2018, 06:18:42 AM »
This makes no sense at all.

This is less than what I'd call normal reads for the number of sales.


I was expecting read values way in excess of sales, not less.

There is nothing here in the stats to suggest anything untoward is happening. If bots were illicitly reading these books, the reads value should be an order of magnitude higher.

Which makes me wonder, what else is going on here we dont know about, and Amazon wont tell us?

Something else is definitely going on. This is part of a post I made on an earlier thread here in KB about my page reads being stripped:

Full disclosure. To reiterate my story very briefly to set the stage for the numbers: In mid March, I released the third book in my series (not yet shown in my sig--need to get that done). During release week, I set the first book to free and ran a Kindle Countdown deal on the second to 99 cents. While it worked well (for me, anyway, as I'm just gaining momentum), to be truthful, I still thought the page reads were a bit on the low side.

Silly me.

In April, my page reads for March were reduced greatly. So even though there were no spikes (just a gradual increase due to the above), for some reason Amazon thought my reads were fake. I still don't believe it. Sorry.

Anyway, here is what you wanted. Cold, hard numbers.

All About Zane (book one) 1617 free downloads, 39 sales (after switching to a 99 cent loss-leader price point), page reads were at 19,189.
With a KENP of 283, if I did my calculations right, that means roughly 68 full reads. (Just for the record, seems pretty legit to me.) Promos while free: BookDoggy and BKNights.

Until Proven (book two) 158 sales (some at 99 cents), 11,488 page reads. KENP is at 265, so 44 full page reads? See why I was thinking my page reads were a bit on the low side? Absolutely no promo done on this book at all.

Separation Anxiety (new release) 262 sales, 25,368 page reads. KENP is at 202, so 126 full reads. The only promo was LGBT-Romance Deals newsletter, which is highly recommended and honest in their dealings.

When I published my first book, I got well over 100K page reads for the month on that book. In March, with the free run and Kindle Countdown Deal, I got a grand total of just over 56,000. Like I said, it seemed low to me, but hey, I was going to hit $1000 within 30 days, so I was ecstatic!

Then Amazon decided that a great portion of those lowly 56,000 page reads were fake--I truly must be the worst scammer ever born to see such poor results from such hard work. I ended up with 28,167 page reads from all three books combined.

Someone earlier in this thread came up with the theory that Amazon's scam-buster algo was going on percentage of growth. That's the only thing that makes one iota of sense to me.

Unless my math is wrong? If so, I'd love to know where I went wrong. (On so many levels)

(End Quote)

Note that in April, after all the lowly little promos, free run, and KCD had well and truly ended, my page reads continued to do well. (At least until I hit the 30 day cliff) I ended up with just over 117,000 page reads. And Amazon let me keep every single one of them--no nasty gram. When I saw others that weren't so lucky getting their accounts suspended, I opted out of KU. What choice did I really have?  I could get hit again with my next release, after all.

Tell me this is right.

Avery J. Moon | blog