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My question on this is when does Amazon get sued for mis-representation and deceptive practices?

They position these lists as "Best Sellers" ... but it is clearly not a list of best selling books.

It is doctored and manipulated list that is not strictly a measure of sales volume. So therefore Amazon cannot honestly claim that these are "Best sellers" -- perhaps "popular, hot titles, featured, rising, of interest," etc. but NOT best sellers. Granted, I'm sure the user agreements has language precluding any lawsuit ... but it would be a hell of a threat to throw out there as not only are authors harmed, but READERS (customers) are harmed by this manipulated data, as they are being tricked and pushed into buying products under false promises (they are not best selling, they are simply featured by Amazon).

I also read every new submission, whether on KB or not. At least I read until I know I won't like it, so not every sample gets a full read. Preference is always given to KB folks, but I do nominate others who are just too good not to nominate.

Right now, I've got two KB'ers on my nominations and I've got my fingers crossed for you. Both are really good.
The Book Bazaar / Sweet Sorrow (Abandoned hearts series book 2)
« Last post by Irisdeorre on Today at 06:49:44 AM »

Sometimes love blinds you to what is right in front of you. Skylar has pushed aside what had happened between her and Noah and lives life as if everything is normal. Itís only when questions begin to be asked does Skylar begin to question herself. She may be successful at business, but when it comes to love, she becomes blind to what is. Her life is turn upside down once again, just when she thought her husband was being a good man. Everything has changed and now she needs to make sense of it all and decide the way forward. Would she ever be able to trust again? Would there be a man who didnít hurt her so much? Only time will tell, in the mean time she has to face the darkness that is right in front of her so that at some point she can finally be in the light once again!
*Sigh* This again. First of all, nobody has said that 1-starring books you haven't read is something to be 'applauded'. What we have said is that this is a problem specific to Goodreads which people have been complaining about for years. They've complained on this board and others. They've complained on Goodreads. They've complained on their own blogs and other people's blogs. Each time someone starts a thread complaining about it yet again, other people jump in to explain that many people on Goodreads do this as a way to keep track for themselves of books they do or don't want to read.

Kboards' search function is not very useful, so I found this thread, among many, many others, on Goodreads:
If you look at the 4th reply you'll see it lists no fewer than 10 threads on the subject, one of them with nearly 500 comments.

So why, all of a sudden, does this well-known issue cause people to start invoking the specter of censorship and mobs with pitchforks? And why, all of a sudden, is the personal opinion of a bunch of anonymous readers on Goodreads about what they do and don't want to read and what they recommend their friends try or not try being treated as such a dark and dangerous matter, capable of silencing a trad-pubbed author with a large company behind her and destroying her career? As this thread itself proves, there are plenty of people who will now want to read because of the controversy. And anyone who thinks that the publisher isn't rubbing their hands with glee over this situation is very, very naive about modern marketing.

Condoned or applauded. Let's stick to condoned. You quoted one line of writerlygal's post and it's strange because that post has a lot of ignored arguments against what you're saying here. A random browser of this thread wouldn't know that unless they went and looked at that post at its source.

Anyway.. A whole bunch of people complained because people are leaving reviews for books they haven't read? Okay?? And??? I'm not reading the Goodreads threads. I couldn't care less. If you didn't read the book you shouldn't be writing a review for it. If you want to turn a Goodreads page or a Product Page on Amazon in essentially what is a comment section akin to a facebook post or youtube vid then why pretend to be more than what it is. Legitimate reviewers are reading books and leaving reviews alongside hate-posters and trashers who haven't read the book. This is a moral argument. Forget the authors, I'd really like to know how many reviewers who actually write reviews for books want their reviews sitting alongside blatant lies and belligerent slander masquerading as reviews. Is that what Goodreads was made for?

It's not a well known issue, not to a lot of people, and if it is, then it is for a reason. It might not destroy a career in this instance but it is of the same seed that destroys careers. And people don't like it. People don't like book reviews from people who haven't read the books they're reviewing. Surprise surprise!

I don't care how much dog poop you haven't eaten but are such an expert on the taste and delicacies of its consumptions, if you want to step onto the review plate you have to eat it first.

And unless the book actually sells like crazy I don't think any rubbing hands or glee will happen prematurely from the publisher. But that's just my opinion. 
« Last post by williammeikle on Today at 06:45:21 AM »
The three Sigils and Totems novellas are now available in a compiled ebook collection from Crossroad Press ( paperback on its way)

It's a simple enough concept.

There are houses like this all over the world. Most people only know of them from whispered stories over campfires; tall tales told to scare the unwary. But some, those who suffer, some know better. They are drawn to the places where what ails them can be eased.

If you have the will, the fortitude, you can peer into another life, where the dead are not gone, where you can see that they thrive and go on, in the dreams that stuff is made of.

There it is in a nutshell. There are houses where people can go to get in touch with their dead loved ones.

But this gives me lots of things to play with. To even get inside a room, you need a sigil; a tattoo or carving on your skin, and a totem, a memento of your loved one. Then there's the fact that your loved one might be a parallel universe version rather than the one you actually know.

And where do these houses come from? What's behind the walls? How do they work? Why do they work? And who chooses the concierges who run them? Or fixes them when they don't work?

So I've got all that to play with, plus the fact that the houses can exist anywhere, at any time. They're like lots of boxy, multi-faceted Tardis, spread across space time, places and situations into which I can hook in characters and stories.

I've also started linking it through to some of my other characters and ongoing work, so there's sigils and totems stories featuring members of the Seton family, Derek Adams, the Midnight Eye, and Carnacki. Augustus Seton will be getting involved in 16th C Scotland soon too.

I think I've stumbled into something that could keep me busy for a few years.

I dont accept this.

You pay a subscription every month. How much it costs for each book is subscription divided by books read, and this is always a positive number.

Even if you read 30 books in the month, it still costs 33c per book.

33c is not free, and never will be.

Ah. That makes sense. So its actually Amazon lying to people as part of its advertising, and then correcting the lie in smaller print so they cant be called out on it.


I don't think it's Amazon lying. I think they are trying to make it SIMPLE for people to understand.

If a person pays for a KU subscription (or is using their free trial), then the book, to them IS free. They don't have to pay for the book. If they didn't have that huge yellow button with FREE!!!!! on it, people might think they have to pay for the book, so then they will call customer service and complain. By making the button, I bet they are saving lots of time and money by weeding out those calls.

And yes, the "Free with KU" came from Amazon itself.
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« Last post by Susanne. on Today at 06:36:35 AM »
Yes, Susanne, there's always the possibility that you might draw unwanted attention - heads you lose, tails you come second.

If your hero is called Colin, you need the luck of the Irish, tenfold!


Not at all, at all. Colin is a great name for a hero. 

I have e-mailed Bookbub asking for advice. I'm sure they're aware of the situation. They might even have discussed it with Amazon.
Well now that you mention it... yes! I just went back to the .com site and the ad images are now the same size as the also boughts there  ???  And some cover images in the ads and the also-boughts are much wider than others. I'm guessing that's something to do with the image file uploaded.

Iím disappointed the ads are larger. The page is cluttered enough.  :'(
On day three my book was rank-stripped...but ONLY FOR a couple of hours. So yes, it's happening. But what is the point of a two or three hour rank-strip?

This is where the signs all point to a bad algo at Amazon. Something is triggering a book for a second level check, at which time it is rank-stripped. If the second level check goes well, then all things return to normal and it's probably that many people don't even realize it happened.

But what's triggering it? My rank for the book was awful before the promo because I hadn't promo'd it and it's a story collection that's super dark. Was it the rapid flight up the ranks? (For a book listed in horror, it flew awful darn fast.) Was it something about who was buying it? Was is that the book hadn't had any new reviews in a couple of months?

My guess is that it's a combo of many of those things. The second tier check is a mystery to it human? Another bot? I don't know yet, but I'm guessing it's not tuned properly. Either the people are trained only to look at information in a vacuum and therefore, are doing it badly or there's a second algo that analyzes a new set of criteria and it's doing it wrong.

My theory is they have a number of different checks now. They could range from speed of rank climb plus source of download(s) plus whatever.

First step is to suspend/derank. A further check is done and your rank returns, which explains the short down period. Extended periods may be due to a resourcing problem.

If thatís true then we can expect more mystery deranking that doesnít last.

Next question is what makes them send the warning letter, which you clearly didnít get. Whatís the trigger for that? Because from what Iíve read some people get it, but their rank is reinstated quickly anyway. Does that mean the warning isnít valid?
Writers' Cafe / Re: Best resources for formatting with Word?
« Last post by brkingsolver on Today at 06:32:17 AM »
A free formatting guide for Word is available on Smashwords. Search for author Mark Coker. I created a template for .doc files using this six years ago, and have never had a problem uploading to any platform. The key, as noted above, is to set everything up using Styles. The biggest pains as far as uploading are Smashwords and NookPress. Kindle has never been a problem uploading a Word file.
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