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I'm not so sure it isn't technically feasible. My Kindle always seems to know as soon as I've read the last page of a book, because it ALWAYS sends me a notification right after I turn that last page, regardless of if it's the actual last page or if there's still several pages of author's notes. If they can do that with a regular book, I don't see why they couldn't also do it with stuffed books.

If Kindles periodically and automatically update their software, then yes, it should be possible to actually track pages read, by the individual page.  Kindle software could be upgraded so that an encrypted bit-table, in double-character ASCII form and included in a book's file, could be used to mark read pages.  (I could give the details of a workable algorithm, but if Amazon is interested, they can pay me.)  Then, when it comes to reporting pages read, the Kindle would report the number of pages whose read-bits have been flipped.  You could also add logic to not count a page read until after a certain amount of time has passed after a page has been displayed; 3 seconds, say.  Something like this would make page-jumping irrelevant, and it would also allow page counting under Page Flip.

Of course, all of this would actually require work.
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Writers' Cafe / Re: New release flop = rest of series flop?
« Last post by Alan Petersen on Today at 07:39:41 PM »
A sales rank of 22K for the first book of a new series from (I'm assuming) an unknown author in competitive genre is a flop? ;D

Maybe I'm not as ambitious, but I would be encouraged enough with those sales to keep publishing the other books in the series.

To make it big with just one book is a tough nut to crack.

I agree with the others, keep working the series.

I'm curious, what was the metrics you were shooting for?
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I have little doubt Amazon can tell what page you're on/last read/stopped reading entirely when the device is synced. Hell, they probably know what color underwear you were wearing when you read it.

I don't think that's accurate. This is the whole problem with the Kindle architecture that was built before KU page read model and it was kind of astonishing when it came to light due to the earliest KU2 abuse.

The URL/TOC that skips to the end of the book looks no different in the data KU receives than someone who spends time reading each page in between. All they (appear to) know is the current and furthest synced page and thus the new rules on the TOS side where the engineering falls short. If they had real page read info for users much of this stuff could have been handled on the engineering side fairly easily and it would have been done that way before it ever became a problem. A link to the back of the book would have been a non-issue.
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It would be nice if Amazon could put a little more work into categories. I know they can never catch the scammers, there's always a new scam, but categories seems to be something they could do a little better at policing. I mean, how much would it cost for someone to check the top 20 of each category and kick of the stuff that doesn't belong there. I looked up "New Adult Fiction" the other day, which is a category that targets age 18 to 24, and guess what? 2 books that matched the genre and the rest were erotica.
In addition to the policing of mis-categorizations, there could also be more categories added. It may seem like there are already too many, but with so many books added everyday, this would help readers find the books they want to read and authors to find their audience. Because yes, the market is being shared by more and more authors, but the audience is millions and millions of people. Smaller niches would help.
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Writers' Cafe / Re: Authors, writers event in San Francisco
« Last post by truc on Today at 07:36:55 PM »
This meetup is a space for startups--technically not Google HQ, which is in Mountain View (or on Spear St in SF).
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Writers' Cafe / Re: Learn from my experience with BookSends
« Last post by Nicholas Erik on Today at 07:36:45 PM »
I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. Even so, I wonder how you can be sure it's Booksends's fault. I think you're saying that, because so many ppl clicked on the ad, it means lots more should have been sold. That may be, I really don't know what's typical. But is it not also possible the clicker changed its mind once they got to the book page? Otherwise, you're claiming they're lying about the 110 clicks, right?

For whatever it's worth, I've never had great sales through Booksends.

Optimistically, you're only going to convert 20% of those clicks into sales. That would be an absolute best-case scenario. I'd expect more like 8 - 12% for a book with a good cover/blurb, which is about what the OP got.

Nick
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Writers' Cafe / Re: The problem with speech tags
« Last post by deanstow on Today at 07:35:12 PM »
In my research about this, one thing jumped out at me.  This was the concept of 'show, don't tell' in relation to dialog tags.   I have been trying to avoid as many non basic dialog tags as I can by making sure that the non dialog portions convey that information. Doing that also seems to present me with more opportunities to have no dialog tag as it is now obvious who is talking.

Of course, story pacing may preclude that at times.
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While book sales were down, readership was up during the Great Depression.  At the movies, comedies were popular, but it wasn't just humor people were looking for as the #1 best seller in April of 1933 was The Werewolf of Paris, a historical/horror novel.  What lesson can be drawn from that?  No matter how bad things get, people still want to read shifter fiction.  Go figure.

hehe. but to be fair it was a different media environment back then.

Don't get me wrong, books will always sell. It's what you can make selling them and how many you can sell that gets impacted. KU, ironically, is a buffet-style offering that should thrive the worse the economy gets (that's if it can stop itself from falling apart).
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The simple solution to book stuffing, and a lot of other problems at Amazon, is to charge $10 to publish an eBook. It would be an insignificant expense to publishers and it would allow Amazon to hire hundreds or thousands of workers to actually look at every book submitted. They wouldn't have to look for quality of writing, but could easily spot stuffed books, scraped content, gibberish, and even crappy formatting. They could also look at keyword stuffing in the titles. Actually $1 per book would cover the labor cost using third-world English speakers, at $5 they could hire Americans, and at $10 it would be a juicy profit center.

I suggested that months ago as part of the solution to the page-reads problem (I suggested having a borrow credit the full KENPC page count, subject to 50 minimum and maybe a 2000 maximum--that would avoid page read problems altogether).  $1 a title would suffice to hire college-educated screeners at $50k / year.  And, it's a job one could do from home.  In skivvies.  Or starkus.  :)
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While book sales were down, readership was up during the Great Depression.  At the movies, comedies were popular, but it wasn't just humor people were looking for as the #1 best seller in April of 1933 was The Werewolf of Paris, a historical/horror novel.  What lesson can be drawn from that?  No matter how bad things get, people still want to read shifter fiction.  Go figure.
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