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Messages - Becca Mills

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1
I assume it's the same for the reverse? If your individual books are wide you cannot group them as a box set and enrol said box set in KU?

That's correct: you cannot do that.

2
Greetings, Victoria! You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe.

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages, found here: http://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again when you want to post. You may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (as I'm doing with this post), you may reply to them, but otherwise you must wait seven days. Any pattern of posting designed to artificially bump your thread to the top of the forum is prohibited. Please note that very short or (one- or two-word) posts with no meaningful information are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion. Lastly, your posts and images will need to meet our "forum decorum" guidelines, which is the case for every member.

You may find that members ask searching questions -- about how your service works, for example, or what they will get for their money, or whether your service adheres to Amazon's terms of service. Such "vetting" is a common here.

Note that members are allowed to provide civil and honest feedback about your service in this thread. This feedback may include criticisms as well as kudos. You may respond to criticism in a civil manner, but name-calling, badgering, accusations of lying, and other breaches of forum decorum can lead to loss of vendor posting privileges.

Any and all disputes between you and your clients should be handled off-site.

Thanks,
Becca
KBoards Moderator

(Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.)

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: Are Also Boughts Gone?
« on: Yesterday at 11:16:27 AM »
FWIW, I am still seeing the normal spread of also-boughts on the Android app.

Getting rid of also-boughts sounds like a terrible idea to me. I mean, sponsored books show what authors hope shoppers of a particular book will want to read, but also-boughts show what they actually do read. Even just from Amazon's perspective, losing the latter seems crazy to me. The networking of mutually appealing books is one of the few advantages online book shopping offers over brick-and-mortar browsing.

4
Somebody needs to start a petition or something to change that. I'm in desperate need of a bra review site with worldwide attention. I have a lot to say about those people who sell those lame boob-wire poking contraptions. If I can save one delicate boob from what I have endured, it will be worth it ;)

Heh. I think the site you're looking for is Amazon.

5
Writers' Cafe / Re: Is free dying?
« on: April 21, 2018, 10:08:12 PM »

It's a completely different business model. Spotify pays every time a song is listened to. KU does no such thing. There are musical artists who have made tons more money off me over the years because they're in my Spotify playlists than they'd have made if I simply purchased a CD or download. KU pays once, period. Apples and rutabagas.

Hm. Right. Makes sense.

6
Writers' Cafe / Re: Is free dying?
« on: April 21, 2018, 09:53:22 PM »
I'm afraid to ask.  :-X

Average of .004/playback, based on leaked royalty reports? I have to admit, I don't know much about music streaming; being old enough to remember 8-track tapes, I haven't really transitioned to that mode of music consumption. But the industry sounds like a bit of a mess. Maybe Amazon won't be too eager to emulate it ... <fingers crossed>

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: Is free dying?
« on: April 21, 2018, 09:28:37 PM »
Just be glad it's still an era where we're getting paid extremely well for those page reads. I'll be shocked if KU doesn't eventually go the way of Spotify.

<Googles "How much does Spotify pay artists?">

 :o

8
If a review contains a true personal attack, you can report it to Amazon, and they might remove it. I'm not sure exactly where they draw the line, though. I'd like to think they'd take down something saying your parents should've drowned you. I mean, that's ... um. Words sort of fail me. :(

9
Writers' Cafe / Re: Three bits of research on old self-pub questions
« on: April 21, 2018, 01:32:53 PM »
Interesting. When it comes to books, I wonder where the dividing line is between similar and dissimilar alternatives. Would "dissimilar" mean a mystery instead of a thriller, or an 3-inch potted venus flytrap instead of a thriller?

10
Is anyone actually sure that the giveaways result in a single sale applied to rank?

I recently did an Amazon Giveaway for a paperback soft launch for a new release. 8 copies were claimed in the Amazon Giveaway, but there is no sales rank over 6 hours later. It seems like the giveaways do not count toward Amazon rank (not even 1, for a bulk giveaway of 8 in this case) as the paperback has not been promoted anywhere except for this Amazon Giveaway, and it currently has no rank. This is fine with me, since the giveaway is just to try to reach new readers, but the potential for rank manipulation seems to be the focus of this discussion, so I wanted to post my results.

Unless the ranking for paperbacks takes 24 hours, then my giveaway is not affecting my paperback rank at all. I do not plan to actively market the paperbacks until the hard launch for my ebook version is done, so it's very possible that I will not have a rank until some time in May. Which again, is more than fine with me. I'm looking for readers as part of an ebook launch, not trying to influence rank.

I'm sure giveaways affect total sold when aiming for NYT or USA letters, but for me, there was no effect on Amazon rank. Screenshots below.

The Giveaway Completion showing 8 claimed paperbacks


The soft launch paperback with no rank


Consequently, if no one reads the books and no word of mouth comes from it, they're empty "sales" that seem to only affect USA and NYT letters. You definitely do not want to just have non-readers claim the giveaway rewards as there would be no real potential for future readers and word-of-mouth from the giveaway.

I'll update this post if the ranking actually appears today and this was just a slow update.

Rex, I could be totally misunderstanding this, but my impression is that you missed out on the rank bump because only 8 out of the 10 copies you gave away were claimed quickly; had all 10 been claimed immediately, you would've gotten the bump. This is why some might feel the impulse to run 10 separate 1-book giveaways, rather than 1 giveaway of 10 books ... if only 8 out of the 10 1-book giveaways generate a claim, you end up with credit for 8 sales instead of zero, because 8 of the giveaways would hit the 100% rate of claim.

Again, I could be totally misunderstanding this (I have no personal experience with giveaways), and also the material that led me to think this applied to ebook giveaways, so maybe there's a difference with paperbacks. But if the system works as I just outlined, then this part of Amazon's rules makes sense as a way of preventing rank manipulation through giveaways:

Quote
Examples of such prohibited/discouraged actions include, but are not limited to:
[...]
  • Using giveaways to manipulate sales rank (i.e. by creating multiple giveaways for the same ASIN, rather than creating one bulk giveaway)

You did a bulk giveaway, and those are unlikely to affect rank because there's bound to be someone who doesn't claim their copy, as happened to you (80% claim rate).

If I'm wrong about this, someone please correct me. I don't want to be putting misinformation out there. I almost feel like I must be misunderstanding it, because why would Amazon allow rank boost with a 100% rate of claim, but not with an 80% rate, or a 99% rate? You'd think they'd either want giveaways to affect rank or not, in a consistent way. Seems weird. Dunno.

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: Help Urgent. Amazon Copyright Issue.
« on: April 21, 2018, 08:53:54 AM »
- An e-mail from the address listed on the authorís (or their agentís) official website confirming that you have the rights to publish their book in the territories, languages and formats you have selected

This is the thing to do. Go to your author website and, if you don't already have one, add a "contact me" page. Type your author email address on it. Send Amazon a link to the "contact me" page from the email address shown on the page, saying, in essence, "Look, this is my email address, as shown on my author website! I really am Your Name, author of Cuckholded by My Black Boss, which is listed on the website as one of my books, and I hold all publication rights in all formats, regions, and languages."

You can take the email address off your site after this is cleared up. I don't particularly want my email address displayed on my site (I use a form instead), but I put it up there when I have to deal with one of these copyright queries.

12
I'll bite (and confess to being short on tin foil)--what's the Mastermind romance group?

Not a group we'll identify any more specifically than that here. A number of long threads over the past few months have focused on their alleged practices (http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,262307.0.html, http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,259658.0.html, http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,259578.0.html, others).

13
I'm sorry to hear you're going through this, Sparling. How extremely tough and stressful. :(

One of our longtime members, Annie Jacoby, did very well with romance initially, then successfully switched to legal thrillers after romance proved not sustainable over the long run. So ... genre flexibility is a plus?

I hope you hit on something that revitalizes your writing income. Folks here are pretty good about providing feedback, if you want to bounce around ideas. :)

14
The review gets stuck in the tubes. The stars get through, but everything else gets stuck.

After Amazon dumps some data-drano into the nearest internet orifice, the rest review can make it to your computer screen.


15
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Files Suit Against Book Stuffers [MERGED]
« on: April 20, 2018, 01:21:33 PM »
It might not be nefarious, but it wouldn't be the best business decision (unless KU reads make up the vast, vast majority of your income), as you probably wouldn't sell many copies of the book, and under Amazon's TOS you couldn't have the separate books wide, so you'd be relying entirely on KU members.

Yeah, there's the downside.

16
I've had that happen with new reviews before. It's like they're there, but they haven't quite made it onto the page yet. I'm sure a computer person would be able to explain the weirdness as actually totally normal and not weird at all.

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Files Suit Against Book Stuffers [MERGED]
« on: April 20, 2018, 12:34:42 PM »
Anything you wouldn't add to a book - were you not financially incentivized to do so - is stuffing.

I can imagine making decisions designed to maximize profit in KU while still remaining in white-hat territory. For instance, assuming the 3,000-KENP limit stays in place, and assuming I had a completed series of novels (which I don't), I might consider packing up the entire series into a clearly labeled omnibus, and making only the omnibus available in KU. Omnibus-only would be an awful decision outside KU, as someone would have to spring for an expensive set to even read Book 1. It'd make more sense to use a free or $.99 Book 1 funnel to the series. But inside KU, the omnibus's high sale price wouldn't matter, and having everything in one book would maximize the chances of read-through by removing the download-the-next-book step. Unless there's some sort of problem that's not occurring to me (?), sales-oriented adaptations like that one don't strike me as nefarious.

18
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Files Suit Against Book Stuffers [MERGED]
« on: April 20, 2018, 09:10:49 AM »
So what exactly is stuffing? Is it excessive bonus content? Then what constitutes excessive? Personally, I lean towards the percentage definition and would say any previously published content that exceeds 55% of the entire content of a new release could fairly be called stuffing. And while some people would disagree and say that number is too low or too high, it at least takes into consideration genuine bonus content and separating it from those who might be exploiting the concept of bonus content.

I don't think people are going to be able to agree on a definition. :(

Personally, I'd be more concerned about duplication of content and lack of clear labeling than about length. I doubt anyone would have a problem with someone publishing Bad Boy Collection 1, Bad Boy Collection 2, etc., with all the content in each collection being unique to that one book. Such books would just be omnibuses or boxed sets. What makes something "stuffed," for me, is the combination of unclear labeling and partially or fully duplicated content.

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: KU -vs- Other retailers
« on: April 19, 2018, 02:45:57 PM »
Seneca, "KU junkies"? Seriously? No more vitriol and swearing. It's almost impossible to edit your posts to bring them within our forum decorum while preserving even vaguely the ideas you're trying to convey. Do that work yourself before hitting "Post" or move along.

20
Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« on: April 19, 2018, 01:05:49 PM »
But apparently according to some of ya'all, people willing to make a deal & pay money to acquire content are immediately suspicious scammers. Got it.

Rigorous questioning of and skepticism toward new vendors is a KBoards tradition -- and quite a useful one, given indie authors' vulnerabilities. Vendors who 1) are actually offering a good product/service and 2) don't lose their cool generally come through it fine.

21
If I were looking for a new genre, I'd consider Teen Superhero or Warlocks in Space.

I really need to start reading all these new mage-in-space books. Excellent trend.

<waves> :)

22
Writers' Cafe / Re: Retiring! Maybe. Probably. For now, at least.
« on: April 18, 2018, 08:26:33 PM »
I don't know what brushing pony manes means.  I couldn't find it in the urban dictionary, so, of course, my imagination is running wild.

Think you'll have to check the rural dictionary for that one.   :)

23
Writers' Cafe / Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« on: April 18, 2018, 06:25:55 PM »
The last sentence in the email is a real puzzler: This phenomenon is working as per system's design and cannot be altered from our end. Anyone who can explain this gets a genius award.

Possible translation: "You know that thing you don't like? We *do* like it. Not gonna change it. Sorry not sorry!"

24
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Files Suit Against Book Stuffers [MERGED]
« on: April 18, 2018, 05:15:22 PM »
Hoop. To repeat,

Folks ...

1) The motivations of David G. and other authors who have been pursuing the stuffing issue should not be impugned.

2) The choice to join KB anonymously solely for the point of articulating a pro-stuffing position in this thread should not be used as a point of attack.


25
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Files Suit Against Book Stuffers [MERGED]
« on: April 18, 2018, 11:33:42 AM »
There's interesting though speculative data on Written Word Media. Some quick takeaways (data from February 2017):

In February 2017 there were an estimated 3,360,000,000 KENP pages read, equal to 12,440,000 full novels (avg. 250 pages).

The average KU subscriber reads five books a month.

There are about 2,488,000 active KU subscribers, or 3,000,000 total including non-active, earning the KU pot nearly $30,000,000 per month.

Based on these estimates (which don't match KDP numbers from their monthly fund newsletter--I'm never sure what those numbers mean exactly), KU is probably self-sustaining revenue-wise.

In any subscription scheme, there will always be a sizeable portion of subscribers that seldom or never partake of their memberships. They sign-up and forget. I read about thirty percent of Netflix subscribers fail to login in monthly. Witten Media's estimate of half a million non-active KU subscribers is probably accurate. They don't earn authors anything, so for Amazon, it's like a $5,000,000 bonus.

https://www.writtenwordmedia.com/2017/04/13/kindle-unlimited-subscribers/

Thought-provoking, Dpock, thanks. I found this particular bit interesting:

Quote
On the day that we checked (3/28/17), 60% of the best selling titles on the Amazon paid charts were enrolled in KU. With 88% of the romances, 76% of the fantasy, and 58% of the Mystery/Thriller titles being available through KU.

The percentage of the fantasy list in KU is the same today, a year later.

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