Turkey Trouble on Amazon

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Messages - TobiasRoote

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Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: Today at 09:57:51 AM »

I think you're working to hard to excuse Amazon here.

I don't think anyone's trying to excuse Amazon. On the contrary we're saying Amazon is directly interfering in the efforts of people to gain momentum. It's just that the interference is one the one hand desirable, and on the other, not.

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: Today at 09:55:25 AM »
I think it's more dynamic than that, because of those ten authors, only so many are going to share the same genre, for example. So it might not even be a matter of competing for the same customers;

Your pushing the discussion out of context. It [this discussion] refers back to this point.

If 10 of us on equal footing -- same genre, platform size, quality, etc -- all vie for the #1 spot by booking ads, that's nine authors who can't be #1.... Amazon has to account for that in its algorithms.

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: Today at 09:18:56 AM »
Personally, I think the customers account for that by deciding which of those ten they buy most from. Ten authors might try, but only one of them is going to sell the most at any given time. Amazon's algorithms have their own way of weighing current sales against past sales, sure, but I doubt they try to model some kind of response to similar authors competing against each other at the same time, as if they need to arbitrate some form of fairness. It's a bestsellers list because it's driven by who is selling the best. ;)

I think if those customers have ten choices in one week and only sufficient money for one book, then nine authors are going to lose out. If those ten authors spread their promotions over ten weeks, then each one might gain a sale. The trouble is thousands of authors are trying to do the same. So, the odds get longer and longer.

When I first started doing the lottery, it was in its infancy. I won quite often. When it reached the point of never winning the lottery was reaching saturation point.

It's a numbers 'game'

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: Today at 07:55:38 AM »
They turn a click farm on your book so as to divert attention away from scam-authors. Sort of like chaff to a missile.

One assumes then, that if I was targeted I'd get lots of unexpected sales.

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: Today at 07:44:23 AM »
It's also important to keep in mind that totally innocent authors can have a successful book targeted by scammers to camouflage their own activities.

How the heck does that work?

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: Today at 07:41:03 AM »
It might seem crazy but I never record my rank before, during or after my promos. I just look at the downloads and the sales of other books on the tail of the promo. Maybe I'm weird, but to me the ranking and the reviews are none of my business, or at least not under my control and are what they are. I sleep well at night too :P

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: Today at 06:52:30 AM »
It's possible Amazon has simply installed a mechanism that verifies all newcomers to the Top 100 Paid and Free in order to deny high-profile visibility to scammers, in response to recent complaints in which scammers had hit the Top 100s.

Yes, I think I pretty much said the same thing

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: Today at 06:51:10 AM »
What's absurd about this situation is that KU books don't get hit anywhere near (if at all) the way non-KU books do. There are so many KU books outright botting the system and they go on forever without zon taking action.

But someone gets a bookbub, which is beyond easy for zon to check to identify the source of the spike, and zon says "STOP! TIME OUT!"

I agree with you that this is all a function of how the algo is programmed, but I also think the algo is constructed such that it uses a sledgehammer for non-KU books and a feather for KU books. One gets smashed over the head while the other gets the bottom of their feet tickled.

Yes, it's evident that the Cinderella (KU) is treated much more leniently than the rest. However, the next quote explains the system perfectly.

Amazon doesn't want sales spikes. They've punished the sudden upward velocity of books for years. Now, more so.

and yet authors still try to 'spike' the system instead of accepting a more natural progressive growth of sales on the back of actual popularity of the book and organic take-up. Which I believe would not warrant any reaction at all by Amazon's 'spike bots'

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: Today at 06:17:55 AM »
I take extreme exception to this characterization. Figuring out how the store works and tweaking your marketing isn't "gaming the system" which implies some kind of cheating or unscrupulousness.

Take it however you want. Your taking exception isn't my problem. However, the algorithms cannot tell the difference between an author and a spammer/scammer, or whatever. To the machine every input is the same. My son is a 'gamer' I'm not insulting him because when he uses the games platform to garner an advantage over the opposing teams he's 'gaming' the system. It's a 'game' and you're all playing it, but the system knows you are doing it so tries to put checks and balances in place. It will continue to do so and might make some mistakes, but it believes it is being fair (as far as a machine can sense fairness).

This is a little silly. Amazon sells half a billion distinct products. The Kindle Store is less than 7m items.

I agree it's silly, but it's what people on KBoards are constantly saying. The system is broken or Amazon is [deliberately] 'breaking my run for the top'
The problem is when someone shouts foul because everyone else is doing the same and the system says STOP! while it checks things out (probably by a human being several hours, days down the line).

Are all the product groups in Amazon having this conversation? or just the authors?

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: Today at 05:21:04 AM »
There are a few observations here.

1) Authors are gaming/attempting to 'game' the Amazon system to gain rank, visibility.
2) Technical trading (following a regimen to 'game' the system automatically) will result in anticipation from the algorithm machine and subsequent readjustment to return things to balance.

I've watched (from the sidelines mostly) as author after author has come up with new ways to gain traction and get ahead of the crowd of other authors trying to do exactly the same. Maybe four years ago there were a hundred or so, now there are thousands. All up to the same tricks because everyone loves to publicise how successful their 'system' is. We've (the Indy author sector) become more concerned with manipulation of the market, rather than plain marketing. Free books, special offers, serial promotions, newsletter round-robin, cross-promo's (to name a few) and the market (being the reader) is saturated with it. Amazon and other sales platforms are reeling from the mass promotion of books by thousands of authors EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

And you wonder why the thing breaks !!!

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: Today at 01:49:15 AM »
I've just suddenly cottoned onto this issue about rank-stripping.

Whenever I've made my book free in the past it has ALWAYS dropped the ranking from my normal daily setting, and re-ranked it under the free book graph. Only when it was set at $2.99, but Amazon was price-matching it to Free did it continue to show in normal ranking. I thought it was perfectly acceptable practice by Amazon. Maybe I was trialling this new 'rank-stripping' before it was rolled out without even knowing about it. Does it happen on NON-FREE books as well?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Calling all Jutoh experts
« on: Today at 01:41:25 AM »
I tend to use whichever font I enjoy using at the time. Trebuchet, Calibra Times, etc., When you set your fonts within the configuration for body, body indent, it's a simple matter of changing it to something else. I find that Amazon generally changes the fonts to theirs and as a kindle user I have my favourite kindle fonts which over-ride the book's settings anyway.

I choose fonts that are clear and easy to read. Some are just clunky.

There is a site called KBoards which has an entire forum for self-promotion called The Book Bazaar.  It's a pretty well-trafficked site, have you heard of them?

Do you have a link? I think I remember reading something about this outfit :D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Mario Teodosio Custom Art
« on: Yesterday at 07:05:12 AM »
I ordered five illustrations from Mario and I love how they turned out.

Three of my covers are by another Italian. They have flair. Mario's on my saved list.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Mario Teodosio Custom Art
« on: Yesterday at 07:01:48 AM »
Very Nice! That's certainly some of the better work I've seen lately.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Publishing Translations Of Existing Books
« on: Yesterday at 02:35:23 AM »
When you get the translated version back you need to format it the way you want it, then upload it to the sales platform. When you do so you upload it as a new book (new ASIN/ISBN) and check the language of book box (different place on each platform). You need to put in the title, subtitle and other text on cover in the language of the cover (this should be part of your translation). Your description the same. The sales platform will promote your books on their other language pages. In the case of Amazon, then they have a DE version of the site which I presume automatically expects the book to be in German if the 'German language' selection has been made. Obviously if on the .com site, people need to be aware the book is the German version in case they assume it is in English.

Writers' Cafe / Re: do your homework
« on: November 20, 2017, 06:24:29 AM »
Whilst I'm not impressed with the verbosity of Books Butterfly's responses they are entitled to defend themselves on here. They've been here many times in the past assisting authors on many issues. They aren't here soley for the purpose of responding to this thread. What I don't get is the responses of everyone replying that based on their replies in defence of themselves means they will never use them. Wouldn't want to do business with a company? etc., Is it ALWAYs necessary for you lot to gang up on someone because they want to defend themselves. I know this is a combative forum, but people, what are you all trying to prove here?

Writers' Cafe / Re: do your homework
« on: November 20, 2017, 03:51:51 AM »
Every author is advised most strongly never to respond to a review because it is unprofessional. I see no difference with your responses.

I think this is the only valid point you should take from this thread. Whilst this is OP is about someone else you're making it about you. Not good PR.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Author's Copies at Cost from KDP -- beta
« on: November 20, 2017, 02:20:00 AM »
Does everyone in the US who uses KDP Print see this option? (I print through CreateSpace, so of course I don't see it on my Dashboard.)

I'm in Greece/UK/USA and I'm not getting that option (yet). It is probably being rolled out on server updates.

Writers' Cafe / Re: For heaven's sake, people, you're authors.
« on: November 18, 2017, 03:04:18 AM »
Another case of an English second language speaker not hearing correctly (probably due to accents). A hug saw instead of a hacksaw.

could be a hug[e] saw? I see this type of error a lot where a word is still a word even when there's a letter missing. Everyone misses those (except me apparently.) :P

Writers' Cafe / Re: Bookbub Ad
« on: November 17, 2017, 11:31:45 PM »
I've tried four different ads with horrible results. It appears they charge per impression and clicks. I got no sales, zero, zip, from ads, and their new book alerts don't work for me either. But then, I don't drop the prize to zero either.

Me three, I have had fantastic results on Bookbub features (at 99 cents), but when doing the ads, just an expensive nothing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Can you quote customer reviews in blurbs?
« on: November 17, 2017, 11:01:15 PM »
The good thing about threads like this is it gives you a heads up as to the authors who only consider their self interest and ethics/morals/TOS don't even register. That knowledge is handy when considering requests for help, advice, cross promo as (personally) I only work with or help authors with a similar approach.

Not me, I'm the kind of person who will always help out if I can, regardless of your viewpoint, opinions or belief. Have a great day. :D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Author's Copies at Cost from KDP -- beta
« on: November 17, 2017, 10:50:13 PM »
I did complain to their CS about the lack of author's copies and added the fact that I would discount my own book, then order it with Prime to get around their ridiculousness then raise the price back up...which is exactly what I did.

I'm absolutely certain that this would prompt a positive reaction from Amazon, especially as I don't believe you are the only one to do it.

Great news.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Let's talk about writer's Doubt.
« on: November 17, 2017, 12:54:18 PM »

Writers' Cafe / Re: For heaven's sake, people, you're authors.
« on: November 17, 2017, 12:49:16 PM »
Is it just me or do these damned commas breed when you're not looking.

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