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Messages - MyraScott

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Ethical Ways to Incentivize Readers to Review?
« on: July 06, 2018, 10:12:39 AM »
I really do shake my head at the people who post that graphic.

It's not funny.  It's passive-aggressive.

I will say that the main issue is not, and never has been, money. I'll also reiterate I won't be made to say anything in a statement that is untrue; I would rather say nothing at all than lie.

... It really does come down to a war of attrition and who has the deepest pockets. As proven by her newly custom-built home and her own statements of spending tens of thousands to furnish it, the defendant's pockets are far deeper than mine.

I believe what you are doing is good for the community.  No one can face this alone.

Can we help?  Is there a new funding campaign or do you have a PayPal where we can send donations?  I feel like PayPal is better as you actually get more of the money instead of the funding site taking a chunk of it.

Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

Not to go into details, but if Phoenix is talking about who I think, then yes they’re still in KU.  They don't draw from the same pool as us or have the same bonus opportunities, but they still managed to get back into KU.

Not saying the folks we’re talking about here can do that, mind you. Amazon has changed the language on their TOS enough to make me hope they’re closing this particular back door, but more than one way into KU does exist.

If it's the person I'm thinking of, she was recently selling a "course" that gave the "secret to being in KU and wide at the same time."

It's not that a person is selling their own books again that is so offensive, it's  the way they take advantage of every loophole to make money including taking money from unsuspecting authors to teach them to exploit as well.

"It's not an exploit if the software lets you do it!" cried every cheater ever.

Well, you can wipe your eyes with that statement when your account is banned...

And calls to doxx people are just grossly unethical, regardless of the guidelines they've transgressed on. Lest we all forget, two parties know the reason for an account removal: Amazon and the removed individual (and even then, sometimes it's just Amazon and the removed individual is left in the dark). Anything and everything else is purely speculative. Speculation can be actionable when it becomes defamatory, which isn't where I'd want my time and money spent.

Who called to doxx people?  Why would you even suggest that?

(Whipping up the flames of outrage over something no one said...)

I just wanted to say one thing real quick about the APub books: The person at #1 in the whole store right now with an APub book is a dear, treasured friend of mine (and a member here). I've watched him bust his ass for over three years now, and landing an APub contract (and the subsequent "unfairness" of Amazon therefore promoting him—you know, like every single publisher has done with their imprints since the dawn of publishing) was the result of incredibly hard work and no small amount of talent both as a writer and as a storyteller. I find the idea that his rank is due to Amazon's "thumb on the scale" offensive, because that book they're promoting to the top of the charts isn't some overnight success. It was well-earned, and frankly, in my opinion, no one has ever deserved it more.

100% agree!  Working hard and doing a fantastic job still works wonders.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I'm really starting to doubt Amazon
« on: July 02, 2018, 12:37:18 PM »
A book marketing newsletter can't list everyone who wants to be listed, whenever they want to be listed.  They HAVE to be choosy about what they pick for each one, mix and trend and slots... etc. That's the nature of the beast.  It's why it's effective.  It's time-limited and curated.

A store on the other hand, needs a wide selection to be effective.

So you are talking about two different things when it comes to doing what's smart.  If BookBub is anything, they are smart.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I'm really starting to doubt Amazon
« on: July 02, 2018, 11:10:05 AM »
Bookbub doesn't accept everyone for their promos.  Would there be the same gatekeepers for publishing?

Well, it's just a theory so I don't think we can quote their policies yet on something that doesn't actually exist...

Writers' Cafe / Re: Another ToS scam to be aware of
« on: July 02, 2018, 11:09:05 AM »
IMO, a great deal of the gullible-newbie-sliding-into-unethical-behaviours type of stuff could be avoided if new authors had it drilled into them: "You just need to pay for advertising. You just need to pay for advertising."

There are plenty of promoters happy to take their money in return for inflated promises or guaranteed numbers.  I think you need to be more specific-  pay for advertising on Amazon or Facebook. Ads.

Not swaps, rank-builders, newsletter-builders, circle-jerks or lotteries, but actual ads.

I bet the drone program has Walmart worried. There is indeed a Walmart within five miles of me. But there's an Amazon warehouse within 20 miles. I bet there'll come a time when I can buy something at my computer and receive it on my doorstep via drone faster than I could put on real pants, drive to Walmart, find it, buy it, and drive home.

We, the pants-free nation, approve of this continued development.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I'm really starting to doubt Amazon
« on: July 02, 2018, 10:52:53 AM »
Obviously super simple, intuitive, don't-have-to-think-about-it download to the device of the buyer's choice would have to be tackled (I don't really know the stats but anecdotally, Kindle still seems to dominate), but that's the only thing I see standing between them and a profitable book selling platform.   

They have what no other service has... a huge audience of BOOK lovers.   Just books.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I'm really starting to doubt Amazon
« on: July 02, 2018, 05:43:40 AM »
Personally, I'm waiting for BookBub to launch a sales platform. 

They are smarter than the "big" ebook sellers and they've got to be considering the difference between sales income and affiliate income. 

They are the only company I can think of with the reach to do it.  If they made buying books for Kindle (which you have to admit is really the default reader these days by far) as easy as buying on Amazon (automatically loading to your device) they've got the reach and the audience to really be a competitor.

What's the long range goal for Bookbub?  Well, Amazon was once just an online book seller...

When you say, "this is what the scammers are doing," and present a list, it comes across as if you mean that all scammers are doing everything in the list.

It doesn't actually.  This is what people who like to argue against straw men do.   

"You said you don't like puppies, so clearly you think people should eat dogs.  I am against that!"

When you extend the argument past what someone actually said to make it worse, sure, it's inflammatory and gets a lot of attention, but you are no longer debating with the person who didn't make the statement you claim they did.  You are fighting a boogeyman you made up and pretending you are fighting the person who made you mad.

A stronger argument is to actually debate what people said, not projecting your fears as if they actually spoke them.

It would be seriously cool if we could have a discussion without people arguing things no one said or even meant.  I guess the threads would be shorter then...

In law a monopoly is defined as a company having significant pricing power. In the UK the competition authorities define a legal Monopoly as a firm holding over 25% power within a market.

In the US, this does not define a monopoly.

Monopoly is a control or advantage obtained by one entity over the commercial market in a specific area. Monopolization is an offense under federal anti trust law. The two elements of monopolization are (1) the power to fix prices and exclude competitors within the relevant market.

During their protracted negotiations with Hachette, the deal was investigated as an attempt to become a monopoly but in the end, it was legally determined that they were not trying to fix prices.

(25% is a really low bar for a monopoly, but when you think of the historical differences in European and American economies, it makes sense.)

Writers' Cafe / Re: CoverStockPhotos Discussion Thread
« on: July 01, 2018, 10:19:33 AM »
POC and larger-sized women request! 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Another ToS scam to be aware of
« on: July 01, 2018, 10:14:56 AM »
The danger for new authors is that they have a hard time sorting good advice from bad, especially when the bad advice comes so highly recommended and with testimonials.   

Often, the worst "opportunities" have nothing but praise as they've managed to drown out or discredit anyone who tries to point out what's going on.  When someone, who knows nothing about the industry, is told over and over that this is "how things are done" and are given assurances that Amazon is OK with it, it's pretty compelling.

And if they end up with account violations, they'll be utterly sidewiped over it.   It's not all logical.

An innocent example:  everyone says "Start a newsletter! A mailing list is the road to riches!  You must, must, must have a mailing list."

That's pretty good advice, even if it seems counter-intuitive

"I hate getting email from people, how could that possibly work?" one might think. "Are there really people out there who like cluttering up their inbox with more emails?"

Yes, apparently there are.  So, a new author trusts this advice and starts to build a list.

"How do I build my list?" they ask.   

Here's where the good, the bad, and the ineffective advice starts. There are so many wrong ways to build a list... that appear to be effective just in sheer numbers of subscriptions. Some ways are downright illegal. (Raffles and lotteries.)  Some are just ineffective.  Some are "right" but actually require a lot more time and effort and don't show instant results.

This is an industry where which advice you take can literally change your career, and the more "instant" the results, the less likely it is to actually help.

Writers' Cafe / Re: On the topic of Pen Names
« on: July 01, 2018, 06:50:56 AM »
A pertinent point can still be an attack. Sigh

This is a major problem with the world today.  "I don't like your fact" is not the same thing as "you attacked me, how dare you." 

Facts you don't like are still facts.  You may feel "attacked" by the fact, but that doesn't change it or make it less true.

edited, PM if you have questions -- Ann

Writers' Cafe / Re: Discussion Thread for CoverStockPhotos
« on: July 01, 2018, 06:46:05 AM »
More options!  This is wonderful.  Good luck on your launch!

Writers' Cafe / Re: On the topic of Pen Names
« on: June 30, 2018, 06:49:09 PM »
Ummm... yes it is. By definition. It might also be a tool but it is still a lie. Don't mean to be confrontational but if you say your name is something it's not, then you are lying.

It's interesting logic.  Do you also not listen to music by anyone who uses a stage name?   I suspect Mr and Mrs Gaga didn't name their little girl Lady. 

Although I did hear Sir Mix-a-lot inherited his knighthood...

Amazon is a business.  They prioritize things that make them more money.  It really is that simple.

 It doesn't exist to give everyone an equal number of gold stars and make sure everyone only takes one cookie.

No company this on target and tightly wound would let something this crazy happen over such a long period of time if they didn't calculate that it benefited them.

Quoted for truth.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Review Nazi
« on: June 30, 2018, 10:36:20 AM »
People also get banned from leaving reviews, even if their account isn't banned. 

The whole review underworld of reviewer rankings and Vine and incentivized/paid reviews is more vast than most people have any idea. 

Unfortunately the "must have x number of reviews" criteria for many marketing venues makes authors think of reviews as "theirs" when they are not.  The review system is just so messed up.

Writers' Cafe / Re: On the topic of Pen Names
« on: June 29, 2018, 05:10:04 PM »
I'm actually pretty surprised at the amount of people I've seen say it's unethical to have a persona for a pen name.

Who are these people? Are they the ones with the straw man factory?  They are never around to speak up for themselves.

Greed is certainly powerful, but there's a definite thrill that comes from gaming the system for some of these people.  It's not even about the money after a certain point, it's about being "smarter than everyone else."

Once you've fed those kids steak and lobster and bought them a toy store for every holiday, it's not about survival.  There's a thrill they get from getting other people to pay for their life. 

It's why getting rid of these actors is like playing whack-a-mole... there's never enough money to walk away.  It's the thrill of finding a new exploit and watching it succeed, then playing your pipe to lure others into doing the same thing.  It's power.

Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

If this is true, then calling out bad actors immediately and publicly needs to be a more accepted practice. Lots of people did swaps with Chance and other masterminds because they were ignorant of their shady business practices. If engaging with bad actors puts your account in the cross-fire, then we need to make sure everyone knows who bad actors are.

I know I did swaps with plenty of the mastermind types even though I disagreed with the way they did business. AFAIK, they weren't doing anything against the rules at the time, but they could easily have been engaging in shady stuff on the DL. I cut those swaps awhile back, after some of Chance's bad actions were brought to my attention on a Kboards post (I think it was the skip to the back epilogues, but I'm not sure).

I think this is really important.  The loudest voices out there insist they aren't doing anything wrong and they convince people to join them, pay them to market their books and pretty much snare them into the wider web of their influence... which seemed pretty "safe" for years as Amazon didn't take action.   The bad actors pointed to their "success" as proof that everything was just fine.

Now a lot of people who would not have knowingly put their accounts in jeopardy are likely to get caught up in the cleaning process- people who honestly didn't know anything fishy was going on and are stunned that they have been identified as "breaking TOS". 

When everyone praises a promoter or service but no one shines a light on the actual process or questions the "results"... innocent people get hurt because all they saw was glowing testimonials and happy authors. These discussions aren't "being mean" they are about smart business. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Why doesn't Amazon give us buyers' emails?
« on: June 27, 2018, 08:39:04 AM »
Add me to the list of people who would close my account if Amazon gave my address to anyone.  I've learned the annoying way that those Amazon-generated vendor notices [We have a question about your order of Haribo SUGAR FREE Classic Gummi Bears, 1 Lb ] are never actually questions they need me to answer but begging for reviews before the product even ships.

Letting authors have access to that system would be disastrous as every indie author who has done even a little research is advised to GET EMAILS without always explaining that those emails should come from people already interested in your work enough to opt in to your email list.

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