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Messages - TimothyEllis

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Writers' Cafe / Re: What is going on with this review?
« on: Today at 06:45:59 AM »
They might do a lot of ARCs, forget which are ARCs and which are normal freebies, and include the disclaimer on everything to be safe.

The thing is, while there are a lot of freebies out there unread, the book is now paid, so this is not an ARC situation.

I can't see what the problem is. Amazon actually ask that you tell you tell people who get an ARC to specify that it was given for a review. So, while this might not be the case it is still a fully compliant review. Why on earth would it cause kdp to go after you?

But aren't Amazon actively removing ARC reviews? And are they not also removing reads associated with any reviewer thus removed?

Writers' Cafe / Re: What is going on with this review?
« on: Today at 05:04:05 AM »
Edited--links to reviews are not allowed. PM me if you have questions, thanks..  --Betsy

No problem. I just copied the whole review. Never occurred to me the links had transferred as well.

I'm not interested in the review at all. Just the claim the book was given for a review, which is BS.

Given what Amazon are doing to people over dodgy reviews, I'm seeking advice on what to do about it.

Writers' Cafe / What is going on with this review?
« on: Today at 04:01:28 AM »
I just had the strangest review ever.

"Excellent book to read, I was very pleased by the action - what a thrill! Not "space opera", but space thriller that keeps you riveted to the action working against bad odds, and winning!
This book given for read and review, but I absolutely loved it." Note, before the link was removed, this showed a "Verified Purchase" tag.  --Betsy


I gave away more than 12,000 copies of the original version, but never for a review. They were either on a free promo, or while the book was permafree.

I've never given any book away for a review.

Why would someone say this when it isn't true?

Is this an attempt by someone to sic KDP on me? Should I be pointing this out to KDP, and asking them to action it?
Or is this someone who just put it on there by mistake or not thinking straight?

How should I be handling this? I had to stop myself from asking on the review where he got a review copy from, since it wasn't me.

It has been interesting watching the performance of this book, as Spacemage has rocketed. Book 2 has done a lot better, because I suspect, so many free unread copies of this one are still out there, and people have upped the priority for reading it after reading Spacemage.

Edited--links to reviews are not allowed. PM me if you have questions, thanks..  --Betsy

Writers' Cafe / Re: Author Support Network
« on: Yesterday at 08:37:49 AM »
What do they need a 1000 authors for?

A steering committee that large is never going to agree on anything.

I like the general idea. No idea yet if what they are doing is practical. While KDP might be making nice at the moment, I can see them issuing their usual emails once things get down to brass tacks.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Author Support Network
« on: Yesterday at 07:08:22 AM »
I hope I joined the right one (followed your link), because the group is showing over 5000 members! I had thought this was a new group forming?

Yes indeed. 5000+ members of the group already.

If you read the sticky post, there is an email if you want to officially join. The group is one thing, but they want 1000 paid up members (nominal fee to be announced how to pay) to form things officially.

So 5000+ is just a show of support. Getting their 1000 paid members will show if this really has legs. Apparently they had over 500 commitments at the last message I saw about it.

Writers' Cafe / Author Support Network
« on: Yesterday at 05:02:34 AM »
I've not seen any announcement here, so thought I may as well make it.

 A new organization, the Indie Author Support Network, is forming to give indie authors a seat at the table with the important stakeholders in our business. If you'd like to be part of this exciting new effort to advocate for indie authors, let us know you're IN by April 30. If we have 1,000 founding authors willing to move forward by then, we'll make it happen (and we're about halfway there in our first 12 hours).
 For more information, join the Author Support Network at (make sure to answer the three required entry questions).

I removed some of the details. Mods, if the link is not appropriate, remove it. The title is the Facebook group name, so should be easily findable.

I've joined the FB group to see where this goes.

It may interest others here who have definite opinions about Amazon, KDP and KU.

It is only for authors, and you have to prove you are an author before they let you in. It also has very strict posting instructions.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How's this for neat?
« on: April 21, 2018, 09:39:40 PM »
So I'm working on a locally-set crime novel. I'm writing a bit where the MC finds a stolen library book in a crime scene. Since it's local, I'm keen to have some degree of accuracy, so I Google what the libraries around in this area (which is about a ten minute drive from me).

Not only do I find the name of the library, but the library is hosting crime thriller powerhouse Michael Robotham in a month for a book launch. How neat is that? Researching your crime novel and finding an event for one of your favourite crime authors.

So logically, your MC returns the stolen library book, and finds the library is hosting a crime thriller author at that time. And to make it really weird, the novel being launched has an MC who finds a stolen library book at a crime scene. The novel provides a clue to the actual crime in a roundabout way, and the MC leaves with a library card.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« on: April 21, 2018, 05:23:17 AM »
And what I see is people who don't like his idea continually saying it. Doglover: move on. You may not post again to this thread. You've said your piece.
Thank you.

And what I see is people with low post counts continually defending the OP, zero credibility established, every time someone comments negatively.

Rather than throwing us out, why not say the discussion is over, and lock the thread?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Help Urgent. Amazon Copyright Issue.
« on: April 21, 2018, 04:19:47 AM »
Have you googled "Cuckolded By My Black Boss" ?

It comes back with a series of 3 books, already published on Amazon.

Is your name Emilia Steele?

Usually duplicate book names are not a problem. But in this case, being erotica, they probably dont want any duplicate names on books there. And you also have the same same name, double jeopardy.

Edit: There seem to be at least 7 of them, all with the same name, with just the number different.

I'd say the bot sending you the email is having a meltdown.

What I don't get is how are INNOCENT accounts getting stripped of page reads? It makes no sense.

Scammer bots their own books. Ranks get better. Books start to stand out.

Scammer bots other peoples books, making their ranks rise, making their own books stop standing out.

Amazon finds scammer account, and strips the reads from every single book that account read from.

This is how innocent people lose their reads. They dont know the reads came from a bot or a scammer some other way, and Amazon does.

The stripping happens because Amazon is more interested in not paying out, than it is from stopping the fraudulent activity completely. They will do anything necessary not to pay out 1c, instead of do what is necessary to stop scammers.

I've had this thread bookmarked since it began, just in case it would be useful down the track.

As it happens, I have a cover artist trying to put something together at the moment, and I pointed her to your portfolio.

I wanted older space detective, and was thinking we could adapt on of your detective shots.

But the problem is, all the shots face the camera, and we need a shot facing to the side.

So I thought I'd point this out for future photoshoots. Sometimes you want a person looking at an object across a cover, or looking at another person across a cover. Or even half on the side, but looking back into the cover.

The one I'm trying to do at the moment, needs older detective on one side, sexy young thing on the other, with a space station in the middle. But eyes front, doesn't work.

So as well as doing eyes at camera pics, can you also mix them up with looking and acting in different directions? Just a suggestion.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« on: April 19, 2018, 05:39:59 AM »
"I am reputable business man, but identity must be remaining secret, yes? Is no problem, I am please to be giving you many money for this books."

Why do I hear Londo Molari?  ;D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« on: April 18, 2018, 09:02:40 PM »
In my opinion, making KU into a place where readers come to expect generally longer, deeper offerings across the board is a step in that less-game-able direction. If we do that as a community I think we could reshape the store and maybe even indie publishing in general.

It wont work.

Because too many authors jump at the chance of adding their book into a 99c 20+ authors megabook.

They already changed the way KU readers read. And in the wrong direction, imo.

As a 'collective author', we already shot our foot off. You're going to have to rebuild the foot, before you can change things back the other way.

Edit: Oh..... Maybe this is where some of the opposition is coming from? If you reduce to 1000, 2/3 of the KU income from a 99c 20+ authors book, suddenly vanishes, and all hope of getting serious rank goes with it. Food for thought.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Retiring! Maybe. Probably. For now, at least.
« on: April 18, 2018, 08:41:17 PM »
JB, in her mid-70s and after 50 years in the writing biz, decided real retirement would be nice.
I'm officially retired. (I'm 58 for anyone who cares.)

Aw. 58 is too young to retire. Have fun, no matter what you do.

I'm 58, and I'm just getting started!

I know writers in their 80's who are still going strong. Well maybe not strong, maybe a lot slower, but they write words every day still, live the life they want, and still put some books out each year.

The only way I'll be retiring, is if the docs turn me into a permanent vegetable, as they keep trying to do. I've already slowed down, I like my lifestyle, and I'll be leaving something unfinished when I finally go.

So, sorry, but I dont get the whole 'retirement' thing. You retire from a job, for working for other people, the ratrace, the 9 to 5 machine. You dont retire from being a writer/novelist. You slow down. You mix more good lifestyle with your locked away writing time, but you never, ever, retire.

I'm not saying not enjoy more of life. No, thats exactly what we all should be doing more of. But you dont need to stop writing to do that.

So for now, have a rest, go somewhere you always wanted to, sit on a beach and do nothing, do something crazy, whatever.

But that next book will start to nag at you soon enough.

Lets not hear any more of the R word. Hmmm?  ;D

Thanks, Timothy, that's helpful.
I will do an Ams ad for book 2 when I launch it. I should probably do one for the first book as well.
Plus I will add my other titles to the back of the books.
What do you think about chapter previews of the next book at the end of previous?

Personally, I never read them when I see them. And it annoys me when I find the length isn't what Amazon says it is.

And if you're going into KU, the whole what constitutes stuffing argument comes into play.

For KU, I think at the moment its safer to not add anything except normal front and back matter.

Putting it into KU wont give you any traction.

KU responds when the traction is already there.

I'd shift them to KU at the same time you launch your next book. But you should also be doing an ams ad as part of the launch strategy.

Make sure all your books are in the back matter of all your books, and when you go back into KU, add links for each book first.

Launching a new book, and sending those readers to your older books, works better than trying to resurrect an already cold book.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« on: April 18, 2018, 03:29:29 AM »
I'm surprised no one else has mentioned this, but.....

Doesn't this sound exactly how book stuffers might get material to stuff with? And why Amazon might not be able to detect it, because they are no longer listed elsewhere?

The whole OP post made me very uneasy, and my brain went straight to stuffers.

Granted, the OP might be a wizard marketer, but..... this would also include KU stuffers as a group, who are good marketers for scamming KU.

I'm not saying the OP is or isn't, but the whole lack of detail, lack of identification of the OP, and the whole bizarre thing of making successful books more successful after spending a great deal of money for them, just makes me go hmmmmmmmmmm?

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU capping poll #2 (neutrally worded)
« on: April 16, 2018, 09:18:01 PM »
This isn't any better than the last poll.

Remove the Romance limitation off all the options, and just seek a single cap for everyone.

I'd vote for 750, but I'm not touching a vote which only puts it on a single genre.

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

Timothy, if this is the case I challenge you to prove it by splitting your latest book into 3 pieces (since you said it is easy). Then tell us if the reviews stay the same, go up, or go down (which I believe they will because the reader expected a full story and didn't get one).

Seriously?  :-X

My current book is a tad over 65k. My readers dont read novella's. So unless you want to redefine the novel length as 20k, [what you're asking for wouldn't make sense].

My current book was supposed to be a stand alone. Readers demanded more, so its now book 1 of a trilogy, all of which will be about 65k long.

Now, I could have pulled book 1, written 2 and 3, and released it again as a single stand alone book, but I'm not going to. My largest book is 105k, my average around 80k. So a 195k book is outside my writing parameters.

However, if we really want to talk writing long, my first series is 15 books long, a tad under a million words. Yet the average book length is 80-85k.

Lets be sensible about the whole writing long thing. My first 2 books could be 1. The next 4 books could also be 1. The next 5 books 1, and the last 4, 1. So I planned the box sets anyway. I did the first 2. They flopped big time. The rest got shelved. And only the first is available, and only for a limited time so people could get the second edition updates for the first 2 books.

I've proved to myself writing long is pointless, and writing short is pointless (in Sci-fi/Fant). So I write 65-100k novels, and am trying very hard to limit them to trilogies. And I try hard to release every 6 weeks, so people dont wait too long for the next installment.

From my way of looking at it, writing long is a failure to compartmentalize a story into a series of arcs. But its a choice, and at the moment, the choice carries no downsides. But it might.

And to answer your challenge, yes I could break my current book down into a trilogy. In spite of the fact I dont write 3 act plays style, as some of my reviews would prefer I did, I could still find 2 places where a book divide could be made. But on 65k total, this is totally pointless.

I think we're done here, in any case. Amazon isn't going to do this. There isn't enough public support for the idea, there is plenty of opposition, even here on Kboards, and the outcry from those who lose income on this - epic writers and legitimate box set sellers as well - would be way more of a firestorm than any publicly traded company would want to deal with. B&N and the rest would be rubbing their hands with glee if Amazon did this. Ain't gonna happen.
Somebody get the lights.

 :o ;D :D

Since when did Amazon do anything with public support?

Since when did Amazon pay any attention to outcry?

The switch from KU1 to KU2 was about the biggest outcry generator I've ever seen. Amazon did it without telling anyone it was coming, so no public support, and completely ignored the outcry after.

Firestorm? Get real. There would be no firestorm over lowering the cap again. Maybe a log fire out in the woods, with a few....lets not go there.

Somebody get the lights? Don't you know there are no light switches in Kboards?  :D

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

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon - It gets worse - check your sales!
« on: April 16, 2018, 09:35:22 AM »
Seriously, it doesn't matter.

It happened to no-one but me, so its not worth discussing any further.

Can the mods close this thread please.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon - It gets worse - check your sales!
« on: April 16, 2018, 09:34:17 AM »
I'm not talking about money.

I'm talking about actual sales numbers.

And BR gets those straight out of the KDP spreadsheets. No conversion, just counting.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon - It gets worse - check your sales!
« on: April 16, 2018, 07:49:24 AM »
Maybe ask Book Report to compare the KDP official spreadsheet with their report. See what they say. BR has far fewer customers to keep happy and might be able to explain without resorting to boilerplate.

As I understand it, BR doesn't store the raw data. It keeps recalculating off KDP's spreadsheets all the time. So they wont have any alternative data to compare with. As soon as the spreadsheet is replaced, BR will recalculate off the new one.

And if overall rank isn't affected, what real perk will there be then in exchange for exclusivity?

I was talking to Michael Anderle and Craig Martelle in London in Feb. Both of them said the same thing to me. "Why did you leave KU?"

Once upon a time, Amazon needed a carrot to entice all us suckers into KU. So they offered a rank boost for exclusivity.

Now? KU is a force of nature, and being in it has its own rewards. The trick now is, having an effective ad which generates both sales and reads.

I dont think we need rank boosts anymore. KU is KU, and for the people who stay in it, or have returned to it, it's not the rank boost which convinces us, it's the readers who would never have bought, who now read us. Yes, the cannibalization of sales is still there, but the extra readers brought in by KU, when you get your ads right, which make $.

Having separate rank charts, where sales rank is based on actual sales, and KU rank is based solely on borrows, would solve a lot of problems, by removing the motivation to manipulate ranks through KU.

With separate ranks, a book making it on its own merits, will do good ranks in both charts. But a botted book will show a high KU rank, and a really bad sales rank, and be so obviously scammer, people will be able to tell at a glance.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon - It gets worse - check your sales!
« on: April 16, 2018, 07:22:36 AM »
Timothy's been having some spectacular sales, so $500 worth of lost sales might be a minute proportion of the total.

It bit a large chunk out of March.

But for April, it will get lost in the exchange rate. It has been a really great month, and even though the book is now falling rapidly, the tail is wagging nicely still.

I think TwistedTales is right, it's just end of month reconciliation, and a few things that fell down between the cushions get brought into the light and either added in or tossed out, depending on whether the sale went through properly or not (ie the credit card payment worked).

You could be right. It might well be. But if it was legit, why are Amazon NOT up front about it? Why is there not some form of adjustment on the spreadsheets, with an indication the payment failed. That way we could see why the figures changed.

The way they do it now reeks of fraud, when it should just be standard accounting practice.

Why are they hiding this sort of thing?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon - It gets worse - check your sales!
« on: April 16, 2018, 07:09:23 AM »
They're having some technical issues this month, for sure. They sent me a Kindle Quality notice with the wrong title and ASIN (the book wasn't even by me.)

Almighty Zahqua!  :o

Actually, I had something similar. They sent me a quality report on one of my books, with 8 problems. 2 were spelling errors. The other 6 were rubbish, where the quote of what should be, was identical to the quote of what was currently wrong. In other words, no problem at all. Big joke. On us.

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