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Awakened: BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance
by J.S. Wiley

Kindle Edition published 2016-01-30
Bestseller ranking: 427006

Product Description
From her curvaceous hips to her whiskey colored eyes, plus-size beauty Abagail Cole should be at the top of her dating game. But after a recent breakup with her cheating fiancé, she's never felt more like the stereotypical lonely cat lady.

So, determined to move forward and have some fun, Abagail decides to take a spontaneous trip to a local sports bar and get her buzz on. There she attracts the attention of tattooed, bad-boy millionaire Caleb Delaney, a mysterious and passionate wolf shifter who is immediately bewitched by Abagail's charms--and would do anything to claim her as his future mate.

But when a gorgeous new neighbor also catches her eye, Abagail soon finds herself torn between the affections of two gorgeous, intense love interests. And to make matters even more confusing, she's been experiencing steamy encounters with a presence in her dreams, waking up breathless and longing for more.

As she …

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Messages - TwistedTales

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Writers' Cafe / Re: The Decline of the Promo Sites
« on: November 03, 2017, 08:43:11 AM »
FWIW, I think there are a number of factors in play here.

1. We dont like to discount as much anymore and these sites have some strict rules about it.
2. Click ads hurt them quite badly. We can market full price books and adapt our investment based on return.
3. The promos are a pain to schedule. All it takes is a single hiccup on Amazon and weve wasted our money.
4. There are a lot of promo sites in various mediums like KOBO, FB, Twitter, google, blog sites, free to air websites, etc. Theres a lot more competition for our marketing buck.
5. The rule of diminishing returns means we prefer to use the promo sites less often and we have plenty of other options.
6. There is also buyer fatigue on the smaller sites. Unless the promoter is replenishing their database, and thats expensive, theyve been hitting the same buyers for years now.
7. Readers are getting savvy. They use a wide range of methods to keep track of their favorite authors, so the promo sites have lost some of their value.
8. Its the nature of marketing, after a while almost every tactic becomes less effective, unless its kept fresh or offers something different.
9. To some extent, its over to the authors. If all the promoter gets to advertize are more lookalike books then buyers will become bored.

There are some reasons off the top of my head. My own use declined once I got the click ads working for me. I prefer to sell full price books and save the discount promoters for stacked campaigns, which I only do a few times a year now.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do Amazon sales rankings include KU/KOLL downloads?
« on: October 29, 2017, 10:56:48 PM »
Amazon no longer pays authors royalties for KU downloads, only for pages actually read, and the same applied for KOLL. So if these downloads figure into sales rankings, they render them pretty meaningless as far as I'm concerned.

Borrows most definitely count as a sale when it comes to rank. That single fact has made a mockery of the ranking system. Unfortunately, most readers dont know how rank is derived (or that ranks even exist), and therefore why books are in the top 100 for their categories.

And therein lies the problem with a borrow equaling a sale in the ranks. Amazon use ranks to create the top 100 lists for every category, the Hot New Release lists, and to make recommendations to buyers. It has skewed the shop in favor of KU books in an attempt to force authors into KU.

Amazon are basically cheating everyone, especially the readers who have no idea how or why books are ranked on lists or recommended to them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 26, 2017, 01:55:26 AM »
It seems there is actually an upside to having very few sales  ::)

Every cloud has its silver lining.  :P

I've never been happy with the results.

FB is a giant black hole, which doesn't even deliver what they promise, let alone any results.

I will NEVER be boosting again, unless its with an expert making the ad for me.

I had never done one before, so I was curious to try. The post got 200 or so on natural reach. The first boost got it another 400 with additional comments, likes and shares. It cost me 8.00. The second boost got another 200 reach. It cost me 6.00.

On reflection, I would say the initial post did ok without having to pay. The first boost was definately worth doing. The second boost not so much.

I dont expect advertising to be free and Im solely using FB as a communication and advertising platform. All things considered its a lot cheaper for me than other platforms. AMS was good, but since going wide Im not happy with the click to sale ratio, which based on my most recent test this month is running around 6:100. Those clicks are costing me 60c each. Its not good enough and FB is doing better in terms of cost to sale. If an advertiser is performing then Ill test their other offerings, which is why I tried the boost.

I just tried boosting and was pretty happy with the results. For many FB has been a free marketing platform, but it never has been for me. I use it run ads. It collects followers, likes, comments, shares and recommendations. Its building me a pool of followers that have chosen to follow and buy my books. I dont expect that service to be free and the ad cost plus boosts is more than reasonable compared to say AMS or Twitter, which doesnt do anywhere near as much.

FB earn a lot of money through their advertising platform and I dont expect them to do anything thatll screw it up.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 26, 2017, 01:21:08 AM »
I think the premise of this conclusion is wrong. Amazon wont care or, at times, even know what channel an account used to go to the page to buy/download. It might be AMS, FB, BookBub, or any other one of hundred ways to reach that page.

If theyre holding the author accountable for what accounts download or buy their book then theyre assuming the account is suspicious. How they decided an account is suspicious is anyones guess. Why they assume the author had any say as to what accounts download/bought their book is also anyones guess.

However, if my rank is ever suspended and Amazon accuse me of fraudulent activity that I havent done, then I will take it up with them. If they stonewall, I will write the Bezos team. If I get no joy from that then I will request arbitration as per their TOS. If I havent done anything wrong then Im prepared to fight for my reputation.

There is a process that can be followed. In the meantime, I wont waste anytime trying to second guess how Amazon have derived their suspiciousaccounts list, and I will continue to market as I always have. If that puts me at risk of having to go ten rounds with Amazon then so be it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: BookBub CPCal
« on: October 25, 2017, 06:33:58 AM »
In my experience, CPM is useful for launch. The challenge is that it's expensive. It's all about CTR.

With CPC, you don't have to worry about hemorrhaging cash while zeroing in on images/copy that produce a high CTR. Testing is less costly.

Once you have a high-CTR ad, it might be worthwhile to switch back to CPM. After all, the goal is to reduce CPA (cost per action). But being able to test with CPC rather than CPM? That's a big get.

Thanks for your insights.

To be honest, the last half of any year isnt my best time for sales, so I dont waste my time or money trying to swim upstream. As long as the sales tick over and Im profitable I dont bother pushing my luck.

But Ill definitely give the BookBub click ads a go when I get access, assuming I ever do.

Writers' Cafe / Re: BookBub CPC
« on: October 24, 2017, 09:02:25 AM »
I take it this is different to their current pay for impressions ads. I received an email inviting me to use it, but I havent yet because it hasnt been getting good feedback.

A pay per click sounds better to me, but I wasnt invited to test it.  :(

Reading these comments it reminded me of something that has happened now to me a few times and I just thought I'd throw it out there and see if it has happened to anyone else. I am no longer in KU...Oh, for the last 2 years I still sell at Amazon but I am also wide. I have Create Space paperbacks and Audible audio books, though. Twice now something strange has happened. I follow my sales daily on Amazon on the Month-to-Date page and one day my total book sale is 85 and then I check the next day and it is 52. No returns though. I had the same thing happen on Audible a few months ago. I lost 11 sales in one day and there were no returns that I could see. They were just gone. Has this ever happened to anyone else?

The usual explanation is some of the payments failed and that may be the case. It does seem uncommonly high and, although that may be a sign of times, it might be worth asking KDP support about it.

I'm sure turning off the ads will have some impact, but the decline began while the ads ran. When we reached the point where pages read revenue and Kindle sales each day were less than the amount spent on ads, we turned them off. In the past the ads did generate enough pages read to justify the ads - but not anymore.

Outside of specific niches, Im not sure how deep the reader pool is in KU anymore. I think its been taking less and less time to fish it out.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 21, 2017, 09:01:55 AM »
Absolutely! I know that's one crowdfunding campaign I could get behind.

While Amazon's desire to hit the scammers hard is a good one, collateral damage isn't acceptable. They need to find a way to do business without crushing innocent authors in the process. It would be nice if Amazon found the way to do that on its own, but if it just won't, I hope someone takes the issue to arbitration.

If Amazon keep stonewalling us by having no phone number, refusing to explain and/or justify their decisions/actions, and sending shut down emails that prevent us from asking questions, then they will force authors into arbitration. Now, theyre assuming no author can afford a long-winded arbitration case, and theyre probably right about that, except kboards have been known to crowd fund.

Rather than keep complaining, getting nowhere, while Amazon continue to tighten the screws, authors need to band together and take a different approach. Amazon arent giving us much choice, so its going to go this way eventually. It starts with arbitration and it can end it court, but one step at a time.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:12:27 AM »
There's a reason why, in the US, the onus is on the prosecutors to prove guilt, not for the innocent to prove that they are innocent.

How is an author supposed to prove they didn't do anything wrong?

Why doesn't the accusing party provide PROOF that they did something wrong?

Because THEY CAN'T. They can't prove WHO hired the bots.

If they have some kind of information that suggests botting was involved, then that begs the question:
WHY don't they just terminate the botting accounts and remove any influence those botted accounts have on the books they downloaded?

That way innocent authors aren't punished and the guilty ones don't get the benefit of the bots.

So why isn't Amazon doing this? They can make Alexa but they can't remove botted accounts? Seriously?
It's no longer an issue of not being able to do it, it's a matter of not wanting to fix the situation.

This is why I think arbitration is a better route. The author can put their case forward and Amazon can be asked the right questions. To do it well the author will need legal support, which is what the funding would be for.

Its not a court case, but a discussion. If that discussion is a continuation of stonewalling, then you have more evidence there is a problem and alternative routes can be followed.

And yes, any account Amazon suspects of fraud can be removed. I dont think theyre doing it because, as another poster called it, theyre acting as fishing poles to identify potential fraud.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 21, 2017, 07:30:55 AM »
In my case, I was only informed of my rank manipulation after contacting KDP myself to ask where my rank went. I was shocked, and gave them as much information as I could about newsletter clicks and promo sites I used. Incidentally, this email, sent directly to the address mentioned in the text of their email (ie contact us here), bounced like flubber. I ended up having to send my response through a web form, to which I got another canned, hostile reply from Walter: We will not be supplying you with additional information.

That was nearly a month ago. I have spoken to one author who, after politely inquiring about their rank being restored, had their KDP account summarily terminated. What would you suggest I do, in this scenario? Amazon clearly isnt just systematically investigating and then restoring ranks. And theyve put the fear of god in us for asking simple questions.

You may suspect Im being disingenuous, but the fact is that I am also only barely a four-figure author, and Ive made it a point to be transparent and honest in all my dealings. I dont hide behind pseudonyms or random avatars online, for example. Ive done my best to be forthright, because I have nothing to hide. I dont want to say or do anything that I feel needs to be cloaked or shielded.

So, with the wisdom of your experiences (which is surely greater than mine), should I ask Amazon about restoring my rank? If your answer is no, then maybe that says more about Amazons practices than about my own.

I was just writing a response to WasAnn. Its slightly off center to your post, but lands where I suspect this is going to have to go...

Im less inclined to believe scammers are cloaking or competitors are attacking. Of course it can be done, but there are easier ways to play.

Amazon clearly believe they can detect patterns of fraud, probably combined with download/sales sources. It doesnt mean theyre right, but they trust them enough to slam the door on any challenge or query.

To my knowledge, no one appears to have been banned yet (except one and I think they were botting for page reads), which suggests they are either giving people a few warnings first, or they cant prove theyre right. Note: Nikkykaye says she knows someone who was banned for asking, which sounds crazy.

The deranking is an interesting development. Much like the page flip issue Amazon are behaving quite bluntly and rigidly. I suspect at least of one of these cases could end up in arbitration. In fact, it might be helpful if one did.

In your case Nikkykaye, I would leave it alone for now. Why? Because it seems to me Amazon are looking to make examples of people, possibly by way of warning to others. You dont want to be that person.

However, if anyone is deranked and/or banned in permanent way (i.e. they tried the Jeff route to no avail), then its probably time to invoke the arbitration clause. They need to be whiter than white and theyll likely need some crowd funding.

At some point Amazon need to be held to account. If anyone out there has been banned or permanently deranked and can absolutely guarantee they did nothing, not even by accident, then why not be the spearhead case?

Writers' Cafe / Re: U.K. sponsored ads in test & super sized sponsored
« on: October 21, 2017, 06:34:44 AM »
Well now that you mention it... yes! I just went back to the .com site and the ad images are now the same size as the also boughts there  ???  And some cover images in the ads and the also-boughts are much wider than others. I'm guessing that's something to do with the image file uploaded.

Im disappointed the ads are larger. The page is cluttered enough.  :'(

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 21, 2017, 06:32:51 AM »
On day three my book was rank-stripped...but ONLY FOR a couple of hours. So yes, it's happening. But what is the point of a two or three hour rank-strip?

This is where the signs all point to a bad algo at Amazon. Something is triggering a book for a second level check, at which time it is rank-stripped. If the second level check goes well, then all things return to normal and it's probably that many people don't even realize it happened.

But what's triggering it? My rank for the book was awful before the promo because I hadn't promo'd it and it's a story collection that's super dark. Was it the rapid flight up the ranks? (For a book listed in horror, it flew awful darn fast.) Was it something about who was buying it? Was is that the book hadn't had any new reviews in a couple of months?

My guess is that it's a combo of many of those things. The second tier check is a mystery to it human? Another bot? I don't know yet, but I'm guessing it's not tuned properly. Either the people are trained only to look at information in a vacuum and therefore, are doing it badly or there's a second algo that analyzes a new set of criteria and it's doing it wrong.

My theory is they have a number of different checks now. They could range from speed of rank climb plus source of download(s) plus whatever.

First step is to suspend/derank. A further check is done and your rank returns, which explains the short down period. Extended periods may be due to a resourcing problem.

If thats true then we can expect more mystery deranking that doesnt last.

Next question is what makes them send the warning letter, which you clearly didnt get. Whats the trigger for that? Because from what Ive read some people get it, but their rank is reinstated quickly anyway. Does that mean the warning isnt valid?

Writers' Cafe / Re: U.K. sponsored ads in test & super sized sponsored
« on: October 21, 2017, 06:10:59 AM »
There are 3 ads showing up under the also-boughts on my listing.  They appear the same as they do on the US site - smaller than the also-boughts - when viewed through Chrome on my laptop.

Interestingly, the only link at all I can find that would suggest relevance between the advertised books and mine is that my hero is a rugby league player, and the author of the books being advertised mentions rugby league in his author bio.  Definitely stretching the connection there, Amazon  ::)


Im guessing its just the books theyre using to test.

So, youre not seeing the supersized sponsored ads on the US site? Maybe its device driven or AMS know my eyesight is getting worse.   ???

Writers' Cafe / Re: U.K. sponsored ads in test & super sized sponsored
« on: October 21, 2017, 05:38:00 AM »
Im wondering how itll work on the AMS interface. Will we be able to select regions in future?

I do think AMS need to stop being so US centric. Nowadays a good proportion of my sales are international, so an alternative to FB would be useful.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 21, 2017, 05:24:55 AM »

Authors whose books were deranked are in this thread, and in fact started it. That makes it personal when you question their motives.

Its not intended personally. I dont know anything about you or any other deranked books so how could it be?

Ive made clear Im trying to understand what is causing the deranking just as other posters are. This issue affects more than one book or even a few.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 21, 2017, 05:17:46 AM »
Uh, because this thread is about them? When you specifically post here to say these authors need to get their ducks in a row or they'll be banned, it's clear you're talking about them as well. No one else "personalized" it.

The thread is also discussing possible causes for deranking, which is what Im trying to understand. Personally, I suspect there are levels of assessment. The first step may be there has been downloads/buys detected from questionable sources/regions. That might get a book flagged for further assessment, which puts the book into a form of suspension/deranking. Once the book is assessed, if there isnt a problem then the rank is returned. If the findings arent conclusive then it gets further assessed, etc.

What that would suggest is initially a deranking just means the bot detected suspicious downloads/sales. Depending on what they use to trigger the bot it could be quite meaningless (i.e. downloads/sales from geographical regions that may be perfectly legitimate).

Basically, therell be a process with gateways and its possible the bot is too sensitive, in which case its over triggering.

Theres no need to make this personal when people are trying to analyze the logic behind something.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 21, 2017, 02:06:44 AM »
Nah, BookBub have one of the largest, if not the largest, budget for attracting new subscribers. I see their ads everywhere. They own the list. Sure, they probably have some scam email subscribers on the list, just like anyone might, but I doubt there is any third party out there worth outsourcing to.

As another poster rightly said, they have too much to lose and too little to gain.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 21, 2017, 01:28:47 AM »
This could actually be Amazon taking a shot at Bookbub specifically because they wont support KU. The very fact people who are wide find it much easier to get a BB, could be annoying Amazon enough to declare war on.

Amazon may also be thinking BB may soon move to stop promoing KU books entirely, and this would change a lot of dynamics for Amazon.

In any case, if it is Amazon shooting at BB, they are shooting their own foot off first.

Here's a question though - Is it possible to get a BB without Amazon at all?

If not, maybe BB should start offering Amazon excluded promos? I for one would love one of these, just to boost being wide.


I dont know why they or an author would do an excluded ad that way, but I dont see why you couldnt. Just dont list Amazon when you submit to BookBub. You can do that now if you really want to, but I wouldnt bother.

Without a doubt BookBub have advertizing clout, but I dont see why Amazon would have such hurt feelings about that. BookBub are just standing firm on their independence, but thats not hurting Amazon. AMS make plenty of mulah, they dont need to be assaulting BookBubs share of the market, in fact that might prove counterproductive because a lot of buyers use the service and dont surf Amazon to see AMS ads.

Writers' Cafe / U.K. sponsored ads in test & super sized sponsored
« on: October 21, 2017, 01:23:48 AM »
Ive noticed a sponsored ad carousel in the U.K. showing up. So far, only one author is advertizing, but I guess its in beta. That might be worth trying when it goes public.

Also, on my iPad at least, the sponsored ads are now the same size as the also bought books. Thats actually kinda annoying.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 21, 2017, 01:12:06 AM »
I'm sorry- what are you trying to say here? That the OP, Annie B and Phoenix, among others, are all lying about what they did and didn't do? People who've been nothing but helpful and have devoted a lot of unpaid time to trying to figure out Amazon's increasingly arcane algorithms - and sharing that knowledge with the rest of us gratis?

Um. No. It seems far more likely to me that Amazon is using the 'bot' problems as a cover to hit out at one of its main advertising competitors- not at all coincidentally the one that is NOT part of a multibillion dollar company and is therefore unlikely to be able to do much damage to them if they decide to take Amazon to court over it.

Im not levelling accusations at anyone, but I am thinking logically, and looking at some of the books that have been deranked. This deranking business extends to far more authors than the ones youve mentioned, so I dont know why youre personalizing it on their behalf.

I very much doubt Amazon are using this to attack advertising competitors. Dont BookBub advertise Amazons imprints? Im not saying it isnt possible because anything is, but its not the first explanation Id go to, and I quite enjoy a good conspiracy theory.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 21, 2017, 12:28:14 AM »
Amazon have clearly identified books using scam tactics and used them to identity the scam accounts. Instead of banning the accounts theyve weaponized them by using them to identify books using scam accounts. It actually pretty clever.

If those scam accounts are buried inside NL mail lists and promoters email lists, then authors are effectively advertizing to those scammers to buy or download their books.

The question is why would a scammer just randomly download or buy a book? Some people believe buying or downloading random books legitimises the scam account. Maybe they do download some legitimate books, but most of their downloads and/or purchase wont be those. Also, we must be talking about thousands of scam accounts. Each one can only download or buy a book once. To have any effect on rank youd have to buy/download hundreds and over time thousands of copies using different accounts.

So, am I supposed to believe Amazon are deranking a book because one scam account singled them out to legitimise their account? Or are Amazon deranking the book because hundreds of scam accounts downloaded their book, in which case, what are the odds of that happening by chance?

That then leads to the next argument being put forward and thats other authors paying scammers to attack competitor books, or just people they hate in general. Hmm, Im sure that service isnt free, in fact I saw numbers where bot services cost upwards of 2,000 a month. Itd cost more to attack a competitor that way than it would just to buy some legit marketing.

Theres something very odd about these deranking events, but fair to say if authors dont quit it (whatever it is) then the ban hammer is coming down, and this time I dont think starting a social media war or complaining to Jeff will help. KDP appear to have their ducks in a row.

Writers' Cafe / Re: the mindset of a soldier
« on: October 17, 2017, 01:08:46 PM »
If you want to read articles written by soldiers about being a soldier and veteran then try

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