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Messages - TwistedTales

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76
I think the tweet concerned account closures and not the page-reads issue, though they are likely related.

Anyway, I suspect Amazon detected a whale of a bot grossly inflating a client's page reads while camouflaging itself in innocent's accounts. Maybe the botter felt if inflated reads occurred across the board, Amazon would just assume business was up and redecorate the boardroom.

Instead, it appears Zon caught on, panicked, and chose a remedy that did not bear the hallmark of finesse.  Now they're surveying the collateral damage and making piecemeal amends.

Their treatment of the small-fry KU author is not what I would call stellar, but it is consistent. We can give them credit for that. It would be nice if they had a representative on this board.

When they force close a customer account it appears they also delete their reviews, and I guess they might also remove their page reads if they were in KU, so the account closures and loss of page reads is highly likely to be related.

What I donít understand now is if theyíre reinstating those accounts, then why arenít the reviews (& possibly page reads) being reinstated as well? The customer was either scamming or they werenít. If they were, then why reinstate them? If they werenít, then anything they did (reviews, page reads, etc) was valid so put it back.

The other thing that astounds me is they treat their customers as badly as they do the suppliers. What kind of weird voodoo keeps this company afloat? Donít answer that, I already know. *sigh*

77
A post or two below that tweet is a screenshot of a letter received by one who had their account restored with a plausible explanation (fraudulent activity detected, account suspended while being investigated). So, maybe we're on the other side of this now. Perhaps page reads will be restored.

Iíve been tracking this daily for a couple of weeks or so. It seems they stuck to their guns for about ten days and then starting restoring accounts. In the past 2 days the restorations appear to be escalating. Youíll notice 10,000 people signed a BBB petition (not entirely sure what that is), which hints at the number of people affected because I donít think everyone jumped on that hashtag or Twitter over this.

If this was a case of accidental customer account banning, then they should restore the page reads, but Iíd be surprised if that happens. I mean, Iíd like to be surprised, but it would be quite a forward-thinking attitude from Amazon, and they are not prone to showing that toward us itty-bitty authors. Also, given they are restoring accounts now shouldnít the page reads also be adjusted? In fact, now that I think about it, why arenít the page reads adjusting to reflect the accounts being restored? Hmm...

78
Wow. That's ... something. I wonder how many accounts Amazon has. What percentage of all accounts are fraudulent? (she wonders, knowing she'll never get an answer...)

Fun question. Iíve read pundits estimate there are around 90 million US Prime accounts (I read they were targeting I think 120 million by 2017, but unless that was supposed to include international accounts, then I guess they didnít make it.). I read up to 50% of Twitter accounts are fake and I think it was around 30% of FB accounts, which gives you some idea of the magnitude of ďfakenessĒ there could be, so knows how many of the Prime accounts are duds. And no one outside of Amazon seems to know how many KU subscriptions there are, but they give away so many free months I can only assume a good percentage of those will be duds too.

79
New conspiracy theory. Someone just tweeted this under #amazonclosed.


@amazon accidently admitted to closing "at least a million" accounts. There was no reason that they are giving. If #amazonclosed your account, file a report AND a review with @bbb_us. Don't let them do this to us. Call your attorney General. Do whatever it takes to be heard.


What if thatís true and the bots automatically removed all the reviews and page reads from a million accounts? A million closed accounts would add up to a lot of page reads.


80
Would it be right of them to slash page reads then on a book that literally didn't exist until Mid March? My new release had page reads cut too.

But who knows? Maybe that's the new Amazon way. If true, then our sales numbers really don't mean squat.

If Amazon will retrospectively remove sales data (which is what a page read represents), then we canít trust our Amazon reports anymore.

It means Amazonís KDP report system has zero integrity, and we can no longer make decisions based on what they post on them.

Excellent outcome, Amazon. Well played. Not.

81
Just a random thought as I was catching up on this thread -- no evidence/analysis or even much consideration given to it...

Feb payments are likely being processed and all previous months are paid. What if Amazon is clawing back reads from other months and it isn't just March reads being hit? Perhaps they did a Q1 audit in mid-March and are reducing some accounts' reads for something that happened (or at least that Amazon thinks happened) in Jan or Feb? Or maybe they're even a quarter behind, and doing a Q4 audit, so they might be retroacting back to Oct/Nov/Dec.

Again, just tossing the idea into the hat with all the others.

Interesting theory, but I gather some of these books were released in March and they lost 60 - 70% of their page reads. Also, how would they remove page reads from books no longer listed or not in KU?

82
Writers' Cafe / Re: Pulling a Book From Sale?
« on: April 12, 2018, 09:45:52 AM »
Good points. I'm really curious to see how market share (all around) will change with Walmart getting into things soon, too. I would love for not being on Amazon at all to be a viable option no matter your genre/audience. As customers, it's usually easy to choose not to do business with companies that treat us like crap. As producers of a product that needs distribution, it's a lot harder.

That became a reality when the large retail shops kicked off twenty-odd years ago. Remember the stir Toys R Us caused? But the big players come and go as has recently been evidenced by Toys R Us. Iíve worked behind the scenes with the big supermarkets and retail chains, not so much Iíd call myself an industry expert, but enough to see the various approaches to managing suppliers. The ones that squeezed the suppliers too hard have faltered and ultimately lost market share. The ones that made a conscious decision not to squeeze the suppliers to death were in the right place to pick up the market share the leader lost. Despite its apparent hold over the market, Iíd say the jury is still out about Amazonís mid to long term future. FB tripped over its own oversized feet recently and I can see Amazon doing the same. Unlike traditional business models, these ďtechĒ companies donít have a template to follow, so some of their policies are quite weak, as has been evidenced by FBs current faux pas.

Will there come a day you donít have to list on Amazon? Sure, you donít even have to do it now. It depends on how much you want to earn. If short term maximizing is your game, then youíll be everywhere or write to market for KU. If you donít care how fast you get there, then you might mix it up, like having different books/offerings on different platforms and having direct selling as well. Iím messing around the edges with changing the offerings by platform. Itís all about the packaging and how you bundle and price the different offerings. Reducing your risk to Amazon isnít really as simple as in/out of KU or wide versus not. There are a lot of things you can do that leverage the most out of Amazon for the least amount of exposure.

83
Writers' Cafe / Re: Pulling a Book From Sale?
« on: April 12, 2018, 07:57:37 AM »
Dang. I was going to say that I'd unpublish, wait out the rest of the three months, then go wide with the book. But if you can't do that, then the OP is really over a barrel. All I can say now is holy cow, yet another good reason not to go into Select. Getting locked down like that so you can't extricate yourself from the likelihood of unjustified sanction ...

Honestly, with the way Amazon's acting these days, part of me wants to publish everywhere but Amazon. But they've got such a big market share, I feel like I can't viably do that. I suppose my only advice at this point would be to go wide as soon and as much as possible, so that if/when Amazon closes down your account, your entire publishing business isn't shut down.

How much of the market share Amazon has is a complicated question. It really depends on how you measure it. Do you include KU books in the calculation? Is it by number of books sold? Or by number of books sold at full price? Or is by total revenue? Or by profitability? What about non fiction?

The reason this is important is because Amazon might have 50, 60, 70, 80 or even 99% of the market depending on which measures youíre using. But you also have to look at your specific market because, even if Amazon have 80% of the market using one measure (& thatís a big if), they might not have 80% of the market youíre looking for. So, for example, if Iím selling full price books to a demographic of 40+ primarily male readers in US/U.K./Canada in genre xyz, does Amazon have 80% of that market?

Donít worry about blanket declarations of market share because they donít necessarily reflect the market youíre targeting.

84
Writers' Cafe / Re: Pulling a Book From Sale?
« on: April 12, 2018, 04:55:08 AM »
Firstly, I think you can unpublish a book while itís in KU. The 3 months is suspended, and if/when you republish, it will go straight into KU to complete its term. At least, thatís how I remember it worked because I vaguely recall doing this a few years ago, but for the life of me I canít remember why.

Secondly, unpublishing the book would stop it getting any further downloads, but not necessarily from ďfraudĒ reads because the ďfraudsterĒ might already have downloaded the book. However, Amazon already think theyíve detected fraud, so unpublishing wonít get rid of that ďevidenceĒ.

Itís a question of risk and that always determined by what you stand to lose. If you are primarily worried about your account, then you could unpublish all books while you argue it out with Amazon. If you are more concerned about the readers and sales, then you could leave them all up and assume there will be no further fraud reads. The point to remember is, just because you take the one book down, that doesnít mean the others wonít get hit as well. If what people suspect is true, then the fraudsters might be choosing books based on AMS and also boughts, in which case your other books could be targeted.

No one can tell you what to do and this issue does seem to be ongoing. Iíve read some people have received emails from Amazon saying their books are still being fraud read after the first warning email. But, based on previous events of this type, the problem can appear like a tidal wave and vanish just as quickly.

Itís your risk and only you can call it. I donít think anyone would dare tell you what to do, because Amazon are unpredictable and any advice could well prove to be wrong.

85
Writers' Cafe / Re: KU Reads Versus Sales Out Of KU
« on: April 12, 2018, 02:23:27 AM »
@kate

Thanks for detailing your experience. It was interesting to read. I wish more people would report what they did going wide and how it went.

To follow up on some of your points.

- GooglePlay report sales the next day.
- I donít use permafree or free books as a tactic.
- I agree some eshot providers are stronger than others for wide sites.
- The configuration of your ads on FB really counts once youíre wide. I sometimes run specific platform ads.
- Aggregation of sales across multiple platforms is critical. Across all of them you can rack up decent numbers.
- I mostly sell bundled complete series, which are like a single book, so you donít need series to be wide.
- Having mid-range pricing is critical, otherwise advertizing will eat your margin.
- Amazon readers tend to like free/cheap books, so you have to hit the right pitch for packaging to pricing.

I still donít have all the platforms selling yet, but Iím working my way through the differences and therefore tactics to get them moving. Itís like a complex puzzle. Platforms appear slanted toward certain demographics, genres and pricing. Add to that the differences between countries and it takes time to understand how to pitch your books. This is why Iíve taken my time getting to know platforms and testing tactics. Some failed, some did well, more are scheduled.

In the past, I think KU was good for people who just wanted to largely just toss a book in and let Amazon do the rest, but those days are gone for most. Selling in KU has gotten to be as complex and expensive as selling wide, especially if youíre just starting out. Unless you happen to have an established reader base, or access to massive mail lists, I suspect thereís no easy road left.

86
Writers' Cafe / Re: Wow, anyone not rorting the system???
« on: April 12, 2018, 01:55:18 AM »
Like anything else in life, you pick your lane in this business.

The noise can get distracting and, other than noting the various black/gray tactics, most of the flaming, accusations and outrage can be ignored.

You also need to choose your own measures for success, otherwise you can end up chasing somebody elseís rabbit down a hole, not realizing they are not achieving what they claim and/or are using black/gray tactics.

This business is fraught with smoke and mirrors, various agendas, and more than itís fair share of crazy, but if you just want to write decent books and sell them for a fair price, then you can do that without all the fussing you read on this forum and others.

87
Writers' Cafe / Re: KU Reads Versus Sales Out Of KU
« on: April 11, 2018, 02:08:21 PM »
It is not favoritism per se. It is that a borrow counts the same as a sale for rank. But as you cannot see those borrows (only when pages are read), you are only able to extrapolate your way to your number or total borrows and sales.

I have some data on this too, as I put 3 books into KU1 a week before switchover and watched the correlation between borrows and page reads. I got pretty much exactly the same number of borrow-equivalents as I had had borrows past 10% under KU1.

I am sure I get people who borrow my books and quit reading after a page. But if they make it past 10%, they read the whole book.

Again,íthis can be useful data. If you know approximately how many borrows a day you are getting based on rank, and your page reads are about there, your book is pretty enticing to borrowers. If you do not get the page reads that would match that number of borrows, something on the inside probably is not matching up to the promise in your title, cover, and blurb.

But I think that is how the favortism is played out. By making a download equivalent to a sale on the ranks, even though Amazon are well aware of how many downloads are never read, by default theyíve favored the KU book over sale only because we only get a rank hike when someone has handed over real money, in which case theyíre definitely reading the book (ok, they can still stop reading or return it, but you see the difference).

To Dpockís situation, he/she is still in KU (so far theyíve only unticked the renewal box) so that canít be the reason for the drop to 80k. Someone mentioned maybe their downloads are less for the day and thatís the reason. I donít know, but anyone who does leave KU quickly learns that their  ranks will be so low they can expect no help from the algos and lists. That wouldnít be an issue if the KU books really did outsell you, but the download equals a sale logic means thatís unlikely.

Itís neither nor there in that you learn to work around it, but that plus the thousands of books advertized on our pages encourages me at least to promote the other platforms over Amazon. Itís just common sense because when I direct traffic to those platforms they are not smothered in competitor books.

88
Writers' Cafe / Re: KU Reads Versus Sales Out Of KU
« on: April 11, 2018, 11:18:51 AM »
After digesting the information in this thread I went ahead and unclicked automatic KU renewal on one book. It's been sitting solidly between #20-25k in rank for five months. In the twenty hours since I unclicked renewal, it's dropped to #80k. Now, there's no way this could be related to dropping the book out of KU is there? If so, that's showing rather blatant favoritism.

 :(

You quickly learn to ignore rank once youíre out of KU because the favortism is just that blatant. On the upside, despite our terrible ranks, many of us make decent money. Itís one of those well kept secrets because, thanks to skewing the ranks to favor KU books, Amazon make it look like we arenít.  ;D

89
Well, I've continued to email both KDP and Amazon Marketing Services to argue this and AMS referred me to KDP, who sent the canned responses that they reviewed my account and I was guilty and they wouldn't provide more information, etc.  So then I sent evidence that the only marketing services I've used are AMS and included the amount of money I've paid AMS for those services.  I stated that if Amazon KDP was correct that my marketing service had used fraud, then AMS committed the fraud and needed to refund me every penny I've spend wit it which was significantly more than KDP was going to have to pay me for sales/reads. Then I said if KDP couldn't prove that AMS committed fraud, then they needed to stop accusing me of using fraudulent means and pay me.   Then I forwarded Amazon's ridiculous emails to the Jeff@amazon.com address requesting proof that AMS violated KDP policies and a refund. 

Two hours later, I got an email from KDP saying:

Hello,

Thank you for your email concerning the status of your account.

Unfortunately, we need some more time to look into the matter. We are sorry for the delay and for any inconvenience it may cause you. We will be in touch within five business days.

Thank you for your patience.

Amazon.com

Better than the canned response that I'm guilty and they won't provide any info, but still not satisfactory by any stretch of the imagination.  I immediately stopped spending money with AMS.

Iím on TEAMCAVAN6!

Nice work.  8)

90
There is no ďget out of jail freeĒ card just because youíre incompetent. I think there is such a thing as unintentional malice, where destructive outcomes are a result of inadequate thought, whether thatís due to laziness or stupidity or lack of care.

I believe Amazon at the very least behave in a way that results in unintentional malice, but they donít ďget out of jail freeĒ just because there was no intent. Thatís why there is such a thing as corporate responsibility, which I personally believe Amazon are failing at.

91
@seanhinn The reason emotions run high is because some people are being put through the wringer, others empathize because theyíve been run around by Amazon before, and anyone who has been in this business for long enough knows they might be next.

This is at least the fourth time Iíve witnessed Amazon drag peopleís reputations and in some cases their livelihoods through the mud.

No, Amazon do not fix the underlying problems that cause the issues they claim to be addressing.

No, not everyone who gets swept up and hit over the head by Amazon deserves it.

No, refusing to discuss the quite possibly unfair decision against an individual is not fair, reasonable or respectful of the suppliers and customers who have made Amazon the company it is.

No, nothing every changes and in six or so months we can expect to see another mad sweep and, fairly or otherwise, you might be Amazonís next victim, where youíll be unfairly punished without explanation and any attempts to talk to them about it will be blocked.

Hang around Amazonís playground long enough and youíll eventually be beaten up by the schoolyard bully over something that quite possibly isnít your fault, and when you prove them wrong donít expect to be financially compensated for the money they cost you or even get an apology.

Itís the Amazon way and it sucks. Let people vent without judging them poorly for it because, believe me, Amazon isnít listening and theyíll never apologize for their mistakes or the damage they caused you.

92
Writers' Cafe / Re: KU Reads Versus Sales Out Of KU
« on: April 10, 2018, 02:19:06 PM »


That's the kicker for me. I only need about a half to convert to sales to hold revenue level and escape the vagaries of the KU Gods.


That surprises me. I would thought it cost more to reach into the other platforms.

Youíd think, wouldnít you, but it doesnít work like that for me. I mostly use FB and google click ads and theyíre much cheaper than AMS, plus youíre advertizing to 5 - 7 platforms with every ad. Say your budget is $5 and your margin per sale is $4, then you only have to sell one book to pretty much cover that cost. If your $5 gets you 25 - 50 or more clicks then thatís quite doable, not to mention the follow on sales from the first one. You are spreading your risk across more platforms and, even in my worst sale months, Iíve never failed to get my marketing money back with profit.

I find marketing wide has a much bigger tolerance for error because youíre playing to so many platforms. Chances are youíll find the buyers youíre looking for because youíre using such a wide net.

But like others have stated, you have to try it to know if itís a style of marketing you can work with. For me, marketing wide is simpler and has a wider margin for error, whereas the high competition and treadmill nature of KU didnít really appeal to me.

93
Writers' Cafe / Re: KU Reads Versus Sales Out Of KU
« on: April 10, 2018, 11:20:00 AM »
Thanks for your input. Sorry I wasn't entirely clear before. Maybe I can simplify...

Let's say you have a book that gets 100 full KU read-throughs in month 1. That represents the monthly KU market for your book.

Month 2, you pull it out of KU. What percentage of that previous KU market will become retail buyers when it's out of KU?

I ask because I write short novels. Full KU read-throughs earn less than a sale (at $2.99). If just a quarter of my KU customers would have bought my book if it wasn't "free", I would have earned more.

Ah, I understand. I canít remember my exact numbers and it did vary by length of book.

1 full read = $3.50 (roughly .005)
1 sale = $4.00 (70% royalty)

Providing I could replace every full read with a sale I was close enough to making the same money. I roughly did 50% in sales and 50% in KU reads. It meant all I had to do was double the sales. I have more than done that since leaving KU, so Iíve never had a month where I earned less than I did while I was in KU, but you need to appreciate why to make use of the data:

- I did a new series release in January 2017, which followed on from a very popular series. That alone pumped sales to 1,500 books for that month.
- In February and March I had BookBubs, which combined sold around 10,500 books at 99c.

You can imagine selling 12,000 books in 10 weeks had a good tail, which I rode for most of the year with very little additional marketing and no further discounting.

If you do go wide I would recommend you plan a solid campaign designed to make you visible across all platforms. For my January launch I relied on FB, some AMS and around 4 - 5 eshot providers. I was discounting a new release of a follow on series so it was a good offer. I also donít discount often so readers do tend to buy when I do.

With a little planning you should be able to go wide without losing any revenue. Another thing Iíve found is my marketing costs once I was out if KU plummeted so my margins improved significantly. Itís something else to add into the mix when youíre analyzing whether to go wide.

94
If you're living in perpetual anxiety and stress, save yourself sooner rather than later because the spontaneous improvement you're hoping for is the stuff of fantasy.

Iím not sure everyone who goes wide does so because Amazon makes them anxious. A lot of people either donít earn enough for it to matter or have enough money not to care. Some people have a hybrid model where some of their catalog is in KU and some is wide.

People stay in, out or a bit of both based on their own circumstances. I donít need the money I earn from books so itís just as easy to be out and, to be honest, itís more fun having the additional platforms to play with than being stuck with just boring old Amazon.

Are Amazon abusive? You can ditch KU anytime, itís not a prison sentence. Once youíre out of KU, other than listing on a platform that favors its own KU books so yours are invisible, they pretty much ignore you. Now Iím out of KU I wouldnít describe Amazon as abusive, but while I was in KU I thought they were unprofessional, unpredictable and irritating.

Iím irritated less now.   :D

95
Writers' Cafe / Re: Pondering some ad results...
« on: April 10, 2018, 02:54:44 AM »
Iím not using BB click ads, not yet anyway. I do plan to get around to it when I need them.

However, I am finding nook is doing very well, so well that itís starting to regularly outsell Amazon for US only sales. Iím also starting to see a slow improvement on Google and iBooks. U.K. sales have been on the uptick for quite a while, so thatís not new for me.

You might find some of your results arenít specific to BookBub, but are early signs of a shift happening in the market. Itís early days to be sure yet, but Iím seeing a similar pattern to what youíre describing in sales.

96
Writers' Cafe / Re: KU Reads Versus Sales Out Of KU
« on: April 09, 2018, 10:38:43 PM »
Iím not sure I fully understand your question, but hereís an answer...

Iím selling books at 2.99/5.99 and I generally earn more royalty on a sale than I would a read (depends on the page rate youíre using to estimate).

I left KU in January 2017 (by the time they were all out). My sales instantly doubled on Amazon and that fully replaced my KU earnings. I ran three campaigns in Jan - March, including two BookBubs in quick succession,  and my total annual revenue doubled for the year without me doing any further campaigns for 2017.

I went wide slowly (had a very busy year), but the other platforms were between 30 - 40% of my total revenue.

This year the other platforms are 40 - 60% of my total revenue, but theyíre trending more often toward the 60% now. I hope to improve that percentage by setting up direct sales and running some brand marketing around the weaker platforms. Iíve yet to fully get into bed with kobo, but once I do then I can use their promotional tools as well.

I canít tell if Iím just becoming more established on the other platforms or if readers are moving off Amazon, but Iím definitely seeing a real uptick outside of Amazon. I find that very encouraging.


97
Here's the deal.. Amazon did do something about scammers. They deleted a large number of fake accounts that were auto-generating page reads. That's why some lost up to 50% of their pages read for March. But what that indicates -and this is what actually scares me - is more than half of the pages read reported to some innocent authors weren't legitimate.

The bottom line is we have no idea who is reading our books or if the page reads we're receiving are even real in the first place. What a shocker to wake up and discover that half your page reads were fake. How can you plan or build a career if you can't trust your reported sales figures?

If thatís true, and I donít know if it is, I assume the ďfakeĒ reads of innocent books would only have been a smaller percentage of the total reads done by a scammer, which means the total number of fake page reads could be well over half of all pages read,

The KU model was practically designed to encourage and enable scamming, so I guess itís possible more than 50% of the page read activity is fake. I mean, Amazon pretty much roll out a red carpet and wave the scammer in by letting anyone set up and account and giving away so many free months. But then they also let a bot assess a book, which is how so many fake ones get loaded. It means a scammer can make money from both directions as a fake author and/or fake reader.

Someone upthread alluded to how KU could be used for money laundering. Iíve discussed that point with an expert in the field (Iím not one) and they said the controls appear to be far too loose, which makes me wonder if it isnít been used for that.

KU is a deeply flawed model in so many ways itís hard to keep up with just how itís being abused. For Amazon to blame authors for their bad design and then refuse to talk to us about it is a beyond low, but then they treat their customers the same way, so what hope has a supplier got?

98
Of course, I think a book following a starving author through all the trials and tribulations of dealing with Amazon drama might get picked up for a screenplay. ;)

I read somewhere that Bezos told Amazon Studios that they needed to make a #1 hit series to be successful. It made me wonder what theyíd been trying to do instead.

ďSorry, Mr Bezos, sir, but we thought you wanted something mediocre.Ē

 :P

99
Disclaimer: not a political post here, only a reflection on politics affecting business.

Many of the news stories about Amazon locking thousands of customer accounts are mentioning Donald Trump's Twitter attacks on Jeff Bezos this week. Why is Trump mad? In addition to owning Amazon, Bezos also owns The Washington Post. The Post has been in the forefront of investigative journalism re Trump's Russia connections. A few pundits have speculated that the President has been trying to punish Bezos by lambasting Amazon, Bezos' cash cow.

If that's the case, it would explain why Amazon has gone haywire, coincidentally, this same week: kicking customers off, cutting page reads, telling authors point-blank that they will not be getting KU money over SUSPECTED manipulations. It's crazy.

The craziness only makes sense if Bezos wonders, maybe correctly, if the federal government (directed from on high) may start sniffing around his companies, looking for wrongdoing as a pretext to haul them into court and also generate negative publicity. Thus Bezos has ordered Amazon to get squeaky-clean overnight, and not worry about collateral damage for the present. Because a class-action suit from customers, or authors, or both is small potatoes compared to a shakeup from Uncle Sam.

In practical terms this may mean that if Donald keeps up his Twitter rants against Bezos/Amazon/The Post, Amazon's going to remain as crazy if not crazier; but if Donald lays off (or gets distracted), and leaves Jeff alone going forward, things at Zon may return to a semblance of normal.

Just speculation. YMMV.

Lol. Fun summary and Iíve been tracking the various media outlets and the sharemarket. It has a better plot line, characters and surprise twists than anything Amazon Studios have come up with.  :P

Do I think itís the reason for the latest drama? I doubt it. Amazon have operated this way for years. Every so often, for reasons weíll probably never know, some authorís earnings come off a cliff one way or another. People get frustrated, they demand answers, they get ignored. It happened in 2015 with the switch from KU1.0 to 2.0, 2016 when page reads nose dived, 2017 when people were deranked, and now 2018. Lets just hope KDP have got it all out of their system for this year and people can get back to writing.

100
I think it's been fairly well documented that the click farms use the 30-day free subscriptions to download and flip through books as fast as their little automated fingers can fly. Choosing a few legit authors for camouflage makes sense. One of the things I keep hearing is the people who have been page stripped often had new releases or were pumping up their advertising efforts. When their page numbers skyrocketed, they were pleased and thought they'd finally hit the jackpot.

While I'm sure that a lot of manipulation was going on, I think there area a lot of things going on. I just don't like the lack of transparency, and I do wish Amazon didn't use a chainsaw to cure a hangnail.

The only silver lining to all this nonsense is Amazonís follow through has historically been fairly poor. They pull stunts like this almost every six months, freak people out, anger many, convince a bunch to abandon KU, only to then reinstate accounts as if nothing happened.

Itís a weird cycle and Iíve wondered if itís intentional to keep everyone off-center, but it probably isnít. For people who have been tossed under the bus for this round, the upside is most will likely get their accounts back and life will go on, albeit theyíll be feeling a bit bruised for the experience.

I think some people can work with the drama and others just throw the hands up in disgust, but everyone resents not being talked to like a grown up.

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