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Messages - TobiasRoote

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Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: November 22, 2017, 06:51:10 AM »
What's absurd about this situation is that KU books don't get hit anywhere near (if at all) the way non-KU books do. There are so many KU books outright botting the system and they go on forever without zon taking action.

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

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

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

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

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

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: November 22, 2017, 06:17:55 AM »
I take extreme exception to this characterization. Figuring out how the store works and tweaking your marketing isn't "gaming the system" which implies some kind of cheating or unscrupulousness.

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

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

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

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

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: November 22, 2017, 05:21:04 AM »
There are a few observations here.

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

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

And you wonder why the thing breaks !!!

Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: November 22, 2017, 01:49:15 AM »
I've just suddenly cottoned onto this issue about rank-stripping.

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

Writers' Cafe / Re: Calling all Jutoh experts
« on: November 22, 2017, 01:41:25 AM »
I tend to use whichever font I enjoy using at the time. Trebuchet, Calibra Times, etc., When you set your fonts within the configuration for body, body indent, it's a simple matter of changing it to something else. I find that Amazon generally changes the fonts to theirs and as a kindle user I have my favourite kindle fonts which over-ride the book's settings anyway.

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

Writers' Cafe / Re: Alternative to Amazon's defunct Meet Our Authors forum?
« on: November 21, 2017, 08:15:29 AM »
There is a site called KBoards which has an entire forum for self-promotion called The Book Bazaar.  It's a pretty well-trafficked site, have you heard of them?

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

Writers' Cafe / Re: Mario Teodosio Custom Art
« on: November 21, 2017, 07:05:12 AM »
I ordered five illustrations from Mario and I love how they turned out.

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

Writers' Cafe / Re: Mario Teodosio Custom Art
« on: November 21, 2017, 07:01:48 AM »
Very Nice! That's certainly some of the better work I've seen lately.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Publishing Translations Of Existing Books
« on: November 21, 2017, 02:35:23 AM »
When you get the translated version back you need to format it the way you want it, then upload it to the sales platform. When you do so you upload it as a new book (new ASIN/ISBN) and check the language of book box (different place on each platform). You need to put in the title, subtitle and other text on cover in the language of the cover (this should be part of your translation). Your description the same. The sales platform will promote your books on their other language pages. In the case of Amazon, then they have a DE version of the site which I presume automatically expects the book to be in German if the 'German language' selection has been made. Obviously if on the .com site, people need to be aware the book is the German version in case they assume it is in English.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great news.

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

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

Writers' Cafe / Re: Can you quote customer reviews in blurbs?
« on: November 17, 2017, 12:31:26 PM »

You stated above with clear authority that you were speaking for 'a lot' of the readers/reviewers when you said they did not put up reviews so that the author of the book they were leaving the review for could use it. This is central to your definition of showing respect, that you speak for the majority. You lost my respect when you based your argument on that deceit.

I consider the matter of respect to be one of great import in that if I were to use a review quote, and IF I could contact the reviewer, I might ask them. If they declined I would move onto the next. However, equally I would use a review from one of MY book reviews happily even if I couldn't contact the person. In that case I would not quote the reviewer. If I used an anonymous review [most of them are] then I still wouldn't quote the reviewer, but if they could identify it as their review (unlikely in 99.999% of cases), and took the trouble to ask me to remove it I would do one of two things. 1] I would oblige immediately, or 2] with the reviewer's approval I would modify the review to take any possible identification out of it.

The issue of lack of such respect would only come into being if I identified the reviewer without their permission, or refused to take down the review on request. What you see as a rule of etiquette is actually only your opinion, not really an issue of respect, but more how YOU view the act of respect. My view is I respect all my reviewers and my readers, they are after all highly discerning, intelligent and literate people. Likewise, If I use a review respectfully, then I'm acting ethically and with integrity in giving added recognition to the effort put in by the reviewer to make their personal views of my book known.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Can you quote customer reviews in blurbs?
« on: November 17, 2017, 11:43:28 AM »
And I do think that the ethics of writing, publishing, and our business practices is worth discussing.

I quite agree. There is a distinction don't you think between discussing the agin's and fore's of such a practice and telling people who do it that they are being disrespectful, lacking in ethics or breaching copyright and are therefore [according to the narrow viewpoint voiced on here] in the wrong on all levels. I have no issue at all about you having your opinions, or anyone else for that matter. What I do object to is the way in which the 'agin' brigade insist that those who do it are lacking in morality, ethics and integrity. Either by accusation or insinuation. Who are these people to say what is right and wrong - we're a loose community, very loose, and not bound by any standards anywhere that I'm aware of. So, yes we can discuss this like adults and as equals, but don't make up statistics or think you can speak for the majority of readers because that's just dishonest.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Can you quote customer reviews in blurbs?
« on: November 17, 2017, 10:33:02 AM »
And yes, some customers would be just fine with it. A lot wouldn't.

Do you have validated figures to substantiate that claim? I think not.

Regular customers/readers do not write reviews with this expectation, nor do they write reviews for the use of the author/publisher.

Have you surveyed all the readers/reviewers to reach this conclusion? I think not. Do you have ANY data to substantiate this? I think not.

As a matter of respect I think it's definitely worth considering that people on here and authors generally should be provided the respect of being able to make their own decisions as to whether it is/isn't respectable/legal/ethical. We collectively, are authors. In reality and individually, we are all kinds of people with all kinds of morals, ethics and other personal constraints. What we're not, in the main part at least, is naive, gullible or stupid. I believe it is enough to say, that readers/reviewers/authors all have an individual voice and are fully capable of using it to maintain their own values without someone else making that decision for them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: For heaven's sake, people, you're authors.
« on: November 17, 2017, 04:05:38 AM »
Hundreds of readers including me failed to notice that my character 'road away'. I think I'd read the book at least three times before I noticed. I also had a 13 month pregnancy in the first go round; husband went away in May, she had her baby the following June. Nobody noticed that, either, thank heavens.

I think my 'worst' was putting Chinese 'Samurai' in my first book. :P

Writers' Cafe / Re: For heaven's sake, people, you're authors.
« on: November 17, 2017, 03:57:20 AM »
I found my character peaking around a corner.

I'm always appreciative of characters that do these things discreetly out of sight. (I was going to use a pet hate of mine 'discretely' but thought better of it).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Let's talk about writer's Doubt.
« on: November 17, 2017, 03:42:59 AM »
I doubt everything. Sometimes, when I'm ignored I even doubt my own existence.

Seriously though? [Self] Doubt is probably the least driving force behind my writing. My problem is procrastination which is the opposite of doubt as I am confident in my ability to do it 'tomorrow' and that leaves the book unfinished.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Risky 2nd Attempt at Blurb
« on: November 17, 2017, 03:01:18 AM »
This is the problem as I see it.

You are asking people to help with your description of a book that you know, and we don't. You give us what you think we need to know and ask us to improve it. We take what we [or you] 'think' are the main elements of the story, and compress it [believe me this bit is important]. You then rewrite it as a totally different description and ask if this is better. It reads like a different book - how do we compare?

First, let the reviewers decide whether the book compares or draws from top-running series. Just decide on what are the main elements of 'THIS' book are and compress it into a single sentence. When you do this you have to seriously consider what the book is about and try and tell us that in one sentence. This will concentrate your attention on the story. i.e.

"This is one man versus an apocalyptic event and what the threat of imminent extinction does to people and how far they are prepared to go to survive."

This is your story. You can pad it out with more, but essentially this is 'the' story. Take it from there ;)

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