KB Featured Book
The Shackled Scribes
by Lars Teeney

Kindle Edition published 2016-09-20
Bestseller ranking: 242584

Product Description
Futharkia is a city built upon the layout of an ancient rune shape, and a foundation of slavery. The Broxanians have been enslaved by the Olgoikhorkian Masters to exploit the Broxanian talent for rune-scribing. In exchange, the rune-scribes are compensated with the sweet, golden liquid, Ichor, that the giant worm-like Olgoikhorkians secrete from their glands. The Ichor also happens to be highly addictive and psychoactive. The system has worked for millennia.

However, the Great Fern Jungle that surrounds Futharkia is dying, being bleached white by some unseen force. Coupled with the fact that the simian-like Fern Lice have been hunted to near extinction to provide for Futharkia's ever-increasing demand for food, Futharkia's ecosystem is near collapse. It is amid this setting that Cyesko Limariar, an aging rune-scribe makes one last attempt at greatness to lift himself out of poverty, even if by fraudulent means....

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Writers' Cafe / Re: How 1 Amazon Kindle scam made millions
« Last post by Sarah Shaw on Today at 03:23:53 AM »
I can certainly see how getting to the top of the charts would lead to large numbers of sales. I'm only now, after many years on Amazon, getting to the point of being more skeptical of my recommended reads and also boughts on books I've read. Despite all the information Amazon has on me and what I'm interested in it's just so rare that they recommend anything that I truly love. That still comes most often from getting real-life recommendations from people who have similar tastes. My very best source is favorite authors who put up lists of people they like. But since that doesn't leave me with very many books, none of my favorite authors being very prolific, I continue to buy from the recommended and also bought lists in my favorite genres. It leaves me haunted by the feeling that there are probably literally thousands of authors I'd love, if only I could find them...  :(
It's true, you don't have to read the novella, Rock Courtship, but it's actually pretty sweet. David is totally in love with Thea, the band's publicist, but every time he asks her out, she shoots him down. Still he keeps trying and he's so charming about it. The guy chasing the girl is one of my favorite tropes, so I loved it. It's pretty long for a novella also.
You may have a great story, but before you write a single word, learn what to do with a full stop (period).

My other piece of advice is this: You may know you have written the greatest book ever; don't expect everyone else to agree.
Writers' Cafe / Re: Suggestions for Book Title
« Last post by Captain Cranky on Today at 03:15:43 AM »
Three Warlocks and a Lady?  ;D
Writers' Cafe / Re: How 1 Amazon Kindle scam made millions
« Last post by RedAlert on Today at 03:01:33 AM »
Amazon undoubtedly are losing huge amounts of money from scams like this.
1) The visibility of the scam book denied visibility of more deserving real book, which would likely have a higher amount of audience clicking the buy link
2) A lot of the money came from KU borrows, so Amazon has to keep pool high enough to account for paying out all these scammers, while keeping real authors in KU.
3) Dissatisfied/Frustrated customers who are less likely to buy on Amazon based on their experience of finding these books.

The guy had 83,000 plus fake email accounts.  Each one of those accounts would have had to pay, what's the rate, $10? to join KU?  They couldn't just waltz up and borrow a book.  "They" had to pay.  And,  apparently he did not.  So, I can't see how KU figures in.

No, I think that, as strange as it sounds, all the guy did was to pull out free books which boosted his rankings.  But, you gotta remember that the guy had a catalog of 1400+ books for his pen names, and the scam lasted for two years.

All he needed was a decent cover, blurb, and visibility.  Sound familiar?  And you know that most everybody advocates having as many books available as you can.  You're hung up on quality.  "Greater productivity through lower standards."

A long time ago, a woman had boxes of an item (can't quite remember, I think it was a plastic Santa on a stick) that she literally couldn't give away at yard sales.  So, she put them up for sale on the internet.  Someone from another country bought every last one of them.

People will buy anything if given the proper motivation and perceived value.  If people think something is worth it, they'll buy it.  That's why getting up in the ranks leads to sales.  Perceived value.  So, maybe it didn't matter how crappy his books were.  People bought them anyway. 

"The first draft of everything is [crap]" and "Writing is rewriting".

Probably some of the best sentences for a beginner.
Writers' Cafe / Re: On Portraying Women as People
« Last post by Kitty French on Today at 02:33:31 AM »
Rosalind, you just became one of my favourite people.
Writers' Cafe / Re: How 1 Amazon Kindle scam made millions
« Last post by Sarah Shaw on Today at 02:24:30 AM »
Say this scammer (with his poorly put together book) made only 10dollars per visibility of 1000downloads. But he can have 80,000 downloads for free, which is 800dollars, he does this three times a year, that's 2,400 per year. He does this for 1000books, that's 2.4million.

And he can get it to the top of the charts and keep it there for longer than any legitimate author, without their own database of fake accounts, could manage.

This still sounds strange. With 1000 books, he would have to hog up a lot of spaces on promo sites. And we know there are only a few promo sites that can reliably deliver anyway. Plus, most of these sites don't promo many non-fiction books. Non-fictions don't do as well because it's hard to target a specific non-fiction topic to the general readers of Freebooksy, for example.

This article is not clear. When all's said and done, it doesn't explain how he got so many real purchasers. Are there millions of readers who would easily be enticed to buy non-fiction books by (fictitious) authors who have no platforms? That makes no sense to me given how much work I see my non-fiction author friends must put in to drive up and build a readership.

He doesn't have to use promo sites because he has his own army of fake accounts. As David says, a legitimate author spends $100 on a promo site to get maybe 1000 free downloads. He gets 83,000 without spending a dime (except for his servers). And he can use those same 83,000 accounts to write reviews. Actually, I can imagine this working even for paid. Investing $83,000 on real sales to make a couple of million is a pretty good ROI. Of course that would mean a fair number of fake credit cards, too. Still- not impossible to do- especially if you get extra cards for other fake users.

Pretty mind-boggling that Amazon allows unverified accounts. That's a pretty basic measure that nearly everyone has even for their small email lists.
How one Amazon Kindle scam made millions of dollars

The server hosted a table containing 83,899 fake Amazon accounts (an easy feat given that, when we checked, Amazon doesn't verify email accounts). At any given time of the day, dozens of those accounts could be pushed through one of over 200 proxy servers -- provided by a third-party internet company -- which makes it harder for Amazon to detect the logins.

Ranking on the FREE list give visibility.  Some KU readers will read it using KU = KU payment.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How 1 Amazon Kindle scam made millions
« Last post by RedAlert on Today at 02:17:49 AM »
The article doesn't mention KU but does say he made the money before Amazon changed their system in July 2015 so you can pretty much assume that's how he made the money. Since the article is about the tech side of things, but probably didn't want to cloud things up by having to explain KU and its workings.

It says that some of the money, the amount of which is unknown, was made for 6 months before KU2, but that the bulk of the money was made SINCE the implementation of KU2.

Some questions come up:  First, how is it that a security firm can just go around and invade the privacy of a private server, even if it is not password protected; and second, how is it that Amazon seems to not know how much this guy made BEFORE KU2?

Also, what is it about KU2 that provided such a rich environment?  This article does not seem to be saying that the money was made on borrows from KU2, but maybe the author doesn't understand KU2, and just presented the info that way?  I still don't think so, due to the amount of money it would have cost him to buy into the borrow system.  Remember, he had over 83,000 fake email accounts.  That's cost prohibitive for it to be from KU.

I don't condone what this guy did.  It wasn't fair to the rest of the authors fighting for visibility, and it was against the TOS, which others strive to uphold.  But, dang, talk about industriousness.  He even knew how to launder the addresses.

Amazon would not have caught him had it not been for the security company.  So, do you think they used a spider to discover his database?  Did they crawl in through one of his pen name accounts?

I never bought a Kindle.  Right around the time I was going to buy one, I read about some customer who did something wrong, and Amazon apparently reached through cyberspace and erased her entire Kindle.  The books you buy are not really yours permanently.  I think you can side load stuff, but I live a simple life.

I downloaded that desktop app, and never used it.  There it sits.  Why?  I got to thinking.  What if the mighty 'Zon has it fixed so they can roam around in my computer?  I know, paranoia, but...what if?  :o  I don't have anything bad in there, but I sure wouldn't like that!

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