Author Topic: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?  (Read 10177 times)  

Offline PhoenixS

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Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2016, 08:01:56 am »
One other thing worth noting (and maybe someone already has; I certainly did when I reported) is that each of these books has a very large file size. I'm betting they're all stuffed to the 3000 KENPC limit for payout. So when their bots (or live click-farmers) read, each full read is worth somewhere between $13 and $15. Not that I think Amazon will pay out on the books it's now been alerted to. But plenty of others out there...
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    Online JustWriting

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #26 on: October 30, 2016, 08:14:00 am »
    I was trying to figure out what the scammer gets out of this because the chances are that with something as blatant as this, Amazon will kill their account before any payment is made.

    The only thing I could come up with that made a lick of sense was:

    1) Blackhat Conman sells a service which guarantees to get a book (any book) into the charts based on borrows and possibly also guarantees a number of page-reads. For this he charges a fixed amount. Let's say $300 per book

    2) Gullible would-be scammer is happy to pay the $300 because he sees how much money he will make via page-reads. And sure enough his KDP dashboard looks like a goldmine. He is so pleased he goes back and places more orders with the Blackhat conman.

    3) Some time later, Amazon brings down the hammer on Gullible would-be scammer, and closes his account before he actually gets a payment .

    Blackhat Conman is okay because he already has his money. He doesn't rely on Amazon to pay him.

    There might be other explanations but I'm struggling to think of one unless of course Amazon doesn't close down accounts like this quickly enough, and Gullible would-be scammer does actually get the cash - which would be too insane to contemplate.
    « Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 08:16:18 am by JustWriting »

    Offline mythsnake

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #27 on: October 30, 2016, 08:38:49 am »
    I used the report quality issue link at the bottom of the page (it's in the gray box above the footer).

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    Offline Word Fan

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #28 on: October 30, 2016, 08:39:02 am »
    I thought that amazon scanned books before they allowed them to be uploaded? Surely they should be able to catch these books before they get uploaded?

    No. Apple does that for iBooks. It sometimes takes 2 weeks for you to get approval for your book to go up there. Usually less, but it can take that long because Apple supposedly has people who actually look over every book before they allow it.

    There are some die-hard Apple haters here, but Apple does some things really well.

    Offline PhoenixS

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #29 on: October 30, 2016, 10:16:40 am »
    **************
    « Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 02:08:43 pm by PhoenixS »
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    Offline BellaJames

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #30 on: October 30, 2016, 10:49:52 am »
    Looks like those scambooks have been/are now being removed.

    I can still see them from 50-100 on movers and shakers and the HNR chart

    Offline SB James

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #31 on: October 30, 2016, 10:52:47 am »
    It seems that almost as soon as they get taken down, they are republished under another pen name. Like Whack-A-Mole!  >:(


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    Offline sela

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #32 on: October 30, 2016, 11:08:08 am »
    Apparently, Amazon is unable to actually follow through and is removing individual titles but not dealing with the accounts who create these scam books. Here's a screenshot of the movers and shakers with several scam books "no longer available" but others by the same author still for sale.

    Come on Amazon... I mean, if we can find these with no effort, why can't Amazon employees find and remove them? This is kicking legitimate authors out of the movers and shakers ranks and affecting visibility of books that are actually moving and shaking.

    « Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 11:10:04 am by sela »
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    Offline Cheyanne

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #33 on: October 30, 2016, 11:10:01 am »
    I just spent a ton of time reporting all the ones that weren't yet taken down. It's so frustrating wondering how many of these scammers get away with it and how much more our payments would be without Amazon dishing out money to them.

    Seems REALLY easy to prevent this -- actually review the books before they're available for sale. I wouldn't mind a bit if it took a few days (even a week) for my books to be vetted by Amazon before being able to put on sale. That'd raise the $$ for all of us who are selling genuine books. As it is now, it just makes me so angry I'm considering going back to selling wide.

    Offline PearlEarringLady

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #34 on: October 30, 2016, 11:13:27 am »
    Apparently, Amazon is unable to actually follow through and is removing individual titles but not dealing with the accounts who create these scam books. Here's a screenshot of the movers and shakers with several scam books "no longer available" but others by the same author still for sale.

    I would guess that it's a different department. Taking down books that have been reported multiple times for quality control issues is probably a low-level, automated process. It will likely only be looked at by a human if the author complains, which in this case is unlikely. Closing an account is a much more serious matter, and (I would hope) would only be done after thorough investigation from a human. Not that it will slow these scammers down. They seem to be able to open new accounts at will.

    Offline thesmallprint

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #35 on: October 30, 2016, 12:31:22 pm »
    Time perhaps for a proper global Indies alliance to help combat this and other scams. If everyone got together and paid a small sum to maintain a membership site and employ a bank of virtual assistants to constantly monitor and report scams, it would not only help, but might embarrass Amazon into action.

    Offline PhoenixS

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #36 on: October 30, 2016, 03:23:27 pm »
    You know, there are 45 (!) books in today's KDD. The scam books were approaching the #100 ranks fast. The cynic in me could snarkily assume Amazon only cared when they needed to clear the way for their promoted books to rank properly.

    Nah...right?

    ;)
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    Offline Alan Petersen

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #37 on: October 30, 2016, 04:00:06 pm »
    What, on God's earth, is a click farm?

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    Offline sela

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #38 on: October 30, 2016, 04:05:43 pm »
    You know, there are 45 (!) books in today's KDD. The scam books were approaching the #100 ranks fast. The cynic in me could snarkily assume Amazon only cared when they needed to clear the way for their promoted books to rank properly.

    Nah...right?

    ;)

    Nah, that doesn't sound right. ;)
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    Offline 77071

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #39 on: October 30, 2016, 04:06:58 pm »
    I'm sure there's more going on behind the scenes than I completely understand, but at this point from the outside, Amazon just looks incompetent.  Oh yes, here are some totally legitimate "books" (that everyone can see are NOT) hogging the top spots on our store!  Yes, come right in scammers, we WELCOME YOU.   ::) 

    Well, as others have said, they're probably trying to weed this stuff out.  And maybe they won't pay the all big fat bonuses for bringing in those "reads."   :-*

    Offline sela

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #40 on: October 30, 2016, 04:13:54 pm »
    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-W0CBOGnnI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-W0CBOGnnI</a>

    Well, I guess the optimist would say "Look at all the great high tech jobs that are being created!"

    PS love that episode of Silicon Valley.
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    Offline Gator

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #41 on: October 30, 2016, 04:17:32 pm »
    You know, there are 45 (!) books in today's KDD. The scam books were approaching the #100 ranks fast. The cynic in me could snarkily assume Amazon only cared when they needed to clear the way for their promoted books to rank properly.

    Nah...right?

    ;)

    Cynical ... but spot on.  Several high-performing Amazon imprint books got bumped off the "Movers and Shakers" list -- until the scam books were removed.  Amazon was losing money.

    Offline AsianInspiration

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #42 on: October 30, 2016, 04:27:10 pm »
    I wonder if Amazon will conveniently count all those tens of millions of page reads generated by those books in the october KU fund (and lowering the $/page), and then refuse to pay the scammers, because, well, they're scammers.

    Offline Lefevre

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #43 on: October 30, 2016, 06:49:34 pm »
    Possibly the shenanigans like that are affecting reader sentiment towards indies, and are a reason why so many people are discussing sales declines?
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    Offline 555aaa

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #44 on: October 30, 2016, 07:02:03 pm »
    The top 100 is (seems to be) curated. You're not going to see these books break 100... although I'm watching "The Donkey In Meadow" gain rank as I poke around; it's at 147 now, just behind "The Boy and His Job" at 146.

    Curious to be proven wrong on this.

    Offline Gentleman Zombie

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #45 on: October 30, 2016, 07:08:10 pm »
    These guys aren't going to give up as this recent aggressive activity just showed us. Are they testing the system--- in an attempt to figure out how the new measures work? That's my guess. They are looking for a sweet spot - a way to make money without triggering Amazon's security measures.

    The downside is the more that Amazon clamps down -- the harder it becomes for honest authors to make a buck.  Sure some people aren't affected now -- but if Amazon decides to become more rigid, things could get very interesting.

    Offline amdonehere

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #46 on: October 30, 2016, 07:36:06 pm »
    These guys aren't going to give up as this recent aggressive activity just showed us. Are they testing the system--- in an attempt to figure out how the new measures work? That's my guess. They are looking for a sweet spot - a way to make money without triggering Amazon's security measures.

    The downside is the more that Amazon clamps down -- the harder it becomes for honest authors to make a buck.  Sure some people aren't affected now -- but if Amazon decides to become more rigid, things could get very interesting.

    He's doing it because it's an easy way to scam money. A while back someone posted an article on how this is done. It's all automated. The guy runs a program and generates lots and lots of read. We humans cannot compete.

    I'm with Phoenix -- maybe Amazon will finally do something drastic when their own imprints are being bumped down.

    Offline sela

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #47 on: October 30, 2016, 07:50:26 pm »
    The Clever Man by Steven Oswald is currently #157 in the Kindle Store. I'd kill for that rank. All his books are close to that rank.
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    Offline sela

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #48 on: October 30, 2016, 07:57:53 pm »
    Top 40 - 80 in the Hot New Releases:



    « Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 07:59:41 pm by sela »
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    Offline sela

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    Re: Movers and Shakers taken over by Spammers?
    « Reply #49 on: October 30, 2016, 08:09:00 pm »
    The Donkey in Meadow is #3 in the Amazon Movers and Shakers: Can The Champion Donkey beat The Donkey in Meadow?

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