Author Topic: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits, Amazon Taking Action (MERGED)  (Read 151234 times)  

Offline BGArcher

  • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
  • **
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #650 on: June 21, 2018, 07:08:18 pm »
This is another tired talking point.

Let me turn it around on you. Why are you so concerned about what other authors do with their time and energy? People want to change the status quo, why do you care?

Several people have pointed out cleaning house is overall good for the store, and I once again am saying I agree with that. Amanda made a great point up thread about a known spoofer getting taking down and the payout bouncing up afterwards. That's totally valid. Those practices should be removed from the store. I'm saying the mob mentally is lumping those people in with Chance, and it's not the same thing. I'm also not saying CC was some golden god, or even someone to be a role model to other writers. He pushed things too far, but at the same time, having everything he had up being completely removed is not a win. That's my concern. I don't mind people changing the status quo, I don't like author's taking down other author's, and having a mob mentality about it. Doxxing author's, which plenty of people in these threads always skate over. As for other author's in how they spend their time and energy? I'm not concerned at all. That's a bunch of people who would rather be wasting their time and energy on being amazon police than doing the work. I'm fine with that. My only concern is continuing to produce solid books and pleasing readers.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 07:10:34 pm by BGArcher »

KBoards.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Offline Ava Glass

    • Status: Jane Austen-10011
    • ***
    • Posts: 484
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #651 on: June 21, 2018, 07:18:10 pm »
    As for other author's in how they spend their time and energy? I'm not concerned at all. That's a bunch of people who would rather be wasting their time and energy on being amazon police than doing the work. I'm fine with that.

    I shall quote you again:


    Quote
    The people who spend so much time hunting these people down would do better for their own business by focusing on their work.

    Winner's worry about their own game, they don't worry so much about what others are doing. Unless they are studying other winners to see how they're doing that, and adding it to their game.

    You said losers care, and winners mind their own business.


    If you had simply said that you don't think Chance and his buddies are that bad, and people should leave them alone, it would be more honest than "winners mind their own business."
    « Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 07:23:55 pm by Ava Glass »

    Offline BGArcher

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 200
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #652 on: June 21, 2018, 07:31:57 pm »
    I shall quote you again:


    You said losers care, and winners mind their own business.


    If you had simply said that you don't think Chance and his buddies are that bad, and people should leave them alone, it would be more honest than "winners mind their own business."

    You're trying to mince my words here, or focusing on one point and still missing the larger one. But I've said it several times, clearly, and it feels like you're choosing not to hear it. That's fine. Pointing out that I have noticed a general trend of the most successful people in whatever field focus on their own stuff instead of attacking others (whether it's writers, or any other field I've studied) generally do better than the people who get stuck in the muck attacking others is not calling those other people losers. They just aren't at the top of the game usually.  To put it simply, I believe that positivity, always, always beats out negativity in the long run. I don't think that Chance or his buddy's were great. I never said that. The diamond thing was a bridge too far, and plenty of the other stuff also needed to be curbed. But the fact that he was removed, and others were attacked, including innocent authors (doxxing and so on) is what I'm calling out. I also stated earlier that in the end this part, the cc part, probably won't have a big impact on the store. I could be wrong about that. If I am, okay, good on Amazon on fixing it. But that doesn't change my point, or make it any less valid. The people who focused on the negative will long term never beat the people who focus on the positive (namely writing a ton and doing the work.)
    « Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 07:37:32 pm by BGArcher »

    Offline Crime fighters

    • Status: Scheherazade-10012
    • *****
    • Posts: 1573
    • Ohio
    • Something in the way
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #653 on: June 21, 2018, 07:42:06 pm »
    Nobody has been doxxed. It's a point that's been proven patentky false over and over again. It takes away your credibility when you keep saying it. And to imply that only "losers" are p*ssed off about the entire situation is absurd. Some big name people are talking; they're just doing it behind closed doors.

    Offline Betsy the Quilter

    • To paraphrase Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: "I'm a goddess; not THE Goddess. I don't think."
    • Moderators-10003
    • Status: Shakespeare-10010
    • *****
    • Posts: 63461
    • Gender: Female
    • Alexandria, VA
    • Love all, moderate all, to quote my friend Harvey.
      • View Profile
      • Betsy True Designs
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #654 on: June 21, 2018, 07:51:31 pm »
    Folks,

    right now, based on the way this thread is headed, I thinking I might lock it when I retire and let y'all cool off and reopen in the morning.  We don't have anyone here for the night shift.

    OR, y'all could stop making personal comments about each other and just discuss issues.

    Just sayin'.

    EDIT:  Those of you who think discussion of these issues is not a worthwhile use of one's time, don't discuss.  This is not the thread for you.  Lots of other threads.

    Betsy
    KB Mod
    « Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 07:53:58 pm by Betsy the Quilter »
    Goodreads Goal -- 75 books


    Joined 10/27/2008  | Miss you, Harvey, Jeff & Dona!
    Harvey Chute (1962-2015), KB Founder

    Proud Owner: Oasis/Voyage/Touch/Basic/K1/Fire HDX    KB Member #72
    Betsy True Designs Facebook | My Store

    Offline Phxsundog

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 116
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #655 on: June 21, 2018, 08:21:44 pm »
    Without getting personal, a lot of the anger over this situation is coming from a place of justified fear and extreme frustration among indie authors. Romance has never seen anything like the invasion that's taken place over the past year. A small internet marketer group has gotten a powerful stranglehold on KU. This group has shown they don't care about producing quality content or being good actors in the indie community. They create new pen names constantly and rely on heavy stuffing to support ad spends no author with an unstuffed book can match. They take a disproportionate number of bonuses by stuffing to the max. This book stuffing exploit strategy is what's enabled them to become so prominent and hard for other romance authors to hold their ground against. Very little keeps them accountable, including social media shame, because if one pen name gets burned, they just jump to a new one.

    It's also encouraged them to push the lines further with bad formatting tricks, breaching copyright in ads by running stolen images and other jaw dropping behavior almost no ordinary author or publisher would ever do. They don't think like authors or sensible publishers because they never were. There's no doubt about their origins. The ones who are constantly in the Top 100 stuffing to the limit and causing problems originated in Warrior Forum world. It's proven by the sketchy looking master courses showing up lately on social media. They're either the instructors of these $1000 classes or giving testimonials for each other, inviting even more marketers to storm Kindle publishing. These are not indie authors or publishers who play by ordinary operating rules. They don't change strategy or listen to the frustrations others are experiencing. They only care if Amazon makes them or they get tarred and feathered publicly.

    I don't want to see indie authors buried by blackhat internet marketers. That's my issue. It's taking the entire industry in a really ugly direction where content quantity and bad ethics win. The only way to make sure it doesn't get worse is to continue applying pressure on Amazon to shut down the lopsided financial advantage page stuffing brings. I'd much rather see Amazon fix KU versus leaving authors policing this situation in a messy, unfocused way.
    « Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 08:24:11 pm by Phxsundog »

    Offline PhoenixS

    • Status: A A Milne-10008
    • ******
    • Posts: 4279
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #656 on: June 21, 2018, 08:29:11 pm »
    Without getting personal, a lot of the anger over this situation is coming from a place of justified fear and extreme frustration among indie authors.
    ...
    I don't want to see indie authors buried by blackhat internet marketers. That's my issue. It's taking the entire industry in a really ugly direction where content quantity and bad ethics win. The only way to make sure it doesn't get worse is to continue applying pressure on Amazon to shut down the lopsided financial advantage page stuffing brings. I'd much rather see Amazon fix KU versus leaving authors policing this situation in a messy, unfocused way.

    *slow clap*

    Thank you.

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know whatever happened to those very-successful KU writers of past who got kicked out? What became of them? I only know of two (RH and Chance Carter) but I remember there have been more over the years. I'm just wondering if they went wide, created a new persona, I mean, where are they now? Anybody ever hear whatever happened to these writers after the fall?

    I've been following a few who were botting their way up the paid and free lists who've been slapped back. And by 'following,' I mean I have some of their more successful books in my Tracker account where I can take a few seconds every week or so to peek at their rank trends for the last 30 days. Pointing this out since some people apparently think those of us on neighborhood watch spend an inordinate amount of time documenting and reporting.

    A couple of examples:

    One guy who was botting to #1 Free every month with the same book, and botted a couple of hundred borrows while free, and who managed to keep a paid rank under #10K the rest of the time has taken to using non-botted ad promos, rarely breaks the Top 100 Free, and generally has a paid rank now of #30K+. He was busted last fall, and is still in Select.

    Another guy who was botting to the Top 5 Paid every month -- and sometimes 2 to 3 times a month -- with a different book each time was busted late last summer. He slowly went wide with his titles and put a couple permafree, where they typically hang in the #2K-3K Free range. I saw he ran a couple of 99 cent Countdowns, and didn't get better than about #12K with promo with them. His new releases -- he'd just started pubbing a new series when he was busted -- tanked hard. I don't know how he's doing off-Amazon.

    Gotta say, while these guys were slapped back and their incomes decimated, I'm disappointed they were allowed to stay in Select (possibly because they weren't botting page reads?), but mostly disappointed that their accounts weren't terminated, although the Paid Rank botter had his suspended for a few days. They were multi-, multi-repeat offenders and were obviously actively engaged in scamming the system.
    Comments removed to protect content and data from the over-reaching TOS of new forum owner VerticalScope. VerticalScope claims rights to any content posted to this site as theirs to disseminate beyond this site in any way they see fit.

    KBoards was purchased by VerticalScope 7.5 years and 4000 posts after I joined. VerticalScope will not allow that existing content to be permanently deleted, despite the fact I did not and do not agree to granting the new owners the rights to my content. - September 21, 2018

    Offline Crime fighters

    • Status: Scheherazade-10012
    • *****
    • Posts: 1573
    • Ohio
    • Something in the way
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #657 on: June 21, 2018, 08:50:47 pm »
    Without getting personal, a lot of the anger over this situation is coming from a place of justified fear and extreme frustration among indie authors. Romance has never seen anything like the invasion that's taken place over the past year. A small internet marketer group has gotten a powerful stranglehold on KU. This group has shown they don't care about producing quality content or being good actors in the indie community. They create new pen names constantly and rely on heavy stuffing to support ad spends no author with an unstuffed book can match. They take a disproportionate number of bonuses by stuffing to the max. This book stuffing exploit strategy is what's enabled them to become so prominent and hard for other romance authors to hold their ground against. Very little keeps them accountable, including social media shame, because if one pen name gets burned, they just jump to a new one.

    It's also encouraged them to push the lines further with bad formatting tricks, breaching copyright in ads by running stolen images and other jaw dropping behavior almost no ordinary author or publisher would ever do. They don't think like authors or sensible publishers because they never were. There's no doubt about their origins. The ones who are constantly in the Top 100 stuffing to the limit and causing problems originated in Warrior Forum world. It's proven by the sketchy looking master courses showing up lately on social media. They're either the instructors of these $1000 classes or giving testimonials for each other, inviting even more marketers to storm Kindle publishing. These are not indie authors or publishers who play by ordinary operating rules. They don't change strategy or listen to the frustrations others are experiencing. They only care if Amazon makes them or they get tarred and feathered publicly.

    I don't want to see indie authors buried by blackhat internet marketers. That's my issue. It's taking the entire industry in a really ugly direction where content quantity and bad ethics win. The only way to make sure it doesn't get worse is to continue applying pressure on Amazon to shut down the lopsided financial advantage page stuffing brings. I'd much rather see Amazon fix KU versus leaving authors policing this situation in a messy, unfocused way.

    Co-sign. This is a much better wording of what I've been trying to say, so thank you.

    Offline Ava Glass

    • Status: Jane Austen-10011
    • ***
    • Posts: 484
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #658 on: June 21, 2018, 09:08:58 pm »
    Just a reminder that the RWA called these people "bad actors" and seemed quite pleased at Chance's removal.

    https://twitter.com/romancewriters/status/1004859578390056960

    The RWA also thanked those who sent them info, so those here who think authors should focus on something else can move along.

    Offline Phxsundog

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 116
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #659 on: June 21, 2018, 09:25:49 pm »
    Just a reminder that the RWA called these people "bad actors" and seemed quite pleased at Chance's removal.

    https://twitter.com/romancewriters/status/1004859578390056960

    The RWA also thanked those who sent them info, so those here who think authors should focus on something else can move along.

    This. Their full history is only known to a few like David Gaughran and there's a bigger issue at work here. This is a hostile takeover of indie romance by pseudopublishers who don't care what kind of product they produce, as long as they have a lot of it. Page stuffing is just their lifeblood. Closing off bonus content and thinly marked collections in KU will at least force them to compete without the unnatural advantage they have now.

    Offline OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 136
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #660 on: June 21, 2018, 10:05:25 pm »
    Without getting personal, a lot of the anger over this situation is coming from a place of justified fear and extreme frustration among indie authors. Romance has never seen anything like the invasion that's taken place over the past year. A small internet marketer group has gotten a powerful stranglehold on KU. This group has shown they don't care about producing quality content or being good actors in the indie community. They create new pen names constantly and rely on heavy stuffing to support ad spends no author with an unstuffed book can match. They take a disproportionate number of bonuses by stuffing to the max. This book stuffing exploit strategy is what's enabled them to become so prominent and hard for other romance authors to hold their ground against. Very little keeps them accountable, including social media shame, because if one pen name gets burned, they just jump to a new one.

    It's also encouraged them to push the lines further with bad formatting tricks, breaching copyright in ads by running stolen images and other jaw dropping behavior almost no ordinary author or publisher would ever do. They don't think like authors or sensible publishers because they never were. There's no doubt about their origins. The ones who are constantly in the Top 100 stuffing to the limit and causing problems originated in Warrior Forum world. It's proven by the sketchy looking master courses showing up lately on social media. They're either the instructors of these $1000 classes or giving testimonials for each other, inviting even more marketers to storm Kindle publishing. These are not indie authors or publishers who play by ordinary operating rules. They don't change strategy or listen to the frustrations others are experiencing. They only care if Amazon makes them or they get tarred and feathered publicly.

    I don't want to see indie authors buried by blackhat internet marketers. That's my issue. It's taking the entire industry in a really ugly direction where content quantity and bad ethics win. The only way to make sure it doesn't get worse is to continue applying pressure on Amazon to shut down the lopsided financial advantage page stuffing brings. I'd much rather see Amazon fix KU versus leaving authors policing this situation in a messy, unfocused way.

    I found this immensely informative and helped put the argument into perspective. Thank you.

    Part of the subtext is that this behavior isn't a major concern for authors in other genres. Which doesn't mean it shouldn't be fixed but I'd like you to try to see it from our perspective as you'd like us to see it from yours. I can't say I understand what it's like to be under siege like this. And I won't belittle the invasion of a genre you both love and rely on to make a living.

    Many of us write long books. We buy and borrow long books. And our genres haven't developed any of these problems. To come out and hear people demanding caps on pages, limits to box sets, and a host of regulations for problems we don't have is jarring to say the least. And please understand the sea of rules will affect both our enjoyment of an art we love and the way we put food on the table. Taking from us and giving to you can't be the answer your looking for. And why would you seek such a binary choice?

    Have you thought of making these rules dependent on your genre? I can guess that you have and given it up as a snows balls chance Amazon would do it. You have thought on this issue far longer than I have but these answers won't get you what you want. If you destroy other genres to fix your problem your not really fixing anything. All your doing is hurting others for doing nothing but enjoying the books they love and making a living.

    I think we can agree on the following.
    Ban stuffers.
    Get them out of the top 100.
    Fnd a way that they can't come back without maiming other genres.

    Wed be glad to help you. Many of us dont want you to suffer but few of us want to take your place. I refuse to believe the choices set out are the only ones. I refuse to sign onto a solution that only hurts other authors. Surely we can find a better solution. On this forum are thousands of people, are we saying that out of all those people the best we can do is to feed on each others flesh, to cannibalize each other.

    I'd be glad to talk with you, to fight beside you, and to champion your cause. But I'm done fighting with you. Can't you understand I just don't want to be hurt by you? Must that be the only way that we can fix this?
    To be broken is to be singularly beautiful. Only the shattered are unique in a world of plastic. Scars are the tribal marks of the forgotten, they are how we know our own.

    Offline Phxsundog

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 116
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #661 on: June 21, 2018, 10:17:39 pm »
    Yes, OnlytheGrotesqueKnow, that's fair. I'm open to solutions on how best to handle this. You're right about shared goals. I just want to see this takeover by sleazy marketers end. Plus harsh penalties for the stuffers who are still doing it after June 1st. I'd welcome romance specific rules by Amazon although it would be unlikely. Whatever chops the cheating marketers down and the advantages they get from inflated pages is a good thing. If it doesn't affect authors across genres much then all the better.

    I'll add the same marketers have tried weaseling their way into other genres. People have seen evidence of them starting up names in postapocalyptic survival fiction and cozy mysteries. Fortunately they've had a harder time expanding beyond romance. I think this is partly because they don't have Warrior Forum type teachers standing by to hand them a mystery book producing formula as they did in romance. They're also not able to rapidly build the huge email lists with giveaways and pull ordinary authors into swaps. Both were commonplace practices in romance last year and helped them get off the ground. Page stuffing might not work as well outside romance either but I'm unsure.
    « Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 10:22:13 pm by Phxsundog »

    Offline Crime fighters

    • Status: Scheherazade-10012
    • *****
    • Posts: 1573
    • Ohio
    • Something in the way
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #662 on: June 21, 2018, 10:35:13 pm »
    As a romance author, I just want to say that I would be completely fine with a romance-only cap. Whenever I've talked about a 750 KENP, it has gotten mixed reviews between people who agree and people who disagree. Most of the people disagreeing are outside the genre. 750 KENP is still 125,000 words (estimated). That's a long romance, and the problem mostly seems relegated to Romance, where most of the scamming is.

    Someone on twitter mentioned that someone who routinely stuffed had a "READ" flag once the first story ended, giving the reader the option to do normal 'end of book' activities such as reviewing or checking out other titles. I haven't seen proof of this myself, but if that's the case, then maybe Amazon is implementing something as we speak.

    And I do appreciate how we've calmed down somewhat, myself included. I've all ready apologized for my tone to people privately. I have personal reasons about why I seem to be angrier about this than others, but I don't feel comfortable repeating those reasons in a public forum.

    ETA: This isn't about the pay rate for me. I don't suspect it'll change much. It's never been about that. It's about visibility. It's about being crushed by ads. It's about not being able to find books I want to read anymore without recs because of category abuse. It's about mailing list abuse, and now their actions affect reader trust across the board. It's about the disrespect they have for the genre they are dominating. It's about authors being pushed out and smothered, and it's about the underhanded tactics they use to make competing authors not feel safe.
    « Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 10:42:25 pm by Crime fighters »

    Offline MmmmmPie

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 228
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #663 on: June 21, 2018, 10:44:38 pm »
    Have you thought of making these rules dependent on your genre?

    As a romance writer, I'd welcome this. After all, romance is ground zero for book-stuffing, so that idea has a lot of merit. One thing concerns me though... I suspect that these guys would just pick up their party and move to another genre. That would be wonderful for romance writers, but potentially awful for whatever new genre these guys target.

    It really is awful when they invade your genre. I wouldn't wish that on my fellow authors, as much as I'd love to see them booted out of romance.

    Offline MmmmmPie

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 228
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #664 on: June 21, 2018, 10:50:35 pm »
    As a romance author, I just want to say that I would be completely fine with a romance-only cap. Whenever I've talked about a 750 KENP, it has gotten mixed reviews between people who agree and people who disagree. Most of the people disagreeing are outside the genre. 750 KENP is still 125,000 words (estimated). That's a long romance, and the problem mostly seems relegated to Romance, where most of the scamming is.

    You make a good point. Most of the people disagreeing do seem to be outside the genre. This isn't terribly surprising, especially in genres like Fantasy. Speaking as a romance writer, I'd vote for an even lower cap, like 500, but heck, I'd jump for joy at a cap of 750. That would make it a lot harder for the stuffers to game the system.

    Offline Crime fighters

    • Status: Scheherazade-10012
    • *****
    • Posts: 1573
    • Ohio
    • Something in the way
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #665 on: June 21, 2018, 10:52:45 pm »
    As a romance writer, I'd welcome this. After all, romance is ground zero for book-stuffing, so that idea has a lot of merit. One thing concerns me though... I suspect that these guys would just pick up their party and move to another genre. That would be wonderful for romance writers, but potentially awful for whatever new genre these guys target.

    It really is awful when they invade your genre. I wouldn't wish that on my fellow authors, as much as I'd love to see them booted out of romance.

    I think they'd have a much harder time in other genres. For one, they'd need to build up new mailing lists. Also, the sheer number of romance readers and how voracious they are gave them the opening they needed. The books they are selling are extremely formulaic, and that's not as easy to do on other genres. That's not to say one is more difficult to write than the others, but I do believe adapting to romance is easier.

    Offline Crime fighters

    • Status: Scheherazade-10012
    • *****
    • Posts: 1573
    • Ohio
    • Something in the way
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #666 on: June 21, 2018, 10:56:32 pm »
    I think they'd have a much harder time in other genres. For one, they'd need to build up new mailing lists. Also, the sheer number of romance readers and how voracious they are gave them the opening they needed. The books they are selling are extremely formulaic, and that's not as easy to do on other genres. That's not to say one is more difficult to write than the others, but I do believe adapting to romance is easier.

    Yeah, I'm fine with even lower. 500 sounds GREAT to me. That's still 83,000 words, however I think that begins to push what people would be willing to agree to. I've noticed many authors trending around 80K words, and some even going as high as mid 100's.

    It's not unheard of though. Didn't Scribd (or another subscription service limit romance on some level?)

    Offline MmmmmPie

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 228
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #667 on: June 21, 2018, 11:03:56 pm »
    I think they'd have a much harder time in other genres. For one, they'd need to build up new mailing lists. Also, the sheer number of romance readers and how voracious they are gave them the opening they needed. The books they are selling are extremely formulaic, and that's not as easy to do on other genres. That's not to say one is more difficult to write than the others, but I do believe adapting to romance is easier.

    Those are really good points. I'm sure they'd try to invade other genres, but you make a compelling case that it might not be nearly as easy as I thought.

    Offline Phxsundog

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 116
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #668 on: June 21, 2018, 11:04:31 pm »
    I share the concerns about the stuffers trying to creep into other genres if romance only rules are imposed. We've seen them miscategorizing books before. They try to drop books into Westerns and Crime categories now because they can hit the #1 slot with a lower rank to get the bestseller flag on their books. Better enforcement of categories by Amazon would have to go along with regulating romance. These marketers will always try to find any loophole they can to maximize their pages because they know the advantage it brings.

    Offline MmmmmPie

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 228
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #669 on: June 21, 2018, 11:09:52 pm »
    Yeah, I'm fine with even lower. 500 sounds GREAT to me. That's still 83,000 words, however I think that begins to push what people would be willing to agree to. I've noticed many authors trending around 80K words, and some even going as high as mid 100's.

    It's not unheard of though. Didn't Scribd (or another subscription service limit romance on some level?)

    True on the 500. That might be lower than a majority would agree to. My last book was 100K, so I'm one of those longer writers myself. Probably, I'm just so desperate to boot the scammers that I'd probably agree to a 250-page limit, if that's what it took -- anything to clean up the romance market. It's just so godawful right now.

    About Scribd, I might not be remembering it correctly, but I think they ended up removing romance from their subscription offerings entirely. The way it sounded, romance readers were reading them out of house and home. :)

    Offline lilywhite

    • Status: Scheherazade-10012
    • *****
    • Posts: 1266
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #670 on: June 21, 2018, 11:13:04 pm »
    It really is awful when they invade your genre. I wouldn't wish that on my fellow authors, as much as I'd love to see them booted out of romance.

    ^^ Seconded. They have absolutely destroyed my favorite genre -- both as a reader and as a writer. And I know romance writers who couldn't pivot to a new genre or ramp up releases enough to compensate; some of them don't publish anymore. That's a tragedy, IMO.

    Offline Delta

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 145
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #671 on: June 22, 2018, 12:35:22 am »
    As a romance author, I just want to say that I would be completely fine with a romance-only cap. Whenever I've talked about a 750 KENP, it has gotten mixed reviews between people who agree and people who disagree. Most of the people disagreeing are outside the genre. 750 KENP is still 125,000 words (estimated). That's a long romance, and the problem mostly seems relegated to Romance, where most of the scamming is.



    I put out a 157k LitRPG -- 763 KENP (And, no, no stuffing. It took me 157k to tell the story I wanted to tell.)

    Offline unkownwriter

    • Status: Emily Dickinson-10017
    • *******
    • Posts: 7599
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #672 on: June 22, 2018, 04:32:16 am »
    Quote
    In any endeavor, there are those who go beyond the boundaries of the law or the TOS or the rules, whatever you want to call it. None of that is whining about "fairness." It's about competing within the bounds of the spirit of the rule of law.

    "People are getting away with it" is not a credible defense. "Other people do it" is not a credible defense. The fact that Amazon doesn't do a good job of policing is no defense.

    Thank you, David.

    For the record, I do not write romance, but I understand the genre and those who love it and want to write it. When you're looking at increasing competition, you can up your game and compete. When you're looking at people who are cheating their way to the top spots, and getting bonuses to do it, while making it almost impossible to market due to their huge ad spends, it makes it very hard to want to try.

    Don't forget, those bonuses aren't tied to a genre, but to sales/page reads of any book in the program. So, if you write SF, but a romance scammer has taken a bonus you normally would have qualified for, that's okay? I know a few people in the situation.

    As to the thing about it being the "unsuccessful" people doing all the complaining? Really? Do you people not know who most of those who are in the forefront of this? I may not be one of those people, but I hope to be someday. It would be a lot easier if I didn't have to battle the black hat SEO folks.

    And I have plenty of time to read a few blog posts and articles, and get my word count for the day, thanks for everyone's concern. snort

    For those who don't understand the basic issues:

    It's not about long books.

    It's not about reasonable bonus content.

    It's not about hiring ghostwriters.

    It's not about having happy readers who pounce on every word you write.

    It's about those who have overrun indie publishing with bloated books, books stuffed with ten or more of the same files of individual content, rearranged, sometimes with a "new" story at the end and still ways to get people to click past all the junk they've seen before so the entire book is "read". This is to the tune of about $14 per "read". And before the KENPC was capped at 3K, it was more than that, often $20 or more.

    And to think, people used to complain about people getting $1.30 per 10% read, though that was usually laid on the short story writers. Yes, there were scammer then, too, but at least they weren't getting 10% more money. Now the scamming is worse, because there's more money in it.

    Now, get this. This isn't about those people who just love a certain author's work, and will happily reread the same content over and over. (This "reshuffling" comes about because you can only be paid once per borrow for content, so somebody re-borrowing your book gets you nothing.) It's about people using incentives -- raffles, other "free" stuff, gift cards and so on -- to get people to click through a book so the full payout is reached.

    It's about people who hire click farms to "read" a book completely, to get the full payout. These people have the click farms borrow other author's work in order to mask their behavior, thus getting innocent authors' accounts terminated.

    Put limits only on romance, and I'm sure we'll see this crap move on to other genres. It might be a little more work, but on the back end, the payout would still be huge. And that's all that matters to these people. They aren't writers, they aren't publishers, they're black hat marketers who don't care about anyone but themselves. They aren't our friends. They aren't our fellow writers trying to follow a dream and tell our stories. They're cheaters, plain and simple. Don't spare any of them a moment's concern, because they don't have any for you.

    Offline Crime fighters

    • Status: Scheherazade-10012
    • *****
    • Posts: 1573
    • Ohio
    • Something in the way
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #673 on: June 22, 2018, 08:09:30 am »
    I agree with everything you said, especially the last paragraph. I don't know how anyone can look at this very specific subset of people with anything other than disgust.

    Offline OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 136
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #674 on: June 22, 2018, 08:38:50 am »
    I think a lot of authors would be able to not only stand aside but support rules that govern the romance genre. I understand the worry that they may invade other genre's but if they do and we already have a way to govern them we can port it over. Personally I'm more focused on fixing the issue of them destroying your genre while insuring your supported than I am of their next scam. Don't fight tomorrow's battle today.

    Here are some of my thoughts, please understand I don't know what has been done and that these are only my first impressions.

    1: A cap of 750 seems reasonable. While it is longer than what some would recommend it insures that innocent authors are not caught up in the net. And it still inserts a cap that stops the 90%, plus I think it will sooth any worried authors.

    2: When a stuffer is found ban their I.P. Address and Bank Account. If your account is terminated, your done anyway so adding the I.P. Address and Bank Account only affects those that are trying to cut around the rules. It shouldn't affect innocent authors anymore than their current bans 'which I think should be overseen by a human being you're able to talk to.'

    3: Create a website that lays out your case and the books that are stuffing. Part of the reason why this argument went sidewise is simple ignorance. If I could of gotten a link to a website that outlines the books that are violating the genre and excerpts of the books, as well as the tactics they use, I would of been all about helping. The sooner a man is educated the sooner they can start making good decisions.

    You have a lot of people here who create websites, they might do it for free or at least at a discount. And Wordpress is relatively cheap to get stuffers out of your genre and Amazon listening.

    4: Review their books. I'm not saying give them a bad review or to tank their rank. What I'm saying is that you have the legal right to read a book and post a honest review. You also have the right to ask those in the Vine program who have thousands of followers to review them as well. These reviews can be reposted on your website.

    5: Start an email program. Once you have a website to educate ask people to email an address in Amazon and in their PERSONAL words to complain and ask for a case to be open. I would be glad to be part of this and I think a lot of other authors would as well.

    6: Seek out other people in the romance genre that are reviewers with their own blogs. Again once you have a website you can send them to it and they can decide on their own.

    7: Hit Amazon up on Twitter once you have a website to link to. It's easy to dismiss the words of others but with a website with graphs, excerpts and timeline's. Well those are far more convincing.

    I see the main problem's to be two pronged. Education, I wasn't aware this was going on and so the talk scared me. If I would of known that you were being hurt, I would of jumped in and tried to help. I would of talked about it across my media and informed those people in my life. The second one is for you to relax away from talking about regulating other genre's until their is a problem. Authors in other genres hear what you say and it scares us. It makes us defensive and instead of looking at you as our tribe we look at you as a lion coming to take our babies. I've written three books, each is over 250,000 words. When a person tells me I have to cut them in half to make them work, I get antsy. When they tell me that I won't get paid for pages after a certain point, I get angry. That's not conducive to getting me to bleed for you.

    People will start to listen. People will fight for you. Let us help you and stop scaring me so much, I'm not as young as I used to be. I'd be willing to help with EVERY step I have outlined up to and including putting money into the pot for the website and reviewing the books.

    To be broken is to be singularly beautiful. Only the shattered are unique in a world of plastic. Scars are the tribal marks of the forgotten, they are how we know our own.

    KBoards.com

    • Advertisement
    • ***