Author Topic: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits, Amazon Taking Action (MERGED)  (Read 151232 times)  

Offline Phxsundog

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Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« Reply #775 on: June 25, 2018, 02:46:53 pm »
I may have lied about my last post. Amazon appears to be removing a large number of abusive stuffers' books today. All collections. Including Tia Siren and Cassandra Dee. I take it to be a strong sign these vaguely re-titled collections are not compliant with the new TOS.

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    Offline Crime fighters

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #776 on: June 25, 2018, 03:17:24 pm »
    The hammer is coming down. Hard!
     8)



    Offline Taking my troll a$$ outta here

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    Looks like Amazon is taking action?
    « Reply #777 on: June 25, 2018, 03:43:25 pm »
    Appears quite a few books that were questionable for TOS violations have been removed. I'm on mobile  and can't confirm, but I hear some pretty big names made their voices on the matter heard.
    Top author lists are seeing changes & pulled books. I'm seeing some of the top contemporary romance authors having books removed.
    https://www.amazon.com/author-rank/ref=ntt_dp_kar_B000AP9A6K#1
    « Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 03:45:18 pm by EB »
    Content removed due to TOS Change of 2018. I do not agree to the terms.
    Many formally active members now participate in discussions here.

    Offline Crime fighters

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    Re: Looks like Amazon is taking action?
    « Reply #778 on: June 25, 2018, 03:46:03 pm »
    I don't know if we're allowed to name them, but 3 of the 5 most known are gone, along with all their various pen names, as well as a few others.

    Offline Phxsundog

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    Re: Looks like Amazon is taking action?
    « Reply #779 on: June 25, 2018, 03:54:47 pm »
    The most abusive stuffers are taking damage. No question. What no one knows for sure is why. Can't say if it's based on specific pen names or accounts. Or if their collections and compilations were determined to be not compliant by KDP. Amazon has removed all their books, whether they were collections or not.

    Offline RPatton

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #780 on: June 25, 2018, 04:09:55 pm »
    I may have lied about my last post. Amazon appears to be removing a large number of abusive stuffers' books today. All collections. Including Tia Siren and Cassandra Dee. I take it to be a strong sign these vaguely re-titled collections are not compliant with the new TOS.

    I just want to remind people that there might be any number of reasons for a book's removal and again, correlation is not causation.

    It's been relatively quiet, but I know of a few people who did some investigating of books that might had questionable formatting. (Most of us are willing to say something hinky looks like its going on, but aren't willing to actually test it out because, well, there are too many conditions outside of our own control). This could be a formatting issue (where if what people learned does what they expect, more than likely inflated KENPC). This could be about alleged review manipulation or incentivized page reads as defined by Amazon. There could be a lot of reasons and to assume that it's A and discounting B, C, D, E, and F is how urban legends are created.

    It's a good idea to wait until all of the information is out there (if it even can be) before saying that anything is a certainty. Worst case scenario, the reporting goes into hyperdrive and we see a lot contemporary authors getting nasty emails from Amazon because their bonus chapter and back-matter puts the end of the book at 88% instead of 90%.

    Offline Phxsundog

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #781 on: June 25, 2018, 04:17:22 pm »
    I just want to remind people that there might be any number of reasons for a book's removal and again, correlation is not causation.

    It's been relatively quiet, but I know of a few people who did some investigating of books that might had questionable formatting. (Most of us are willing to say something hinky looks like its going on, but aren't willing to actually test it out because, well, there are too many conditions outside of our own control). This could be a formatting issue (where if what people learned does what they expect, more than likely inflated KENPC). This could be about alleged review manipulation or incentivized page reads as defined by Amazon. There could be a lot of reasons and to assume that it's A and discounting B, C, D, E, and F is how urban legends are created.

    It's a good idea to wait until all of the information is out there (if it even can be) before saying that anything is a certainty. Worst case scenario, the reporting goes into hyperdrive and we see a lot contemporary authors getting nasty emails from Amazon because their bonus chapter and back-matter puts the end of the book at 88% instead of 90%.

    I agree. It's wise to not spread readers or jump to conclusions. However I'll add that another book was removed in the past hour from the Top 100 for no other reason I could see than having collection in the title. Unlike the main group of abusive stuffers with many collections, this author only had a single collection that was normally formatted. So far this is the only book in their catalog Amazon took down, unlike the others who lost everything. That makes me think this has something to do with collections and compilations. We'll have to wait and see.
    « Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 04:21:14 pm by Phxsundog »

    Offline PearlEarringLady

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #782 on: June 25, 2018, 04:18:33 pm »
    I just want to remind people that there might be any number of reasons for a book's removal and again, correlation is not causation.

    This is very true, and we have no way of knowing *why* a book is removed. However, several authors have had *all* their ebooks pulled today, which strongly suggests something more fundamental than mislabelled compilations or formatting errors.

    Offline Crime fighters

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #783 on: June 25, 2018, 04:25:29 pm »
    Four "main' pen names completely pulled, along with all their pen names. This isn't book removal. This is accounts being terminated. There are still a few who I'm sure are very nervous right now. They should be.

    EDIT: Also, I don't think it matters why they were terminated. Whether it was because of the known stuffing, wonky formatting, or because of the often suggested idea they were using click farms. These were bad actors and no matter why, Amazon finally had enough.
    « Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 04:27:33 pm by Crime fighters »

    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #784 on: June 25, 2018, 04:34:40 pm »
    Four "main' pen names completely pulled, along with all their pen names. This isn't book removal. This is accounts being terminated. There are still a few who I'm sure are very nervous right now. They should be.

    EDIT: Also, I don't think it matters why they were terminated. Whether it was because of the known stuffing, wonky formatting, or because of the often suggested idea they were using click farms. These were bad actors and no matter why, Amazon finally had enough.
    Not to mention fake reviews. Somebody who is in the top 5 in Contemporary Romance should not have almost 0 Likes or comments on most of their Facebook posts. Heck, I have about 1/10 or 1/20 the Facebook followers of most of these people, and I can easily have 100 Likes on a post about a new book. So who's doin' all the reviewing of these books with apparently no real followers or fans? The whole thing stinks to high heaven. I won't count my chickens, but so far, so good.

    I know how many people here still want to say, "There's no proof that stuffing is against Amazon's TOS! If you stand on one foot and close your eyes and twist your neck backwards, you can read the TOS to mean . . ." Don't think so. I'll be very interested to see what happens next.

    Offline Phxsundog

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #785 on: June 25, 2018, 04:39:14 pm »
    Four "main' pen names completely pulled, along with all their pen names. This isn't book removal. This is accounts being terminated. There are still a few who I'm sure are very nervous right now. They should be.

    EDIT: Also, I don't think it matters why they were terminated. Whether it was because of the known stuffing, wonky formatting, or because of the often suggested idea they were using click farms. These were bad actors and no matter why, Amazon finally had enough.

    It looks a lot like account termination to me but I hesitate to say for sure just yet. We'll know for certain if they don't come back in a few days. Another stuffer in their group had roughly 2/3 of her books pulled last week. They came back a few days later unstuffed. I hope Amazon takes a strict line with the worst offenders and issues bans. I'm happy if this ends stuffing loopholes anyway though.

    This is a powerful warning retitling stuffed books collections or compilations isn't safe. The odds it's against TOS just went up dramatically. It isn't clear if collection non-compliance is why these books are being pulled and possibly accounts terminated. Every stuffed collection disappearing supports the idea it has a lot to do with it.
    « Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 04:46:08 pm by Phxsundog »

    Offline MmmmmPie

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #786 on: June 25, 2018, 04:48:16 pm »
    It's heartening to see Amazon acting on this. From what I can see, several authors have been disappeared from Amazon almost entirely. Some additional observations:

    -- One top-ranking stuffed book is no longer available for sale, even though it still shows up, and the author's other books (unstuffed from what I can tell) remain for sale.
    -- One author who had all of their books pulled a couple of weeks ago is back to stuffing, at least on a few of their books, including their top ranking title (currently ranked in the 500s). Either this person is living on the edge, or they believe they'll be saved by the magic word "compilation." Or maybe, they believe that the danger has passed for them personally.
    -- One top-ranking book that was stuffed as of just last night is no longer stuffed.
    -- This is a terrific start, but a few authors and books I've been monitoring are still stuffed and still available for sale. Hopefully, Amazon is just working their way down the list.

    So it seems we have varying degrees of actions. Some authors had all of their books pulled, whether temporarily or permanently. Some others had only some books pulled. Other books were unstuffed, whether due to a notice from Amazon or because the publishers didn't want to risk it.

    A lot of the books that were pulled had the magic word "compilation" in the title. Maybe the word wasn't magic after all. If so, I'm very glad to see it, because let's face it, slapping the word "compilation" on a stuffed collection really didn't solve the problem.

    All in all, this is a good start in restoring the integrity of the Amazon bookstore. I'm just hoping it keeps up.

    Offline MmmmmPie

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #787 on: June 25, 2018, 04:53:34 pm »
    Another stuffer in their group had roughly 2/3 of her books pulled last week. They came back a few days later unstuffed.

    If you and I are thinking of the same person, she's back to stuffing again, at least on a few of her titles. Maybe she thinks the magic word "compilation" will save her? Or maybe she thinks the danger has passed for her personally? Either way, it's a little discouraging.

    *Edit to Add: She's also testing the word "Anthology." Maybe THAT'S the real magic word? Sheesh!
    « Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 04:57:22 pm by MmmmmPie »

    Offline David VanDyke

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #788 on: June 25, 2018, 05:15:19 pm »
    Bot farmers quickly realized they could mask (some of) their activity by botting random legit books.

    The suspicious side of me wonders whether the black-hatters aren't flooding legit authors with "reports" against their legit box sets and suchlike, to divert attention.

    Offline Phxsundog

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #789 on: June 25, 2018, 05:43:39 pm »
    If you and I are thinking of the same person, she's back to stuffing again, at least on a few of her titles. Maybe she thinks the magic word "compilation" will save her? Or maybe she thinks the danger has passed for her personally? Either way, it's a little discouraging.

    *Edit to Add: She's also testing the word "Anthology." Maybe THAT'S the real magic word? Sheesh!

    To me it looks like it's hitting many collections, compilations and other thinly titled stuffed books. Plus the entire catalogs of the worst offenders, including books that were unstuffed. If anyone thought the collection retitling trick would keep them safe then I'm sure they're thinking again today.

    Offline Dpock

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #790 on: June 25, 2018, 05:49:46 pm »
    Bot farmers quickly realized they could mask (some of) their activity by botting random legit books.

    The suspicious side of me wonders whether the black-hatters aren't flooding legit authors with "reports" against their legit box sets and suchlike, to divert attention.

    I'm guessing this wave of enforcement broke today (6.25) around 2:30 pm PT? There should be reports coming in soon from any innocents caught in the snare.


    Offline unkownwriter

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #791 on: June 25, 2018, 05:56:24 pm »
    Bot farmers quickly realized they could mask (some of) their activity by botting random legit books.

    The suspicious side of me wonders whether the black-hatters aren't flooding legit authors with "reports" against their legit box sets and suchlike, to divert attention.

    It wouldn't surprise me a bit if they were. This is only going to make it harder for Amazon to go through the list, but I think they actually know who the bad actors are, they just didn't want to deal with them before.

    By the way, an entire post disappeared from this thread when I tried to respond to it. I didn't see anything against forum decorum, but maybe the author decided they didn't want it here? Weird doings, I thought my computer broke!

    Offline unkownwriter

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    Re: Looks like Amazon is taking action?
    « Reply #792 on: June 25, 2018, 05:59:23 pm »
    Well, there you go, Amazon. Way to win back my heart and mind. If you keep it up and if they stay gone. Leave the non-scammers alone and go after the people you know darn well are gaming the system.

    Offline bobfrost

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #793 on: June 25, 2018, 06:06:16 pm »
    Right now these appear to be suspended accounts, not full terminations (which is why the books can still be accessed, although they don't have price tags).

    I suspect the books will be back in a few days without the "compilation" tag, and without extra content, but we'll see what happens.

    Frankly, I'm surprised these authors persisted with compilations, especially as time went by. Amazon did seem to condone it (specifically), but I wouldn't have published a compilation in the current climate in KU.

    Offline BGArcher

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #794 on: June 25, 2018, 06:11:25 pm »
    It wouldn't surprise me a bit if they were. This is only going to make it harder for Amazon to go through the list, but I think they actually know who the bad actors are, they just didn't want to deal with them before.

    By the way, an entire post disappeared from this thread when I tried to respond to it. I didn't see anything against forum decorum, but maybe the author decided they didn't want it here? Weird doings, I thought my computer broke!

    I was trying to edit it, but hit delete instead! this is what happens when you have two windows open at the same time.

    reposting it, I'm thinking of launching a series in the fall that falls more into seasons. (genre is UF) So season one would be five books, season two five books and so on. Each book is it's own thing, but each season would have a big bad so to speak. after each season was done, I was planning on bundling it, and putting that up as well. My question was, under the current rules, would anyone in this thread think that would be an issue. I would clearly label the bundle just that, and the individual books would not break the 10% rule in terms of back continent. (IE I would put a chapter from the next book, and links to my catalog and that's it in it) The bundle of five books would maybe feature a bonus short story, but otherwise, that's that. I figured that way, readers would have an easier time catching up, or if they wanted the cool new bundle, one place to find it.

    Offline Pacman

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    Re: Looks like Amazon is taking action?
    « Reply #795 on: June 25, 2018, 06:17:21 pm »
    I've also noticed that they have been extremely helpful for all of my author queries, replying within a day too. Way to go Zon!

    Offline bobfrost

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    Re: Amazon Actions re NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
    « Reply #796 on: June 25, 2018, 06:22:38 pm »
    I was trying to edit it, but hit delete instead! this is what happens when you have two windows open at the same time.

    reposting it, I'm thinking of launching a series in the fall that falls more into seasons. (genre is UF) So season one would be five books, season two five books and so on. Each book is it's own thing, but each season would have a big bad so to speak. after each season was done, I was planning on bundling it, and putting that up as well. My question was, under the current rules, would anyone in this thread think that would be an issue. I would clearly label the bundle just that, and the individual books would not break the 10% rule in terms of back continent. (IE I would put a chapter from the next book, and links to my catalog and that's it in it) The bundle of five books would maybe feature a bonus short story, but otherwise, that's that. I figured that way, readers would have an easier time catching up, or if they wanted the cool new bundle, one place to find it.


    They seem to be going after people who were specifically trying to get around the bonus-book rule by adding "a compilation" to the tail end of a title on regular standalone releases.

    I doubt they'll go after people with "legitimate" bundles or box sets, even in KU, although the KU rules about box sets and bundles may change and that would obviously make a difference.

    For example, Hugh Howey has some omnibus packages in KU and I doubt they're in jeopardy.

    All of that said, there would be no reason you couldn't launch the bundle as a NON-KU title and put it up for sale, so you could still do most of what you're planning without any real fear.

    Offline TellNotShow

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    Re: Looks like Amazon is taking action?
    « Reply #797 on: June 25, 2018, 06:45:08 pm »
    Am I asleep?
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    Offline KelliWolfe

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    Re: Looks like Amazon is taking action?
    « Reply #798 on: June 25, 2018, 06:57:29 pm »
    There are a LOT of missing catalogs right now. I've been tracing through the Customers Also Bought Items By lists on their author pages and branching down and just... Wow.

    Edit: Based on the very common book styles and cookie-cutter author info, etc. I can't help thinking that this is a handful of accounts with a lot of different pen names. And I'm still seeing some obvious ones that have slipped through. It's certainly a good start, though, and I imagine there are going to be some very happy contemporary and NA authors who see significant jumps when they check their ranks tomorrow.
    « Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 07:10:38 pm by KelliWolfe »

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    Offline sela

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    Re: Looks like Amazon is taking action?
    « Reply #799 on: June 25, 2018, 07:01:34 pm »
    Is this real life???

    I was just reconsidering my plan to release a series in KU. Maybe I will reconsider my reconsideration.  8)
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