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Messages - JWright

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Writers' Cafe / Re: July 2018 Page Rate - $0.0044936099158692
« on: August 16, 2018, 01:35:53 pm »
Here comes the straw man argument again that a bunch of people claimed the rate would increase if scammers were eliminated when it fact they never said that.  Some of the real harm that is caused was detailed quite well by Usedtoposthere recently. I believe it was in the UF author who shall not be named thread.  Others have detailed it as well.

It's really a no brainer that all honest authors will benefit if we all have to play by the same rules - even if the page rate doesn't change.

Timothy Ellis, what you say makes a lot of sense to me.  It doesn't really seem like rank helps that much unless you are high enough ranked to make the best seller, hot new release list, etc.  Maybe Amazon recommends more in some cases even if you aren't ranked that high. I don't know. 

I can see where rank can matter for top sellers, but for everyone else I'm not so sure.  Seems to me ranking is over rated for most writers. I could be wrong though.

Newbies still can get readers to take a chance on their books in KU, but then again they can have a perma free if they are wide.

Best seller - that is supposed to mean sales (hence the word seller).  But borrowing a book in KU is showing interest in a book which is an indication of its popularity. So it definitely belongs somewhere.

I don't think Amazon will change it. 

Nope not missing the point.  I don't pick up just anything. I do read the Look Inside first.  However, if I don't like it I do most certainly toss it back.

Edited to Add: I think the chances of me picking up a scammer's book are probably pretty low because I don't think they target readers like me. However, I do wish that borrows didn't count the same as sales in terms of rankings. Unfortunately, I doubt Amazon will get rid of it since it's a huge carrot for writers to stick with KU and the exclusivity.

Ah, but you're missing the point. The fact that in KU you *can* pick up any number of books means you do and if you hate it, get another. You can be discerning because there's always more too choose. When you're *buying* it's a different game in terms of choosing.

Sure, maybe you'll return it, but do that too often and you get your account dinged. So, when buying with cash, there's more deliberation in it.

And, when you borrowed, they got that rank boost, which is 50% of the game.

Whether you're a discerning reader or not, you've given the boost and each boost means the chances that someone less discerning who just reads to get to the *sex scenes will pick it up. And the cycle goes on and on...with dollars and visibility flowing in one the scammer's pockets.

Even just borrowing the book of a scammer helps the scammer.

*And yes, I do know someone who does this. She might go through 10 or more books a day in KU. She flips to the percentage where she knows most sex scenes are (I guess there are three waypoints?) or she searches for sex words and stops there to read. Seriously, there really are readers like that. I really think they provide enormous financial support to scammers because all they care about are the sex scenes and I guess the best one is always near the end?

If anything, as a KU subscriber, my standards are higher. If I'm not enjoying a book in KU, I stop reading it. If I paid for it, I'll probably force myself to finish, just to get my money's worth.

I agreed with your whole post but snipped just to say this is so absolutely true .  I will toss books back so fast in KU if they don't hold my interest.  It's a lot easier to try books and also easy to toss them back if I don't like them.  If I do like them, I can binge on the series or the other books by the author.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Something I've never seen before
« on: August 14, 2018, 03:31:15 pm »
I haven't seen it before, but that is the free chart.  Maybe it switched back to paid.

I did see a handful or so readers on Reddit threads discussing the termination of MSE who seemed to be big fans but they still wanted to be able to read the books in KU.

It does seem strange to me because I value my time and it takes time to read a book so I do want it to be good.  I admit it is easy to borrow a KU book and then toss it back if it doesn't live up to the Look Inside (which I do tend to read).  Different strokes for different folks for sure.   It does make it easy to try out new writers and I have found some for sure through my KU subscription or just to see what certain successful writers are doing.   

There's tons of free books if you just want free or I guess $10 all you can read does satisfy some and if it isn't in KU they just find something else.  I get books from everywhere but I'm not going to plow through something just because it's free or "free" (part of a subscription).

4. Why do certain niches appear to do better in KU than others or wide? Again, I don't have an answer, but if I were to judge all readers by the niches popular in KU, I would assume everyone is reading gamer harem books with kick-a$$ girlies or snarky witches. None of these genres hit the big time wide to the same extent as KU, not like say any romance or true scifi can, which is why Amazon's bestseller lists can be so skewed. This is another thing that makes me go hmm about KU and scamming. I can see some authors doing well enough in the niches, but are there really so many readers they dominate the top 100 cats to this extent. Hmm...not sure I believe it.

This is a very good point.  I think it's easy to see how some of these sub niches would definitely have readers and some that appear to be new would have an exciting appeal on top of that, but to dominate over more well-established sub-genres with much larger pool of readers?  It does seem hard to believe.

I can also see some appeal for certain writers like MSE.  I haven't read any of his books but just looking at some covers and blurbs they looked like Neo Conan the Barbarian.   But again, such high ranks for the books and author in the entire store for this type of book? Maybe I guess.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Mailerlite: Closed to new accounts for now
« on: August 14, 2018, 11:33:11 am »
Unfortunately, low cost services are always going to attract the black hats.  They want a good deal just like everyone else.

I agree with you TwistedTales, especially about KU and/or whale readers.  Most voracious readers I know or am aware of  (including myself) are quite discerning and picky about what we read.  We might be willing to initially try things out but they aren't going to hold our attention if they aren't decent and most are not going to keep reading a writer's other books if we don't like the first one we come across.

Also, many voracious readers will read by various means.  I have a KU and a Scribd subscription and I still buy both new and used books, check them out at the library, listen to audio books once in a while, etc.

There are some people who will only read in KU either due to economics or they are able to find plenty of books to read.  However, I think the pool of KU readers is probably varied.

I also have no doubt that some books can do better in KU if they aren't the best because there isn't a big risk to the reader.  Shermp's post from the reader's perspective was very enlightening on that.

I do think that the fact that borrows count as a sale for rank and that KU seems fairly easy to manipulate does make "success" appear quite deceptive when looking at the bestseller lists.  Some writers can only succeed in KU and not outside of it. 

Edit: Yes I am paying $9.99 too and have so for years. Actually the charge on my card is $10.50.  I should quit and try to find a deal, lol.

The fact that they are still trying to do work arounds pretty much shows their mindsets and the fact that they most likely are not squeaky clean.

Of course they don't want to get kicked off Amazon but the attempts and how they are doing it and the things they say not matching up is very telling.

Now add KU page reads on top of that.

If you take what Amazon paid out to him on page reads I think the number "earned" by Amazon would definitely be in the negative.  The only thing they could earn would be some subscribers he might have attracted into KU at $10 per month, but I doubt it would be anywhere near what they paid out to him.

I need more caffeine.

You are still right though!

Wow, this is the first time I have heard of them correcting things on the page reads. Maybe they are checking things better.  Either way, I am very happy for you!

300,000 copies not dollars.

I don't know how much his books sold for but:

300,000 copies x $3.99 x .30 = $359,100 - so yeah still not millions.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Member Status is Madeleine L'Engle
« on: August 10, 2018, 04:43:06 pm »
I move for a Ray Bradbury level at 451.

That would be very cool - and one I could potentially achieve, lol.

One of them (not the one who "published" on Amazon yesterday) has put books wide.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What I really want to write vs. what sells
« on: August 10, 2018, 10:50:16 am »
I've been thinking about this more, and IMO it really comes down to finding what it is that appeals to you about the less commercial stories you want to write and weaving that into your more commercial stories. I wrote a book about a heroine with depression that was also about a shy virgin who found her best friend's older brother's dirty drawings of her. I don't advertise anything about the former in my packaging (I don't put it in the Look Inside either), but it's there and most people go with me (not always). They pick up the book for the sexy bad boy and they're into that enough to go with me on the mental health issues.

It's all about balance.

Yes, that makes sense.  Lindsay  Buroker and the guys on the SFF podcast were discussing something similar recently.  Someone had asked them how to market books that were quirky or didn't fit neatly into a category and they said that in your marketing it is good to highlight the ways that the book does fit the dominant genre that it is closest to or what the reader is expecting - not in a deceptive way but it's better to let them know what is familiar to them and then if they like your quirkiness or whatever is different then they will go with you - as you say.  So yes, balance. 

Best wishes with your books Rose! It's sounds like a great project.  And per what Crystal said I would think it would be about finding the balance - wanting to keep your Western Romance readers happy with things they are familiar with but still going meatier.  Some die hard Western readers might not go onto the other books but if they love your characters and families then I would think at least some of them will.  Romance isn't my genre so I could be wrong, but I do think people love to follow their favorite characters and their families in most genres.

Forum Announcements & Tips / Re: Changes
« on: August 09, 2018, 02:00:45 pm »
I was a long-time lurker before joining kboards a few months ago and have learned a lot here.  Thank you Harvey Chute and the rest of the Chute family for providing an invaluable resource. All my best wishes to you.

Well if he has a new "publisher" then they are choosing to remain anonymous since there is no publisher listed in the product details or opening pages of the books when you check the Look Inside.

I think it remains to be seen whether Amazon is actually okay with this.  If they are then I don't see what the point of it all was.  The old account still goes to a 404 page.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon just axed almost 800,000 of my page reads.
« on: August 08, 2018, 05:41:41 pm »
The person had a BookBub ad in addition to a new release, so their page reads could be up because of that. All along it has seemed to me they are looking at patterns instead of detecting actual fraud, but there is no way to know for sure.  I agree with the OP if they had 1,000 sales how could almost all of the page reads be bad?

I am very sorry this has happened to you OP.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What I really want to write vs. what sells
« on: August 08, 2018, 05:18:38 pm »
If you are thinking of using the same area for both series then I think the suggestion from JadePowers would definitely be one to consider.  Some of your Western Romance readers would most likely want to find out more about the family's children and later generations after they grew up even if it was a slightly different genre I would think, even if it wasn't all of the readers - plus hopefully pick up a new audience from a different sub-genre of romance with the later series. 

So maybe a "meatier" western romance as suggested by Crystal to keep you challenged and interested plus knowing that you may have some continuity between the series could be really interesting and fun to work on.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What I really want to write vs. what sells
« on: August 07, 2018, 01:30:22 pm »
If No. 2 didn't sell and mean you would need to get a job or cause issues with your family finances, then I would hold off on No. 2 until finances/book sales gave you a bit more breathing room.  (Maybe sneak in a bit of time every once in a while... but ssssh don't tell No. 1).

Writers' Cafe / Re: KENP Page Read Credit for KU Audiobook Listening?
« on: August 05, 2018, 10:06:04 pm »
I just heard back from a friend who is with an Amazon imprint and they've been a top best seller for years through them, and they didn't know anything about this. Even when the Imprints own the copyright, there still has to be some accounting on it. You can't give away a version of a book for free and not pay the author in some way, unless its in the contract. And who would sign a contract that said, we'll take your audible and if it's used in KU for free, you don't get paid.

So now I'm thinking there is no agreement with anyone and, as I said before, this is just theft of copyrighted material without reference to the owner.

Wow, pretty amazing.  It seems to me I have seen the "read and listen" for a while but never paid attention to it.  Looks like tons of Amazon Imprint books have it.   

Writers' Cafe / Re: KENP Page Read Credit for KU Audiobook Listening?
« on: August 05, 2018, 08:05:26 pm »
I am assuming they have agreements with the big publishers to do this and can of course do it with the Amazon imprints.

I got an email from Audible saying welcome to my free trial, so I thought oh just another way to get you on the free trial.  But I logged into Audible and I have an account there - just sign in using my Amazon account info - but I'm not on a trial or membership.  There is a place to sign up for a free trial if I want to.

When I check out one of the books in KU it shows up in my Audible library and then when I return the ebook to KU the Audible file goes away.  There definitely shouldn't be any independently produced audios in there without the writer's permission. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: KENP Page Read Credit for KU Audiobook Listening?
« on: August 05, 2018, 07:14:43 pm »
I was just curious about this so tried it out.  I have a Kindle Unlimited subscription but not an Audible one.  I happen to have The Hobbit checked out in KU that has the headphones symbol.  I downloaded the Audible app on my iPad and yes I am able to listen to the book for free.  Wow.  When I went to the link to the books in the program I was only seeing big publisher and Amazon publisher books.  I won't listen to anything that looks like it is indie published if I ever run across one.  But yeah I just have a KU subscription and can listen for free.

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