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Messages - EmparentingMom

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Writers' Cafe / Babelcube procedures
« on: July 27, 2020, 04:41:18 am »
Hi, I have a question. If you hire a translator on Babelcube to translate your book, who is ultimately responsible for putting the translated edition up for sale on various channels? Is the rights holder supposed to do that? The translator? Or Babelcube?

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Writers' Cafe / Change in AMS Sponsored Products Attribution
« on: July 07, 2020, 01:40:23 am »
AMS has announced that "We’re changing our Sponsored Products attribution for books. As of July 1, 2020, sales for current and new Sponsored Products campaigns featuring book ASINs will be reported for the advertised ASINs only. To keep viewing sales for multiple book formats, add those formats to a single Sponsored Products campaign."

This raises two questions:
1. Does this change how Amazon will evaluate the relative success - and therefore the placement - of the ad? I have one ad for a kindle book, that is very successful in selling paperback versions of the book. The ad has been in place for a long time and enjoys good placement due to its success. Will this make the ad suddenly appear less successful - not only in the ACOS metrics I see in my dashboard, but for Amazon too?
2. Can one add formats to an existing Sponsored Products campaign?


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I am also noticing a lot of new "ratings" without new reviews. Anyone figure out what's up?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Author Beware: My ACX Nightmare with Amazon
« on: December 29, 2019, 05:44:36 am »
I have some news to report. My wonderful narrator has been in contact with her contacts at ACX, who are very high up. So I received an email, personally addressed from someone in the Audible Executive Care team. They opened a ticket for me and promised to look into it and get back to me as soon as possible.
Hi, has anyone heard back after receiving such an email? I got one too, but haven't heard anything since then....

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Author Beware: My ACX Nightmare with Amazon
« on: November 21, 2019, 02:21:00 pm »
I have some news to report. My wonderful narrator has been in contact with her contacts at ACX, who are very high up. So I received an email, personally addressed from someone in the Audible Executive Care team. They opened a ticket for me and promised to look into it and get back to me as soon as possible.

Sometimes, it does pay to pay extra for a great narrator. lol.  Anyway, still might come up as nothing, who knows, but at least someone high up is now looking at one case and maybe this might open it up for them to explore other authors' cases.

On another note, I joined a FB group my narrator suggested. It's mainly narrator's discussing stuff but authors are in there. It's a window into the other side and you can easily get waylaid reading all the posts. Boy, some authors are not kind to their narrators or really expect too much. Anyway this is it: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ACXNarratorsProducers/

In there, there are more posts than I've seen anywhere discussing the ACX codes and what's happened. It's very wide spread this ban issue. They also discuss the scam that's happening. It's been going on and, I had no idea about it, for ages. These bad actors are doing what I've said before in getting narrators to narrate for low pay these cheap ghost written books with the pure goal of just getting the 200 codes. They even insist that the narrators make sure the books are over three hours. One poor narrator had clocked a recording in below this and was asked to extend their narration by 17 minutes!!! How the hell can you do that? This would then put the audible into a higher audible price bracket.

There is also a thing where you can basically sell your codes onto a platform and they'll distribute them for you (I hear in my head, click farm them for you) for a 35% cut of the audible payment. I presume you pay upfront. No wonder ACX came down on us. We may have people collecting our codes from our mailing lists and then selling those codes.

There's also some issue with you giving a code to someone in the USA, who has a UK account. This is the confusion about territories. They're talking about the Audible customer, I believe, not us authors or where we live. Now I had a reviewer tell me they had accounts in both countries even thought they were US based because they had lived in the UK before. I said fine, use the UK account because obviously its harder for us to give away UK codes than US usually, if our business is mostly US.  I didn't know there was anything wrong with this. I'm an Aussie but I have a KU account in the USA and an audible account there too. We didn't have Amazon until a few years ago and I didn't want to change. So there's been no problem with that from Amazon or Audible.

If Audible and Amazon don't want you to give codes out to cross country people, then close all the accounts that are in foreign countries. I can't police where people live when I give out codes. If they say they need a UK code, then I give it to them. I'm not going to ask for a passport to confirm.

Why couldn't ACX just email us all and say look we don't like this and this and this happening, can you please do this, this and this, or we may tighten up on codes?

Because I'm a tenacious person, I've wasted so much time writing blog posts, posting on forums, checking forums if anything's changed, I've really just blown a week of writing, not to mention the angst. Funnily enough, I woke up this morning and thought, too bad, get back to writing, whatever happens happens. Then I get that email from the executive team and my narrator saying she'd been in touch with ACX.

I'm not going cold on Audible. I still believe it's a big opportunity and whether I get my codes back or not, I'll find a way to make my marketing all work in a different way (no scammy behavior of course). So, if this has put you off trying audible production, forge ahead, get the best narrator you can afford and promote audibooks to your readers. It's a good market but it is like eBooks, you really have to promote and put some money into marketing.

Okay, I shall report back when I hear more. Keep writing in everyone and maybe anyone with a good relationship with their narrator can ask if they might intercede. I never asked mine. She's just a gem and I'm grateful she's part of my amazing team.

I got a similar email from the Executive Care Team, saying they are researching the situation. Here's hoping!

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Author Beware: My ACX Nightmare with Amazon
« on: November 18, 2019, 11:51:44 am »
In response to one of their standard replies, I explicitly asked to be in touch with a human representative. I then received a reply that said: "
Hello, I can confirm this isn't an automated response.  This is the answer to your query.  All agents will provide this answer to you", followed by the same standard reply...
Asteroth, that’s the same email everyone is getting for round 3. Twisted Tales is correct. These are tactics. My husband has a theory that we are all in an email
Funnel & this will keep  going until we get to the end of the funnel. Then a human will look at it. This seems to fit with the person at Reddit. They sent many emails until finally they got a non form email & then bingo their codes are back.

They certainly are an unprofessional company & so frustrating to deal with. I’ve got a reviewer who wrote me yesterday telling me the link to review from his Kindle app has crashed & he can’t leave reviews At the moment from it. I have always said Amazon software is held together by elastic bands & sticky tape.

My suggestion is to keep emailing. I intend to email every day until I get my codes back.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Author Beware: My ACX Nightmare with Amazon
« on: November 18, 2019, 04:44:45 am »
ACX is just Amazon and penalizing without being clear why is typical of them. It's been like this for so long now that I assume it's an intentional tactic to limit their legal exposure. It's dishonest and why some of us limit our exposure to Amazon.

"ACX is owned and operated by Audible Inc., an Amazon company. All titles produced through ACX are made available for sale on Audible.com, Amazon.com and iTunes. On ACX, the customer signs in as either a producer of an audiobook or as someone who owns the rights to create an audiobook."
How does that limit their legal exposure?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Author Beware: My ACX Nightmare with Amazon
« on: November 18, 2019, 12:29:24 am »
Before I signed up, I explicitly asked them whether a US citizen living abroad could join, as long as they had a US bank account and mailing address, and they said yes.
OK - so if it is residency issue how do they decide this? I am a US citizen, a UK citizen and I am normally resident in the US but at the moment, I am working in Europe. I report and pay my taxes in the US so what exactly is their beef???

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Very disturbing email from ACX
« on: November 17, 2019, 10:40:45 am »
Just got a slightly different form response:

Hello,

We understand you’re seeking additional information regarding access to Promotional Codes for your ACX account. Promotional Codes are a benefit to eligible ACX users per our Legal Agreements (https://www.acx.com/help/legal-contracts/200485430), as well as our User Conduct and Content Acceptance Guidelines (https://audible-acx.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8887). Factors that result in accounts not being eligible for this feature include misuse of Promo Codes, not observing ACX’s residency restrictions, publishing content that infringes upon our content guidelines, and more.

We are upholding our previous decision to revoke your access to the Promo Code tool.

If you would like to review our Legal Contracts and Guidelines, please visit www.acx.com/legal.

The ACX team has no further information to disclose. This will be our final communication on the matter.

Sincerely,
The ACX Team
ACX.com

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Very disturbing email from ACX
« on: November 17, 2019, 12:40:29 am »
I just wrote to [email protected]  I will let you guys know if I receive a reply. Anyone receive one yet?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Very disturbing email from ACX
« on: November 16, 2019, 08:04:25 am »
It's looking that way. I from Australia.

That would be great, Joe. Thanks.

I emailed Amazon's White Glove rep who spoke to her colleague at ACX. Apparently "the team" will follow up to clarify and I should have more info soon. So maybe tackling this from various angles will bring some attention to it. I don't care about the codes, I just want to know what's going on and why, and have the strike against my account removed since I've done nothing wrong.

What is a White Glove rep?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Very disturbing email from ACX
« on: November 14, 2019, 06:46:16 am »
I didn't have any particular sales spike, so I don't think that's it - at least not in my case.

I did suddenly remember, though, that I heard that at least in the past, promo codes could be used in theory for any book, so a person could conceivably collect promo codes from various authors and use them all for a different book altogether. I don't know if this was ever really true, or if it is today- but maybe that's what allows people to conduct "unusual activity" on books without an author's knowledge?

In any event, I am extremely concerned by this behavior on the part of ACX - both because it is unfair and because it doesn't allow authors to take corrective action in the unlikely event that something actually is happening with their accounts, that they are not aware of. I really hope they fix this - it does nothing to inspire confidence or trust.

13
Writers' Cafe / Very disturbing email from ACX
« on: November 13, 2019, 03:03:14 pm »
Just a couple of hours ago, I got an email from ACX stating as follows:

"Hello,

Your ACX account has been flagged due to unusual activity concerning the use of your ACX promotional codes. While we support the legitimate efforts of our users to promote their audiobooks, attempting to manipulate the ACX platform and/or ACX programs is not permitted.

As a result, we will no longer provide you with promotional codes to use to promote your ACX projects. Please note that our evaluation process takes multiple criteria into consideration when deciding to place restrictions, and we take action based on those criteria. Going forward, please also make sure that you observe ACX’s guidelines.... Failure to meet ACX’s guidelines or agreements may result in restrictions against your account, up to and including termination.....

Please be advised that this is our final decision and we won’t be offering further insight or action on this matter."

Given that I can't even remember the last time I used my promo codes, there is literally no way they could have been abused, unless my account was hacked. Which is a disturbing possibility in and of itself. I called ACX right away, and while the support team was nice, they made it clear that there is nothing they can do except make a note that I called in hopes the internal team that handles such matters may see it and decide to reconsider the decision. What is really unbelievable is their statement that there is no possibility whatsoever "for further insight or action on this matter." What does that even mean? So they have exclusive rights to distribute our audio books, but can't be bothered to provide any recourse in case of an error on their part? Like I said, I haven't been using the promo codes, so this decision won't affect me in the short term. But it's the principle of the thing - not to mention the fact that if I have no way of finding out what kind of problematic activity supposedly triggered this decision, I have no way of preventing further "unusual activity" that could conceivably get me terminated!
 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
 


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Writers' Cafe / Re: Author Beware: My ACX Nightmare with Amazon
« on: July 22, 2019, 04:53:14 am »
Wait - but does Amazon have a problem with Audiobook Boom? Is there anything about their service that could be construed as a violation of TOS?

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I also noticed a very sudden decline in sales a few days ago that I haven't been able to figure out. My AMS ads, which usually perform very well, kept getting the same number of clicks - but suddenly they were not converting at all (my ACOS hovers around 33%, it shot up to almost 300%). I still haven't managed to figure out what was going on. AMS bidding changes don't seem to explain it - they should have impacted clicks rather than conversion. 

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Getting a Book Bub
« on: March 30, 2019, 10:53:36 pm »
Are your books wide, or are they in KU?

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Writers' Cafe / Recommended and popular items
« on: February 27, 2019, 10:02:46 am »
Hi! Has anyone else noticed that instead of also boughts, Amazon now has a carousel of books called recommendations and popular items? Does anybody know how one gets included in that list?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Can you scale AMS up?
« on: February 06, 2019, 08:56:36 am »
-Utilize search term isolation and create Negative Phrases to keep targeting on point
What is search term isolation? As my keywords are defined as "broad", under any given key word there are some searches that perform well, and other that don't. On the UK platform I can get a report that give a break down for each search, so that I can isolate and remove search terms that are under-performing. Is there a way to do this for AMS in the US?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: 0 book sales
« on: December 26, 2018, 04:57:36 am »
Paperbacks register as sales when they are printed and shipped. Hopefully, Amazon does a lot less shipping on Christmas day than on other days. Plus - if your book was listed as out of stock and "shipping within eight days", then even purchases made during Christmas would not ship until new copies had been printed.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: November KU page rate = .005206 (+7.5%)
« on: December 15, 2018, 01:16:53 am »
Ok, feeling silly now... was looking at all marketplaces 😄

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Writers' Cafe / Re: November KU page rate = .005206 (+7.5%)
« on: December 14, 2018, 11:05:54 pm »
That's really strange - according to my calculations,  it is just .004608!!
Anyone else seeing that?

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Writers' Cafe / Bookbub for book currently enrolled in Prime Reading?
« on: October 28, 2018, 12:18:59 am »
Hi! Has anyone had any experience requesting / getting a bookbub for a book that is currently enrolled in prime reading? Would Bookbub be reluctant to offer a free deal on a book that is anyway available for free on Amazon Prime Reading? would the number of downloads be significantly less in that situation? Or would Amazon anyway refuse to give free days during that period?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Data Reset on ongoing Ads-Any idea why?
« on: October 14, 2018, 07:34:51 pm »
What do people think this means? Does it impact performance of the ads?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Box set - with books that have been unpublished?
« on: October 07, 2018, 10:55:27 pm »
Thanks!

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Writers' Cafe / Box set - with books that have been unpublished?
« on: October 07, 2018, 04:14:43 am »
Hi! I have a question. I used to have a series with eight shorter books, which I grouped into two box sets - each with four books. Later on, I reorganized my series into three shorter books. But I still have the old box sets out - and they are doing pretty well.
What I want to know is - Will Amazon and/or readers be annoyed if they buy a box set when there are no longer individual published books that correspond to the "books" in each set?
I ask because each box set has garnered significant reviews and is well placed in Amazons algos - so I really want to keep them up as is.

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