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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in an author collective for a fantasy series. Rowan Casey / The Veil Knights series had a Bookbub promotion in the US, cost us 500 bucks in ad spend, and resulted in driving the first three books up to #97 in the store, and made back its ad spend with 1500 sales that day.

Then, on Day 2, Amazon arbitrarily decided to strip the book of its rank, its bestsellers status and remove it from the charts and sub charts essentially marooning the title and losing us any chance of it having a profitable long tail from the promotion push.

We suspect it's been flagged as a suspicious sales spike, but Amazon are giving us the 'we know nothing' treatment.

I've heard stories of this happening to people in KU with suspicious reads, but this is the frst tie I've heard it happen to just a 99c series promo not in KU.

We're in for a day of wrangling with Amazon. Wish us luck.
 

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That is unusual that it's not a KU book, but it seems Amazon is going all out with the stupid bots, which flag books on legit promos. Keep pushing, send proof it was a Bookbub and not one of those "guarantee" services, and it should get straightened out. Of course, loosing the oomph of the promo push will be gone, but you'll still have the books, and more importantly, the account.
 

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If this is now happening to 99c books as well, then... OUCH. No one is safe anymore. Several authors with free books not in KU were affected in the recent past, but I've never heard about cases with paid books.

I can't offer any advice except to email the Bezos, explain the situation and reveal all promoters used (if you used any besides Bookbub). Best of luck! These are troubling times for all of us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
LMareeApps said:
There's a long post in an Indie Author group on Facebook at the moment. I believe David Gaughran is putting together a blog post about what he's been able to determine from the data a number of affected authors have sent him.
Yep, we're in touch with David.
 

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With every new story about Bookbub runs leading to stripped ranks, I am starting to wonder if Amazon is pushing pieces across the board in order to put Bookbub in check. Why? Maybe to nudge people to AMS/some new promo venture KDP will be announcing soon.

Then again, why attribute malice when stupidity will do just fine? Sigh.

So sorry this happened to you, William.
 

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Have you contacted Bookbub? It seems that punishing authors who are using Bookbub and other legitimate NL is ultimately going to make authors shy away from using their services. That's going to hurt BookBub's bottom line.

I stumbled across several fake books yesterday-all with decent rank. I wonder why their bots can't catch those obvious books yet they punish real authors with real books.

What a joke.
 

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jcalloway said:
With every new story about Bookbub runs leading to stripped ranks, I am starting to wonder if Amazon is pushing pieces across the board in order to put Bookbub in check. Why? Maybe to nudge people to AMS/some new promo venture KDP will be announcing soon.

Then again, why attribute malice when stupidity will do just fine? Sigh.

So sorry this happened to you, William.
If Amazon thinks I'd ever choose their spotty ads over a Bookbub they're even more delusional than I thought.
 

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jcalloway said:
With every new story about Bookbub runs leading to stripped ranks, I am starting to wonder if Amazon is pushing pieces across the board in order to put Bookbub in check. Why? Maybe to nudge people to AMS/some new promo venture KDP will be announcing soon.

Then again, why attribute malice when stupidity will do just fine? Sigh.

So sorry this happened to you, William.
That occurred to me, too. Amazon's strategy in general seems to be to gain a monopoly. This falls right in line with that goal. I would second contacting Bookbub. They're the ones with the standing to bring legal action.
 

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jcalloway said:
With every new story about Bookbub runs leading to stripped ranks, I am starting to wonder if Amazon is pushing pieces across the board in order to put Bookbub in check. Why? Maybe to nudge people to AMS/some new promo venture KDP will be announcing soon.

Then again, why attribute malice when stupidity will do just fine? Sigh.

So sorry this happened to you, William.
Stupidity or malice, who knows? But if they are doing this with 99 cent BB promos, I'm not sure I want one. And forget free.

:--(
 

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Content removed due to TOS Change of 2018. I do not agree to the terms.
 

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Gulp.  :eek: I'm doing a free Bookbub next Tuesday. (my book is wide)  I was so excited when I got the e-mail, but now I'm not so sure...  :'(
 

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Something to consider, I emailed Amazon about this last week after hearing about several authors in the same boat. Their response was basically, it's up to authors to make sure they use "legitimate" promotional services and that they "recommend using their own advertising". That last part got an ironic chuckle out of me.

I'm in the Rowan Casey group, we're all legitimate, professional authors. We used a BookBub and a couple of us sent the deal to our NLs. That was all. No weird promo sites, not even the usual promo sites like Barbarian etc. Just BookBub.

We are indeed talking with David and a number of other authors who are going through the same thing at the moment. However, those impacted by this aren't all BookBubs, so we can't even say for sure it's that (it probably isn't just BookBub, but it sure is a coincidence).

Anyone who is running a promo, be it free or 99c, wide or in KU, is at risk. This is not a solely KU isolated incident. It's something we all need to be aware of, and yet it appears as though there is nothing we can do about it when/if it happens.
 

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I'm really glad I'm wide. Even without Amazon, Bookbubs are great. I already stopped using AMS, and now I'll pause all Facebook, Bookbub, and other ads leading to Amazon until they stop being ridiculous.
 

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First, I'm so sorry this is happening to you.

Have you emailed [email protected]? That will generally get you in touch with someone from their executive team.

Also, have they said it is something that happened because of suspicious sales? Because if they haven't said that specifically, it could be a glitch in their system and nothing nefarious. It sucks, but I had my rank blink on and off again for a day a while back on a KU book. Zon wasn't being nefarious, they were just having trouble with their systems.

If this happened after business hours that could also hold up the rank coming back because the techies are asleep. I'm sorry.  :(

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
C. Gockel said:
First, I'm so sorry this is happening to you.

Have you emailed [email protected]? That will generally get you in touch with someone from their executive team.

Also, have they said it is something that happened because of suspicious sales? Because if they haven't said that specifically, it could be a glitch in their system and nothing nefarious. It sucks, but I had my rank blink on and off again for a day a while back on a KU book. Zon wasn't being nefarious, they were just having trouble with their systems.

If this happened after business hours that could also hold up the rank coming back because the techies are asleep. I'm sorry. :(
Everybody that can be emailed has been emailed, including the executive teams at both Amazon and Bookbub :)

It happened in the afternoon Pacific Time yesterday, so well inside business hours. Now well over 15 hours later, we're still without a ranking. This is not a blip.
 

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williammeikle said:
Everybody that can be emailed has been emailed, including the executive teams at both Amazon and Bookbub :)

It happened in the afternoon Pacific Time yesterday, so well inside business hours. Now well over 15 hours later, we're still without a ranking. This is not a blip.
I'm so glad that you've emailed them. I hope that you're wrong about it being a blip. If it is a blip there is hope of a permanentish fix. (Nothing in tech is really permanent.)
 

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Given a paid book can't be botted, this leaves three possibilities:

1) A glitch - skynet accidentally interpreted the book as free, rather than paid, and deranked it because of volume. I find this very unlikely.
2) something else was wrong with the book/authors - fake reviews, past botting, etc. (the bub merely triggered attention and inspection of the book and the derank is based on other actions in the past) (op, not saying you did anything, just laying out the possibilities).
3) Zon is going after bub

If it's #3, that's good news in that it says zon is nowhere near as strong as we think they are. It would explain, in part, the KU rank bump, which creates the illusion KU books are outselling other books, when in reality they are not (not even close). It also means bub feels either threatened enough or strong enough to push back again zon's monopoly (as they have been doing by favoring wide).

I can tell you kobo has a new "bookbub promo" that they are offering in their promo tab. It's just a ppc ad in the bub email blast, but authors don't pay the ppc, kobo does I guess (authors pay their standard 10% of a sale). I suspect Kobo is working more closely with bub now.

Something is going on; the sands are shifting under our feet. Should be fun time ahead.
 
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