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Bill Hiatt said:
You assume because your strategy worked for you that it would work for anyone willing to put in the time.
I never, EVER said that. I never even implied it, to my knowledge

What I did was tell how I did, and say it was possible, YMMV. This was in response to a post that definitely declared that going wide "would" hurt income, and then a follow-on post that definitely declared that without a BB, you're just shooting yourself in the foot.

In other words, the OP declared that going wide would result in less income than KU, and that without a BB, going wide would fail. I refuted that argument, explicitly without claiming that everyone who goes wide would definitely do as well as I have.

The OP said "wide bad." I said "maybe not."
 

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GrahamCrackers said:
* The reason I even mention that is the obvious fact that the 50% read strip rate is starting to look like it's a fantastical number. I don't know how it's possible to not view it as a fabricated number. The mathematical odds of these bad actors somehow reading, within a few points of error, a consistent 50% of a varied group of authors works, is.... well it's so low as to be improbable. Put that information in front of a court of law and I genuinely think Amazon is going to have to answer a bunch of questions they would prefer not to. Questions like: How do you record reads? What criteria do you use to ascertain false reads? How precisely does this all add up to 50% stripping across the board? Frankly the whole thing is on very shaky ground, no?

ETA: I'm British and we're usually too polite to sue, or threaten it. ;) I just think this stinks to high heaven and I hope someone ends up challenging their arbitrary behavior.
This situation sounds like a class action suit would be appropriate. If the same arbitrary numbers are hitting a large group of varied authors...
 

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P.J. Post said:
I am curious, though, to know how many mid/high-5 to 6 figure authors got there without BB.
I've earned six figures a year for the past four years and only just got accepted by BB this year. I've had two ads with them so far and neither did all that well, sadly. BB isn't the be all and end all that people think they are anymore. Not for me anyway. The ads certainly didn't skyrocket my sales like I thought they would. More like a small bump, then back to normal again after three weeks. Maybe if I wrote contemporary romance, it might have been different (shrugs).
 

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P.J. Post said:
I am curious, though, to know how many mid/high-5 to 6 figure authors got there without BB.
I've been six figures for six years and I've never had a BB. I guess I got double lucky - to start when I did and manage to keep my readers with me along the way.

I'm curious, has anyone heard of anyone being page stripped this month? I haven't heard anything on other boards.
 

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P.J. Post said:
That makes 3. :)

Seriously, I'm not being whatever about it, I really am curious. Most/many of the financially successful writers we hear about seem to have BBs routinely factored into their promotion schedules, but obviously, there are lots of authors doing really well that we never hear about. And for those that don't use BB, or didn't until well after they had achieved financial success, I'm equally curious as to how they got there: publishing schedule, genres, etc. And not in a give me advice kind of way, just in an analytical/academic, that sure is interesting, kind of way.
Remember, how stats are framed changes the apparent meaning. Stats and anecdotes have to be defined and framed properly.

Example: 100% of people looking for their lost keys find them in the last place they look.

If you immediately thought that couldn't be true, remember: as soon as you find your keys, you stop looking. So that's the last place you looked. 100%.

Why do I say this? Because without a control group of those who tried and failed to go wide with a BB, and a control group of those who tried and failed without a BB, you have nothing. You only have a list of authors who succeeded, some with, and some without a BB. You might infer, broadly, for example, that if the same number of authors reported success with, and without a BB, then it doesn't matter--but that would also be false, because there are so many variables:

How many tried and failed completely
Who happens to be reading and replying to this thread
What genres they are in
How many BBers would have made it without the BB anyway
How many needed the BB or they would have failed
How big is their backlist
How long are their books
etc. etc. etc.

The samples size here is far too small. All we can be sure of is, it is possible to succeed wide, and it is possible to succeed without a BB, and BB probably helps in most cases.

Beyond that, YMMV wildly.

The only thing you can do to be sure is try it yourself, using the best methods and strategies you can find and employ.
 

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Crystal_ said:
I hate to say it, but I think the better you do in KU, the more insulated you are from Amazon BS. You rarely see high earning authors losing their pages or getting rank stripped unless they're engaging in blackhat practices.
This is something that's been intriguing me for a while now. Since I suspect all of Amazon's policing is managed by bots, apart from the odd time the suits swoop in and clean up after a publicity mess, why would they pick on the people least likely to be using or benefiting from illegal page reads? And why the 50% business? And why are so many new releases affected? And why these hot genres, like GameLit and RH?

Personally, I think it's a programming error. Wild speculation: the bots are set to detect a surge in pages read that's very high relative to previous history. Maybe more than 50% higher than some previous estimate. If detected, it will strip the excess automatically, which triggers the nastygram. If this were so, then those with previous high page reads would be protected, whereas anyone who previously didn't sell much, switched to a hot genre and suddenly took off would be vulnerable.

But honestly, I don't think anyone knows for sure what's going on, and I'm not even sure Amazon knows. The bots are running the shop now.
 

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I hate to say it, but I think the better you do in KU, the more insulated you are from Amazon BS. You rarely see high earning authors losing their pages or getting rank stripped unless they're engaging in blackhat practices.
TBH, I think the better you do, the less time you have to watch your numbers like a hawk. You'll watch the money come into your bank account and if it looks like an acceptable amount, you're not going to go back and see if all pages are accounted for. You don't have time for that.

Re. Bookbub.

Most successful writers use Bookbub because they get accepted by Bookbub and it's useful, but not necessarily career-changing (says she, having my 15th Bookbub tomorrow).

I guess I should write a post entitled "Patty's guide to 100% guaranteed getting accepted by Bookbub". It involves time and dogged determination, just like selling short stories to a literary magazine. You play ping pong with submissions: if it comes back, send them something else. Rinse and repeat. Put on autopilot, for years, if necessary.

Or you can whinge and throw dummy spits about not getting accepted by Bookbub.

Or you can decide that Bookbub doesn't fit in your strategy.

That's fine, there are other ways. It doesn't suit all genres and is no magic pill. My new release earnings spike is usually much higher and broader than a Bookbub earnings spike.
 

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PaulineMRoss said:
why would they pick on the people least likely to be using or benefiting from illegal page reads? And why the 50% business? And why are so many new releases affected? And why these hot genres, like GameLit and RH?
I recall someone asking a similar question about the 50 percent figure back a month or two ago, asking if the percentage of stripped pages was the same for other authors. As I recall, the responses cited a wide range of stripped pages - some just 10 percent or so, others up to maybe 80 percent, I think. Whatever the exact figures, it seemed to pretty much clear up the (mis)conception that Amazon is just taking 50 percent of page reads from everyone.

I've yet to see any developments that sway me from accepting the most plausible explanation: Amazon is simply stripping page reads that come from bot accounts.

Why the hot genres like GameLit? Probably because those are the genres that scammers are targeting. I know there was at least one popular GameLit author whose books disappeared from Amazon (probable account ban, like what happened over in Romanceland). And it's likely affecting new releases because that's what the scammers target in hope of cloaking their bot activity.

I'm not disposed to defend Amazon without reason; I very much share the sentiment of the OP, that Amazon absolutely should not be offering up-to-date reporting of page reads if it can't guarantee those figures, because people make decisions about ad spends based on that information. But I simply don't think it plausible that Amazon is stripping page reads based on unjustified suspicions. If we start hearing about Amazon restoring these page for many authors reads at a later date, though, I think that would be good evidence.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
David VanDyke said:
In other words, the OP declared that going wide would result in less income than KU, and that without a BB, going wide would fail. I refuted that argument, explicitly without claiming that everyone who goes wide would definitely do as well as I have.

The OP said "wide bad." I said "maybe not."
Umm, I never said that. I said it would hurt my income to quit being exclusive. My income. Which it would, because over half my income is from KU. Could that change in time? Yes. My readers are big in KU. From other authors in my genre who have gone wide, they barely sell on the other platforms. I know it takes time and a strategy to see success wide, but not one part of me wants to take another year to build an audience wide when I was so close to being full-time now under my current strategy I have invested 2 years in.

I don't want to go wide, but it feels like I am being forced to do so because of the way Amazon is conducting their business. I like playing in one place and having all my data right there and only having to worry about promoting on one retailer. I simply want Amazon to be more transparent in what it does and answer a F%@*!&$ email when I send them one.
 

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Lee Sutherland said:
Which it would, because over half my income is from KU. Could that change in time? Yes. My readers are big in KU. From other authors in my genre who have gone wide, they barely sell on the other platforms.
Out of curiosity could this be because LitRPG doesn't have a category on other platforms? And, is this something that could be rectified with some contact with those other platforms? Just wondering.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
GrahamCrackers said:
Out of curiosity could this be because LitRPG doesn't have a category on other platforms? And, is this something that could be rectified with some contact with those other platforms? Just wondering.
Litrpg doesn't have a category on Amazon either. We put our books in various categories that fit what is in them, but there is no dedicated category for LitRPG or Gamelit.
 

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David VanDyke said:
Remember, how stats are framed changes the apparent meaning. Stats and anecdotes have to be defined and framed properly.

Example: 100% of people looking for their lost keys find them in the last place they look.

If you immediately thought that couldn't be true, remember: as soon as you find your keys, you stop looking. So that's the last place you looked. 100%.

Why do I say this? Because without a control group of those who tried and failed to go wide with a BB, and a control group of those who tried and failed without a BB, you have nothing. You only have a list of authors who succeeded, some with, and some without a BB. You might infer, broadly, for example, that if the same number of authors reported success with, and without a BB, then it doesn't matter--but that would also be false, because there are so many variables:

How many tried and failed completely
Who happens to be reading and replying to this thread
What genres they are in
How many BBers would have made it without the BB anyway
How many needed the BB or they would have failed
How big is their backlist
How long are their books
etc. etc. etc.

The samples size here is far too small. All we can be sure of is, it is possible to succeed wide, and it is possible to succeed without a BB, and BB probably helps in most cases.

Beyond that, YMMV wildly.

The only thing you can do to be sure is try it yourself, using the best methods and strategies you can find and employ.
Spot on, both for the reasoning and for the advice.

One of our problems as indie writers is what a small amount of data we have to work with (mostly our own, with a little sprinkling of data from people who post publicly). That may be enough to reveal what's possible under the right circumstances, but not necessarily what those circumstances are or how often such a high point is achieved.
'
 
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