Thursday, 5 July 2018

New Twist in Author Games of Chance.




New Twist in BookBub et al Vs Amazon, and is Amazon actively encouraging readers and authors to report books featured at Bookbub et al?  Well yes they are asking those who report authors for scamming readers with add-ons at the back of books which inflates Kindle Unlimited pages read. This new twist in the book wars has become a debatable question doing the rounds on author and reader forums. Strange though the concept of cheating, the majority of comments are pro Amazon supporters with calls for a crack down on cheat authors. No love lost there then as books and their authors vie for hot spot ranking.      

It does look as though authors will have to read up on Amazon's terms of service for authors, and whether a Bookbub promotional run is worth the awful prospect of Amazon strip-ranking KDP books and strip-ranking KU book pages read for offending authors.

The Crime Factor in Amazon's little Black Book is a steaming hot topic and all due to recent cases of repeat Bookbub advertising where authors have suddenly discovered there books are banned from sale at Amazon. Worse still repeat offend Bookbub advertisers have had their author sign-up page rendered inaccessable (blocked). The things is, Amazon says 'don't break the rules and if you do be ready to accept the consequences of cheating with paid advertising' which is ultimately designed to send excess traffic to books on Amazon.

Get caught paying for reviews and an outright ban will be imposed. Post the great Fiverr scandal it was assumed by Amazon that paid for reviews had vanished and authors had seen the error of cheating the system. Apparently that was not the case as authors sought other means to obtain paid reviews.
Trade is trade, and there will always be tricksters who exploit those in need. Authors it would appear are easy game for fly-boy operators with no conscience and out to make a rapid buck from foolish authors. And the trend continues as authors are signing up in their droves for back door pages on web sites where 25-30-50-reviews or more can be bought. In the meanwhile Bookbub, BookSweeps, Buckbooks, BargainBooksy etc continue to trade as the solution to greater sales for authors.

What a lot of authors forget is that when they agreed to a covenant with Amazon to abide to its publishing rules a lot never read the rules and instead press the yes I did button.

The danger of thinking an Amazon ban can never happen to you is untrue, and by reports from authors who got caught, it pays to be aware Amazon hold the right to amend the rules as and when. In the last month 30 authors with high KU downloads were rank stripped and sales rank taken away. Amazon's algorithm are targeting books with excessively high download rates within a set number of days or hours!! The ban or rank-stripping doesn't always happen immediately. It can be months afterwards when the author thinks phew I got away with one may be it's time for another Amazon boost.

Will authors be forced to weigh up their options in risking paid promotional ads since the threat of Amazon banning books and banning authors from selling books is reality, or is ignorance or complete disregard for Amazon rules and guidelines endemic with sellers in general. The crux at issue is strong belief authors who cheat on Amazon's sales and the review system should pay the price for being cheats. Arguments for bringing repeat offenders to the notice of Amazon is building in momentum and Amazon are encouraging readers to report books they see advertised through Bookbub and similar web sites.

How true the following statement is from a best selling author is hearsay and cannot be verified by me. I'd never heard of her nor read a book of hers. Her sad story was posted by an active member on the forum who had promoted the author's books with regularity.

 '---gutted gutted gutted when my author account at Amazon was frozen pending enquiry on paid advertising. Accused of spiking books with Bookbub my rank was stripped my books were plunged to 0 and categories disappeared. Amazon's answer to questions asked said I had broken the terms of their publishing agreement. How I asked. No reply. I sent them email after email and eventually they got back to me and the same answer. I had broken the rules and was told what I had done wrong. There is no means to plead innocence and I learnt  the hard way it doesn't pay to try and cheat Amazon and if I say I didn't cheat it would be lie. I did cheat and would have again and why not when every one does it. I don't know any authors who haven't paid for Bookbub splashes. I used to do it with the Fussylibrarian until Bookbub was trending big. I'm upset by it all and have to rebuild and be thankful Amazon didn't close my author account. I've since learnt how lucky I am when others have lost Amazon's selling zone---'

 A cruel lesson learned that's for sure. Instead of sympathy it drew forth critical comments with references to Amazon are right to clean up where people play dirty. Readers it seems can be as cruel as authors carping and belittling their own. There are calls for more readers to report Bookbub adverts and that will bring about more gutted gutted gutted authors.         

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