Bookshelf | Reports | Community | KDP Select

Home » Amazon KDP Support » Ask the Community » General Questions

Thread: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales


Reply to this Thread Reply to this Thread Search Forum Search Forum Back to Thread List Back to Thread List

Permlink Replies: 95 - Pages: 7 [ Previous | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | Next ] - Last Post: Oct 17, 2017 10:08 PM Last Post By: michael mckinney Threads: [ Previous | Next ]
michael mckinney

Posts: 30
Registered: 11/16/13
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 11, 2017 6:11 AM   in response to: the_peartree in response to: the_peartree
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I retract nothing I've written earlier partially or otherwise, despite you choosing to interpret it that way. I made a general statement. It was not directed at you or any other contributor to this forum. I was in no way criticizing the writing of any individual who, like me, would like to sell more books. Can you cite an example where I remarked negatively about your writing or the writing of anyone else? General comments about the quality of writing found in ebooks fall well within the purview of this discussion forum. As far as your words "doing it with a better grace" is concerned, we all need to strive to live and speak and write more gracefully.

Perhaps the pear tree needs a little fertilizer
robert d dorazi

Posts: 577
Registered: 04/20/14
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 11, 2017 6:32 AM   in response to: webfix3 in response to: webfix3
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Well, if someone on the board knows a way to write bad books and sell hundred of thousand of them, I am definitely interested in knowing the full recipe... :)
I would love to be able to do so! :)

Robert
the_peartree

Posts: 972
Registered: 08/07/12
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 11, 2017 8:01 AM   in response to: michael mckinney in response to: michael mckinney
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
The thing is, Mike, you're new here, and you've come into the room with a certain pomposity which has got a few people's backs up. Obviously you have a very nice vocabulary but that in itself doesn't make you right in a discussion, which is much more about whether one can argue logically and remain focused on the matter in hand.

Anyway, let me follow my own prescription and remain focused. Here it is again, in all its glory - your original statement, the one that I had the temerity to question:

What motivates a writer? If it's the desire to simply make money at home, then it's better that his or her efforts fail.

If, as you claim, you have not retracted anything from this, then will you now PLEASE explain or justify it - you have had several opportunities to do, and you have so far completely avoided doing so. Surely this isn't too much to ask! WHY is it better that writers who write to make money should fail?

As to your other latest points, I have taken nothing personally whatsoever, nor have I said that you have been negative about my books; how could you be - you haven't seen them and you know nothing about them, do you? Or are you simplistically assuming that because I write some of my books for money, they must be, by your own standards, poor?

Finally, 'lay down' is a transitive verb and it therefore requires an object, something that is to be laid down; when you told Moshe to Take a few aspirin and lay down. what you meant to say was "Take a few aspirin and lie down". This is the intransitive verb.

If this has helped to make you a better writer, then it has all been worthwhile.
the_peartree

Posts: 972
Registered: 08/07/12
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 11, 2017 8:05 AM   in response to: michael mckinney in response to: michael mckinney
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Reply modded - it will turn up eventually.
benarroch

Posts: 968
Registered: 12/16/10
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 11, 2017 8:56 AM   in response to: the_peartree in response to: the_peartree
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Sorry guys, it’s my fault. Readers are buying and reading my books.
the_peartree

Posts: 972
Registered: 08/07/12
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 11, 2017 9:23 AM   in response to: benarroch in response to: benarroch
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Mine, too. Sometimes I experience a sort of self-disgust but then I phone up my accountant and he tells me everything's OK.
Traveler321

Posts: 172
Registered: 10/01/16
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 11, 2017 9:43 AM   in response to: michael mckinney in response to: michael mckinney
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
The idea that Amazon is going to start filtering out and eliminating books will never happen, it is a horrible business decision. One reason is this is a learning experience, and it is extremely difficult to get everything right on a first attempt. But the people who list are also customers, and to eliminate customers to go somewhere else is a bad decision. One thing though they could do is ask for a monthly listing fee for books, say something as small as $1 a book. I believe that such a small fee would eliminate a lot of the books voluntarily when people realize they are not selling and there is little hope for them.

The alternative is to let as many publish as they want like now, and with the same number of readers the pie keeps getting cut smaller and smaller. I doubt Amazon even wants to be the chef here, so prefers to let the authors cut up the pie and fight over the crust.
the_peartree

Posts: 972
Registered: 08/07/12
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 11, 2017 10:30 AM   in response to: Traveler321 in response to: Traveler321
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
The idea that Amazon is going to start filtering out and eliminating books will never happen

I think it probably will. As authors we might be horrified by the idea (or not, as the case may be) but we are not the most important element in the equation - the readers are. I think what is already driving this is reader reaction to the huge swamp they enter every time the go in search of a new book. A number of my own readers have told me recently that they have given up on KU solely for this reason. And this is why well-organised set-ups like Bookbub are so successful - they have literally millions of readers signed up because they want someone, anyone to screen out the dross for them.

Amazon would not need to delete any books at all - they could simply rearrange them according to a set of criteria that enabled readers who want to buy and read books of a decent standard to find them more easily than they can at present.
Charles O'Donnell

Posts: 1,875
Registered: 12/22/12
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 12, 2017 11:11 AM   in response to: webfix3 in response to: webfix3
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I hear you, brother. My sales have practically disappeared. I barely sell 2,000 books a day any more, hardly enough to maintain my lifestyle. Long gone are the days of 4,000 a day book sales, and even the 3,000 per day pace of just a few months ago seems like a distant memory. I've had to give up the detailing on my Bentley.

Times are tough.

In solidarity,

Charles O'Donnell
Author Website | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
beachgardener

Posts: 335
Registered: 06/13/11
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 12, 2017 11:31 AM   in response to: the_peartree in response to: the_peartree
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
the_peartree wrote:
The idea that Amazon is going to start filtering out and eliminating books will never happen

I think it probably will. As authors we might be horrified by the idea (or not, as the case may be) but we are not the most important element in the equation - the readers are. I think what is already driving this is reader reaction to the huge swamp they enter every time the go in search of a new book. A number of my own readers have told me recently that they have given up on KU solely for this reason. And this is why well-organised set-ups like Bookbub are so successful - they have literally millions of readers signed up because they want someone, anyone to screen out the dross for them.

Amazon would not need to delete any books at all - they could simply rearrange them according to a set of criteria that enabled readers who want to buy and read books of a decent standard to find them more easily than they can at present.


Decent Standard? Whose? Yours? Mine? The guy down the block who never wrote so much as a paragraph but is an avid reader? Or his neighbor who thinks the current system is a wonderful embarrassment of riches and offers a fine selection for every apatite?
I think letting the market have its way is fairest and helps keep the pressure on for a writer to present his or her best efforts. If my book(s) sink or swim is down to my talents and efforts to edit and market, not Amazon's to police or make arbitrary decisions that will never please everyone. If you have every divided a candy bar for a pair of preschoolers you know there is no such thing as fair - rearrange to make things easier for whom?
B
the_peartree

Posts: 972
Registered: 08/07/12
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 12, 2017 3:10 PM   in response to: beachgardener in response to: beachgardener
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
First things first. I have no particular dog in this fight, and as far as I'm concerned, it's not really a fight. Not yet, anyway.

Of course, what constitutes a 'decent' book is to a large extent subjective - but not entirely so. There would be near-universal agreement, for example, that an ebook needs to be correctly formatted so that it is readable on the page - and many thousands are not. Similarly, authors who are quite unable to spell, punctuate, write coherent sentences or paragraph are adding nothing but distraction and annoyance to readers who rightly expect something better than that after parting with their money; I am not referring to the odd errors which we all have but to the 'books' which are, in truth, a travesty of the word.

Of course, readers have the opportunity to read before they buy, but the feedback I am getting from my readers today - having invited them to tell me what they think - is that there is now so much rubbish - their word, not mine - that they are losing the will to search through it. Of the 30 responses I have received so far, 7 have told me that they have abandoned KU. That's almost 25%. Replicated across Amazon's Kindle customer base, that's a very significant number.

Several of these readers tell me that they have signed up to Bookbub and similar services to do the basic screening on their behalf. This is a problem for those authors who are not accepted into those promotion services - it might even be in the interests of the more professional writers on KDP if Amazon does begin to introduce some basic quality control, therefore.

letting the market have its way is fairest and helps keep the pressure on for a writer to present his or her best efforts.

This sounds appealing, but the truth is that this is not about fairness, and we are not preschoolers - this is about the grown-up world of business. More to the point, it plainly isn't working in many cases unless those terrible books really are their authors' best efforts.

not Amazon's to police or make arbitrary decisions that will never please everyone

I've no idea what Amazon will do or whether they will in the end take any action, but using some of the criteria I suggested above would not be arbitrary - formatting and accuracy are objective and measurable. As to not pleasing everyone, nothing ever will - I think I've indicated above that lots of Kindle readers are already not pleased by their encounters with the slush pile. It wouldn't be that surprising if the company decided to do something about this.

to make things easier for whom?

The reader, without whom none of this would be possible.
beachgardener

Posts: 335
Registered: 06/13/11
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 12, 2017 4:12 PM   in response to: the_peartree in response to: the_peartree
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
the_peartree wrote:
First things first. I have no particular dog in this fight, and as far as I'm concerned, it's not really a fight. Not yet, anyway.

Of course, what constitutes a 'decent' book is to a large extent subjective - but not entirely so. There would be near-universal agreement, for example, that an ebook needs to be correctly formatted so that it is readable on the page - and many thousands are not. Similarly, authors who are quite unable to spell, punctuate, write coherent sentences or paragraph are adding nothing but distraction and annoyance to readers who rightly expect something better than that after parting with their money; I am not referring to the odd errors which we all have but to the 'books' which are, in truth, a travesty of the word.

Of course, readers have the opportunity to read before they buy, but the feedback I am getting from my readers today - having invited them to tell me what they think - is that there is now so much rubbish - their word, not mine - that they are losing the will to search through it. Of the 30 responses I have received so far, 7 have told me that they have abandoned KU. That's almost 25%. Replicated across Amazon's Kindle customer base, that's a very significant number.

Several of these readers tell me that they have signed up to Bookbub and similar services to do the basic screening on their behalf. This is a problem for those authors who are not accepted into those promotion services - it might even be in the interests of the more professional writers on KDP if Amazon does begin to introduce some basic quality control, therefore.

letting the market have its way is fairest and helps keep the pressure on for a writer to present his or her best efforts.

This sounds appealing, but the truth is that this is not about fairness, and we are not preschoolers - this is about the grown-up world of business. More to the point, it plainly isn't working in many cases unless those terrible books really are their authors' best efforts.

not Amazon's to police or make arbitrary decisions that will never please everyone

I've no idea what Amazon will do or whether they will in the end take any action, but using some of the criteria I suggested above would not be arbitrary - formatting and accuracy are objective and measurable. As to not pleasing everyone, nothing ever will - I think I've indicated above that lots of Kindle readers are already not pleased by their encounters with the slush pile. It wouldn't be that surprising if the company decided to do something about this.

to make things easier for whom?

The reader, without whom none of this would be possible.


As a reader I am not inclined to let you or anyone else decide what I might find to be trash or what treasure. Think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this subject. I respect your right to your opinion, for now I will be keeping mine. B
chris

Posts: 19
Registered: 09/26/14
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 12, 2017 10:32 PM   in response to: the_peartree in response to: the_peartree
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Peartree,

As I said previously, the Zon has a healthy review process. Readers leave reviews. Not just for books, but for nearly every product sold -- some products have 100's of reviews to mull through. I don't think anyone buying anything on the website buys completely blind, unless there are no reviews whatsoever, which can happen.

But with eBooks, that's when the Look Inside feature gives you an idea of whether the eBook is acceptable or not -- if a book is truly poorly written it will show up rather quickly.

Also, I think you are leaving out the entertainment factor. A book can be perfectly written and be a crashing bore.

And what one person finds entertaining and worth the money, and what another one considers "rubbish" is very subjective. The biggest selling novel in recent history is proof of that. All one has to do is read through the thousands of highly polarized reviews to see that not all agree on the "quality" or merits of that particular piece of writing.

Edited by: chris on Oct 12, 2017 10:32 PM
the_peartree

Posts: 972
Registered: 08/07/12
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 13, 2017 12:52 AM   in response to: beachgardener in response to: beachgardener
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
You won't be surprised to hear that I am happy to disagree with you, though I did point out I'm not strongly advocating anything, just reporting what my own readers are saying, and mulling over possibilities.

I am surprised, however, to be pointing the following out again, as I have in other recent posts: Amazon owns the store. If it decides to remove certain items from the shelves, for whatever reason, your inclinations - I know this is hard to hear - will count for nothing.
the_peartree

Posts: 972
Registered: 08/07/12
Re: Disgusted With Lower and Lower Sales
Posted: Oct 13, 2017 1:18 AM   in response to: chris in response to: chris
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Chris,

The review process is better than it was but it is still suspect, and I never buy based solely on reviews - there are still too many ways for the unscrupulous to cheat for it to be described as "healthy".

I don't think anyone buying anything on the website

Perhaps my earlier posts did not make this clear. The main complaint of my readers is not that they bought rubbish - most of them are responsible adults - but that there is so much rubbish to search through before they can find anything worth buying. Pardon the cliche but this is not rocket science - what other explanation is there for the huge power wielded by Bookbub? They employ some basic screening processes and have millions of readers signed up as a result - and, of course, thousands of authors desperate to hand over hundreds of dollars for the privilege of being mentioned in an email.

Also, I think you are leaving out the entertainment factor. A book can be perfectly written and be a crashing bore.

Well, yes... But I'm not pushing an agenda here or trying to justify doing anything - I was simply saying that getting some control of the slush pile is perfectly possible.

As a student and teacher of literature for the past forty years, I have managed to grasp the notion that taste is subjective; however, that does not then lead on to the proposition that therefore all opinions about value are equally valid. They are not. Some people think critically better than others, and some people cannot do it at all.
Legend
Helpful Answer
Correct Answer

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in all forums