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Thread: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong


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Permlink Replies: 24 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: Dec 20, 2017 9:29 PM Last Post By: wowed1
tabitha freeman

Posts: 2
Registered: 10/09/12
KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Nov 9, 2017 1:07 PM
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I've read horror stories the last few months of KDP authors being shut down due to a huge mistake on amazon's part at accusing the author of manipulating sales rank. Innocent authors are being punished in amazon's search to shut down the actual offenders (who they never manage to catch, by the way)

This just happened to me, and amazon not only stripped my book title of ranking so it is virtually unseen, but they also took away nearly half a million page reads, claiming they came from "illegitimate accounts". In trying to communicate and contact amazon, all I receive are general emails that basically tell me "Hey, you're out of luck, and you're at our mercy."

Has this happened to anyone else here?

I took all my books out of KDP Unlimited, as I don't want to chance waking up one day to see an email from amazon accusing me of breaking policies and losing out on my publishing account completely.

But it begs the question if publishing on the amazon platform anymore is truly such a godsend for indie authors (as it was in the beginning when amazon first started this self-pub platform)? What is it worth self-publishing if at any time, your career could be shut down by a generic email from amazon with no chance for you to fight against it? Just as the formula that goes after "fake reviews" has been so terribly flawed to the point that real genuine reviews are taken away, this system for taking out the false KDP reads is even worse.
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,721
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Nov 9, 2017 1:49 PM   in response to: tabitha freeman in response to: tabitha freeman
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You might find more knowledgeable folks regarding this particular topic over on Kboards.

http://www.kboards.com/
thrasherll

Posts: 5,077
Registered: 06/27/12
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Nov 9, 2017 4:24 PM   in response to: tabitha freeman in response to: tabitha freeman
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tabitha freeman wrote:
I've read horror stories the last few months of KDP authors being shut down due to a huge mistake on amazon's part at accusing the author of manipulating sales rank. Innocent authors are being punished in amazon's search to shut down the actual offenders (who they never manage to catch, by the way)

This just happened to me, and amazon not only stripped my book title of ranking so it is virtually unseen, but they also took away nearly half a million page reads, claiming they came from "illegitimate accounts". In trying to communicate and contact amazon, all I receive are general emails that basically tell me "Hey, you're out of luck, and you're at our mercy."

Has this happened to anyone else here?

I took all my books out of KDP Unlimited, as I don't want to chance waking up one day to see an email from amazon accusing me of breaking policies and losing out on my publishing account completely.

But it begs the question if publishing on the amazon platform anymore is truly such a godsend for indie authors (as it was in the beginning when amazon first started this self-pub platform)? What is it worth self-publishing if at any time, your career could be shut down by a generic email from amazon with no chance for you to fight against it? Just as the formula that goes after "fake reviews" has been so terribly flawed to the point that real genuine reviews are taken away, this system for taking out the false KDP reads is even worse.


I'm not sure it will help in this case, but it sounds like you sent more than one email to KDP Support. People who are knowledgeable about KDP say to never send a second email, always respond to the email receive from KDP support. That way your message is forwarded upward. When you send a new email it goes to a random person who doesn't know you've tried before.

L. L. Thrasher
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 824
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 7:44 AM   in response to: tabitha freeman in response to: tabitha freeman
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Writers often discover that the promotional service they've signed up for has put them in dutch with Amazon by using dubious methods to achieve the results (ranking increase, borrows, sales, etc) guaranteed. The writer is more victim than villain, but still pays the price. I don't know if this applies to your case, but there have been many posts similar to yours where writers suffered the same consequences (or worse) by using promotional services that guaranteed results that seemed too good to be true, and were.
writerbn

Posts: 5,623
Registered: 05/12/12
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Nov 11, 2017 5:20 AM   in response to: Salamander Mall... in response to: Salamander Mall...
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The latest (publicized) example of where Ama*zon simply got it wrong was on David Gaughran's blog recently. The promoter was Bookbub--hardly a shady outfit.
Diana Persaud

Posts: 2,696
Registered: 10/07/13
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Nov 20, 2017 7:17 AM   in response to: Salamander Mall... in response to: Salamander Mall...
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Salamander Mallory wrote:
Writers often discover that the promotional service they've signed up for has put them in dutch with Amazon by using dubious methods to achieve the results (ranking increase, borrows, sales, etc) guaranteed. The writer is more victim than villain, but still pays the price. I don't know if this applies to your case, but there have been many posts similar to yours where writers suffered the same consequences (or worse) by using promotional services that guaranteed results that seemed too good to be true, and were.

Bots are downloading legitimate books in an attempt to hide what they are doing. First they went after KU only books. Then it was Free books. Now they are also adding $0.99 books that are wide.

The Zon has the information. We have nothing. We can't stop anyone from downloading our books. The Zon created the problem and they are the only ones who can fix it.

OP,

You can contact David Gaughran and let him know. He's following this newest issue and it helps to have concrete examples for his articles.

Also, you need to send your emails to:

Compliance team - crm-sra-compliance AT amazon.com - and
cc Executive Customer Relations - ecr-kd AT amazon.com

Give them a brief account of what happened and tell them which marketing services you used.
Emily Veinglory

Posts: 3,570
Registered: 04/25/13
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Nov 20, 2017 11:06 AM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
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Book bub books are getting hit big time because Amazon is counting any sudden sales spike as rank manipulation. Bookbub is also not being very helpful about it or trying actively to fix the issue.
Phoenix

Posts: 5
Registered: 11/02/12
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Dec 5, 2017 5:50 AM   in response to: tabitha freeman in response to: tabitha freeman
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I've lost a couple of reviews and now have a title with no sales rank. No explanation for either. We have no recourse?
Emily Veinglory

Posts: 3,570
Registered: 04/25/13
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Dec 5, 2017 8:14 AM   in response to: Phoenix in response to: Phoenix
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Sure you do, contact KDP support and ask for the reason. that is the first step. It might be something easily addressed.
Phoenix

Posts: 5
Registered: 11/02/12
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Dec 7, 2017 2:14 PM   in response to: Emily Veinglory in response to: Emily Veinglory
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I've done that and received a very pleasant email apologizing for the problems and explaining how the issues would be sent to two different departments for further investigation and resolution. Two days later, I find that the KDP report no longer shows over a half-million KENP pages for November. Don't like how this is playing out at all. What the hell good are promo efforts and review solicitations when they can be reversed like this without a word from Amazon?
Emily Veinglory

Posts: 3,570
Registered: 04/25/13
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Dec 9, 2017 11:22 AM   in response to: Phoenix in response to: Phoenix
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Yes, it's messed up--but following up gives you some chance of getting it fixed which is better than just giving up.
Emily Veinglory

Posts: 3,570
Registered: 04/25/13
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Dec 10, 2017 7:00 AM   in response to: K R COTTON in response to: K R COTTON
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Why do you think that is relevant?
Phoenix

Posts: 5
Registered: 11/02/12
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Dec 10, 2017 3:53 PM   in response to: Emily Veinglory in response to: Emily Veinglory
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Haven't given up. Just at a loss as to how to proceed.

Still no sales rank on one novel. It had a new review added a couple of days ago. That was removed the next day.

I've received a single form letter response that yielded no new info just to remind me that I'm responsible for everything that happens with my account.

That's no nearly as helpful as "The power is within you, my son. It always has been." I know this is Amazon's doing. I asked for any suggestions that might help me make extra sure that I'm not stepping on their tender toes. I received the form letter with its implied menace that if anything bad happens to my account...

Meanwhile, I have two other novels that remain unmolested by...we'll say the slings and arrows of the algorithms, except for the eradication of November's KENP numbers (all three have taken that hit), so I don't know the corrective path yet.

Just keeping the thread aware of whatever "progress".

Thanks
Emily Veinglory

Posts: 3,570
Registered: 04/25/13
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Dec 10, 2017 4:31 PM   in response to: Phoenix in response to: Phoenix
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What you do is reply to the email and reply what if any promotions you were doing, tell them it is compliant, and request that the books rank be reinstated.
George Garrigues

Posts: 237
Registered: 08/13/15
Re: KDP Sales Rank Manipulation--when amazon gets it wrong
Posted: Dec 10, 2017 7:55 PM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
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Hi. I am not familiar with this David fellow. Thanks for mentioning his name. I will look him up.

Best wishes.
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