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Permlink Replies: 54 - Pages: 4 [ Previous | 1 2 3 4 ] - Last Post: Jul 17, 2017 8:53 PM Last Post By: Brad the wronger Threads: [ Previous | Next ]
Brad the wronger

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Registered: 07/13/17
Re: June KENP
Posted: Jul 16, 2017 3:45 PM   in response to: acornwriter in response to: acornwriter
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A lot of the somewhat more prominent authors also have DIY publishing and marketing books. We've all seen them. Unfortunately, some of them not only advocate the use of click bait and click farms to build a new author's platform, they teach how to do it. New authors are being as effective in using clickfarms in their launches, but they are falsely manipulating sales rankings. This activity happens far more often than what any of us realize, or Amazon realizes.
acornwriter

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Re: June KENP
Posted: Jul 16, 2017 10:23 PM   in response to: Brad the wronger in response to: Brad the wronger
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I can't help but wonder the karma of doing that.
the_peartree

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Re: June KENP
Posted: Jul 17, 2017 3:37 AM   in response to: Brad the wronger in response to: Brad the wronger
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This thread:

https://kdp.amazon.com/community/thread.jspa?threadID=840228&tstart=0

would suggest that the company has been made very much aware of what is going on for quite some time, but they have yet to show any signs of doing anything about it. I read the link in the first post, and I've been thinking seriously about it ever since.

I have little faith left in collective action, sadly, but as an individual I'm not prepared to see my work sold off this cheaply and to see rankings manipulated this cynically. It's time, I think, to get my books out of KU and see what happens. I might consult my readers first and explain why. Has anyone else done that?
writerbn

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Re: June KENP
Posted: Jul 17, 2017 5:07 AM   in response to: the_peartree in response to: the_peartree
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the_peartree wrote:
I have little faith left in collective action, sadly, but as an individual I'm not prepared to see my work sold off this cheaply and to see rankings manipulated this cynically. It's time, I think, to get my books out of KU and see what happens. I might consult my readers first and explain why. Has anyone else done that?

I don't think readers care as much as we might think, but it may depend on genre. In a popular genre with lots of authors competing, the dedicated Kay Yu readers will simply move on to the next Kay Yu book. However, I do notice sales of my books going up after they come out of Kay Yu. I also start getting serial returns, mostly in India, but that's to be expected--people have been trained to get stuff for "free".

The real issue is whether you can afford to give up those Kay Yu reads and go wide. For me, it was an easy decision, since most of my Kay Yu reads were from India. It does take time to build up sales on the other channels, but it's been worth it for me.
the_peartree

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Registered: 08/07/12
Re: June KENP
Posted: Jul 17, 2017 8:44 AM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
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Thanks for the feedback. Going wide - I believe that's the term - would be a real challenge for me.

I've never done any marketing or promotion other than a few times putting the first book in the series up for free, and I don't bother with that any more. I have a Facebook page which has gradually grown followers over the past 2 years but I'm guilty of only posting on it when there is actually something useful to say.

I know that some KU readers have gone on to buy and re-read the books because they wanted to 'own' them as well, and some have even bought the audio versions as well. I guess that there would be some increase in sales but it would not fill the KU pages read gap.

Technically I'm inept, and so adapting to all the various formats etc to 'go wide' would give me nightmares. Nevertheless, I'm now giving it serious consideration. It seems clear that the price per page is going to be cut again and again until they have maximised their profit against the authors' income.

This is a pity because KDP has changed my life for the better...
Brad the wronger

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Re: June KENP
Posted: Jul 17, 2017 8:57 AM   in response to: the_peartree in response to: the_peartree
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Collective action would only work if authors unionized and had strong leadership.

I'm not going to comment specifically about KU because I'm a little conflicted about the program. About 40-50% of our earnings come from KU, but are on a decline. And when I see authors manipulating sales channels like this, I get more frustrated with the authors than with Amazon. I don't see what Amazon could do to stop it, other than drop the program all together and stick to sales. It seems pretty unlikely they'd do that.
the_peartree

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Re: June KENP
Posted: Jul 17, 2017 9:29 AM   in response to: Brad the wronger in response to: Brad the wronger
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The two 'ifs' in your last post are just two of the reasons I no longer have any faith in collective action.

Enough of the big sellers - I'm not one - taking the individual decision to leave KU would make the company sit up and take notice, but that's unlikely to happen; plenty would see if waiting it out and letting others go was to their advantage.

Amazon has access to the best technology and employs lots of the smartest people in the world. I don't believe they cannot bring this at least under control; for some reason they have chosen, so far, not to confront it.
Brad the wronger

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Registered: 07/13/17
Re: June KENP
Posted: Jul 17, 2017 9:39 AM   in response to: the_peartree in response to: the_peartree
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I'm losing faith in a lot of things these days!

Keeping focused on books, KU, and Amazon, it's frustrating no matter how I look at the program. Dropping out of the program and going wide has a few pitfalls, mostly that many authors find it takes several months to get any traction (to start getting any decent volume of sales) at other sales sites. Sales at those sites have to make up for the lost revenue we get through KU. That's the crap shoot for us, and Amazon knows it. Like you implied, they don't care if small potatoes depart ad go wide. As long as the gravy train continues for top selling authors, they aren't going anywhere. They are the ones who get the bonuses, something they are unlikely to give up. But as individuals, what can we do other than make the best decision for our own books and be satisfied with that? Anything else is just desperation.
the_peartree

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Registered: 08/07/12
Re: June KENP
Posted: Jul 17, 2017 9:51 AM   in response to: Brad the wronger in response to: Brad the wronger
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But as individuals, what can we do other than make the best decision for our own books

Agreed, that's how I will look at it - it's mostly about the money but not entirely.

I have contacted my readership about this today and the first response was quite revealing - she said she'd buy the books anyway, but was about to quit KU because, in her opinion, the quality of books is on the decline. If enough serious authors leave, that will be one effect.
Brad the wronger

Posts: 34
Registered: 07/13/17
Re: June KENP
Posted: Jul 17, 2017 8:53 PM   in response to: acornwriter in response to: acornwriter
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Karma. There's a concept. We're either getting kissed on the lips or kicked in the butt. These days, I'd be happy with a cheese sandwich that wasn't too funky looking.
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