Scammers Break The Kindle Store

Don’t fall for scams.

David Gaughran

On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.

The Kindle Store is officially broken.

This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling. Last Sunday, a clickfarmed title also hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action.

Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever. There are many such examples.

I wrote at the start of June about how scammers were taking over Amazon’s free charts. That post led to a phone conversation with KDP’s Executive Customer Relations.

Repeated assurances were given that the entire leadership team at Amazon was taking the scammer problem very seriously indeed. But it was also stressed that the…

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Wonder Woman

If you’re one of the handful of people who haven’t seen WW, go see it. I doubt you’ll regret it.

mishaburnett

Let’s forget about the “superhero” universe for a minute. Let’s not worry about continuity and connectivity and just look at this film as a film, as if it exists all by itself.  Okay?

Now, that’s easy for me, since I haven’t really been following the “DC Universe” films.  I saw (in fact I own) the second Nolen Batman film, The Dark Knight. But that’s about it.  I really wasn’t interested in When Batman Met Superman or whatever it was called.

I wasn’t all that familiar with the source material, either–I know the basics of the character concept and I vaguely remember the old TV show.  Okay, I remember Lynda Carter in the amazon outfit. But I can’t recall ever reading the comic book.

So when I went in to see Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman I was able to look at it from a fresh perspective.  And what I saw…

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Comments on the Nebula Reading List top five short stories

Unfortunately, I think Lela is right. The Hugos and Nebulas have become politicized to the point that message fiction is the only way to win, and the “progressives” still have the numbers. Those in the middle seem so afraid of the far left, or of being accused to being alt-right, that they think they have to vote for soft message fiction.

Adding to this trend is the “right flight” toward the Dragons and other, pardon the pun, alternatives to the Hugos and Nebulas, often leaving the field to the left and their kumbaya circle. I suspect awards will become increasingly balkanized, with little true, respected, fairminded middle ground for non-message fiction.

Lela E. Buis

It takes 10 nominations to make a story a Nebula finalist, so these five stories I’ve just reviewed look to be the ones with the best likelihood to make it.

Since I’m reading down the list, there are a few trends sticking out. As far as I know, only SFWA members can make recommendations. Because the listing has been recommended by professionals in the genre, I’d expect to get good quality on the list. These stories I’ve just reviewed have recommendations in the double digits, but I’m just not finding a lot of what I’d call substance in the content. I’m thinking all those people are clicking the “recommend” button because they want to affirm the message. If I’m looking for quality stories to nominate, does that mean I can put any confidence in the number of recommendations the stories have gotten at all? Hm. Maybe not. Does this mean…

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Could an independent Copyright Office and the Trump Presidency mean trouble ahead for copyright?

A really good summation of what’s going on with copyright.

Remember October, when Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden pulled Maria Pallante from her post as head of the LOC’s Copyright Office, and Pallante resigned a couple of days later? Artist Rights Watch made a big to-do about Google using its influence to “fire” Pallante, but the actual reason probably had more to do with the way Pallante had been loudly advocating for the Copyright Office to be made independent from the Library of Congress. Most bosses aren’t best pleased when a lower-level manager tries to go over their head to get their office shuffled out from under them.

The House Judiciary Committee has released the first policy proposal (PDF) to come from a recent in-depth review of US copyright policy, and that proposal is in line with what Pallante had wanted: make the Copyright Office independent from the Library of Congress, with the Register of Copyrights subject to nomination and…

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The KU Conundrum…

Another perspective on the page-reads problem. It seems to affect certain books dramatically differently from others–especially ultra-long books such as box sets. There is probably some new piece to the algorithm that’s affecting things.

For now, I’m hanging onto KU despite the decline I’ve seen, a decline of 30% or so for me, because all things considered I think my books do better in KDP Select/KU than out. But I do have two series “wide” on all vendors, and I’m always ready to make adjustments.

Ruby Madden

I’m re-assessing how I run my publishing business for 2017 and wanted to share some of my frustrations as an Author.

frustratedauthor

Recently, many authors have noticed that over the last few months, the pages-read numbers for our eBooks that are borrowed at Amazon and read, have decreased dramatically. Some say it is just a slump resulting from an Election Year. Others say that something is amuck with Amazon’s pages-read reporting system that lets us know how many pages were read for stories that we have enrolled in the KINDLE UNIMITED (KU) program.ku12-9

Most of my newer titles are enrolled in KU. I like the program, both as a reader and author. I’ve always enjoyed reading for pleasure and I also read for my job as a writer and novelist. I gain inspiration from my fellow authors and love to track my reading via GOODREADS. I like knowing that…

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A Chronicle of the Amazon Page Flip Controversy: Or, how to piss off a ton of your vendors all at once

More good info on the page read scandal.

Ruth Nestvold - Indie Adventures

For the past several weeks (and in some case months), authors publishing through KDP Select have been noticing a massive decrease in the pages read (KENP = Kindle Edition Normalized Pages). I blogged about his before here and here, mostly about how it has hit me personally. In this post I would like to attempt a summary of what’s been going on and what the authors affected think might be causing it.

Most of what I know comes from a discussion thread on Kboards, a forum for indie authors. The thread was started on Oct. 2, and authors quickly began chiming in with information on decreasing numbers of pages read on Amazon. A few authors said they had seen no decrease, but the vast majority have observed decreases of between 30% – 90%.

Naturally, once we noticed that we weren’t the only ones taking a huge hit to…

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Bye, Bye, KDP Select; Or, How I Got Screwed by Amazon (and You May Have Been Too)

One author’s decision…

Ruth Nestvold - Indie Adventures

I blogged a couple of days ago about how some kind of software glitch seems to be swallowing authors’ pages read, and posted the email I sent to Amazon about it.

Well, two days later, still no answer. Two days with a total of 24 pages read, when my daily average is closer to 1000. For all of October, I have have had less than half the pages read that I usually have in a single day. My pages read have flatlined, my rankings have tanked, and my sales have come to a halt. It looks like I’m going to have to start all over again — all over again.

I have since learned that the problem of the missing pages is probably connected to Amazon Kindle’s new feature, Page Flip, a navigational tool meant to be used to search books for specific passages. Unfortunately for authors, Amazon does not…

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Let’s Get Digital Is Free. Maybe Forever?

If you’re an author and haven’t read it at least once, you;re missing out.

David Gaughran

digital2OPT FREE at Amazon | Apple | B&N | Kobo

I first published Let’s Get Digital in July 2011, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and then released a (much) revamped and updated version in September 2014.

Combined, both editions have sold well over 25,000 copies at this point, which is about 24,000 copies more than I ever hoped. So my sincere thanks to all of you for that – particularly the generous authors who contributed to the book and the army of writers recommending it to others.

Speaking of which, a friend told me the other day that she was grateful I’d written the book because it gives her a quick and easy way to answer emails from newbs.

Well, let me tell you, I’m totally fine with monetizing other people’s laziness. If I could monetize my own laziness I’d be richer than Croesus (one of the original investors in…

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KU Scammers Attack Amazon’s Free Ebook Charts

More scamming. Please send an email to Jeff Bezos (majority owner and CEO of Amazon) about this: jeff@amazon.com.

David Gaughran

freescamLast month, Amazon was caught up in a crisis at least partly of its own making when bungled attempts to deal with a growing Kindle Unlimited scammer problem resulted in the sanctioning of innocent authors.

Amazon has since apologized, and has also pledged to beef up its response to the KU scamming mess – but questions very much remain about whether Amazon is taking the problem seriously enough. A quick check shows that some of the main scammers are still operating, under the very same author names and book titles that were reported to Amazon in late February and early March. Which is very disappointing.

A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with Phoenix Sullivan about the problem and she told me about something else she was witnessing – scammers taking over the free charts in the Kindle Store. I could see what she was describing and invited…

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