It could be~if you don’t ask the right questions…
Last week was awash in high profile Amazon driven events. First, we saw Nate Hoffelder’s blog on The Digital Reader with the news that Amazon had pulled the Affiliate accounts of Fussy Librarian, eReaderIQ and Pixel of Ink. Fussy is staying on as a book promoter. Christian Hupfeld who owns eReaderIQ and Bookbasset.com is mulling it over. Pixel of Ink closed shop. Booksends stopped using affiliate links. If you don’t know what an affiliate code is, read about it HERE. If you are an author with an affiliate account, take note: Affiliate codes may not be used on any product in a mailer~i.e. Your newsletter or any type of email. If you have any question about how to use or NOT use your affiliate links: ASK AMAZON.
Next, on Kboards, Pauline Creeden reported that Amazon had closed her KDP Account and pulled all of her books~effectively shutting down her career as an indie author. Here is what Amazon wrote to Pauline:
“We are reaching out to you because we have detected that borrows for your books are originating from systematically generated accounts. While we support the legitimate efforts of our publishers to promote their books, attempting to manipulate the Kindle platform and/or Kindle programs is not permitted. As a result of the irregular borrow activity, we have removed your books from the KDP store and are terminating your KDP account and your KDP Agreement effective immediately.”
FYI: Systematically generated accounts are ‘illegal download farmers’, generally thought to be engaged/hired/setup by promoters who use the accounts to generate downloads of books it promotes. To build a reputation as a top notch promotion site that delivers downloads, the promoter may select a book submitted, put those farm accounts to work and next thing, the author is raving about the service. The promoter points to success, raises prices and collect more submissions, many that usually won’t do as well. The indie author whose book got the treatment may not even be aware of the promoter’s manipulation of Kindle platforms, to include Kindle Unlimited/KENP. Amazon makes it clear: It is up to the indie author to protect his/her book and career.
We are seeing a shift in our indie industry to author cross-promotions and author generated promotions. There is the unproven suggestion that author-generated promotions may attract the unsavory who hijack a promo to slide beneath Amazon’s bots designed to catch irregularities. However, if an author-promoter tells you he or she can put your book in the path of 125,000 readers~pause. Here is why: It takes legitimate promoters, such as Fussy, Free Booksy, fkbt and Choosy, years to grow an active subscriber list of 100,000 and above. And for every 3,000 new subscribers, most newsletters promoters will see an attrition of 200 subscribers who fall away, or cancel. ASK: Are those 125,000+ organic subscribers? ASK: What is the open rate of the newsletter? What is the click through rate? And make damned certain the author/promoter is not using affiliate codes on books in his or her newsletter.
All promoters come under the scrutiny of Amazon. Yes, they do. If you have any concerns about a promoter, ASK Amazon. You may get a standard reply: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Or you may get: “We are aware of the name, author/promoter you mentioned.” You won’t get another word. But that is enough of a heads up to steer clear.
As for me. I love author-cross promotion. I think it is smart. I talk to the authors. I want to know their names. I want to look at their books. I want to see a recent newsletter. I’m happy to answer their questions. If they won’t answer mine, honey, I’m G.O.N.E.
All of the above is industry insider news. The vast majority of book buyers and readers don’t have a clue. Moreover they ain’t interested. My goal is to sell books. I’m doing it. Nothing magical. Just hard work. Until the question is answered of where Pauline Creeden got caught up by those systematically generated accounts, I’m staying with promoters I know and trust. That’s just plain old common sense.
One of the promotions I like a lot is Amazon sponsored ads. I have five running, open-ended. From June 1 to June 22, Amazon shows Spend: $30.67 for Sales of $81.57. These campaigns do not reflect any KENP borrows. KDP report to date shows above 80,000 KENP. $$$ in the bank.
I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work. Comments welcome. Be nice. If you can’t be nice~be articulate. Have your FACTS straight. We don’t do rumor. Love it if you add to the discussion. Do visit our other pages for ehow tips. Mastering Amazon is tops.
Jackie Weger @2016
P.S. Amy Vansant, eNovel member and WP Wizard and prime volunteer has set up a site for author cross promotion. Check it out. Ask questions. She’ll answer. Very easy to check the quality of authors you’ll be associated with right here in the drop down menu: Our Authors.