Link of the Week – A Voice, Indie Author Support Network

April 24, 2018

Indie authors are long past being tired of the Zon’s antics. Such monkey business includes rank stripping, disappearing reviews or page reads, sketchy Terms of Service rules, the ease of which scammers are able to take advantage, the lack of transparency, unfair wielding of power, and so much more. Most of the woes come from the Kindle Unlimited (KU) program but can affect all authors, whether they exclusively sell with Amazon or distribute wide using different platforms. But no matter what we say or do, Amazon ignores our concerns as if we are pesky little peons.

Currently, a new organization is being formed with the idea that indie authors are a massive force that can not only provide support to one another but give indie authors a voice.

You can read more about this group “exclusively focused on high-level advocacy and interfacing with retailers on issues which concern indies” in a blog post written by David Gaughran.

https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/giving-a-voice-to-indies/

While this group is still very much in its infancy, I suspect this will catch on like a raging wildfire. It’s already gaining momentum.

http://indieauthorsupportnetwork.com/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AuthorSupportNetwork/


Link of the Week – Google Keyword Planner

April 3, 2018

Keywords are an important part of discoverability for anyone selling goods on Amazon. In authors’ cases, they help drive readers to books. With all the lovely (yes, that is sarcasm) algorithms Amazon has in place that makes it nearly impossible to get noticed, it is crucial to optimize the SEO for every book authors publish. One way to do that is to plan the best keywords to use for your metadata, book description, and more.

Try Google Keyword Planner to “refine search campaigns and ensure content remains relevant”. Come up with a bunch of words that would describe the main points or theme of your book (or other product you are selling) to plug into the planner and retrieve the keywords that garner the most search relevance.

Sounds like a winner.

https://adwords.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/


Link of the Week – Amazon and Money Laundering

March 20, 2018

There seems to be no end to scams and the author is always on the raw end of the deal. Read, or watch the short video, on Fortune.com about a money-laundering scheme using independently published authors’ Amazon accounts.

http://fortune.com/2018/02/22/money-laundering-books-amazon/


Link of the Week – Rank Stripping

January 3, 2018

Instead of a Hump Day Kick Start today, I am posting a link to writer David Gaughran’s blog Let’s Get Digital. He outlines one author’s ongoing rank-stripping issue by Amazon. It’s a serious problem for innocent authors following the rules and it’s costing time, ranks, sales and marketing dollars. Ultimately, it’s just another punishment to authors trying to get any type of visibility in Amazon’s crowded marketplace using legitimate marketing techniques. It’s an outrageous abuse by Amazon’s KDP program—stripping ranks, deleting reviews, jacking with but buttons, burying discoverability in favor for Select authors, and more!

This is a must read!

https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2018/01/02/new-year-old-problem-innocent-author-rank-stripped-for-third-time/ 

We need to make a lot of noise over this. We must put on pressure for viable change. Spread the word and let Amazon know how you feel.


Link of the Week – Kindle and Clickfarms, WTH?

August 8, 2017

Clickfarm employee

I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon. As a consumer, I love the ease of shopping with them. As an author, I am in no way happy with their changing book-selling landscape, their elusive algorithms, the near impossible discoverability on their search engines, and how difficult it is to make sure I’m getting paid correctly. I’m very much aware of pirate sites and scammers hanging around on Amazon and stealing MY money. And I am aware Kindle Unlimited is flawed. But I had no idea just HOW flawed. I have been apparently (and blissfully) clueless of scammers that are also authors. Clueless of clickfarms. Clueless of the unethical manipulations of popular Amazon lists—the coveted lists that also help spread author names and titles to more Amazon readers. This not only affects hard-working (starving) authors, it affects readers, too. So why isn’t Amazon doing anything about it?

Read more (in detail) here on this post by David Gaughran and what we can do to make changes (she says with only a shred of hope).

https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/scammers-break-the-kindle-store/


Link of the Week – Amazon’s Buy Button (and it sucks)

June 20, 2017

So Amazon has quietly made more changes in the selling of books. One that seems to benefit everyone but the author. Third-party sellers can now “win” the Buy Box. What does that mean? It means this seller would be listed as the default for the Buy Button. It means that these third-party

Book Burn Open Knowledge Hot Fire Paper Old

sellers can mark books down to whatever price they want (so long as the meet some Amazon criteria…haha).  It also means that slices into any profit the author MIGHT make. I say might because there are various ways these third-party sellers can get their hands on “new” copies that would cut the author completely out of the sale. And it could mean that potential customers may only have a third-party seller as a choice to buy from.

This went into effect back in March and a buzz about it was made last month, but it has only been recently that authors have noticed and/or felt the pinch.

To read more about it, check out the links below to articles from Publisher’s Weekly and Huffington Post (with visuals). Definitely worth the read.

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/73542-new-amazon-buy-button-program-draws-ire-of-publishers-authors.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/590b309be4b05279d4edc31f


Link of the Week – The Digital Reader – Amazon Pruning

June 21, 2016

Is Amazon at it again? Would you, the author, be surprised? Amazon has cut ties with ebook newsletter services that have affiliate accounts with the giant. Bye-bye Fussy Librian, Pixel of Ink and  eReaderIQ. Sure, we all want the reader experience to improve. But at what cost to the writers? Read about it at The Digital Reader.

Amazon Lowers the Boom on Discount eBook Sites

http://the-digital-reader.com/2016/06/15/amazon-brings-the-hammer-down-on-discount-ebook-sites/

Read this article posted back in May.

Is Amazon Purging eBook Promotion Letters? http://the-digital-reader.com/2016/05/10/is-amazon-purging-ebook-promotion-newsletters/

And in case you hadn’t heard that Goodreads (owned by Amazon) is getting into the ebook discount business (Whaaat? Have you been living under a rock?)  Move Over BookBub, Fussy Librarian – Goodreads is Getting into eBook Discounts http://the-digital-reader.com/2016/05/17/move-over-bookbub-fussy-librarian-goodreads-is-getting-into-ebook-discounts/

From Goodreads’ Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/648-new-great-deals-on-ebooks-personalized-just-for-you-u-s-members

Discuss this amongst yourselves. 🙂