How many writers are being threatened by Amazon?

Discussion in 'All Things LitRPG' started by Tom Gallier, May 9, 2018.

  1. Tom Gallier

    Tom Gallier Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Today I received the dreaded e-mail going around. Amazon says they detected illegal Kindle Unlimited reads on my account, probably coming from scammers connected to the places I advertise.

    I DO NOT advertise. Ever. At all. And I'm not the only one hit by this. Amazon took away some of my page reads for April. The only books I have selling, being read are LitRPG, GamerLit, HaremLit books. In fact, I have a LitRPG/HaremLit book that sold very well in April.

    Maybe it's only because I'm mostly on LitRPG facebook forums, but it seems a lot of writers are getting hit by the same issue with Amazon, and a lot of writers have had their accounts suspended or terminated over this. One and all say they don't advertise.

    KU is becoming toxic if you want a career as a writer. Half my income comes from KU, and I might I to give up the dream if I leave KU, but it might be my only option if I get hit again. Some income is better than no income.

    I really don't know what to do.
     
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  2. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member LitRPG Author Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I'm about to post on this in the Author Tower. Been thinking about it all day. Gonna PM you too.
     
  3. Tom Gallier

    Tom Gallier Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Thanks. Readers need to know Amazon is threatening their favorite writers with account termination due to borrows we have no control over. Maybe they can apply pressure some through customer support. This affects them adversely, too, since they'll lose some of their favorite writers.
     
  4. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member LitRPG Author Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Thanks for starting this, @Tom Gallier . We've got a private thread (or three) going, but it's good to have something for the readers too as this all shakes out.
     
  5. Tom Gallier

    Tom Gallier Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    My question to Amazon right now it, if Amazon knows who the bad actors are in this scammer game (ie the scammers borrowing and reading our books) why aren't they blocking them and leaving us alone? We can't stop them from borrowing, but Amazon can.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  6. Gryphon

    Gryphon Level 16 (Paladin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    You and I are kindred spirits there, Tom.
     
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  7. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member LitRPG Author Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Personally, I think they're trying to automate the problem and failing miserably. I saw the same with Google in the early 2000's...
     
  8. LastStarfytr

    LastStarfytr Level 6 (Footpad) Beta Reader Citizen

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    What does it mean by scammers?
     
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  9. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member LitRPG Author Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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  10. Tom Gallier

    Tom Gallier Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Amazon believes (and maybe they are correct) that a lot of places writers advertise have their own bots that borrow and "read" the books advertised with them. Also, some believe that scammers, to help hide their activities, actually borrow and "read" other books. Either way, Amazon doesn't like it. Hell, last year I heard a writer tell how he ONLY advertised through Amazon (AMS) and his account was terminated for a short period for "Gaming" the system.

    Amazon is clueless, but trying to fix the problem. Unfortunately, they hurt more good people than scammers.

    I honestly believe their best avenue is to block anyone they believe to be scammers from using KU. Of course, the scammers would just create more accounts. It's probably an unsolvable problem, but at the rate Amazon is going the only ones in KU will end up being the scammers.
     
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  11. LastStarfytr

    LastStarfytr Level 6 (Footpad) Beta Reader Citizen

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    Ok, understand that now. I read up at one time on how authors actually receive royalties based on the amount of a book read so I could make sure I was providing the author with royalties if I read on unlimited or bought the books outright if I enjoyed it. I guess that’s how they were gaming the system with downloads rather than pages read.
     
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  12. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member LitRPG Author Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Well, both. The downloads/borrows would spike the book up in the ranks and real people would buy/borrow and read at least some. All craziness. :(
     
  13. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Crazy Hermit on the Hill LitRPG Author Editor Beta Reader Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I buy a copy of each book I edit, if it’s available, and check it out on KU, if it’s there, too.

    Generally I speed page through the KU copy and will probably never open the paid file, because I’ve just spent two or three weeks deep diving them already, but I like to support my authors. If I’ve contributed to this, I’m going to feel pretty terrible about that.
     
  14. LastStarfytr

    LastStarfytr Level 6 (Footpad) Beta Reader Citizen

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    So I read at one time that authors on KU are paid not for downloads but for total percentage of the book read. Is that correct?
     
  15. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member LitRPG Author Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Per page "read"... a little under half a penny per page.
     
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