Readers: If you use KU and see authors constantly harping on you to "page to the back to see specials/previews/links" whatever, be advised that means they're trying to get you to basically "read" the book so they get paid for the WHOLE thing, including "extras." #cockygate
Now, not NECESSARILY a nefarious thing, but if a writer does this with ALL their books, and there's LOTS of "stuff" at the back of their books, especially stuff already published, that's indicative of "book stuffing" and it screws OTHER writers in the KU architecture. #cockygate
Because what happens is the KU pot is split up among all the writers by page views. So a scammer makes more for less work over HONEST writers who don't do that shit. #themoreyouknow #cockygate
What sucks is when honest writers who depend on KU have to start resorting to that same tactic in an attempt to make a living. KU is broken and the scammers are getting away with that garbage while honest writers starve. #cockygate
Honest writer writes a sexy romance book, it gets slapped with the "adult" tag (which hurts with visibility, etc.) Scammer writes a sexy book, sticks it in non-romance category, gets "bestseller" status (big fish/small pond) and cleans up. #cockygate
These are scammy tactics that are OPENLY discussed on boards and in Facebook groups and elsewhere!! These are some of the LESS scammy tactics that are still screwing honest writers in KU who don't do that kind of stuff. #cockygate
Until Amazon FIXES KU and makes it impossible for the scammers to do this kind of stuff, it's going to continue harming honest writers. #cockygate
Why does this apply to #cockygate? Because there is a pattern of behavior being displayed the more information comes out certain books/authors being discussed. Meaning it has NOTHING to do with "protecting a brand" and EVERYTHING to do with protecting KU rankings & visibility=$$
Also applies to #cockygate because another scammy tactic Amazon is cracking down on is paid reviews. More reviews=more visibility=more KU page views=more money. Honest authors don't do this shit and lose out.
#cockygate is just one edge of a multi-faceted problem that has been the worst-kept "secret" in indie publishing for way too damn long. YES, there ARE honest authors in KU making a good living. HOWEVER, this whole thing has exposed the OTHER side of that in glaring contrast.
#cockygate finally shows readers what authors have been battling for a couple of years now. Trying to make an honest living while scammers clean up and literally steal page view $$ from them. This is why so many authors are leaving KU, because they can't pay their bills.
#cockygate Amazon has shown little interest in REALLY fixing the root of the problem. They apply sloppy, scattershot "fixes" that catch up HONEST authors and HONEST readers in the net and shrug at the scammers, because they are pulling in $$, honestly or not. Leading me to...
Why would someone label their readers in a court filing as indiscriminate and not sophisticated? Maybe because they're apparently not focused on craft as much as they are on marketing tactics. If you look at this whole thing through THAT lens, it adds up. Just sayin'. #cockygate
What happened to the Ford Pinto? The Edsel? Think of other marketing failures. Now look at this whole issue through a marketing lens. Compare to TRULY famous writers like Patterson, King, Danielle Steele, et al. #cockygate
Those writers have built a BRAND. The guy who wrote The Martian. Others. Notice some of these other "authors" didn't really become "bestsellers" until KU 2.0 hit the world. About the same time KU scam coaching became a cottage industry, too. #cockygate
There is LITERALLY a whole side industry of people coaching "writers" how to scam the KU architecture. This is something PEOPLE PAY MONEY TO LEARN HOW TO DO SO THEY CAN GAME THE SYSTEM. Who pays in the end? Readers, whose favorite authors can no longer make a living. #cockygate
I GET it. Some readers can't afford to buy books so KU is a viable alternative. But please don't slam your favorite authors when they pull out of KU. They have bills to pay, too. #cockygate
And unfortunately, when it's $$ on the line, it intersects in a BAD way with our 1st Amendment rights. Do you REALLY want someone to "own" a common-use word? REALLY? Words should NOT be "owned." Not common-use words. So it's $$ vs free speech. #cockygate
To clarify, I'm classifying The Martian as an HONEST example, not a scammy example. Sorry. Mea culpa.
1 more thing (for now) - When we talk "stuffing" we do NOT mean an author puts a chapter from one or two books as previews in the back of their KU book. NOT stuffing. But a 15k word short story with over 1,000 "pages"? "Bonus" stories/books? TOTALLY stuffing. #cockygate
So please, do NOT go harassing an author just because of a sample chapter or two from other books. Look for a pattern in ALL their releases, look for a LOT of content, main book ending well before 90-95%, "bonus" books, etc. The whole pattern. #cockygate
If you're reading a book and the main book ends at 50% and the rest is "bonus content?" Stuffing. #cockygate
I've even seen book listings now where they will warn readers the content ends at X% -- Um...STUFFING. Unless it's a one-off thing a writer does as a special feature, like puts a novella that was in a boxed set and adds to a related novel. #cockygate
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