The flavour of the day is book stuffing! Strap your seat-belts and let's take a ride through a land of no principles! I apologize in advance for I may or may not use puns and reference old movies...just because. #bookstuffingsucks #getloud
From the dawn of the times they came, offering bonuses and information on upcoming releases... I'm talking about back matter, not immortals. Traditional publishers have always included "bonus content" in the back matter.
Bonus content has always been identified as a preview of the next book in the same series of the author's next release, information about the author or even similar authors int he same imprint. Most of that content was often limited to 5% of the full book.
Enter self-publishing and KDP. Initially, authors followed the same rule, some offering the first few chapters of the next release or other published books, some adding content about their social media presence, readers groups, etc.
That was the norm until KU 2.0 was introduced. You see, dishonest people are always looking for ways to game the system and KU was the perfect target for those looking to get the most out of minimum effort.
When KU 1.0 was introduced, authors got paid by borrows out of the KDP Select Global Fund. The payout for 1 borrow was the same independent of length. It was then that 3-5 page "books" appeared to flood the market.
Authors started gaming the system by splitting books in parts and loading them to KU in episodes. Minuscule stories were uploaded to KU and people would borrow because it was FREEEEEEE so authors who used that practice got paid more than those who followed the unwritten rules.
Since KU pays all authors from a big fund, those breaking the rules and being paid 3 times for the same book they should have been paid once were literally taking money from the ethical authors in the program. Bad boys, bad boys, bad boys! (Yeah..big Duran Duran fan)
After the community's outcry, Amazon reacted by introducing KU 2.0, where instead of borrows, authors were paid for page reads. Since then, the trend changed from writing 5-page books to page stuffing. This is when our take really begins.
Over the years since KU 2.0 was introduced, Amazon has had to manage the explosion of unethical practices stemming from it. One of the first loopholes plugged was the jump to back scheme.
Because they would get paid for pages read, authors would place the Table of Contents (TOC) and other important content in the back matter and a link to it in the front matter to force readers to scroll to the end of the book, therefore being paid for a full read.
The practice, once again, stiffed authors whose books were really read from cover to cover. Amazon reacted with rules that force the TOC to be in the front matter and technology to verify if pages were really read instead of just scrolled through.
With each reaction from Amazon, some authors seek loopholes and to exploit any weakness in the rules and regulations. In this case, it was the loose wording in the "Bonus Content" that served as plenty of justification for some to begin using the book stuffing practice.
If you are not aware, authors are adding up to 6 (that I have seen, there could be more) full titles in the back matter of their titles. If they have 6 published titles, book 1 would have the other 5 in the back, book 2 would have the other 5, etc.
In essence, they were being paid 6x more for every title published. Remember the KU fund? These authors were taking double dipping to a whole new level because not only they had 6X the number of stories in one book, but they taught their readers to click through the entire book.
That's to ensure maximum payout and put them in the Amazon All Star sellers list which guarantees these cheaters a bonus from Amazon for being one of their top sellers. For cheating. For stealing from peers.
To add insult to injury, Amazon in its latest attempt to curb unethical marketing practices that would place these books in the top of the lists via reviews and sock-puppet borrows, curbed non-verified reviews, reducing those to 5 a week.
Time to game the system again! Book stuffers began offering real jewelry in exchange for not only a borrow with full flipping through 7 titles, but the reader had to purchase the title from Amazon
and with the sales receipt, enter for a Tiffany's jewelry giveaway.
This goes beyond scamming. This is fraud. MANY authors have been relentlessly trying to call Amazon's attention to the issue spanning several years and it seems #tiffanygate was the proverbial straw.
Amazon has updated its rules on bonus content which removes the ambiguity in what's considered bonus content and what's not.
It has also spoken about those using book stuffing practices to hit the All Star status.
We hope @AmazonKDP will also implement an easy way for readers to report book stuffers. Right now, the large number of KU books in top 100 lists are published by book stuffers which is a shame.
A whole genre being dominated by scammers is not what Romance wants to be known for. Readers need to also take a stand against these practices. Authors' PAs were indoctrinating their readers in private groups on HOW TO SCAM other authors.
Now, readers are most likely UNAWARE of how KU works and how authors get paid. They don't know that by following the instructions, they are helping unethical authors literally steal from the Global Fund which is used to pay all authors.
Readers are a critical part of this equation. If they become aware that by helping scammers, they are helping scammers steal from legitimate and ethical authors, I would like to believe that they would reject the practice the same way ethical authors do.
READERS! Please read about the KDP Select Global fund and how the pages read payout is distributed among all KU authors. When you fall for authors telling you to flip through 6 books you already read, you are making it much harder for ethical authors to make a living on KU.
Soon, all you will get in KU are ghostwritten books (yes, some of the KU authors engaged in this practice have not written those books you read).
Those who have been loud about the practice have received veiled threats. That's the sort of thing you expect from criminals, not authors. Nobody who is ethical and follows rules needs to resort to threats to silence those who #GETLOUD
This practice needs to end. Apologists for the practice need to stop looking for excuses and justifications for it. There's none. You chose to use unethical practices and take advantage of a loophole. That loophole is now closed. It's clear.
KU authors are tired of @Amazonkdp and @JeffBezos not giving a damn about the practice. Ethical KU authors need Amazon to ENFORCE the rules and readers to stop rewarding the ones who break the rules.
We all need to #GETLOUD and send a strong message that #BookStuffing is not going to go on. The writing community will not put up with it and #scammersneednotapply.
For an in-depth article on KDP Select Global Fund and how the fund is distributed to authors, visit:…
Until yesterday, #KUscammers called the voluminous extra content in each of their titles "bonus content." It has now been renamed shamelessly to "compilation." One of their bright stars has found a way to interpret the new rules banning book stuffing somehow in their favor.
Me thinks it's high time for @amazonkdp to dole out some harsh punishment to those using every possible crazy and warped interpretation of the rules to continue to scam the KU platform. Bueller, bueller?
If you are still unsure of how book stuffing affects the payout to all authors, please read this response to someone who thought the same. #KUscammers #bookstuffing #GetLoud
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