News on Reviews

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Recent news about Amazon reviews here.

My quick thoughts:

Jeff Bezos and the gang are not playing around.  This is a strong action taken against click farms and other gimmicks that have had Amazon’s review / marketing features in the news for all the wrong reasons.  It was starting to appear to some indie authors as if Amazon did not care so much about review veracity as long as the money was flowing in for sales.  This would seem to indicate Amazon cares a great deal about protecting the integrity of its brand.

Getting reviews just got harder.  If you have books in Kindle Unlimited, this probably means that getting borrower reviews may be more difficult.  I know of at least one regular indie reviewer who is on a fixed income (hence why he does KU).  It sounds like this is $50 total lifetime, but still–it’s just another barrier to having, say, people who borrow a book from the library give an author good buzz.

Grudge Killers.  While I’ve yet to annoy someone enough that they thought it was worthwhile to create 20 different accounts to one star me, I know of several authors who have.  Amazon had previously had a “We have neither the time nor the energy to get involved…”-view of this.  However, I think in part this is due to several prominent figures getting just avalanched by fake accounts when they publish a memoir.  Regardless of the reasons for the beef, this should make it harder for crap like this to happen.

Overall I think it is a plus.  We’ll see how it turns out.

 

 

For A Few Credits More…

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The Four Horsemen Universe (4HU) anthology your humble narrator contributed to is available!  Click here to get military sci-fi written by both independent and traditionally published authors.  If you like exploding space ships, mecha, or just plain carnage, go ahead and click here.

You can also buy the first anthology, A Fistful of Credits.

 

Fistful of Credits.jpg

 

 

Some Publishing World News

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There have been several developments in the indie publishing world as of late:

 

First, Draft 2 Digital is making a major effort to establish themselves as a major distributor competing with Amazon’s behemoth.  A few weeks ago, there was the announcement of a new audiobook service that, unlike Audible, does not have a sliding royalty scale based on exclusivity.  As someone who sells at cons, you best believe that caught my attention as I could theoretically get CDs pressed to sell at the booth and still have my books distributed on Audible, Itunes, etc..  No, I haven’t looked into it yet as I’ve been a mite busy, but I’ll probably get around to it soon.

The second step that Draft2Digital took was to link up with Overdrive.  If you don’t know what Overdrive is, a short synopsis is here.  The Passive Voice gives his opinion here, and a couple of folks chime in their opinions via comments.  I’ve already clicked my 2 books through Draft2Digital onto Overdrive–I’ll let you know if there’s a big difference in my sales.

These changes are big news for those who are considering “going wide” and eschewing KDP’s exclusive agreement.  Why would someone do this, given that KULL will pay you for page lends?  Well, perhaps because there’s been a rush of articles on how KULL’s pot (which is fixed) is being scammed, clickfarmed, and otherwise cheated in a way that hurts honest authors.  This blog, in particular, got widespread attention among indie authors and content sites.  Although I think there are completely legitimate ways that an author can bottle lightning and suddenly have a whole bunch of page views, I can see the author’s larger point that this looks suspicious as hell.

In any case, Amazon has announced that they are revamping the way borrowed pages are counted.  If you’re in the KDP program, you should probably check your book’s pages and monitor to see if the new platform changes your page counts.  Hopefully, this makes scamming the system far less lucrative, and also allows honest authors to have higher payments.