Archive for November, 2012

So, I just read this article by Derek Haines, which is edgy and maybe a bit over the top.  But, a lot of it resonates with me at the same time. Specifically:

(1) Reduction of the value of our free downloads.  This 100% happened.

(2) The Amazon review purge.  This 100% happened.

(3) Changing of algorithms to reduce the success of indie books in comparison to big six books, including Amazon’s new imprint (Thomas and Mercer).  Remains to be seen.

Read the article by Derek Haines, entitled “Self Published Authors Get Ready, You’re Being Dumped” http://www.derekhaines.ch/vandal/2012/11/self-published-authors-get-ready-youre-being-dumped/

Ask yourself this at the same time.  Have the price of indie books, including the fact that we are flexible enough to offer our books for free, forever changed what consumers are willing to pay for books?  Stated otherwise, will consumers still pay $12.99 for an ebook, which is the thievery rate the big six charge?  It would be nice to know that, at a minimum, we changed that.

A couple quick updates, thoughts, and possible points of clarification.  First, Amazon hasn’t taken the Change.org petition seriously yet.  Maybe I don’t blame them.  What impact could 210 signing indie authors have?  That’s why we’re pushing for 1,000.  And, if that doesn’t get their attention, then we’ll get 2,000.  We will push until they will dialogue with us, which is all we have requested.  Sign it here today, just take a second and you’re in good company: http://www.change.org/petitions/amazon-stop-arbitrarily-removing-customer-reviews-from-indie-author-books

Next.  I am starting to get information that Amazon is adding another dimension to pulling reviews.  It is not set forth in any of their guidelines, but it could be called associated review pulling.  What does association mean?  Anyone in your family.  Friends.  People you work with.  Reviews from all of these types of people have been removed and/or blocked according to various people.  They are being told it is because they have a “financial interest” in your book, but that’s obviously a load of crap.  That’s just the catchall phrase they’re using to justify their actions.  So, in the future, it may not be possible to have anyone you know write you a review.  Just awesome, huh?  Let’s make it harder for indie authors.

Finally, just got done reading an interesting blog post on the review issue.  It includes another description of what that blogger calls “linked” removal of reviews.  It is called “Update on Amazon’s Disappearing Reviews: Konrath Continues Bold, Pro-Lies Stance; Amazon’s Policies Clarified” by Ed Robertson:  http://www.edwardwrobertson.com/2012/11/update-on-amazons-disappearing-reviews.html

This all stinks of so many other situation where if there was just transparency, there would be no speculation, rumor, and angst.  Amazon could easily step up and give some clarity/description on this whole issue.  In fact, that’s all most people are asking for.