Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Very Interesting Discussion

This is a very interesting presentation. The presenter is Steven Pinker. The video includes the follow-up discussion with host Ian McEwan, and some excellent questions from the audience. Enjoy. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Bad Taste of Book Stuffing

Book Stuffing - have you heard of it before? If you're a KDP author, you might want to find out why it's bad and why you shouldn't do it. It could get you into serious trouble. It could get you banned as an author in the Kindle Store. Others tried it. They and their books are banned now.

It's not new. Book stuffing has been going on for a while. I think I may have downloaded a book or two from Kindle authors who have engaged in this, whether deliberately or innocently I don't know. I will be deleting their content immediately, if not sooner.

Book stuffing is where page count in Kindle books is increased by tagging on at the end of the book file some samples of upcoming books or past books, and, in some cases entire books. The more pages of an author's work that gets read, you see, the more that Kindle author gets paid, under the KDP Select, and the higher they rise in the rankings. We're not just talking a few dollars. It's more like thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of that now-$25 million pot of money from which KDP All Stars are paid. You've gotten the emails that are sent out to apprise KDP authors how the fund is growing.

Book stuffing is, at least, a violation of Amazon's (Kindle's) Terms of Service. Last year, a lawsuit was initiated against a self-publisher in the UK for engaging in this practice.

Book stuffing makes it difficult, if not nearly impossible, for honest authors, publishing one book at a time, who are enrolled in the KDP Select, to compete legitimately, unless they're writing 'War and Peace' length novels. Then, they might stand a chance. In July 2018, Amazon updated its terms. You may want to familiarize yourself with them again. 

It looks like Amazon has won some ground in this battle, and I encourage you to read up on this issue. Before stumbling across the Twitter posts linked at the top of this post, I had never heard of it. But, as with any good thing someone found a way to manipulate it to satiate their nefarious purposes. If you come across any authors doing this, it might be well to flag their e-book so Amazon can at least take a look at it and ensure that they're on the level playing field and not sending in 'ringers' to undermine the game.