Monday, July 17, 2017

Cheaters and Liars and Scammers

Not a happy subject for a Monday morning, but I'd like to take a moment to address something I heard about this weekend.  People are out there cheating and lying and scamming their ways onto the bestseller lists at Amazon.  Apparently, there are 'services' that guarantee they'll have hundreds of people 'read' your book in Kindle Unlimited (for one low price, of course).  This shoots your book up the bestseller lists, which presumably gets you more sales.  This also gets you paid for page reads in KU.  But they aren't actually reading the books.  And those people who buy the books based on their list number are getting kind of pissed because they got scammed into buying a less-than-stellar book.

David Gaughran, author of Let's Get Digital (the self-publishing bible in my opinion), talked all about it on his blog, and FB, and through his Twitter page.  He also gives ways you can combat this crap, if you're motivated.

Personally, I'm too tired and sad to mount a battle against this.  As if there weren't enough hurdles to making sales in this business anyway, here's another one. 

Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you I haven't been tempted to do some pretty unethical things to get sales.  Tempted, yes.  Like I'm always tempted to eat watermelon.  But like eating watermelon, the aftereffects of being unethical are BAD.  Karmically bad.  Metaphysically bad.  Soul cramps, if you will.  So, I don't do it.  I won't do it. I will never pay someone to commit fraud to give me a leg up.  Make book on that.

If I never sell another book because I refuse to be unethical and an asshole, so be it.  At least I'll be able to live with myself and sleep at night.  (Or if I'm not sleeping, it's not because I have soul cramps.)

Anyway, I guess there will always be people who have no problem being unethical.  Cheaters and liars and scammers.  If you're a reader, be on the lookout for books that come out of nowhere to land on the bestseller lists.  I guess there's a way to tell what the book's previous ranking was before it hit #1 (the Movers and Shakers lists?), and if you see a book suddenly jump from the hundred thousands to the single digits, be wary.

Meanwhile, I'll be sitting over here writing quality books without any scammy crap to get in your way.  I don't load unrelated back matter for more page reads.  I don't spam.  I don't pay people to read my books or to review my books.  I don't use services to give me a leg up.  I just write books that I hope readers will enjoy.

On a happier end note, Sleeping Ugly is moving right along.  Just under 3K written yesterday which left me at 19699 words so far.  I hope to have this first draft done by the end of the month.  Totally doable, if I don't fall off the wagon.

Oh, and before I forget, there's a Goodreads Giveaway starting this morning and running through the 31st.  One winner will receive a paperback copy of Up Wish Creek for their very own.  


  1. Someone is always gaming the system. Amazon has a algorithm based on number of reviews. Trying to get people who actually bought the book, read it, and leave a review is like...I can't think of something frustrating enough. I need more coffee. Amazon pretends to care. They don't. Still, 99.999% of my sales comes from there so, whaddaya gonna do? Legitimate and talented writers are struggling while the scammers rake in the money. It sucks. And it's disheartening. And it hurts because...well, it just does.

    Okay. I have words to write. If I don't write the words, I don't get the $$ no matter how little that $$ is. We will survive!

  2. Yay for Sleeping Ugly!

    Boo to scammers. They're stealing money out of our pockets. Literally. Thanks for the link; I've added David to my blog list.

    Hmmm. I need to go write words, too. Spent the day with Mom at the doctor's (check up, everything's fine), and will be dad-sitting tomorrow while she takes my brother to get his eyes checked. Word count is running on the low side.