Is Your Amazon KDP Account in Jeopardy?

Written By: Jackie Weger - Jun• 22•16

It could be~if you don’t ask the right questions…

eNovel Authors at Work...a group of indie authors sharing our experiences and ehow. Always FREE

eNovel Authors at Work…a group of indie authors sharing our experiences and ehow. Always FREE

Last week was awash in high profile Amazon driven events. First, we saw Nate Hoffelder’s blog on The Digital Reader with the news that Amazon had pulled the Affiliate accounts of Fussy Librarian, eReaderIQ and Pixel of Ink. Fussy is staying on as a book promoter.  Christian Hupfeld who owns eReaderIQ and is mulling it over. Pixel of Ink closed shop. Booksends stopped using affiliate links. If you don’t know what an affiliate code is, read about it HERE.  If you are an author with an affiliate account, take note: Affiliate codes may not be used on any product in a mailer~i.e. Your newsletter or any type of email. If you have any question about how to use or NOT use your affiliate links: ASK AMAZON.

Next, on Kboards, Pauline Creeden reported that Amazon had closed her KDP Account and pulled all of her books~effectively shutting down her career as an indie author. Here is what Amazon wrote to Pauline:

“We are reaching out to you because we have detected that borrows for your books are originating from systematically generated accounts. While we support the legitimate efforts of our publishers to promote their books, attempting to manipulate the Kindle platform and/or Kindle programs is not permitted. As a result of the irregular borrow activity, we have removed your books from the KDP store and are terminating your KDP account and your KDP Agreement effective immediately.”

FYI: Systematically generated accounts are ‘illegal download farmers’, generally thought to be engaged/hired/setup by promoters who use the accounts to generate downloads of books it promotes. To build a reputation as a top notch promotion site that delivers downloads, the promoter may select a book submitted, put those farm accounts to work and next thing, the author is raving about the service. The promoter points to success, raises prices and collect more submissions, many that usually won’t do as well. The indie author whose book got the treatment may not even be aware of the promoter’s manipulation of Kindle platforms, to include Kindle Unlimited/KENP. Amazon makes it clear: It is up to the indie author to protect his/her book and career.

Amazon tagged Count The Roses a Hot New Release. I’ve been working on Follow me on Amazon. So Amazon sent notices to about 800-1000 followers. That helped. Love it.

We are seeing a shift in our indie industry to author cross-promotions and author generated promotions. There is the unproven suggestion that author-generated promotions may attract the unsavory who hijack a promo to slide beneath Amazon’s bots designed to catch irregularities. However, if an author-promoter tells you he or she can put your book in the path of 125,000 readers~pause. Here is why: It takes legitimate promoters, such as Fussy,  Free Booksy, fkbt and Choosy, years to grow an active subscriber list of 100,000 and above. And for every 3,000 new subscribers, most newsletters promoters will see an attrition of 200 subscribers who fall away, or cancel. ASK: Are those 125,000+ organic subscribers? ASK: What is the open rate of the newsletter? What is the click through rate? And make damned certain the author/promoter is not using affiliate codes on books in his or her newsletter.

All promoters come under the scrutiny of Amazon. Yes, they do. If you have any concerns about a promoter, ASK Amazon. You may get a standard reply: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Or you may get: “We are aware of the name, author/promoter you mentioned.” You won’t get another word. But that is enough of a heads up to steer clear.

As for me. I love author-cross promotion. I think it is smart. I talk to the authors. I want to know their names. I want to look at their books. I want to see a recent newsletter. I’m happy to answer their questions. If they won’t answer mine, honey, I’m G.O.N.E.

All of the above is industry insider news. The vast majority of book buyers and readers don’t have a clue. Moreover they ain’t interested. My goal is to sell books. I’m doing it. Nothing magical. Just hard work. Until the question is answered of where Pauline Creeden got caught up by those systematically generated accounts, I’m staying with promoters I know and trust. That’s just plain old common sense.

One of the promotions I like a lot is Amazon sponsored ads. I have five running, open-ended. From June 1 to June 22, Amazon shows Spend: $30.67 for Sales of $81.57.  These campaigns do not reflect any KENP borrows. KDP report to date shows above 80,000 KENP.  $$$ in the bank.

JackieWeger-BioHeadShot (1)I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work. Comments welcome. Be nice. If you can’t be nice~be articulate. Have your FACTS straight. We don’t do rumor. Love it if you add to the discussion.  Do visit our other pages for ehow tips. Mastering Amazon is tops.

Jackie Weger @2016

P.S. Amy Vansant, eNovel member and WP Wizard and prime volunteer has set up a site for author cross promotion. Check it out. Ask questions. She’ll answer. Very easy to check the quality of authors you’ll be associated with right here in the drop down menu: Our Authors.

Snipit Authors Cross promotion

authorsxp Adheres to all Amazon TOS Guidelines. 

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  1. Jackie Weger says:

    Scammers and clickbait artists are hiding in plain site. I discovered a clickbait book in an author cross promo on Kboards. I backed out of that promo PDQ. The fools are also trying to appear legitimate in Amazon community forums. The author asks about promo or some innocent newbie question. I looked at the book. 14 pages. N/F priced at 9.99 enrolled in KU. A raft of five star reviews. Same review, a few different words. Oops.

  2. Rich Meyer says:

    Wotta bunch of maroons. And morons, too. I suppose we should’ve assumed that the promoters were making sure they stacked the deck in their favor, but I had no idea they’d stack it so we got $%#*ed over in the process. Thanks a lot, asshats! Thanks so bloody much!

    Hopefully, this will mean the end for a lot of these fly-by-night outfits, as now authors – when properly informed – will be hesitant to use any service that doesn’t have a proven track record (as in one that can actually be proven and “proven” just isn’t gladspeak by the thieves involved).

  3. EM Kaplan says:

    I gotta figure out how to make better Amazon ads. Mine have gotten shut down after just a couple of days each time. Maybe it’s my bids.

  4. Julie Frayn says:

    I think it’s horrendous that one author loses all thanks to a shady promoter. A shame Amazon can’t zero in on the perpetrator. But they aren’t the FBI… Too many emails crowd my inbox, all shouting about their hundreds of thousands of followers. Check them on twitter and facebook – um, no. Like you, I go with who I know and trust.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Julie: Actually, Amazon is onto these guys…but, they’ve gotta catch ’em red-handed manipulating the system. And that comes straight from the KDP executive office to my mail box.

  5. Thanks for this good summary and update, Jackie!
    For authors who don’t know her, Jackie is one smart lady – worth listening to!

  6. Amy says:

    Thank you for the mention of my new site for helping authors promote each other and thank you for the heads up! It’s totally terrifying that struggling (always) authors can be doing their best to promote their books and unwittingly digging their own grave thanks to the devious practices of the people they’re paying to promote them. Utterly chilling.

  7. Jackie Weger says:

    UPDATE: On Kboards today, June 22, 2016 Pauline Creeden reported that Amazon has reinstated her KDP Account. In that thread, one also learned that Pauline’s Affiliate account had been shut down in May for abuse of TOS. For now, she is fine. But no word on the suspicious spike in the KENP nor was it reported what royalties would be reinstated. In reading the thread, many indies say they are moving out of Select. I’m staying. Author choice. I’ve made mine.

  8. TJ Shortt says:

    Thanks once again for keeping everyone informed, Jackie! Unfortunate fallout for authors (where promoters can’t use affiliate links) will be higher prices to run promotions.

  9. Frightening stuff. But I am pleased to hear Pauline Creeden’s account has been reinstated. I tried a new promoter recently… will think twice now about doing it again. Sticking to the ones we know and trust, like you said Jackie, seems the only way to go for now. I just cannot believe the amount of scamming going on out there. But my apprehension doesn’t mean I’ll be leaving KDP Select. No way.

  10. Annie Daylon says:

    Excellent info, Jackie. Thanks.

  11. Stacy Juba says:

    Very valuable post. Thank you for this heads-up.

  12. thanks Jackie for the informative piece and reminding authors to keep their eyes open.

  13. P.C. Zick says:

    It’s a world ripe for scammers, but thanks to folks like Jackie Weger, we can avoid the pitfalls.

  14. Jackie, thank you for this very timely post! Many authors and promoters have been unsure about how to deal with it all. Good to hear that Pauline’s account has been reinstated! Still, this raised awareness for all authors.

  15. KJD says:

    Excellent posy, as usual, Jackie.
    Thanks millions for summing it all up for us.

  16. Thank you for this info. When my daughter was growing up and cheating seemed like a good way to win a game, I’d tell her that in the end cheaters never prosper. Here’s more proof of that. There are no shortcuts.

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