If you’re a writer, odds are that you’re angry with some Amazon and Kindle Unlimited stuffers and scammers. The problem is vast, and it affects many authors. This is not only a matter that affects authors but also affects readers. Although the problem is happening mostly with romance authors, it’s slowly touching other genres as well. Many romance authors make their living thanks to Kindle Unlimited. There’re some problems that stuffers are exploiting, thus leaving honest authors with crumbs of what they could be earning.
Kindle Unlimited, also known as KU, has a fixed amount of benefits that shares with all authors that have their work in the system. Depending on how many pages your readers read, you’ll get more or less of the shared pie. If some authors cheat, then they get the money from the honest authors. So, how does the scam work? Take a look at this video first.
I’ve been scratching my head with some fantasy books that I’ve found in KU. They’re incredibly long, and you usually find some links that bring you to the end of the book. Instead of being a very long book, it turns out it’s a collection of different books. Does this ring a bell? Exactly: it’s very similar to what’s happening with romance books.
So, why is having lots of pages and links in the ebook a bad thing? KU will give you a bite of the pie at the end of the month. How the bite is calculated is by taking into account the last page that the reader read. So, if you find a link that brings you to page 900, then KU will take that number into account. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t read the full book, your last checked page was 900. See the problem?
Stuffers pack their books with under different covers and names, and make a profit from all of them. Collections that in fact have similar contents to other collections are against KU rules. You need to add original content to a collection, and it must be related. You cannot put links that bring you at the end of the book either. For Amazon, checking every single book is a nightmare. Their algorithm isn’t perfect, and so some people are taking advantage of it leaving honest authors in tears.
Then, there’s the problem of the visibility scammers. To be on the top list of Amazon, you need reviews. The more reviews you have, the more possibilities you have to be at the top. If you cheat, then you can have your book at the top quickly. Some people pay for reviews, leaving honest authors in tears again.
This cheating doesn’t only affect honest authors who see their profits sink to hell, but also readers. How can you believe reviews if many are cheating? How can you think charts and recommendations on Amazon if we know this is happening? And if you’re a writer, why should you even try to put your book in KU? Remember: KU always shares the same amount of money. This means that if you cheat you can get gold every month, but that’s at the expense of others!
If you’re an author, please think about being legit. If you try to do a shortcut, you’ll be doing so at the expense of others. By cheating, you’re hurting readers too. How so? They stop having access to different titles! Readers have the right to choose from an enormous pool of books, and then choose the one that catches their eye. And they have the right of having a lovely time with great content.
I know that solving the problem is going to be tough. I love Amazon, but I can see how many trolls are abusing the system. But there’re ways around to discover great books! I like to have my Kindle books with me, in case that I want to read. And the way I have to find those titles is a little bit unsurprising: I read reviews on blogs, Facebook groups, and I listen to what my friends have to say. You’d be surprised what wonders your friends can find around!
If you’re a reader hooked on romance, don’t despair. You can still find legit authors that are giving fantastic content for you. Just open yourself to get the reviews from more than one channel. And, if you’re an author, please play fair. It’s starting to get ridiculous with romance, and jumping into other genres. Be nice.
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