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Kindle Cheats: Hot New Releases, Email Bribes, Incorrect Categories

I’m not totally against bending rules myself, but here’s a rule I disagree with…

PRETENDING my book which isn’t a new release… is a new release, by changing the release date in the back end of KDP.

Now, I’m sure there were authors who had to update their book regularly (myself included on a keyword research book when the Google keyword tool changed) but I am also certain there were even more authors who took advantage of this glitch/feature to the max, renewing their “hot new release” status just as soon as it finished a month later, even though there had been no updates to speak of.

How to report Kindle Violations Follow Me on Pinterest Personally I’ve seen it all over the “authorship” category, and “black hat” methods like this seem to do little for their sales rank long term. (Or maybe I’m wrong, and things would have been FAR worse without this cheat!)

Anyway, to cut a long story short, this seems to have been cut off at the back end of KDP now. Those who were “cheating” and blocked the “real” new releases from getting a break have been stopped. New authors… You have a better chance now. 🙂

Next up, the people offering rewards for reviews… We’ve all seen the emails!

I don’t want your stupid download if it costs me a false review!

Ahem… Do it like I do, ask for a page share or sumthin’ for your download! Build credibility with the big Google for your own site with those shares.
The alternative is to build an email list… Probably the better option, but for me, thousands of links to my site was a nice way to get this new domain going while getting great info for myself and my readers.

I bet some of those idiots would say I wasted time interviewing other great authors when it has helped bring thousands of visitors to my site… Dollared up Gurus seem to be clueless about the “work your way from the bottom” side of things while they fork out money for ads, or cheat their way to Kindle sales and reviews and slate other people.

Here’s what I got back from a recent chat with KDP when I asked if this method of getting reviews was legal (of course, I’d like to use it myself if it is OK!)…

Hello,

We don’t allow reviews written for any form of compensation other than a free copy of the product provided up front. Other forms of compensation, including gift cards to purchase the product, product refunds, and review swaps, are not allowed.

Customer Reviews are meant to give customers unbiased product feedback from fellow shoppers. Because our goal is to provide Customer Reviews that help customers make informed purchase decisions, any reviews that could be viewed as advertising, promotional, or misleading will be removed.

If you suspect that an author is violating Amazon’s guidelines, please provide us with a specific example by sending us the name of the author or a link to their publication. We’ll investigate and take the appropriate action.

If you have additional questions, please review our Customer Review Guidelines (http://www.amazon.com/reviews-guidelines).

Thank you for your interest in Amazon.com.

You’ll see that some big names are getting away with this at the moment, and it’s the only reason they are “big names” imho. it’s only a matter of time before they are reported by people receiving that kind of email…

I’m of the opinion that the self-publishing community in general are a pretty intelligent bunch and are switched on enough to follow the rules. Those who shove their illegal self promotion in our faces thinking that self-publishers are stupid sheep, are taking a massive risk. It only takes a few hard working self-publishers who are pissed off with all the black hatters to send a quick note inside KDP to get them banned completely… Honestly, 100 and something reviews after 2 days in the publishing category… Steve Scott doesn’t even manage that, but then… he’s all white hat… and still outselling them.

Don’t let them get away with it at the expense of those hard working authors who stick to the rules is my suggestion.

I’ll not get started today on fiction authors/publishers who blatantly put their books in a non-fiction category so that they can claim #1 bestseller status or increase their exposure by pushing those who actually belong in said category down.

OK… I’ll get started a little…

Imagine this… somebody buys their book… asks for refund and gets all their money back because it is fiction, not non-fiction as the category states… leaves 1 star review for deception, or because…

I bought this book because I thought it was a business book, but some idiot put fiction in the business category, so I gave it 1 star.

If it’s black hat on the side of publishing companies or individuals… some people will be seriously unhappy with a few honest reviews like that.

So for you reader, (and author I imagine!) here are the options…

  • Sit back and watch them cheat us.
  • Put a complaint in. It’s your call on how easy it is for them to bend us all over, roger us, get to the top rankings, and then sell us books on stuff totally unrelated to how they cheated their way to the top… With bribed reviews to boot that con every new reader into believing that what those “bribed” reviews hold is the public’s opinion.
  • Where do your priorities lie when you start to realize that the “authors” in the above category hold you back from taking the lions share of sales?

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Tracey Pedersen September 23, 2014, 7:40 am

    Loved this post. I’ve been wondering if all those email extras were allowed and had assumed they were not. I’m not really the ‘reporting others’ type though I imagine someone would be quick to report me if I played these games.

    My pet peeve is the absolute rubbish that’s allowed to be published. I’ve lost count of the number of books that have a sensible and compelling intro and last few pages, and are complete rubbish in between. Sentences that don’t quite go together and are obviously written by someone with no experience in the subject and someone who’s second (or third, or fourth) language is English.

    I waste no time leaving those books the reviews they deserve. I take the big name reviews with a grain of salt though these days!
    Tracey Pedersen recently wrote..Being Yourself Is The Key To Your Happiness!My Profile
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  • Michal September 23, 2014, 8:06 am

    The problem is that Amazon says one thing and does the other.
    I put a complaint about a guy who changed the release date to get into Hot New Releases. Amazon was horrified and disgusted.
    They promised to do something about that. His book was in HNR section for the whole next month. I lost some of my precious time to put the compliant.
    Unless Amazon actually starts to ACT it’s not worth it.
    Michal recently wrote..Review: Journey Within My HeartMy Profile
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