Manipulation of Amazon--Speaking Against It
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I am a writer of real books that took me years to write, that carry messages of caring about the human race, that program readers into self-empowerment, that I hope will help to change a suffering world. Recently I attended a seminar on book promotion that made me sick almost literally. One author recently put a book together--not wrote a book--with snips from other people, then had those people and others prepay to buy a copy in return for ad space on a page attached to the book, then released the book which went to bestseller in one hour because all those people bought it. Not one of them bought it to read it. And it is not really a book, and not written by a writer. The whole thing was a manipulation of Amazon. And it worked like a charm. And it made me sick. I got out of there and today I cleared my email inbox and got out of marketing beyond anything I have already done or connected to. Like you, I must put my books into the system but to become a part of that system is to no longer be a writer. You know...it's not the marketing. There is need for marketing and advertising. It's the attitude and the way it's being done. It shows our culture to be something rather ugly. And I think it is good to say so, and not just think it. Not just let it go on and on with no comment...we are writers. We must say what the multitudes are thinking. The pen in mighty. We must use it. Sarah Paul

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  • This pseudo author preyed on the natural hope of most of us writers for publication.  Happened to me at least twice.  Once when a so-called publisher issued a call for poems;  my poem was accepted and all I had to do was buy the book when it came out.  I did, for about $20.  The book contained hundreds of poems, printed on newsprint, and if I calculated right, made the publisher thousands of dollars without his ever attempting to market it. Same story with an anthology my work appeared in.  "When I sell one hundred books, you authors will get small checks of appreciation."  Reading fee was about $20.00.  No telling what he made, and no small check ever appeared.  Of course, I bought the book. The writers in the Amazon-oriented scheme fell for the possibility of being widely published just as I did.  And now, with two slow-selling novels in three ebook markets, I am aware that I am fast becoming a sucker for just about any marketing proposal. My marketing file is getting fatter every day. "Who can I trust?" I worry.  I'm tempted to burn it, to try to forget the dream and go on with the reality:  I love to write. That should be enough.

  • I agree, and this is why we have to touch and feel our audience.  Go out and meet them, and separate ourselves as writers, from book makers.  I write because I love to.  It's been the only constant in my life.  I'd love nothing more than to do what I love full time and to earn a living with it, because doing what you love just makes your life wonderful.  Unfortunately,  lately, writing has become like Hip Hop; there are the purists that do it because they love the culture, and see lyricism as an art.  But then you have those who do it only to make money.  They don't love words, or word play.  They use a catchy hook & beat, & irresponsibly send it out to the world without regard, or respect for the craft.  They're the ones on the radio & TV now, and they put out garbage, giving the entire culture a bad name.   The same is happening with indie authors; we're have to contend with those who are out there without a love for writing, just a love for money.  But then, that's always been the case, with any form of art - once the appearance of easy money comes into play, it becomes a commodity & loses it's soul. It's just on a much broader scale now because of the internet. Fortunately, there are always the purists:)

  • I've paid my dues and learned my way like everyone else. I want to be seen as a real Author. Any one who tries to take the easy way out is a fake and gives the rest of us a bad name.

    Authors should take pride in their work, not throw together copies of others works.

  • Oh thanks for your thoughtful comments, Katherine! You are right, we must provide books of quality for that reason! And that's what she did, isn't it? She did that because she is not a professional in publishing--quality houses would never do that. That makes me feel better. It shows her amateurism. Well...I have to wonder if she will get the chance to do it twice and what doors will be open or closed to her in the future. She make money this time, but what a reputation! 

  • That is horrible! {of the writer} Ugh! Reminds me of some things I'd rather forget. Suffice it to say not every "writer" out there is honest. :(

  • You're so right, Sarah. This seems to be a new twist on the scams that have been plaguing Amazon. But we must hang in there, provide books of quality so that it's evident the independent and small publisher world is every bit as valid as the big traade publishers.  We're struggling against a culture that's made marketing the leading factor in everything: films with promotional budgets equal to the entire production budget, big trade publishers who, since the 1980's, have made the marketing department's wants more weighty than the aesthetic decisions of editors.

  • If it was your experience that pain made you strong, I will not say it didn't, but it only made me disabled, wasted a gifted intellect,and gave me long years devoted to recovery where I should have had normal relationships and worldly success. Strong, successful people grow up with support, love, money, opportunities and no abuse. The only valuable thing those who suffered have is knowledge of what is wrong and a desire to fix it. But the good scenario will be when there is no more suffering to fix, and I do believe that is possible. But I am not one to say that suffering made me strong. It is not true. It wasted a life. That is why we must end it --because no good comes from it. Suffering is unacceptable--and unnecessary. If your society had been compassionate, you would have stayed with your family and as you say at your blog, the main culture community would have helped your family to keep the children. The same was true for my family. I came from good parents and went to bad ones. I am not bitter but I have no illusions. The human race is only beginning to comprehend its responsibility for ending suffering because deep down the human being believes that suffering is necessary and that he is helpless to change that. So...our basic concept of reality must change. Anyway, that is my opinion. I am glad you have told your story and certainly support your work. Suffering is a big topic and a very important one. Sarah

  • I don't know if I would write a review or complain to Amazon.  I don't agree with what that writer did, wouldn't do it myself, but they are obviously in it to make money and found a method that works.