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 Post subject: Your Own Best Seller.com
PostPosted: July 21st, 2005, 9:26 am 
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Joined: April 29th, 2004, 8:49 pm
Posts: 3631
Location: God's country
Listened to an on-line seminar about how these people mentor you to put your book on the amazon.com best seller list in 28 days or your $$ back. Anyone try this??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: July 21st, 2005, 12:59 pm 
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Joined: March 4th, 2004, 9:36 pm
Posts: 777
Location: Murphy, NC Copy Desk
Hi Willow,
I have no experience with them, but reading their website made me itch, partly due to the ~$2,500 price tag for their service. The following page at John Kremer's site has some discussion about them:

http://www.bookmarket.com/tip050228.html

Also, they apparently send spam to blogs:

http://leegoldberg.typepad.com/a_writer ... _anyb.html

Dave

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: July 21st, 2005, 3:23 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1866
At WritersWeekly.com, we receive inquiries about these types of programs all the time. Sure, there's a quick and dirty way to get on the Amazon bestseller list, but it's very dishonest.

Let me save you $2500 and tell you how it's done.

You put your book on Amazon and then you tell all your family and friends to buy your book on the same day at around the same time. You also work a deal with certain ezines to promote your book on the same day at the same time to their lists. The more, the better, of course. You offer something free to people who buy your book through Amazon who then send you a copy of their receipt. Aha! Now you have their email address! You then share your customers' email addresses with the ezine publishers, which, of course, perpetuates spam for your unwary readers (tsk tsk).

You get bumped, albeit for maybe just a few minutes or so, onto their bestseller list for a specific subject. You then get to say you have "An Amazon.com Bestseller!"

But, since there are so many companies teaching authors how to scam the system this way, having an "Amazon.com Best Seller" is just a joke in the industry now.

We refuse paid advertisements for these types of programs on WritersWeekly and we automatically refuse to work with people who claim they have an "Amazon.com Best Seller" because we know that the vast majority of the people making these claims have used one of those programs to scam the system.

Why do people buy bestsellers? They do so because having a bestseller implies the book is really, really good and that it's getting lots of attention. Having your friends and family or even your newsletter subscribers buy your book at a specified time does NOT mean your book is good or even popular. Authors who encourage this scam are really no different from authors who buy copies of their own books just to get higher rankings on online bookstores. A few booklocker.com authors tried to do that early on, just get on our homepage. Some even asked me exactly how many copies they needed to buy themselves just to get on the homepage. We'd never let an author fool our customers in that way.

At Booklocker.com, copies purchased by authors themselves are not included in our bestseller calculations. Our bestseller database (which is what creates the bestsellers appearing on the homepage) calculates only sales made to the public through our website. Author sales go through a completely different system that I regulate. That, my friends, if honest bestseller reporting.

Rigging the system by directing the date and time of sales just so you can say you have a bestseller is dishonest and anybody trying to fool potential readers in this way doesn't deserve to call themselves an author.

-Angela Hoy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: July 21st, 2005, 3:55 pm 
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Joined: January 8th, 2004, 7:55 pm
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Location: okanagan valley, british columbia
And that would be why we appreciate the insights of angela and why it's great that she tears away from the nincompoops she deals with every day to visit this forum.

Thanks!

writerdave

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: July 24th, 2005, 10:54 pm 
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Joined: December 30th, 2003, 1:08 am
Posts: 1133
Location: Melbourne, Australia
angelahoy wrote:
<snip>Having your friends and family or even your newsletter subscribers buy your book at a specified time does NOT mean your book is good or even popular. Authors who encourage this scam are really no different from authors who buy copies of their own books just to get higher rankings on online bookstores <snip> Rigging the system by directing the date and time of sales just so you can say you have a bestseller is dishonest and anybody trying to fool potential readers in this way doesn't deserve to call themselves an author.

-Angela Hoy


After Angela ran this article on WW http://www.writersweekly.com/this_weeks_article/001037_12232003.html , out of pure curiosity I wrote to a "well-known author" who did exactly this, (bombarding my email inbox with requests to buy her book from Amazon on a certain day in exchange for all sorts of bonuses and goodies so that she could get into the bestseller list) - and I asked for her opinion and the other side of the story. That was 6 months ago - still no response. But she's still wildly touting her bestseller status.

Oh, and I can no longer be bothered to be on her subscriber list.


***Edited to say that Jenna Glatzer has responded to me now and didn't receive my original email. I appreciate her taking the time to contact me.***

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: July 25th, 2005, 9:34 am 
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Joined: April 29th, 2004, 8:49 pm
Posts: 3631
Location: God's country
Good to know this info. I wasn't interested in so much the bestseller list status as I was "Does this boost sales" ongoing??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: July 29th, 2005, 1:49 pm 
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Joined: June 17th, 2005, 2:46 pm
Posts: 59
As I said on the thread about John Kremer, I believe this intentional manipulations to mislead people are wrong. Period. They show a lack of integrity.

I was just sent a notice that the owner of AbsoluteWrite.com is also promoting a free seminar on how to manipulate the Amzon rankings. Wow.

Quote:
Randy & Peggy's ingenious yet simple, five-step formula any
author can use to hit the Amazon Bestseller list in only 28 days at
almost no cost.

How they've used the formula to make numerous books Amazon
Bestsellers and how one author used their formula to sell 6,828
copies for $27 each without spending a dime on advertising (yes,
that's $184,256.00 in sales!).


This is part of the promo for the free seminar in The Absolute Write Newsletter

Sorry people but I still think this stinks big time and these people need to be avoided.




Yoda with less bushy eyebrows. Does a Brzilian binkini waxing hurt?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: July 31st, 2005, 4:39 am 
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Joined: December 30th, 2003, 1:08 am
Posts: 1133
Location: Melbourne, Australia
word-o-matic wrote:
I was just sent a notice that the owner of AbsoluteWrite.com is also promoting a free seminar on how to manipulate the Amzon rankings. Wow.


That was the person I was talking about. As I said I got sick of her spamming me about her books and her friends books and I no longer subscribe to her lists.

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Elle
Word 4 Writers has been relaunched!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: July 31st, 2005, 2:28 pm 
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Joined: April 29th, 2004, 8:49 pm
Posts: 3631
Location: God's country
Thanks for the info. This wasn't what I thought-- I thought it was a one time marketing shot not an ongoing abuse of email lists. Thanks for clarifying.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: July 31st, 2005, 3:11 pm 
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Joined: December 18th, 2004, 9:46 am
Posts: 1971
Location: Central Virginia
Willow wrote:
Good to know this info. I wasn't interested in so much the bestseller list status as I was "Does this boost sales" ongoing??


Shoot. My book is at #44,173 or some such on Amazon's bestseller list. Probably not a best seller in their terms. But the Lynchburg Barnes & Noble has sold both--oh, wow!--of the copies they had put out.

I think for true bestseller status, I'll need to change subject fields. But if things go as they have started, I'm looking at 20,000 or so sales in a royalty period. Could be worse.

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Charlie Self
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 1st, 2005, 11:48 am 
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Joined: June 17th, 2005, 2:46 pm
Posts: 59
The responses continue but Kremer says he's not bothering with it any more, he has better things to do: http://openhorizons.blogspot.com/2005/0 ... ts-on.html

Has anyone asked the AbsoluteWrite promoters of the "not-a-scam-it's-a-program" why they're promoting it and why they don't think there's anything wrong with it? I believe several people on here have recommended AW and have contact with that company's powers that be, so maybe they can ask.

What do people here think?

What if I, as a newspaper columnist, went out each day my column was published and purchased every copy of the newspaper I could find and then had my friends and family do the same thing? I could "legitimately" claim that sales rose whenever my column ran. A good reason to ask for more money. Is this honest? Is this different that the potential benefits in sales and reputation an author would get from managing to manipulate the Amazon rankings?

I think it is a matter of integrity. I am also very slow to take any recommendation that is part of an affiliate program. Why? Well, suppose you ask a co-worker where the best place to take your in-laws to dinner would be, telling her you really want to impress them. The co-worker suggests a restaraunt and you have the worst dining experience of your life and the evening is ruined. The bathrooms are dirty. There are cockroaches walking about the table. Killing them was the most fun you had all evening. You ask the co-worker why she liked the place and the co-worker says, "Oh, I've never been there, but I get $10 off at the local coffee shop each time I send customers to the restaurant." Still think affiliate programs are harmless and honorable?

Yoda on painkillers - the Brazilian bikini wax hurt like h*ll


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 1st, 2005, 12:07 pm 
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Joined: December 1st, 2004, 5:15 pm
Posts: 58
Location: So. Cal.
I believe the argument is that, since actual sales are involved, it’s "legitimate". Personally, I don't agree and find the whole concept distasteful. For that matter, does anyone put any real stock in “bestseller”, Amazon or otherwise? I’ve never consider “bestseller” = good, only that it’s what everyone’s rushing out to buy because everyone else is rushing out to buy it. It might make me curious about the book, but for the most part, the more something is hyped, the less interest I have in it. But that’s just my contrary nature, I’m sure. ;P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 1st, 2005, 12:11 pm 
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Joined: December 18th, 2004, 9:46 am
Posts: 1971
Location: Central Virginia
CaoPaux wrote:
I believe the argument is that, since actual sales are involved, it’s "legitimate". Personally, I don't agree and find the whole concept distasteful. For that matter, does anyone put any real stock in “bestseller”, Amazon or otherwise? I’ve never consider “bestseller” = good, only that it’s what everyone’s rushing out to buy because everyone else is rushing out to buy it. It might make me curious about the book, but for the most part, the more something is hyped, the less interest I have in it. But that’s just my contrary nature, I’m sure. ;P


I usually avoid the best seller lists, but I recently got a gift, a NYTimes bestselling mystery. I'm scratching my head over it. It's mediocre, a standard feature of best sellers, in my opinion, so no surprise, but this one has been on more than one best selle rlist for over a year now, and seems firmly entrenched.

It's amusing when you get hold of the writer's previous book with the same protagonist only to find he's a bit tougher, but still pretty useless.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 1st, 2005, 12:28 pm 
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Joined: October 8th, 2003, 4:46 pm
Posts: 687
Well, best-sellers simply appeal to the masses. It doesn't mean they're good. We have rap music and Jerry Springer, don't we??

On the other hand, I find things we're told are not good, often are. I am not a big movie-goer. I went to the drive-in in the US last week and watched Charlie and the Chocolate factory, which got bad reviews. It was pretty good....weird, but I wasn't bored. The second move, Fantastic Four, was a sleep-aid for sure. Kids might like it, mine weren't thrilled.

Cathi - who doesn't wax anything, including floors.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 1st, 2005, 12:41 pm 
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Joined: March 4th, 2004, 9:36 pm
Posts: 777
Location: Murphy, NC Copy Desk
word-o-matic wrote:
The responses continue but Kremer says he's not bothering with it any more, he has better things to do.

Implicit in his argument for these promotional schemes is that widespread equals proper. For counterexamples to that contention, please refer to one's childhood.

Dave

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