These past few weeks have been a double battle fighting against trademark bullies and lately bookstuffers. It seems like a neverending battle and at this point it really is. The movements #cockygate and #GETLOUD have been set up to bring awareness to these problems and to provide truth and education to the misinformed and to the unknowning people who may find themselves affected later on by these issues.
We do this by pointing out the problem itself, why it is a problem, and what the overlying concern of the problem is. One of the main concerns of the bookstuffing dilemma is that readers are not getting the best reading experience they can get. It was pointed out by Bianca Somerland in her recent video that if you were to go on Netflix, you would expect to watch an entire movie, but if Netflix only showed you a portion of that movie and the rest was just junk, what would be the point? It’s a waste of your time and your money and you’re not receiving the best experience. You’re receiving a shitty experience.
Another example. Let’s suppose you buy a book you’ve been wanting for a long time. You open it to read and you read up to one hundred pages. The remaining two hundred pages are either blank or reveals completely different stories that you have read elsewhere in another book. Disappointing, right? This is one of the things a bookstuffer does.
So how do you know if you’re dealing with a bookstuffer or a stuffed book? The clues are all there.
- Content that makes up more than 10% of the book that you find elsewhere in another book or in multiple books.
- Bookstuffer asks you to buy it and download it to KU.
- Bookstuffer promises rewards for you doing so.
- Bookstuffer requests you flip to the end of the book without actually reading.
- Bookstuffer hurriedly writes “Compilation” on their previously published works to avoid getting them removed from Amazon, but they still contain the same stuffed material inside.
- Bookstuffer will try to claim innocence, pretend to be a victim, threaten C&Ds, threaten lawsuit for libel allegations (Libel if written, slander if spoken by mouth), declare that you are jealous of all of their success, etc.
- They will go under assumed identities and attack the #GETLOUD, demanding you to be quiet, and will attack ghostwriters to cover their asses. I’ve seen some in the #GETLOUD campaign doing this too, so please again.. stop attacking the ghostwriters. Our focus is on the bookstuffers.
- Bookstuffer will try to trick you into buying their book by claiming the word count hasn’t updated on Amazon, even though it’s been past three days to a week.
- In addition, bookstuffers will throw out a pity me party claim about why they bookstuff and most will, if not all, pull sob stories that they are the victims.
So how do bookstuffers hurt the industry? By going against Amazon’s TOS (Bookstuffing has always been against Amazon’s terms), they cheat their way to the top of the charts of Amazon’s ranking system. The higher a book is ranked on Amazon, the more chances that Amazon will list that book at the top, while other legitimate authors’ works become unseen because they were pushed out of view by the cheater’s stuffed book.
This makes it impossible for the legitimate authors (authors who follow the rules of Amazon’s TOS) to get a fair share at being seen and getting readers who may or may not fall in love with their writing and their books.
It also causes a disruption in the KDP funds. How, you may ask? Each page in a book equates to a $0.005 earning. Take 1000 pages of a suffed book from just a singe reading (or flipping) and the bookstuffer earns $5.00 from just one reading. Add in 100 people reading the same stuffed book, the bookstuffer earns $500.00 from just that one book. And the whole time they are stealing away the reader’s reading experience, pushing other novels out of the way and trampling the KDP industry by essentially stealing the KDP earnings.
You may not be aware of it, but the KDP fund is supposed to be distributed equally among all KU authors. When a bookstuffer scams the sysem to earn more of those funds, they are stealing potential earnings from other authors. Some bookstuffers earn $100,000 a month. And they manage to get their readers through a variety of ways by (retiterating above) going against Amazon’s TOS. Clickfarms, promises of rewards, and using bots to increase their ranks and views are just a few of the tactics they use.
Recently, Amazon went to court to file an arbitration against a bookstuffer who used the tactics above to manipulate the ranking system and cheat their way into earning more money from the KDP (or as I like to call it, stealing the money).
And in response to the battle against the bookstuffers, bookstuffers were heard to claim some of the following:
How am I going to eat?
You better be quiet or I’mma git you good
David Gaughran is their leader, teaching them to be mean ol’ bullies.
The TOS about stuffing just changed last week (It’s actually always been against the TOS. Amazon determined that bonus content, which is not the same as bookstuffing can only be 10% of the whole book)!
The list goes on and on. Bookstuffers have even gone as far as to attempting to doxxing information, manipulate people into giving them a list of the named bookstuffers and then sabatoging that said list in retaliation. This behavior is akin to an online version of Internet Mob/Thug behavior. Some even employ the use of their readers/fans to initiate such attacks on a #GETLOUD campaigner.
So what can you do to help legitimate authors? First, know what a bookstuffer does. Learn what equates as bookstuffing. Suzan Tisdale, Heather C. Leigh, Nikki (Ease_Dropper), David Gaughran, and Bianca Somerland all have information about bookstuffing and what it is through their tweets, youtube and Facebook videos, and other blogs.
Once you learn and you come across a stuffed book, report it to Amazon by using the report feature at the bottom. You can also help by spreading awareness of bookstuffing and how damaging it is to the author and reading community. We authors want you readers to have the best reading experience. If you’re paying $3.99 for an E-book, shouldn’t you get to enjoy the entire story you believe you’re getting? Shouldn’t you decide whether or not you want to review that story without being coerced or bribed on empty promises of rewards? You deserve that.
To you bookstuffers, I think you’re pieces of shit. You know damn well you’re going against the Amazon TOS, stealing from the KDP fund by manipulating your rank through deceptive means. You’re bullying and harrassing those who speak out against your practice, try to twist things around to bring the attacks against legitimate authors, issue threats of “Be silent or else), and you pull additional stunts to make yourself look good, innocent, and “oh poor me, the #GETLOUD people are being so mean to me.” You have no damn right to cheat the system or pull the shitty schemes you have.
You have no damn business threatening people, posting their private information on social media, and you certainly have no damn business proclaiming innocence when you’re doing nothing to follow Amazon’s TOS and to update your books accordingly with actual proof that that it has been changed. Detailed information of a book’s metadata, including page length always updates within 24 to 48 hours. For those of you who are trying to do the right thing now and are trying to get away from bookstuffing and scamming, we thank you.
For the rest of you bookstuffers who refuse to stop their shitty ways… Let me remind you. We #GETLOUD campaigners will not stop. No amount of threats, whiney pity me parties, or anything of the like is going to stop us. The more you try, the louder we will get. We’re done playing with you. Playtime is over.