Friday, 5 October 2012

Hmm...I'm calling bad form! Or is it?

I was supposed to be placing an author interview on my blog today. However, the author must be too busy to come and answer a few questions. This, however, is good for them and bad for me, because I'm now faced with putting up an impromptu post about something else.

I'm going to write a little about a couple of things I have witnessed going on in the writing world. A couple of these practices stick in my throat as very bad form. Let's see what you think...

Claiming you have a best seller - when you don't

I have seen this a lot lately. An author has a 'free' week (or weekend), and their book goes up the 'free' charts on amazon, resulting in them being in the Top 100 Free, or maybe even the Top 10 Free. Some say this is an amazing feat, and they congratulate each other profusely. I suppose it could be an incredible boost for the author's self worth and confidence. 

I'm not sure that I should be too scathing about the 'free week' thing on Amazon. It's common knowledge that I believe Amazon's 'free week' thing is ruining... (never mind, that's a separate post and I don't want to get into a rant about it today). However my thoughts and feeling on it, it has helped a lot of authors with their genuine sales.  To those authors... kudos!

Others claim that they are doing the free week to get their name out there, and that they are being read. There are no figures as yet whether the 'being read' thing is actually true. Rumours are that people are simply filling up their kindles with free stuff and never getting around to reading them. I don't know the truth in that, but I do know that I personally don't read the free stuff I have on my kindle (which isn't a lot anyway) as I am too busy reading the stuff that I bought because I genuinely wanted to read it, rather than getting it because it was free. Maybe for some authors, their name is getting out there and being read. Again, to those authors... kudos!

So... an author has had a really good weekend and made the Top 10 Free with their book. But then, when their free week (or weekend) ends, they begin touting their book as a 'best seller'.

Well, I don't know about you folks, but to me, a 'free' book is not actually sold, and therefore cannot be a best seller. It can be a best giveaway, but advertising it as a best seller is very bad form in my eyes. When an author does this, they immediately lose any and all respect I had for them. Go into a book store to see who the best sellers are in the book world. Don't rely on Twitter and Facebook to tell you. If you click on a link on Twitter or Facebook of an author claiming to be a best seller, more often than not, their book is actually sliding down the 'paid sales' rankings faster than a speeding bullet. So much for best seller. One person touting their book as a best seller, actually had a ranking of over 400,000 at Amazon on both the US and the UK sites. I'm sorry, but that's not a best seller, regardless of how many 'free' books they gave away.

Some would claim it's a good marketing strategy. I say that it's at the very least false advertising, and when I see authors doing this, it makes me cringe.

It makes me cringe because my book has actually been in the Top 5 Paid bestsellers in the supernatural category. I worked damned hard to get it there by promoting and stuff. I didn't have a free week/end, and I'm proud to say that my book got there on it's own merit, and because people enjoy reading my work.

Yes, it was a best seller in a sub-category, I know that. But I never tell anyone that it was a best seller without adding the truth that it is a best seller in the supernatural category. As I write this, my book has again fallen out of the Top 100 Paid best sellers in the supernatural category. (it's in and out of that category a lot). But if I was to promote my book today, then I would not say it is a best selling book. I might mention that it had reached number 4 in the supernatural category best seller list. It's something to be proud of.

Advertising a 'giveaway' when your not giving anything away

I've seen this a lot lately too. 

Authors posts are screaming 'GIVEAWAY', and when you read on a little, you see that they aren't actually having a giveaway, they are having a lottery or competition that you can enter. There is only ever one or two books to 'win'.

Some are even illegally asking you to buy one of their other books in order to 'enter to win' in the 'giveaway'. 

This practice seems to be all the rage these days. You can't have it both ways, either you're having a giveaway or you're having a 'pick a winner' type competition.

Authors who do this probably lose more readers then they gain.  Readers aren't stupid. Far from it. I bet they can spot these authors coming from a mile away and avoid at all costs.

I, personally, never click on a link from that author ever again. Do you?

Spamming your links constantly

Arghh, this one really makes me cringe. Some authors spam their links on so many groups and walls that you end up not seeing the posts at all, or just ignoring them. They do this daily, sometimes hourly, and then wonder why they aren't selling any books.

Well, I can tell you why I haven't bought the books from authors like these. 

When I see something constantly, over and over again in a space of minutes, and on a daily basis, my brain begins to tune it out. Seeing the same posts over and over again on my wall makes me feel sorry for the author doing it. It also makes me angry that they don't know the difference between 'promoting' and 'really, really, really annoying people'. 

When this happens, I click the dropdown menu next to their name and tick the 'hide all posts from this person' button. I reckon I'm not the only person who does this. If enough people do it, then that author ends up being the only person to see his/her own posts. 

Which is quite funny actually. Hahaha!

Well, that's three 'gets on my nerves' topics. I reckon that's enough for now. Your finger must be twitching on your mouse button ready to click something else, mostly out of habit, but maybe because it feels it's high time you stopped ignoring it and let it 'do it's thing' and click, click, click.

Have a great weekend everyone. Before you go though - 

You can buy my best selling books on amazon HERE. Oops, I forgot to tell you the truth about which one was/is a best selling book etc. Never mind, it's not as if your going to be able to work it out for yourself is it? OH, YOU ARE? Scary :)


  1. I agree wholeheartedly re the bestseller issue and the constant spamming. I'm not opposed to the free Kindle books (although I can see it becoming less and less effective as time goes on and the market is increasingly flooded), but I also wouldn't term a top 100/10/whatever free book as a bestseller once the promotion ends.
    I haven't really seen any of the giveaway secanrios, though (possiby because I'm too wary of being scammed to click on the links lol).

    Glad to hear your books are doing well :)

  2. Don't ask me what a 'secanrio' is lol. *SCENARIOS!!

  3. Thanks Sian. It's good to see you hun :)

  4. I hear you and I am skeptical about KDPs marketing schemes to use us desperate authors in their projects.

    I don't blame any author and their attempts to stand out and be known, as well.

    Good luck to you all.

    I am trying other tactics in a slow row to find an audience of readers and I am trying to veer away from KDP, simply because that is where most of human literary cattle are going atm. I'm trying to branch out in areas that are less traveled in hopes of pulling one out where it is least expected. We shall see.

  5. Good luck with your paths less travelled endeavours Frank :)

  6. This was funny and true!! I've tried posting and advertising my short stories not only is it exhausting mentally, its tedious. I'm very much annoyed by authors whom do that and i do tune them out. Very few people keep there word on giveaways and etc. Thanks for saying and sharing what we all feel.

    1. Your welcome. Thank you for visiting my blog and enjoying my posts :)