There’s been a lot of drama in the publishing world recently, and one of the biggest stories at the moment is about the authors in the Kindle Unlimited program who are cheating the system to take money from honest authors.
In order to make MUCH more money than they’ve actually earned these people manipulate unsuspecting readers into helping them, and very few people seem to be aware what is going on.
Here’s how it works:
#1 Kindle Unlimited is a book subscription service. Customers pay a fee each month and have access to numerous ebooks that are exclusively on Amazon.
#2 Authors aren’t paid by book borrows, but by how many pages are read. That means they only get paid for twenty pages if the reader goes no further than that, as long as the reader doesn’t click through to the end (e.g. to rate the book).
In theory, authors are paid for equal work.
#3 Scammers try every trick there is to make their readers go to the end of the book. This includes adding links at the front to make readers jump to the end.
In reality, it looks more like this.
#4 The more pages readers skip over, the more the “authors” are paid. And so they “stuff” many other, previously-released books and other random content into the one book. It doesn’t matter if it ever gets read; it just matters that people click through it so they can make more money from it.
#5 This is 100% against the Kindle Unlimited Terms of Service. There is not meant to be more than 10% of bonus material in a Kindle Unlimited book, but some of these cheaters have extra stuffing in there that makes up 80 or 90% of the book.
And it is SO bad because:
#6 All authors are paid out of the same pot of money. They get paid based on the % of page reads, and so authors who’ve tricked people into flicking through literally thousands of extra pages are taking income away from authors who don’t cheat.
#7 Very few authors in this world make much money, but some of these book stuffers are making a fortune by scamming everyone.
#8 Now, finally – because people have started reporting the scammers – some of the worst offenders have been removed from Amazon in recent days, and they’re complaining loudly, all over the internet. They have their fan club members out complaining, too.
#9 At the moment, these scammers are playing the victim in the situation. THEY’RE NOT. They are complaining about loss of income, and saying ridiculous things like, ‘How will I feed my family now?!’
What they don’t mention is that they’ve been STEALING from other authors for years. Not once did they care how other authors would feed their families.
Don’t fall for the sob stories.
How you can help stop these unethical authors:
#1 DO NOT, under any circumstances, skip through to the end of a stuffed book.
#2 And DO NOT, under any circumstances, click on suspicious links within the contents or the book’s text.
#3 And… DO NOT, under any circumstances, click to the end of the book in order to rate or report it. Even if you intend to stop the scammers by reviewing or reporting, if you’ve gone to the end, you’ve just paid the thieves and stolen from honest authors anyway.
If you want to review etc., go to your computer or tablet and log on to Amazon there.
#4 And – finally – nothing will change unless these people are REPORTED.
At the moment the worst of the book stuffing is taking place in the romance genre because it’s so big and lucrative. However, some of these so-called authors are listing their books in every category under the sun in order to trick more readers.
Invisible by Jeanne Bannon is FREE.
Lola’s not pretty. Lola’s not popular. Lola wishes she could disappear … and then one day she does just that…
For seventeen-year-old Lola Savullo, life is a struggle. Born to funky parents who are more in than she could ever be, Lola’s dream of becoming a writer makes her an outsider even in her own home. Bullied and despised, Lola still has the support of her best pal Charlie and Grandma Rose.
Not only is she freakishly tall, Lola’s a big girl and when forced to wear a bathing suit at her summer job as a camp counsellor, Lola’s only escape from deep embarrassment seems to be to literally vanish. Soon after, she discovers the roots of her new “ability”.
Slowly, with Charlie’s help, Lola learns to control the new super power. The possibilities are endless. Yet power can be abused, too…
Then, when tragedy strikes, Lola must summon her inner strength, both at home and at school. She has to stand up for herself, despite the temptations and possibilities of her newfound super power.
A coming-of-age story that will warm the heart.
The Princess Sisters (Princess Sisters #1) by Stacy Lynn Carroll is FREE.
The only thing she stands to lose are her shoes.
Cinderella is an ordinary teenage girl, with an extraordinary name. But because of that name, she and her cousins, Belle, Aurora, Ariel, and Snow White suffer years of torment from their peers. Then as the girls enter high school and the enticing world of dating, a life-altering decision must be made. Is it finally time to stop fighting, and surrender to the fairy tale clichés that have been holding them back? By embracing their names, the girls discover an inner-strength they never knew existed. And by putting everything they have on the line, maybe, just maybe they will discover there really is such a thing as ‘happily ever after’.
The Ghost Files (The Ghost Files #1) by Apryl Baker is FREE.
Cherry blossom lipstick: check
Smokey eyes: check
Skinny jeans: check
Dead kid in the mirror: check
For sixteen year old Mattie Hathaway, this is her normal everyday routine. She’s been able to see ghosts since her mother tried to murder her when she was five years old. No way does she want anyone to know she can talk to spooks. Being a foster kid is hard enough without being labelled a freak too.
Normally, she just ignores the ghosts and they go away. That is until she see’s the ghost of her foster sister… Sally.
Everyone thinks Sally’s just another runaway, but Mattie knows the truth—she’s dead. Murdered. Mattie feels like she has to help Sally, but she can’t do it alone. Against her better judgment, she teams up with a young policeman, Officer Dan, and together they set out to discover the real truth behind Sally’s disappearance.
Only to find out she’s dealing with a much bigger problem, a serial killer, and she may be the next victim…
Will Mattie be able to find out the truth before the killer finds her?
Once Upon A Road Trip by Angela N. Blount is FREE.
Eighteen-year-old Angeli doesn’t “fit in.” She’s never been on a single date, and she lives vicariously through an online world of storytelling. With the pressures of choosing a practical future path bearing down, she needs a drastic change. Too old to run away from home, she opts instead to embark on a solo 2-month road trip. But her freedom is tempered by loneliness — and anxiety tests her resolve as she comes face-to-face with her quirky internet friends.
Aside from contracting mono and repeatedly getting herself lost, Angeli’s adventure is mired by more unforeseen glitches — like being detained by Canadian authorities, and a near-death experience at the hands of an overzealous amateur wrestler. Her odyssey is complicated further when she unwittingly earns the affections of two young men. One a privileged martial artist; the other a talented techie with a colourful past.
Bewildered by the emotions they stir, Angeli spurns the idea of a doomed long-distance relationship. But she is unprepared for the determination of her hopeful suitors. In the wake of her refusal, one man will betray her, and the other will prove himself worthy of a place in her future.
Angeli sets off in search of a better understanding of herself, the world, and her place in it. What she finds is an impractical love, with the potential to restore her faith in happy endings.
A true story with an unapologetically honest outlook on life, love, faith, and adventure — Once Upon A Road Trip is a coming-of-age memoir.
The Ghost In My Bedroom by Heather Jones is FREE.
Lucy Warner has managed to fall in love with her roommate – who has been dead for about 25 years. Since he’s been haunting her bedroom from the time when she was a baby, they have grown to be very good friends; a secret that no one else knows about, not even her best friend Ling. But Lucy wonders if it is possible to be more than just friends, as she realizes Ryan is the perfect guy for her.
It is the summer after high school graduation. Lucy finds herself newly single, and slightly bitter after a bad breakup. When Ling sets her up on a date with Jon, she plays along to try and forget about her ghost and get on in life with a real living guy. But when she finds out Jon can see ghosts too, keeping her secret gets a little complicated.
Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer is FREE.
Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras — Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.
The new foster kid, Aidan, isn’t helping any. Mr Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human.
Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she’d never belonged?
Fourteen-year old Lissa is snatched from her home and finds herself a slave on a trading ship traveling on a waterless ocean of nothing but grey dust. A feisty, curious and intelligent girl, her desire to explore the ship earns her the hatred of the cruel first officer, Farq.
Fascinated by the ocean of dust, Lissa becomes embroiled in its mysteries, sensing things that the crew cannot, while cryptic whispers in her head are leading her toward a destiny linked to the dust itself. Only one man aboard can help her make sense of her new talent, but can she trust him? All is not as it seems, and she must unravel the clues before it’s too late.
When a sinister plot casts her adrift on the barren ocean, her best friend is left in the hands of the treacherous crew. Everything hinges upon her courage, quick wits, and her ability to master her new talent.
Orphaned at 7, with no memory of her past or the family she lost, 17 year old Skye Martin is tired of being alone and afraid. After a hard night of partying, Skye wakes up alone in an unfamiliar hotel. All she can remember is the deep voice of her rescuer and his promise: “I am safe.”
Xander has been tasked with watching Skye from afar for the past two years, in order to keep her safe from the demons that hunt her. An easy job – until a pair of red glowing eyes reveal themselves to Skye, and Xander, in a moment of weakness, is forced to break his cover to protect her. Never good at trusting people, Skye is inexplicably drawn to Xander and the immediate bond she feels for him. However, Xander is filled with secrets and ties to her past that threaten to thrust Skye into a world she could never imagine existed…
As she begins to unravel the truth about who Xander is and the details surrounding her family, she discovers that she might just be the key to saving everything… And, most importantly, she finds that there has always been someone by her side who would never let her fall…