New Year, Old Problem: Innocent Author Rank-Stripped For Third Time

This is so sad. But more and more people are getting scared of trying BookBub because of it, or other really legitimate promotion sites. 😦

David Gaughran

Kristi Belcamino is really being messed around by Amazon. Yesterday morning, she was rank-stripped for the third time, and it appears to be happening every time she puts a book free – even before she hits the promo sites or moves up the charts.

Back in September, Kristi was one of the unfortunate (and innocent) authors who were unfairly rank-stripped by Amazon for several weeks. She had a BookBub promotion which catapulted her up to #3 in the Free charts on September 18, was then rank-stripped, and didn’t have the sanction lifted until October 22 – over one month later.

Along with all the other authors I wrote about in October’s post Amazon’s Hall of Spinning Knives, Kristi received the standard form letter about rank manipulation from Amazon KDP’s Compliance team, regarding her book Blessed are the Peacemakers.

Hello,

We detected that purchases or borrows of your book(s)…

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Desert Runner (Puatera Online Book 1) by Dawn Chapman

Fantastic reviews for Desert Runner. 😉 made my day.

The Naked Reviewers

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An NPC story.
With her pain potions in short supply, Maddie accepts a deadly run, pick up a package in Trox City and cross the desert plains to Port Troli, the only issues – an unwanted passenger and Tromoal breeding season.

A little about Dawn first:

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Dawn Chapman has been creating sci fi and fantasy stories for thirty years. Until 2005 when her life and attention turned to scripts, and she started work on The Secret King, a 13 episode Sci Fi TV series, with great passion for this medium. In 2010, Dawn returned to her first love of prose. She’s been working with coach EJ Runyon who’s encouraged her away from fast paced script writing, to revel in the world of TSK and Letháo as an epic prose space journey. This year her experience of working with Producers/Directors from the US and AUS has expanded. From Drama, Sci Fi…

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YEY! Book Launch – Desert Born – Puatera Online

Book 1 – Price reduced to 99p! and still KU of course!  Go grab it while you can!

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I can’t help but be totally excited about today! Book 2 hits the shelves and continues the journey of Maddie the NPC with attitude!

Blurb – With her charge, Alex, safely delivered, Maddie drowns her sorrows in a local bar. Leaving later that night only to discover Alex has been beaten and robbed, his own quest failed. Politics and cash aside, Maddie rushes him to a healer. There she learns more about herself, her world and the upcoming war. Once more they cross the desert, this time where enemies are born.

Desert Born

Amazon’s Hall of Spinning Knives

This is pretty worrying… when specific paid and known legal promotional sites are targeted. 😦

David Gaughran

Phoenix Sullivan is well-known in the indie community – I’ve known her myself since 2009 or 2010 and consider her a close friend.

Aside from being exceptionally generous with her time and knowledge, tirelessly sharing her insights on marketing and algorithms, Phoenix is also well known as a vocal campaigner against scammers and cheaters – particularly on the current big issues of book stuffing and clickfarming.

And now she is being targeted.

Phoenix made a box set free for a few days back in September, advertising on Freebooksy, KND/BookGorilla, and Digital Book World – all legitimate sites – and there was no other promotion involved with this title. No BookBub CPM ads, no Facebook campaign, no tweets, no newsletter swaps, no mailing lists.

On the third day of her free run, Phoenix’s box set was rank-stripped by Amazon, a punishment normally reserved for those who have used clickfarms or bots…

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Advice to new writers: Don’t plagiarize. Just don’t.

Just don’t ever do this… the Litrpg community is closely watching this for a result. The evidence is not in her favour.

GameLit reviews

Tl;dr:  Don’t plagiarize.  If you must plagiarize, at least be creative.  Pick a book that’s out of print, maybe isn’t translated into English so you can rip it off creatively.  Don’t plagiarize a book that’s available in English in ebook format so it’s easy to check out.

Long essay:

The laws of the universe keep conspiring to keep me from reviewing Michael Scott-Earle’s Lion’s Quest.  That’s been up on my agenda, but then people keep doing stupid stuff and I have to talk about it.

So, James Hunter is a popular and well-liked author.  I’ve reviewed his Viridian Online series, and look forward seeing it continue to develop, side-stories and all.

Another soon-to-be author, Laurie Jo Bryant, is putting out a new series called Panguardia Online.

The blurb for her book and James book is nearly the same.  By that I mean word-for-word ripoffs, minus a distaff switch on…

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