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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: I just got dinged in AC - WTF moment.
« Last post by Post-Crisis D on January 29, 2024, 05:01:49 AM »
Lots of tech companies give vague or even insulting error messages.

A long time ago, I had a webpage shut down by one of these companies for a non-specific rules violation.  The error message that displayed to visitors to the page strongly implied I was guilty of plagiarism or copyright infringement.  When I contacted them to see what the problem was, all they did was send me a list of their rules and tell me I needed to comply.  Since I could not see any rule I had broken and since they could not tell me what the problem was, there was no way I could comply.

I removed all of my pages from their service and went elsewhere.  That company is long gone now.  And good riddance.

I did use public domain content on that page.  They had no rules prohibiting using public domain content.  I didn't claim the public domain content as my own, so plagiarism doesn't apply.  Since it was public domain content, copyright infringement does not apply.  I don't know if either of those were an issue since they would not tell me.  They did not ask for proof or documentation that I had the right to use any content; if they had, I could have shown them where it was public domain content.  All I can do is guess and there is no way to bring something in compliance with rules when you cannot find out what rule you allegedly violated.

I mean, these huge tech companies have bots and AI and whatnot to write messages and even try to write novels and stuff, yet we are expected to believe they are completely unable to identify specific errors or specific rules that have been broken?

Despite whatever they say, you are not a partner or valued team member or part of their community or whatever flowery prose they use to make you feel all special and part of something.  You are nothing to them and, given time and opportunity, they will treat you like that.

IMHO, that is another reason why people need to not rely on or build a livelihood or anything around any specific tech company or companies.  Always have alternatives.  Do not be reliant upon Amazon or Facebook or whoever to reach your audience/customers.  They will always have the upper hand and they will use it.
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: I just got dinged in AC - WTF moment.
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on January 29, 2024, 03:35:49 AM »
True, but how does giving vague error messages benefit Amazon?

Or were you just referring to the not bothering to announce new releases by people in the follower system?
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: I just got dinged in AC - WTF moment.
« Last post by PJ Post on January 29, 2024, 03:07:09 AM »
Amazon will always do what's best for Amazon.
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: I just got dinged in AC - WTF moment.
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on January 29, 2024, 03:01:27 AM »
On the follower list, I just got an email announcing a new release of yours on the actual release date (yesterday). Maybe someone at Amazon has made an adjustment after reading some of our earlier commentary on the general uselessness of following authors on Amazon. I'm interested to see what happens with my next release.

Regardless, Amazon should explain its error messages. That's my complaint about a lot of companies. (When Doordash had a problem with my payment method, I got "Something went wrong. Try again" rather than anything useful. In that case, the customer support person also gave me an incorrect answer.
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / I just got dinged in AC - WTF moment.
« Last post by TimothyEllis on January 28, 2024, 07:25:38 PM »
I just tried to update my Author Central Bio, and got dinged with a content violation.

Nothing but the error message, which tells you nothing at all.

Turned out to be the paragraph which contained the link to my mailing list, and mentioning Bookbub.

Could have been either or both, but was most likely the link.

What pisses me off about that is Amazon do nothing useful with the follower list, and yet, stop people going to a list that is actually useful.

But the actual error message is really bad IT. It should at least contain what sort of thing it dinged on, not a generic you violated content guidelines.

To add insult to injury, there is no link to those guidelines anywhere on AC that I could find, and I had to google them, and then guess what the problem was.

Really BAD Amazon!
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Typically, major Amazon fixes happen only after a lot of bad press, so if there is more public criticism, Amazon might do something.

As others have said, though, it's for readers. Its only sin in that regard was that it pretended to be for authors, too.
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: is the book world turning against Goodreads?
« Last post by APP on January 23, 2024, 02:44:55 AM »
For those of you that make use of Goodreads, but are disappointed in how it continues to go downhill, this article in the Washington Post (you may encounter a paywall) describes four alternatives.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2024/01/22/book-tracking-apps-review-goodreads-alternative/
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Goodreads is for readers, not authors.

My advice is to just leave it be.
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I list my books on Goodreads and then walk away. Not a safe place for authors.
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I've never been very keen on Goodreads - I find it difficult to navigate and I only go there to look for bad reviews of books I didn't like, to see if anyone else disliked the same things. Though occasionally I've seen terrible reviews of books I did like too, and have been aghast at how violently some people express their views.
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