Author Topic: David Gaughran blog post regarding the current situation w/Amazon also-boughts  (Read 2101 times)

Tom Wood

 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 1739
  • Thanked: 738 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
I'm not sure he really gets this one.

What I'm seeing is a worsening of Amazon's recommends emails, to the point where they now have no relation to what I actually read. In other words, as Also-boughts have been vanishing from books, Amazon's ability to recommend a book I might actually click on has got much worse.

I've got a US$ gift certificate to use up before they force me back to the Aus store (again), and I seriously cant find anything I want to buy. All I see are wrong recommendations on emails, and ads for books I'd never read, or ads for crap.

Amazon have truly lost the plot, and if David thinks this isn't a major problem, he has too.
 
The following users thanked this post: Dragovian

sFABi

I've never spent much time on his posts/blogs but reading all that seems to indicate a balanced response is called for.

I'm happy to agree [with him] because times change and things that swing one way, may end up benefiting in another.

I never even spent much time checking the 'Also Boughts' because nine times out of ten it only showed them buying all my other books.

Sometimes trying to micromanage a company as large as Amazon from the perspective of an author is like... an ant's view of the universe. :roll:
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 

WasAnn

I wrote a reply, but maybe he's got me on moderation because I don't see it there after I clicked. Here's what I replied:

Quote
While I understand the analysis, and agree that if the results are bad enough Amazon will likely pull back from a worst case scenario, I don't agree on what they'll consider a worst case scenario.

At this point, readers seem to be expressing increasing frustration with discoverability and this has been increasing, not decreasing. Informal polls from NLs and FB show (informally of course) that many readers are actively seeking some new place to find books, even if they still purchase them on Amazon.

As you pointed out, there are over a hundred books advertised on a book's page now. If the ABs are limited to the string of four or gone (as is showing up more lately) or shoved down to the bottom, then most of the easy visualized recommendations that readers have been trained to watch for over the past decade or more have been eliminated.

Searches by subject string are often absolutely littered with bare chests and aliens having babies with humans and harem/reverse harem covers...even if you search for something not at all in that vein. Ads are, as you mentioned, completely and utterly useless for finding a book as relevant as in the ABs.

So, if the reader experience isn't improved by all this and hasn't since the changes started, what makes Amazon think it's a good idea?

Honestly, as a book customer of Amazon since the very beginning and a Prime member since the first month that came out, I think it's that they know they have us now. Their market share is at the mark where they no longer have to consider wooing the customers, only not making them so angry they'll leave. With over 127 million households now tied into Prime, many will have to be made awfully angry to leave. Add in the Alexa saturation and you see where I'm going. I think Amazon is now primarily concerned with monetization and entrenchment keeps the customers.

Losing ABs is bad for me as an author, but it's been worse as a customer. Even their email recommendations are so off the mark that they're laughable.


Science Fiction is my game.
 

PaulineMRoss

Losing ABs is bad for me as an author, but it's been worse as a customer.

Exactly. Amazon is so hot on the customer experience, but losing also-boughts is a disaster for customers. I used to love bouncing from book to book via the ABs until I found something interesting and unusual. If it was on KU, I'd download without a second thought. But the last 3 acquisitons have been via off-Amazon recommendations (for 2) plus 1 find on the HNR list (for an author I'm following, so why didn't Amazon send me a new release alert?). But I suppose Amazon doesn't care, because I still buy through them. :icon_cry:

Writing epic fantasy as Pauline M Ross; writing Regency romance as Mary Kingswood
Bookbub score: 4 for 75
 
The following users thanked this post: Writer

sFABi

I just checked out my books for AB's

On the com site, I'm not showing any, but on the co.uk site, I'm showing them.

I'm okay either way. My Book Sales are up so something is working.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 

WasAnn

Losing ABs is bad for me as an author, but it's been worse as a customer.

Exactly. Amazon is so hot on the customer experience, but losing also-boughts is a disaster for customers. I used to love bouncing from book to book via the ABs until I found something interesting and unusual. If it was on KU, I'd download without a second thought. But the last 3 acquisitons have been via off-Amazon recommendations (for 2) plus 1 find on the HNR list (for an author I'm following, so why didn't Amazon send me a new release alert?). But I suppose Amazon doesn't care, because I still buy through them. :icon_cry:

That is the key that some people just aren't getting. We keep repeating the maxim that Amazon is all about customer experience, but it isn't any longer. It's about customer retention. There's a big difference between those two things. One is about enticing customers in. The other is about not pissing them off so much they leave. Now that they've captured sufficient market share that other venues no longer even matter (or are even trying), they know that no matter where we find books, that's where we'll buy them. After all, we've all spent money on kindles or gotten the kindle app as default on just about everything, not to mention Prime, so we'll go there no matter what.

So, since we're there, why not monetize?

Until Amazon starts to lose customers, this trend will continue.


Science Fiction is my game.
 

Tom Wood

I wrote a reply, but maybe he's got me on moderation because I don't see it there after I clicked. Here's what I replied:
...

It's there now.
 

sFABi

So, if DG doesn't seem to think this is a big problem because there are lots of ways that Amazon is driving readers to your books (and I agree with him by the way) then why is everyone so darned tight over the AB's. It's always been Amazon's ethos to shake things up every 6 months and they haven't changed their ways and aren't likely to. Amazon WANT you to have to search for things, it's how supermarkets work. You just about get to work out where everything is, and they change the layout and you're back to square one.

The pre-occupation with Amazon's workings strikes me as bored people looking for something to whine and moan about. I'd much rather the writers obsessed about something they could control or have some kind of effect on. I've seriously lost money every time Amazon changed things, then somehow things come right again, or I gain back my losses with a Bookbub and so on. The market is fluid and so are we. These things shouldn't come as unexpected and we should by now certainly be expecting most of these things. Sorry if people don't like to hear it, but it does need saying.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 

Sailor Stone

I stopped buying ebooks from amazon (for the most part, when a book isn't available elsewhere I might buy it there) as I never could never figure out what in the world they were trying to sell me.
I now buy from Kobo. They work hard to sell my books. They use real book-loving people to vet the books they feature on the Kobo site and I like what they put before me when I shop so I buy books there.
Kobo is backed buy a massive conglomerate themselves and I think they have big plans (Walmart deal, U.S.A.) so I hope to stay hitched to them for years to come and (perhaps) reap the reward$. 
 
The following users thanked this post: garygibsonsf

Rickie Blair

I'm a little baffled by David G.'s reaction. He seems to be saying that 1) also-boughts are really important but 2) it doesn't matter if Amazon drops them?  :icon_think: What am I missing?

Mark Dawson reported a sudden drop in sales (starting in September). In his latest newsletter (I'm not going to quote from it at length as I'm sure most of us are on his mailing list) he suggests the disappearance of also-boughts may be to blame. Maybe Mark will drop by and expound on this theory?

 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 1739
  • Thanked: 738 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
Mark Dawson reported a sudden drop in sales (starting in September). In his latest newsletter (I'm not going to quote from it at length as I'm sure most of us are on his mailing list) he suggests the disappearance of also-boughts may be to blame. Maybe Mark will drop by and expound on this theory?

Not everyone is. And hopefully yes.

CoraBuhlert

I've been an Amazon customer since the early 2000s now. Though I suspect I'm not what they consider a good customer, because I only buy books and hardly anything else there. I don#t have Prime either. I think I may have bought six or seven non-book products at Amazon in fifteen years or so. And every time, I'm so inundated with ads for non-book products (no, the fact that I ordered vacuum cleaner bags from you does not mean that I am even remotely interested in a breadmaker  :HB) that I'm not likely to order anything that's not a book there again. Because I don't mind receiving ads for books.

However, Amazon's recommendation e-mails have been getting steadily worse for years. I used to get e-mails recommending books very similar to what I bought before. It got messed up on occasion, e.g. when I ordered a motorbike book for my Dad and was inundated with ads for motorbike manuals, or when I bought a linguistics textbook and suddenly got ads for Hungarian grammar books. But usually, the recommendation e-mails were on point. Until they suddenly weren't anymore.

For example, Amazon keeps sending my new release announcements for a very prolific author of East Friesian mysteries. I've never bought a single book by that author, don't follow them and don't even read East Friesian mysteries (and I buy more English than German language books). But Amazon feels the need to inform me about every single one of this author's new releases.  :HB

I do read science fiction and fantasy. However, I don't read every subgenre. And for a long time, I got recommendation e-mails for books in the subgenres I read. But then I started getting recommendations for books that are SFF, but not in subgenres I read. Interestingly, they were mostly from the same publisher, a publisher I rarely buy from except for two authors, because their offerings are not to my taste. However, I never got ads for the two authors I actually buy, even if they have new books out, but for only authors I don't buy. Once I even got an e-mail focussed only an author's new release. Now I have never bought a single book by that author, dislike their writing, have never bought anything remotely similar and have been personally insulted by that author (which Amazon cannot know, but which explains my reaction upon getting that e-mail  :evil2:). In this case, I suspect the traditional publisher paid Amazon for advertising their books to anyone even remotely interested in SFF. 

Anyway, these past few years I have been buying mainly at Thalia (print) and Kobo (e-book) and only shop at Amazon for books that are exclusive, POD books, which are very difficult to get elsewhere in Germany, and certain small press and university press books the other stores don't carry. 

Blog | Pegasus Pulp | Newsletter | Author Central | Twitter | Instagram
Genres: All of them, but mostly science fiction and mystery/crime
 

BillSmithBooksDotCom

  • Blurb unlocked
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Thanked: 14 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Bill Smith, author of the Outlaw Galaxy series.
    • BillSmithBooks.com
David response seems to be, "Don't worry, only part of the house is on fire. The fire department will surely get here before the entire place burns down."

I understand he is trying to reassure us that Amazon will pull back if it this turns out to be disastrous ... but the thing is, this is a huge mistake on Amazon's part and it is plainly obvious. If it ain't broke, don't freaking break it and burn down the place.

"Also boughts" are a great discovery engine for readers -- it was one of Amazon's most valuable assets. It is how people FIND THINGS THEY DON'T KNOW ABOUT to buy. If that great tool is taken away from readers, it is going to be a huge negative impact for customers (much less authors).

I really like David's analysis most of the time, but this article really misses the mark.
Bill Smith is the author of the Outlaw Galaxy series of space adventure novels and several Star Wars books. Found at all major retailers as well as at www.BillSmithBooks.com or www.OutlawGalaxy.com. Bill blogs at www.BillSmithBlog.com. Get the Outlaw Galaxy: Little Wind and Other Tales short story collection FREE at all major retailers.

 
 

sFABi

I really like David's analysis most of the time, but this article really misses the mark.

You and the others on here that usually like/trust DG's blog. Now you don't agree with what he says so you appear NOT to trust his blog. The man just might be right and whilst he needs nobody defending him (me probably least of all) I don't think Amazon changing its page layouts are harming anyone's sales. It's more likely something else that's affecting them.

Just like my posts, generally, people prefer to ignore what they don't like to hear.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 

rowanoak

It's just one guy's opinion. The rest of us can form our own based on our own experiences and thoughts on it. I don't like the change in also boughts. That's for sure.
 

angelapepper

I think we should form a mob and look for someone to throw into the volcano.
 
The following users thanked this post: sliderule, garygibsonsf, Wonder, Tom Wood, Writer

dgcasey

  • Short Novel unlocked
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • Thanked: 145 times
  • Gender: Male
  • I will not forget one line of this, not one day,
It's always been Amazon's ethos to shake things up every 6 months and they haven't changed their ways and aren't likely to. Amazon WANT you to have to search for things, it's how supermarkets work. You just about get to work out where everything is, and they change the layout and you're back to square one.

Walmart is the same damn way. You get used to finding things in a certain place and the next time you come in, they are clear over on the other side of the store. Sometimes I wonder if the manager has nothing better to do, so he says, "Let rearrange."
All available at Amazon, some available at B&N and some available God knows where
Dave's Amazon Author page | DGlennCasey.com | TheDailyPainter.com
 

LilyBLily

Itís the same principle a used bookstore owner once explained to me. If people can find what they came for easily they only buy that book. If they have to root through boxes or piles they might encounter something else to buy. Somewhere in the middle is okay with me.
 

Tom Wood

I think we should form a mob and look for someone to throw into the volcano.

Thankful Dan into the volcano!

« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 06:12:40 AM by Tom Wood »
 

RPatton

It's always been Amazon's ethos to shake things up every 6 months and they haven't changed their ways and aren't likely to. Amazon WANT you to have to search for things, it's how supermarkets work. You just about get to work out where everything is, and they change the layout and you're back to square one.

Walmart is the same damn way. You get used to finding things in a certain place and the next time you come in, they are clear over on the other side of the store. Sometimes I wonder if the manager has nothing better to do, so he says, "Let rearrange."

They actually have psychologists who design floor layouts based and actual research with power and significance and not just anecdotal, "well, this is the way I think it works best so everyone must be the same as me" evidence.

Basically, they are given several goals, "Keep customers in store for X minutes, sell more of Y, and increase enjoyment." People aren't aware of the unconscious cues our minds grab hold of. In fact, they really don't like the idea that they are not consciously aware of everything that they will likely deny that they are like everyone else where the unconscious informs a majority of our decisions.
 
The following users thanked this post: Dragovian

elleoco

As I posted in another thread, I took Gaughran's idea as that if Also Boughts disappear, recommendations based on the same data will take up the slack. I disagree because my recommendations are so bad. I buy a lot of books on Amazon. They regularly recommend books I've already bought from them to me (I believe they must have a way to avoid recommending not only books already bought but books borrowed from KU). While their recommendations are generally in the right genres, they ignore subgenres and recommend mostly stuff I'd never read much less buy. there ought to be a way to say, "Don't ever show me books by Author X again." If there is, I haven't discovered it.

I also buy a lot of non-book items from Amazon, and I don't think their recommendations there are much better. If I buy a certain dog bed, why on earth recommend other dog beds to me immediately afterward? Obviously I've already chosen the one I wanted and bought it. If I searched dog beds and haven't yet bought, then that's a different matter.
 
The following users thanked this post: mk31333

dgcasey

  • Short Novel unlocked
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • Thanked: 145 times
  • Gender: Male
  • I will not forget one line of this, not one day,
I'm not sure what everyone else is seeing, but the ABs have never disappeared for me. I know Amazon shows different things to everyone, but the ABs are showing for me on the second click down when scrolling, right above the sponsored ads. I don't remember them disappearing at any time in the last couple of weeks.
All available at Amazon, some available at B&N and some available God knows where
Dave's Amazon Author page | DGlennCasey.com | TheDailyPainter.com
 
The following users thanked this post: KFaitour

KFaitour

I'm not sure what everyone else is seeing, but the ABs have never disappeared for me. I know Amazon shows different things to everyone, but the ABs are showing for me on the second click down when scrolling, right above the sponsored ads. I don't remember them disappearing at any time in the last couple of weeks.

Same here.  :shrug

Kat Faitour | katfaitour.com
 

Lysmata Debelius

I'm not sure what everyone else is seeing, but the ABs have never disappeared for me. I know Amazon shows different things to everyone, but the ABs are showing for me on the second click down when scrolling, right above the sponsored ads. I don't remember them disappearing at any time in the last couple of weeks.

What you see on Amazon depends on who you are and where you are. For example, I don't see any ABs on any of your books,  DG Casey, or on any of KFaitoour's either. I've scrolled down the entire page and they are completely gone.  I'm in South Africa, looking at Amazon.com. How widespread is this problem? Hard to say, but a lot of people are reporting it.

Genres: Contemporary Fantasy and Science Fiction


Blog
 
The following users thanked this post: KFaitour

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 1739
  • Thanked: 738 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
I'm not sure what everyone else is seeing, but the ABs have never disappeared for me. I know Amazon shows different things to everyone, but the ABs are showing for me on the second click down when scrolling, right above the sponsored ads. I don't remember them disappearing at any time in the last couple of weeks.

What you see on Amazon depends on who you are and where you are. For example, I don't see any ABs on any of your books,  DG Casey, or on any of KFaitoour's either. I've scrolled down the entire page and they are completely gone.  I'm in South Africa, looking at Amazon.com. How widespread is this problem? Hard to say, but a lot of people are reporting it.

I have to wonder if this is the case of some bean counter in Amazon making a call that if you dont live in the US, you dont buy in the US, so the US also-boughts system is therefore no use to you.

Or its a straight out denial of service to people it wants to shop at their local store, who currently are not.

Either way, it's basic STUPIDITY. And also to my mind, the stupidity of having multiple stores.

Lysmata Debelius

I have to wonder if this is the case of some bean counter in Amazon making a call that if you dont live in the US, you dont buy in the US, so the US also-boughts system is therefore no use to you.

Or its a straight out denial of service to people it wants to shop at their local store, who currently are not.

Either way, it's basic STUPIDITY. And also to my mind, the stupidity of having multiple stores.
Especially silly as Amazon.com is the only Amazon store I can buy from, as there isn't a South African Amazon store. That's true for a lot of countries.
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy and Science Fiction


Blog
 

sFABi

I'm not sure what everyone else is seeing, but the ABs have never disappeared for me. I know Amazon shows different things to everyone, but the ABs are showing for me on the second click down when scrolling, right above the sponsored ads. I don't remember them disappearing at any time in the last couple of weeks.

What you see on Amazon depends on who you are and where you are. For example, I don't see any ABs on any of your books,  DG Casey, or on any of KFaitoour's either. I've scrolled down the entire page and they are completely gone.  I'm in South Africa, looking at Amazon.com. How widespread is this problem? Hard to say, but a lot of people are reporting it.

I have to wonder if this is the case of some bean counter in Amazon making a call that if you dont live in the US, you dont buy in the US, so the US also-boughts system is therefore no use to you.

Or its a straight out denial of service to people it wants to shop at their local store, who currently are not.

Either way, it's basic STUPIDITY. And also to my mind, the stupidity of having multiple stores.

I think the last thing you could accuse Amazon of is stupidity.  :roll:

They are experts in marketing. If they weren't they wouldn't be where they are today.

The fact you don't like it isn't their problem - it's yours.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 1739
  • Thanked: 738 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
I think the last thing you could accuse Amazon of is stupidity.

Last thing? No. First thing? Yes.

Quote
They are experts in marketing.

So current expert marketing doctrine is it's best if the customer cant find what they want?

Good strategy!  :littleclap :doh: :icon_think: :dizzy

sFABi

I think the last thing you could accuse Amazon of is stupidity.

Last thing? No. First thing? Yes.

Quote
They are experts in marketing.

So current expert marketing doctrine is it's best if the customer cant find what they want?

Good strategy!  :littleclap :doh: :icon_think: :dizzy

The problem isn't Amazon it's the thinking that because Amazon doesn't do things the way you want them to that somehow they're missing the big picture or getting it wrong. Amazon is Amazon, they do what they want and in the scheme of things, it doesn't matter a damn because they are too big to damage their own product. They can put it down to experimentation, new thinking, changing dynamics, whatever they want. It's their company.

The problem actually is everyone obsessing over Amazon affecting THEIR book sales. Instead of looking for opportunities you all wring your hands over Amazon's failure to meet your needs.

Stamping your feet and being petulant isn't going to get Amazon's attention, neither are posts like 'Dear Amazon..." DG's thread implying that nothing's going to really change is from a person who is highly respected in the Indie book scene, but because he doesn't say what you want him to say (this time) you all say he's wrong and you're right.

The Indie market is growing up, like a teenager at the moment, but still growing up. It will be a fully mature marketplace when it recognises it doesn't need Mother Amazon to take care of its needs and wipe its backside every five minutes. When all authors recognise that Amazon is JUST ANOTHER MARKETPLACE, then perhaps we can move on and give all of the other platforms an opportunity to show you another way to make your money.

As an Indie author, I don't expect Amazon to do anything but sell my books. I'm constantly seeking ways to reduce their importance in my daily book sales and future marketing strategy, but I don't intend to cry foul every time they change their strategy and my sales fall. It is what it is. It's also been explained to you clearly that supermarkets do this deliberately to stop customers falling into set ways and patterns. 

Because there is nothing worse than trying to remove ENTRENCHED THINKING AND HABITS in consumers.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 05:42:21 PM by sFABi »
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 1739
  • Thanked: 738 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
The problem actually is everyone obsessing over Amazon's effect on THEIR book sales.

No, this is about me as a reader not being able to find a f*cking book to read because they removed the only mechanism I used, and replaced it with something that has zero to do with what I actually read. And as mentioned before, their recommendation emails these days are also totally useless.   

Quote
As an Indie author, I don't expect Amazon to do anything but sell my books.

They dont seem interested in doing that any more. I've got gift$ sitting there doing nothing because I cant find a book to buy.

All Amazon seem interested in these days is advertising revenue. Sales appears to be a complete non-thing in the way they're doing things now. Milking you of advertising $ is the only focus now.
 
The following users thanked this post: sliderule

sFABi

The problem actually is everyone obsessing over Amazon's effect on THEIR book sales.

No, this is about me as a reader not being able to find a f*cking book to read because they removed the only mechanism I used, and replaced it with something that has zero to do with what I actually read. And as mentioned before, their recommendation emails these days are also totally useless.   

Quote
As an Indie author, I don't expect Amazon to do anything but sell my books.

They dont seem interested in doing that any more. I've got gift$ sitting there doing nothing because I cant find a book to buy.

All Amazon seem interested in these days is advertising revenue. Sales appears to be a complete non-thing in the way they're doing things now. Milking you of advertising $ is the only focus now.

Wow! You just don't see it, do you... They had the audacity to change THEIR site and you don't approve so you're gonna keep on obsessing over it until what - they change their minds and cave into your petulant demands?

Move on Timothy, FFS Move ON!
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 1739
  • Thanked: 738 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
Wow! You just don't see it, do you... They had the audacity to change THEIR site and you don't approve so you're gonna keep on obsessing over it until what - they change their minds and cave into your petulant demands?

Move on Timothy, FFS Move ON!

 :lalala

sFABi

Wow! You just don't see it, do you... They had the audacity to change THEIR site and you don't approve so you're gonna keep on obsessing over it until what - they change their minds and cave into your petulant demands?

Move on Timothy, FFS Move ON!

 :lalala

The mature response  :clap:
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 1739
  • Thanked: 738 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
Wow! You just don't see it, do you... They had the audacity to change THEIR site and you don't approve so you're gonna keep on obsessing over it until what - they change their minds and cave into your petulant demands?

Move on Timothy, FFS Move ON!

 :lalala

Since I'm the only person here who cant put you on ignore, maybe that will become my standard response to your posts aimed at me in the future. Like it, live it, love it.  :hehe

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 1739
  • Thanked: 738 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
And snip, swoosh, zombie.

Jack Krenneck

I have a different perspective on all this.

I don't really want also boughts to go...but what happens if they do? Who will be the biggest losers?

In a sense, everybody loses. More money gets spent on AMS ads. Those with better marketing expertise and deeper pockets will have an advantage.

But the biggest losers? I take this to be trad publishers, by far. I don't see them advertising on AMS. If they were to start, where is the money going to come from? Are they going to erode their profits? Are they going to reduce royalties/advances to authors? Neither is a palatable option for them.

I see removal of the also boughts as another strike in the Amazon trad pub war. And in the long run, if Amazon wins that ... it can only mean good things for indies.
 
The following users thanked this post: Cathleen, sFABi

dgcasey

  • Short Novel unlocked
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • Thanked: 145 times
  • Gender: Male
  • I will not forget one line of this, not one day,
And snip, swoosh, zombie.

Tim, you need to go stand in the corner for a time-out.   :hehe

Leper didn't really say anything bad or derogatory. He just told how he saw things and I guess it was 180 degrees different than how you see them. And then things got a little heated.

Let it go.  :mhk9U91:
All available at Amazon, some available at B&N and some available God knows where
Dave's Amazon Author page | DGlennCasey.com | TheDailyPainter.com
 
The following users thanked this post: Laughing Elephant, sFABi

dgcasey

  • Short Novel unlocked
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
  • Thanked: 145 times
  • Gender: Male
  • I will not forget one line of this, not one day,
But the biggest losers? I take this to be trad publishers, by far. I don't see them advertising on AMS.

Actually, I see them advertise and just noticed this yesterday, though it's probably something that's been going on for a long time and I just didn't notice. Yesterday, I bought a new Lee Child book from the Sponsored products carousel. You can't get much more trad-published than Lee. I've also seen the new book by John Grisham and I've seen a bunch of books advertised for David Baldacci and so on. Now, I guess it's possible that these authors are handling their own AMS ads, but something tells me that's not the case. I'm guessing the trad-pub marketing arms are using AMS just like the rest of us.
All available at Amazon, some available at B&N and some available God knows where
Dave's Amazon Author page | DGlennCasey.com | TheDailyPainter.com
 

WasAnn

Ditto with tradpub. I've seen more of them lately in YA and SF. They're there, they just aren't doing every single book, which is bad for midlist and below authors, but probably great for the already big sellers who will capture MORE market share over other TP authors.

Not great for them either.

No, for me this isn't about my books. Definitely not.

It's about being a reader for me. I've been shopping Amazon for books since they started selling books. It was the best way to have a giant box of books delivered for my next deployment, which I could stash in the tail room or the balloon room until the time came.

Recommendations and alsoboughts were gold. I'd be willing to bet big that more than 50% of the authors I read I found that way. Probably a lot more than that. First, the recommendations went wonky. Then they became almost entirely irrelevant, as if they were no longer actual recommendations, but just whatever was selling.

Then the alsoboughts got weird as people starting gaming them or using them more strategically. Those same two black and white covers that littered hundreds of alsoboughts for years? Remember those? Then they went away...or partially away.

I genuinely think it's not about us, or pure customers, or stupidity, or any other thing like that. It's just the tipping point has been reached. Amazon no longer has to woo us in. They just have to not piss us off so much that we buy elsewhere. To that end...why waste money constantly tweaking an algo when you know the customer is so entrenched with kindles, alexas, prime, and everything else. Instead, just half-ass it and get them used to looking for everything the hard way.

And why not monetize? They've trained us as customers to expect the carousel of books. Why not make people pay to be on it? Most customers won't notice, right?


Science Fiction is my game.
 

sFABi


I genuinely think it's not about us, or pure customers, or stupidity, or any other thing like that. It's just the tipping point has been reached. Amazon no longer has to woo us in. They just have to not piss us off so much that we buy elsewhere.

Meanwhile, they continue to change things and test new ideas which we slowly adapt and absorb until the next round of changes.

True Story:
I once turned a Greek restaurant into an Irish-themed bar and restaurant in a village in the middle of the mountains in Germany. I changed the decor, everything that could be paddyified. It looked great!

When opening night came the whole village turned out to get their first taste of Guinness etc., and when most of them walked into the bar they were absolutely mortified. The Greek restaurant and fittings had completely gone, replaced with the 'new look' pub. Several walked out, others sat bemused, a lot were angry and they were mostly the old-timers. The youngsters loved it and adapted to the new setup quickly without problems.

When I asked the doctor, who had the best English speaking voice amongst them what the problem was with the old-timers, he said.

'Too much, too quickly"

What he meant was that the village had become entrenched in their thinking of how the place looked, that when it all changed they were completely lost and dumbfounded, not knowing what to do, where to go, etc., and missing everything they had become used to. Had I made the changes a little at a time, they would have sat and approved and drunk a toast to the modifications and got used to it bit by bit.

Amazon (and just every other seasoned business) knows this and therefore makes changes on an ongoing basis because models change, markets change, people change, but it's better to do it slowly and in stages, than dramatically change everything overnight.

The pub was very successful, but some of those oldtimers never came back.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 

David VanDyke



 :lalala

Since I'm the only person here who cant put you on ignore, maybe that will become my standard response to your posts aimed at me in the future. Like it, live it, love it.  :hehe

Thank God I can. And have. Unfortunately, I can't seem to put his quoted quotes on ignore, so I just have to  :lalala along with you.
Never listen to people with no skin in the game.
 
The following users thanked this post: Rickie Blair

sFABi



 :lalala

Since I'm the only person here who cant put you on ignore, maybe that will become my standard response to your posts aimed at me in the future. Like it, live it, love it.  :hehe

Thank God I can. And have. Unfortunately, I can't seem to put his quoted quotes on ignore, so I just have to  :lalala along with you.

Nice to know Mr D,  :hehe

But, take it from one who 'has substantial skin in the game' to another 'who has skin in the game'. I'm small enough to listen to everyone and big enough to take it on the chin and learn from all. There are many others here who feel the same way. I will always read what you write, but not always agree with you and will put my point of view regardless. I won't be bullied by the big names here or elsewhere into not speaking my mind.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius
 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott

PaulineMRoss

No, for me this isn't about my books. Definitely not.

It's about being a reader for me.

Yes, me too, although if I (as a reader) can't find anything to read without ABs, then there must be readers not able to find my books, so it works both ways.

For those who want to get their ABs back, you can do it by logging out of your Amazon account. Once you're anonymous and Amazon doesn't know what country you're in, the ABs reappear. No VPN or proxy needed.

Writing epic fantasy as Pauline M Ross; writing Regency romance as Mary Kingswood
Bookbub score: 4 for 75
 

Not Lu

I have a different perspective on all this.

I don't really want also boughts to go...but what happens if they do? Who will be the biggest losers?

In a sense, everybody loses. More money gets spent on AMS ads. Those with better marketing expertise and deeper pockets will have an advantage.

But the biggest losers? I take this to be trad publishers, by far. I don't see them advertising on AMS. If they were to start, where is the money going to come from? Are they going to erode their profits? Are they going to reduce royalties/advances to authors? Neither is a palatable option for them.

I see removal of the also boughts as another strike in the Amazon trad pub war. And in the long run, if Amazon wins that ... it can only mean good things for indies.

Jack, I don't think everyone loses. In the short run, people who have relied on also boughts and the Amazon algorithm will suffer. But, many of those same people will likely figure out how to transition from being a seller in the Amazon store to being an author brand that people recognize and want to read. At that point, the authors and readers win.
 
The following users thanked this post: sFABi

Randall

  • Blurb unlocked
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Thanked: 2 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Nostalgia isnít what it used to be.
    • Treacherous Fabrications
Losing ABs is bad for me as an author, but it's been worse as a customer.

Exactly. Amazon is so hot on the customer experience, but losing also-boughts is a disaster for customers. I used to love bouncing from book to book via the ABs until I found something interesting and unusual. If it was on KU, I'd download without a second thought. But the last 3 acquisitons have been via off-Amazon recommendations (for 2) plus 1 find on the HNR list (for an author I'm following, so why didn't Amazon send me a new release alert?). But I suppose Amazon doesn't care, because I still buy through them. :icon_cry:


That is the key that some people just aren't getting. We keep repeating the maxim that Amazon is all about customer experience, but it isn't any longer. It's about customer retention. There's a big difference between those two things. One is about enticing customers in. The other is about not pissing them off so much they leave. Now that they've captured sufficient market share that other venues no longer even matter (or are even trying), they know that no matter where we find books, that's where we'll buy them. After all, we've all spent money on kindles or gotten the kindle app as default on just about everything, not to mention Prime, so we'll go there no matter what.

So, since we're there, why not monetize?

Until Amazon starts to lose customers, this trend will continue.

I saw your comment Ann and I have to agree. The numbers (based on what I'M seeing) don't back up David's theory. They don't disprove it either, but theres just not enough data to really know.

If anyone wants my take, with MATH, you can read it here; https://www.randallwoodauthor.com/amazon-also-boughts-are-on-their-way-out/

ETA: Everyone is missing one important observation too. Hint: You can't be two places at once, even if everything says that you should be.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 06:53:40 AM by Randall »
 

DrewMcGunn

When I read David's article, I got the impression from him he was looking for ways to make lemonade from the lemons Amazon was dishing out.

While I think if Amazon does away with the also boughts it will be bad for authors and for readers, I want to find out how to be nimble enough to respond to this with my marketing.

It's been said earlier on other websites that in Q1 2018 Amazon milked $2 billion from their ads. Their goal is to grow this revenue stream. Granted, AMS for authors is a small sliver of Zon's storefront, but I can't help but wonder if the changes are really about growing how much Jeff and Co can increase ad revenue from their content providers, whether they're selling books or bats. If revenue trumps customer experience then our favorite method for finding related reading material may disappear. Hopefully customer experience will trump revenue.

Drew McGunn
 

Jack Krenneck

I don't doubt that Amazon is lapping up the revenue from AMS ads. But if they can disrupt and eventually topple trad publishers...I think they'll earn money out of that that makes $2 billion seem like pocket money.

And ad revenue would go up to boot...
 

Jack Krenneck

But the biggest losers? I take this to be trad publishers, by far. I don't see them advertising on AMS.

Actually, I see them advertise and just noticed this yesterday, though it's probably something that's been going on for a long time and I just didn't notice. Yesterday, I bought a new Lee Child book from the Sponsored products carousel. You can't get much more trad-published than Lee. I've also seen the new book by John Grisham and I've seen a bunch of books advertised for David Baldacci and so on. Now, I guess it's possible that these authors are handling their own AMS ads, but something tells me that's not the case. I'm guessing the trad-pub marketing arms are using AMS just like the rest of us.

I've heard reports of trad pub using AMS...but I've never actually seen it. Percentage wise it must be very rare. So for them to replace the effect that also boughts had for them they'll have to spend a lot more on AMS than they currently are. And that's ultimately going to be paid for by the authors. Lee Child may not notice, but probably 99% of the rest of the publisher's list will either go unadvertized and not sell...or take a pay cut.
 

BillSmithBooksDotCom

  • Blurb unlocked
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Thanked: 14 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Bill Smith, author of the Outlaw Galaxy series.
    • BillSmithBooks.com
I really like David's analysis most of the time, but this article really misses the mark.

You and the others on here that usually like/trust DG's blog. Now you don't agree with what he says so you appear NOT to trust his blog.

I thought I nuanced it enough to explain my position. Most of the time, I think David is on the mark. In this particular case, I explained that I disagree and cited a personal (but anecdotal) example as a customer, not an author, where this change really negatively impacts my shopping experience. Also-boughts are great for finding "things along the lines of" things you know you already like. It's a very useful toolw when you are shopping for something ... but don't know exactly what.

The biggest advantage book stores have is the "stumble upon" feature -- of coming across something in a store that you didn't even know existed and now you have to have it RIGHT NOW.

Online is wonderful for when you know exactly what you want and just can't track it down locally. Also-boughts were perhaps one of the better ways of bringing the serendipity of discovering something out of the blue that's related to what you know you already love.

*what fellows is good-natured snark but snark nonetheless, only meant in jest. I absolutely get what you are saying and you may be correct and I could well be proven wrong over time. STILL ... * I didn't realize that generally find someone's opinion useful means that I have to mindlessly agree with absolutely everything they say. I thought this was a discussion forum, not the Rush Limbaugh show. :)
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 10:36:12 AM by BillSmithBooksDotCom »
Bill Smith is the author of the Outlaw Galaxy series of space adventure novels and several Star Wars books. Found at all major retailers as well as at www.BillSmithBooks.com or www.OutlawGalaxy.com. Bill blogs at www.BillSmithBlog.com. Get the Outlaw Galaxy: Little Wind and Other Tales short story collection FREE at all major retailers.