Author Topic: Goodreads  (Read 602 times)

APP

Goodreads
« on: November 08, 2019, 02:18:13 AM »
Since Amazon owns Goodreads, I'm posting this information here. Passive Guy's blog pointed me to it.

FYI: I haven't been a member of Goodreads for years, but I occasionally peruse the site. IMO, this article/blurb is right on target as it describes what's wrong with Goodreads.

https://bookriot.com/2019/11/07/future-of-goodreads/
 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott

dgcasey

  • Medium Novel unlocked
  • ***
  • Posts: 594
  • Thanked: 198 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Take my memories. I hope you got a big appetite.
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2019, 05:12:38 AM »
As a reader I find Goodreads a decent website. I love the yearly challenge, which has gotten me to read more books each year (currently sitting 58 books of the 65 goal). But, I'd never use GR to find books to read. I find it completely useless for that. I still rely on Bookbub, ENT or word of mouth from places like Writer's Sanctum and such.

As an author I think GR is useless and find myself not even trying to use it in that way. I use to enjoy running a giveaway or two (even though I know they didn't amount to much), but with the pay-to-giveaway model they now have, no way in hell. Though I do have to admit I was tickled when I won a print copy of Doctor Sleep last month, I won't use their giveaways anymore.

And now, they are doing away with their advertising for authors, I can't think of any reason to put much effort into GR. The advertising was never really that effective, but I put $10 into a campaign a year and half ago and it took them over a year to spend that. However, they did show my ads over half a million times, so I felt it was money well spent.

I'm sure they will come up with something to replace the current ad program, but I'm also sure it will be as useless as the new giveaway program. Too expensive for the lower tier author to use and still just as ineffective in driving business to the author.
I will not forget one line of this, not one day. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.
"The Tales of Garlan" title="The Tales of Garlan"
"Into The Wishing Well" title="Into The Wishing Well"
Dave's Amazon Author page | DGlennCasey.com | TheDailyPainter.com
I'm the Doctor by the way, what's your name? Rose. Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life!
 

Simon Haynes

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 05:19:21 AM »
Maybe they dropped the author ads to encourage people into the AMS ecosystem.

Also, if I were Amazon I'd offer Goodreads as a target for AMS ads when creating a campaign.


 
 

 
WIP

 
 
>
>
>
>
>

Also

yWriter
(Mac/PC/Android/IOS)

and

SalesScanner (PC)
 

cecilia_writer

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2019, 06:12:46 AM »
I agree with dgcasey. I hate Goodreads as an author - it's near enough impossible to get your covers to change once they appear there. For some reason one book in my mystery series is there without a cover image and I can't work out how to get one added. There are books there that I unpublished ages ago and can't get rid of.
But I quite like it as a reader - it's a nice place to post reviews and record books you've already read. (I'm not a compulsive list-maker but I find it useful to record non-fiction I've read while researching)
Cecilia Peartree - Woman of Mystery
 

Maggie Ann

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2019, 09:05:17 AM »
I agree with dgcasey. I hate Goodreads as an author - it's near enough impossible to get your covers to change once they appear there. For some reason one book in my mystery series is there without a cover image and I can't work out how to get one added. There are books there that I unpublished ages ago and can't get rid of.
But I quite like it as a reader - it's a nice place to post reviews and record books you've already read. (I'm not a compulsive list-maker but I find it useful to record non-fiction I've read while researching)

Only a Goodreads Librarian can make the changes. I discovered that a friend of mine was a librarian, although she'd actually forgotten all about it, and she was able to update my covers a couple of years ago.

I never could figure out GR so I pretty much stay away from it.
           
 
The following users thanked this post: cecilia_writer

PaulineMRoss

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2019, 10:47:31 PM »
I agree with dgcasey. I hate Goodreads as an author - it's near enough impossible to get your covers to change once they appear there. For some reason one book in my mystery series is there without a cover image and I can't work out how to get one added. There are books there that I unpublished ages ago and can't get rid of.

You can't get rid of books EVER on Goodreads. Doesn't matter if it was a freebie you only gave away to your mailing list, or a Kindle-only book, or you unpublished it donkey's years ago, if it was ever 'published' anywhere at any time, it stays. And they get to say what 'published' means. I've seen stuff on GR that was only ever 'published' on Wattpad, for instance.

Some stuff you can change yourself if it's your own book and you're registered there as an author. Some things need a librarian and some things can only be done with a super-librarian. And some things you can ONLY do yourself, and not even a librarian can do it. It's barking mad.

When I first joined GR years ago, I belonged to several really active groups and found tons of great books to read that way. The discussions were terrific. But somehow it all went to hell in a handcart, and now I can't find any half-way decent groups at all.

GR would be far more appealing to authors with a few simple changes. Keeping the author profile separate from the personal one, for one thing. Having a sensible author dashboard for all your pen names, and allowing an author to see all new reviews on all books. Sensible advertising. A simpler way to change the default cover, or add a new edition (you really shouldn't have to create a whole new edition from scratch when you just add a paperback or audiobook to an existing Kindle book).

And as a reader, for the love of all that's holy, yes, a DNF shelf [**] and can we PLEASE sort an author's books by publication date? They're great with series, but sometimes I just want to see an author's whole career in date order. Plus, I'd like to customise the front page and get rid of all the stuff that I'm never, ever going to be interested in.

[**] DNF books won't get added to your Challenge for the year if you leave the date read blank, but a DNF shelf would be more elegant.

Writing epic fantasy as Pauline M Ross; writing Regency romance as Mary Kingswood
Bookbub score: 5 for 76
 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott, ashleycapes

YouMeWe

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2019, 02:30:20 AM »
Goodreads resides in my pile of long-abandoned social media.

I can't make head nor tail of it. It's the least intuitive site I've ever encountered and basically fills me with dread.

Pleez scoose n e errers, eyes lerrnin diktashun.
 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott

Bill Hiatt

  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ****
  • Posts: 1352
  • Thanked: 556 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2019, 03:04:38 AM »
There's nothing wrong with having a site that caters to readers only. My problem with Goodreads is  the elaborate pretense that it offers something for authors. I don't know what's going on now, but GR ads used to be the least effective of anything I tried. Goodreads giveaways used to be fairly good. I think I had about a 30% review rate from them, mostly positive, but Amazon managed to ruin that.

Don't even get me started on how obscenely difficult it is to get rid of obsolete covers in favor of new ones. It's just gratuitiously annoying. And the practice Pauline mentions of putting up books that were released only privately to mailing list subscribers is a legal gray area at best. True, it's not the text of the book that's going up, but covers are protected by copyright. The author (who is the rights holder or licensee, depending on the agreement with the designer and the nature of the cover) has the right of first publication. Presenting copyrighted material to a wider audience than intended by the rights holder is a little dubious. It's not worth anyone's time to sue Amazon over something like that, which is why it will continue for the foreseeable future.

I know readers who still enjoy it, and that's great for them. I'm not going to waste time on it as an author, though.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott, ashleycapes

deedee

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2019, 11:03:22 AM »
There's almost no such things as "readers only." Literally everyone who reads a lot will try, sooner or later, to publish a book or a story. It is just too easy now. And Goodreads alienates everybody who writes with their negative attitude toward authors. The site deserves to vanish into the dustbin of history.
 
The following users thanked this post: LilyBLily, Rosie Scott

Marti Talbott

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2019, 01:33:38 PM »
I very rarely go to Goodreads unless it is to accept a new friend. My books are so screwed up there and so far behind in changes that I gave up trying to straighten it all out. How readers find my books is beyond me. I figure that when they review a book on Amazon, they put the same review on Goodreads.
 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott

Shoe

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2019, 01:43:20 PM »
The site deserves to vanish into the dustbin of history.

I feel that way about most of the internet, the bulk of which is now a swamp brimming with click-bait and social media nonsense. There's still plenty of great stuff thanks to the limited monetization opportunities for academic sites, but those are slowly disappearing behind paywalls.

Goodreads was okay when it began. I recall it as a place for serious book discussion. Now there are a million dead groups in the community areas, and the latest groups all seem to have been started by scheming indies and various review-bombing cabals.
Publishing since May 2017. Writing full time since January 2018 general fiction and satire.
 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Trilogy unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 2467
  • Thanked: 959 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2019, 02:08:00 PM »
and the latest groups all seem to have been started by scheming indies and various review-bombing cabals.

Given all the constant discussion about fake reviews, you'd think Amazon would take this seriously and do something about it, especially since it's being organized on its own platform.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit. Also Spiritual and Games.



Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott

Marti Talbott

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2019, 02:25:41 PM »
Yet, the concept is a good one. Didn't Amazon own another reader platform that didn't do well before they bought Goodreads? I think that they don't do anything to fix the problem supports those who feel Indies are not that important to Amazon.

Shoe

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2019, 03:03:34 PM »
I think that they don't do anything to fix the problem supports those who feel Indies are not that important to Amazon.

I doubt KDP will exist in its current form in two or three years. They'll probably absorb the successful indies into their various publishing platforms and tell the rest to go to hell, and thereafter newbies will have to "apply" to one of those platforms to get published.
Publishing since May 2017. Writing full time since January 2018 general fiction and satire.
 

Tonyonline

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2019, 09:47:31 PM »
....I figure that when they review a book on Amazon, they put the same review on Goodreads.

If only!
I have quite a few reviews on Goodreads but not even half that amount on amazon. Correction! I have star ratings. I've not had a written review. I did find that surprising for a Goodreads reader, that they'd give a good rating but not leave a comment :confused:, which is of course the best way to support a writer.

I only ever used Goodreads to advertise on. I don't think the, quite expensive adverts, created many sales, if any, but I'd always see a spike in reads and then a rating or two would follow.
They've stopped running adverts on there now.

« Last Edit: November 10, 2019, 10:31:30 PM by Tonyonline »
 

Maggie Ann

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2019, 11:42:26 PM »
Yet, the concept is a good one. Didn't Amazon own another reader platform that didn't do well before they bought Goodreads? I think that they don't do anything to fix the problem supports those who feel Indies are not that important to Amazon.

Just because we don't sell a lot doesn't mean we're not important to Amazon. Yes, individually, we're not important, but taken as a group, our sales do add up. If I only sell one book a month, it means nothing. But if ten thousand of us, probably more, only sell one book a month, that becomes more important. If twenty thousand of us sell two a month ... I won't do the math, but it's still a good chunk of change in Amazon's pocket.

           
 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott

Marti Talbott

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2019, 01:13:45 AM »
Yet, the concept is a good one. Didn't Amazon own another reader platform that didn't do well before they bought Goodreads? I think that they don't do anything to fix the problem supports those who feel Indies are not that important to Amazon.

Just because we don't sell a lot doesn't mean we're not important to Amazon. Yes, individually, we're not important, but taken as a group, our sales do add up. If I only sell one book a month, it means nothing. But if ten thousand of us, probably more, only sell one book a month, that becomes more important. If twenty thousand of us sell two a month ... I won't do the math, but it's still a good chunk of change in Amazon's pocket.

I'd be the first one to vote in Amazon's favor, but there are always negative people who think Amazon doesn't care. I was just pointing out the fodder for that attitude.

My books have been on Amazon for almost 10 years. When I reached the benchmark of selling over 150k, they sent me a congratulations email. There was a time when authors who sold a lot were assigned someone at Amazon to help with problems and suggestions. I had one once, but I didn't take advantage of it. I don't know if they still do that for Indies. I do know, or at least feel like, I get special attention when I email them with a question or a request. So no, I have never felt that Amazon doesn't care about us.

Maybe with the change in management, Goodreads will improve. My biggest complaint is that they don't remove the old covers, etc., or have an automatic update venue when a book is updated on Amazon. That doesn't even make sense to me. On the other hand, before Amazon took over, Goodreads linked the books to Nook instead. Could be that's what Amazon wanted to change when they bought it.
 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott

LilyBLily

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2019, 01:29:38 AM »


I doubt KDP will exist in its current form in two or three years. They'll probably absorb the successful indies into their various publishing platforms and tell the rest to go to hell, and thereafter newbies will have to "apply" to one of those platforms to get published.

Why would they bother? As with most discounters, "We make it up in volume" is Amazon's clarion cry. As Maggie Ann said, all our books add up to a lot of income for Amazon.

If Amazon ever were short of server space, say, twenty years down the road, and was actively pulling back its expenses because competition had emerged and the business was no longer booming and Amazon itself was no longer the "It" girl, sure, then the herd would be culled. But by then, we'd have all moved to the new best place to sell our books, so why would we care?

Every company has a life cycle, and Amazon is still in the ascending part of the arc. The American pattern for corporations is "more, more, more," not "that's enough." This of course is why there is so much boom and bust, because of over expansion. Is Amazon in that phase? Hard to tell, but its home spy machines are a big success because Americans are so lazy they don't even want to click their phones to order something. So I'd say Amazon has plenty of the ascending arc left. 
 

notthatamanda

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2019, 01:50:02 AM »
Upvote for home spy machines.
 
The following users thanked this post: Joe Vasicek

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Trilogy unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 2467
  • Thanked: 959 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2019, 01:54:07 AM »
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit. Also Spiritual and Games.



Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 

Marti Talbott

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2019, 02:17:17 AM »
Upvote for home spy machines.

 :icon_think: :shrug

Under the guise of trying to improve their service, Amazon actually hires people to listen to conversations recorded in private homes over Echo and Alexa. No such devices in my house, but then all they would hear in this place is the sound of me typing.  :dance:

notthatamanda

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2019, 03:09:28 AM »
And people pay a monthly service fee for this.  Supposedly they are working on algorithms that can detect your mood, if you have a cold, seem tired, from your voice.
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Trilogy unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 2467
  • Thanked: 959 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2019, 03:19:25 AM »
And people pay a monthly service fee for this.  Supposedly they are working on algorithms that can detect your mood, if you have a cold, seem tired, from your voice.

I wonder how they react to hearing "f*cking Amazon!"?
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit. Also Spiritual and Games.



Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 
The following users thanked this post: LilyBLily

Marti Talbott

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2019, 03:24:14 AM »
And people pay a monthly service fee for this.  Supposedly they are working on algorithms that can detect your mood, if you have a cold, seem tired, from your voice.

Must be time for another 1984 and Soilent Green kind of book. Hey, I bet if they tried, they could even figure out what we type by the sound of the keystrokes. Naugh, they would just hack our computers for that.

PJ Post

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2019, 03:51:14 AM »
I doubt KDP will exist in its current form in two or three years.

Just because we don't sell a lot doesn't mean we're not important to Amazon. Yes, individually, we're not important, but taken as a group, our sales do add up.

I think KDPís going to be around for a while. But, it's not our sales that Amazon cares about anymore - it's our AMS Ad spends. They've been redirecting and modifying their algos to minimize the effectiveness of third party promotions sites for a while now. We're still vendors, but I think we're far more profitable as customers.

 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott

Bill Hiatt

  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ****
  • Posts: 1352
  • Thanked: 556 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2019, 03:59:33 AM »


I doubt KDP will exist in its current form in two or three years. They'll probably absorb the successful indies into their various publishing platforms and tell the rest to go to hell, and thereafter newbies will have to "apply" to one of those platforms to get published.

Why would they bother? As with most discounters, "We make it up in volume" is Amazon's clarion cry. As Maggie Ann said, all our books add up to a lot of income for Amazon.

If Amazon ever were short of server space, say, twenty years down the road, and was actively pulling back its expenses because competition had emerged and the business was no longer booming and Amazon itself was no longer the "It" girl, sure, then the herd would be culled. But by then, we'd have all moved to the new best place to sell our books, so why would we care?

Every company has a life cycle, and Amazon is still in the ascending part of the arc. The American pattern for corporations is "more, more, more," not "that's enough." This of course is why there is so much boom and bust, because of over expansion. Is Amazon in that phase? Hard to tell, but its home spy machines are a big success because Americans are so lazy they don't even want to click their phones to order something. So I'd say Amazon has plenty of the ascending arc left.
Amazon has often seemed more interested in the quantity of books available than in their quality. Even early radio ads (pitching Amazon as the world's biggest bookstore), used gimmicks like pretending Amazon was going to become a physical bookstore and was looking futilely for a venue big enough for all its books. (Silly as that sounds, that ad ran a lot in the early days.)

Amazon still likes to boast about the number of books available to KU subscribers, albeit in inexact terms. I can't see much culling happening as long as that pattern continues, unless Amazon decides to drop KU.

Actually, the scenario in which I can see Amazon culling indies is a one-scandal-too-many situation. If indies were perceived to be more trouble than they're worth, I can see Amazon deciding at the very least to do more gate-keeping, and if that happened they'd probably grandfather the indie bestsellers and expect the rest of us to jump through some quality control hoops at minimum, or maybe even have to submit through their imprints as Shoe suggests.

That actually wouldn't be a bad deal for the people who made the cut. Amazon puts a lot of muscle behind promoting imprint books, probably enough to make up for the shift from 70% royalty to 50%. However, it would suck for the rest of us, and I'd be worried Amazon would keep tightening the submission process. First, it would be open, but eventually, you'd need an agent (like now). Amazon has tried open systems before and abandoned them all (Kindle Worlds, Amazon Studios, Kindle Scout), even though all three produced some good sellers they wouldn't have had otherwise.

But that's a doomsday scenario for another day. At the moment, I see no indication that Amazon is leaning that way.



Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 

dgcasey

  • Medium Novel unlocked
  • ***
  • Posts: 594
  • Thanked: 198 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Take my memories. I hope you got a big appetite.
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2019, 06:21:48 AM »
I wonder how they react to hearing "f*cking Amazon!"?

Ehh, your next order will mysteriously end up in Sh*thole, Kazakhstan.  grint
I will not forget one line of this, not one day. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.
"The Tales of Garlan" title="The Tales of Garlan"
"Into The Wishing Well" title="Into The Wishing Well"
Dave's Amazon Author page | DGlennCasey.com | TheDailyPainter.com
I'm the Doctor by the way, what's your name? Rose. Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life!
 
The following users thanked this post: LilyBLily

Marti Talbott

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2019, 06:50:41 AM »
I've heard it before but I don't understand how an algorithm can keep us from selling books or how it can interfere with our ads placed on other than AMS. Do they play around with the rankings? Is that what it is?

Bill Hiatt

  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ****
  • Posts: 1352
  • Thanked: 556 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2019, 06:58:03 AM »
I've heard it before but I don't understand how an algorithm can keep us from selling books or how it can interfere with our ads placed on other than AMS. Do they play around with the rankings? Is that what it is?
We can only guess what Amazon is doing based on observable patterns.

I have heard about certain things, such as the shortening of the tail on BookBub promos, that could indicate a change in the algorithm to make those less effective. However, I don't know that anyone actually has enough data to be sure exactly what Amazon is doing.

Amazon could in theory adjust the algorithm to favor books whose authors use AMS  or disfavor books that have sales through certain newsletters--but in the latter case, I don't know how Amazon would know. The newsletter companies can't use affiliate codes in emails anymore, can they? I know we can't. In any case, I don't know if Amazon is actually doing anything that radical. There are a lot of possibilities in terms of how algorithms could manipulate visibility.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 
The following users thanked this post: Marti Talbott

PJ Post

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2019, 07:02:59 AM »
What Bill said. They're basically tipping the scales in favor of their own promotional tools.
 

Marti Talbott

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2019, 07:18:49 AM »
I've heard it before but I don't understand how an algorithm can keep us from selling books or how it can interfere with our ads placed on other than AMS. Do they play around with the rankings? Is that what it is?
We can only guess what Amazon is doing based on observable patterns.

I have heard about certain things, such as the shortening of the tail on BookBub promos, that could indicate a change in the algorithm to make those less effective. However, I don't know that anyone actually has enough data to be sure exactly what Amazon is doing.

Amazon could in theory adjust the algorithm to favor books whose authors use AMS  or disfavor books that have sales through certain newsletters--but in the latter case, I don't know how Amazon would know. The newsletter companies can't use affiliate codes in emails anymore, can they? I know we can't. In any case, I don't know if Amazon is actually doing anything that radical. There are a lot of possibilities in terms of how algorithms could manipulate visibility.

So it's just a guess or rather a suspicion. Thanks, that helps. I keep looking for patterns too, but math is not my thing.  However I do keep a daily spreadsheet of sales.

I have long suspected something was wrong with my Marblestone Mansion series. I discovered that over time, (about a year's worth) book 3 out of the 10 book series sold around 200 copies less that the rest. Amazon said everything was fine, so I went up the ladder to a supervisor who said the same thing. I still don't see how that is possible.

Last month I ran an ad for book 1 in the same series and gave away around 1400 free copies. Follow through sales totaled around 70 that month. Nine days into this month, a total of five sold with books 3-7 showing no sales at all. Furthermore, I sold 4 paperbacks in that series a couple of days ago. Guess which ones? Books 7,8,9,&10. Who buys the last four and not the first six paperbacks? I haven't looked all the way back to Createspace days, but I'm pretty sure the first six didn't sell. I could be wrong. It's all just very odd.

My suspicious nature keeps wondering if someone is skimming off the top and I'm their pet target. It's just money, right?

Bill Hiatt

  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ****
  • Posts: 1352
  • Thanked: 556 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2019, 07:22:34 AM »
What Bill said. They're basically tipping the scales in favor of their own promotional tools.
Now, if they just made those promotional tools more effective, my guess is no one would care. We notice because the other tools are having less impact, but Amazon's aren't improving in their effectiveness.

I'm now experimenting with automatic targeting, which I very seldom do. You'd think that, with all the data Amazon has, it could create an effective targeting system. But as of now, the ROI is worse than any of manually targetted ads--and they aren't exactly brilliant money makers. Frankly, even in recent times, when newsletters tend to produce a smaller number of sales, the ROI is still better than what AMS ads produce--for me, anyway. I know that people's mileage does vary.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2019, 07:27:55 AM »
home spy machines


Heh.   grint


No such devices in my house, but then all they would hear in this place is the sound of me typing.  :dance:


I would bet the poor employees tasked with this end up hearing a lot of porn.  They probably hear some "domestic disturbance" stuff, too, and home invasions and whatnot.   :icon_sad:
v  v  v  v  v    Short Stories    v  v  v  v  v    vv FREE! vv
     
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy (some day) | Author Website
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ****
  • Posts: 1352
  • Thanked: 556 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2019, 07:29:45 AM »
I've heard it before but I don't understand how an algorithm can keep us from selling books or how it can interfere with our ads placed on other than AMS. Do they play around with the rankings? Is that what it is?
We can only guess what Amazon is doing based on observable patterns.

I have heard about certain things, such as the shortening of the tail on BookBub promos, that could indicate a change in the algorithm to make those less effective. However, I don't know that anyone actually has enough data to be sure exactly what Amazon is doing.

Amazon could in theory adjust the algorithm to favor books whose authors use AMS  or disfavor books that have sales through certain newsletters--but in the latter case, I don't know how Amazon would know. The newsletter companies can't use affiliate codes in emails anymore, can they? I know we can't. In any case, I don't know if Amazon is actually doing anything that radical. There are a lot of possibilities in terms of how algorithms could manipulate visibility.

So it's just a guess or rather a suspicion. Thanks, that helps. I keep looking for patterns too, but math is not my thing.  However I do keep a daily spreadsheet of sales.

I have long suspected something was wrong with my Marblestone Mansion series. I discovered that over time, (about a year's worth) book 3 out of the 10 book series sold around 200 copies less that the rest. Amazon said everything was fine, so I went up the ladder to a supervisor who said the same thing. I still don't see how that is possible.

Last month I ran an ad for book 1 in the same series and gave away around 1400 free copies. Follow through sales totaled around 70 that month. Nine days into this month, a total of five sold with books 3-7 showing no sales at all. Furthermore, I sold 4 paperbacks in that series a couple of days ago. Guess which ones? Books 7,8,9,&10. Who buys the last four and not the first six paperbacks? I haven't looked all the way back to Createspace days, but I'm pretty sure the first six didn't sell. I could be wrong. It's all just very odd.

My suspicious nature keeps wondering if someone is skimming off the top and I'm their pet target. It's just money, right?
Yeah, we're all just guessing, though the people who spend a lot of time studying their stats are making more educated guesses than I do.

Amazon has provided fruitful ground for conspiracy theories, but I can't offhand see any benefit for Amazon in the weirdness you're describing. If there is a problem, I think a glitch is more likely.

That said, people have wondered for years if odd things that happened were the result of some Amazon experiment. For instance, about the time I started writing, there were a small number of people who just put books up and had them sell like crazy with no promo. Even back then, when launching was easier, that seemed unusual. A common theory was that Amazon had picked the books as test subjects for some new form of advertising or simply to test the theory that the more eyes were on a book, the more copies of it would sell. If so, it doesn't appear that form of advertising ever became public. None of the people proposing the theory were ever able to find evidence that Amazon was actually giving the books in question more exposure.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 

LilyBLily

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2019, 08:38:10 AM »


<snip>

 about the time I started writing, there were a small number of people who just put books up and had them sell like crazy with no promo. Even back then, when launching was easier, that seemed unusual. A common theory was that Amazon had picked the books as test subjects for some new form of advertising or simply to test the theory that the more eyes were on a book, the more copies of it would sell. If so, it doesn't appear that form of advertising ever became public. None of the people proposing the theory were ever able to find evidence that Amazon was actually giving the books in question more exposure.

In 2016, Amazon was still sending out new release emails to people who had bought Book 1 in a series. That is the only thing that can account for the sales of my second western romance--which took off (modestly) without any ads or discounting.
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ****
  • Posts: 1352
  • Thanked: 556 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2019, 09:38:37 AM »


<snip>

 about the time I started writing, there were a small number of people who just put books up and had them sell like crazy with no promo. Even back then, when launching was easier, that seemed unusual. A common theory was that Amazon had picked the books as test subjects for some new form of advertising or simply to test the theory that the more eyes were on a book, the more copies of it would sell. If so, it doesn't appear that form of advertising ever became public. None of the people proposing the theory were ever able to find evidence that Amazon was actually giving the books in question more exposure.

In 2016, Amazon was still sending out new release emails to people who had bought Book 1 in a series. That is the only thing that can account for the sales of my second western romance--which took off (modestly) without any ads or discounting.
The examples I was thinking of were first books, but it certainly makes sense that a new release email from Amazon on subsequent books could make a lot of difference. That's what the Amazon followers system was supposed to do, but as with so many other things, Amazon seems to have screwed it up.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 

Marti Talbott

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2019, 09:45:24 AM »
I don't think the followers thing works anymore either. I signed up to follow myself and never get a notice on a new book. Haven't heard of anyone else getting it either.
 
The following users thanked this post: Rosie Scott

RPatton

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2019, 10:31:20 AM »
I don't think the followers thing works anymore either. I signed up to follow myself and never get a notice on a new book. Haven't heard of anyone else getting it either.

People are still getting new release emails, but I believe it's based on following, previous purchases, and likelihood to click buy.
 

Lynn

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2019, 10:38:48 AM »
Well, I can tell you as a reader who does this, I look at the books in a series, find the ones that sound interesting, and read them. I am very much not a read-them-in-order kind of person. I have been surprised to find that there are a lot of people out there like me. :D

The people who think this is crazy have a hard time believing readers like me exist.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but every book in a series needs to appeal because you just never know where someone is going to enter your series. :D

And I have been known to totally ignore the whole you-need-to-read-these-in-order thing too. It's kind of exciting to piece together what's going on from what's given in a book five of a long series. A good author can totally pull it off and pull me in despite that. The not-so-great-authors usually forget to include enough to keep me from getting totally lost. All it would take is a little context but they forget to put it in. Or you get the authors who regurgitate the entire previous books' plots. That's a bummer because then I have no reason to go back and read the previous books if the current book is good. I love reading a good book that desperately makes me want to know what really went down in a previous book in the series even though I don't need that info to enjoy the book I'm reading! :D
 

Marti Talbott

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2019, 10:41:54 AM »
Well, I can tell you as a reader who does this, I look at the books in a series, find the ones that sound interesting, and read them. I am very much not a read-them-in-order kind of person. I have been surprised to find that there are a lot of people out there like me. :D

The people who think this is crazy have a hard time believing readers like me exist.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but every book in a series needs to appeal because you just never know where someone is going to enter your series. :D

And I have been known to totally ignore the whole you-need-to-read-these-in-order thing too. It's kind of exciting to piece together what's going on from what's given in a book five of a long series. A good author can totally pull it off and pull me in despite that. The not-so-great-authors usually forget to include enough to keep me from getting totally lost. All it would take is a little context but they forget to put it in. Or you get the authors who regurgitate the entire previous books' plots. That's a bummer because then I have no reason to go back and read the previous books if the current book is good. I love reading a good book that desperately makes me want to know what really went down in a previous book in the series even though I don't need that info to enjoy the book I'm reading! :D

Good advice, I didn't know that. Thanks!

Maggie Ann

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2019, 12:57:43 PM »
Well, I can tell you as a reader who does this, I look at the books in a series, find the ones that sound interesting, and read them. I am very much not a read-them-in-order kind of person. I have been surprised to find that there are a lot of people out there like me. :D

The people who think this is crazy have a hard time believing readers like me exist.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but every book in a series needs to appeal because you just never know where someone is going to enter your series. :D

And I have been known to totally ignore the whole you-need-to-read-these-in-order thing too. It's kind of exciting to piece together what's going on from what's given in a book five of a long series. A good author can totally pull it off and pull me in despite that. The not-so-great-authors usually forget to include enough to keep me from getting totally lost. All it would take is a little context but they forget to put it in. Or you get the authors who regurgitate the entire previous books' plots. That's a bummer because then I have no reason to go back and read the previous books if the current book is good. I love reading a good book that desperately makes me want to know what really went down in a previous book in the series even though I don't need that info to enjoy the book I'm reading! :D

I read Wilbur Smith's The Seventh Scroll which at that time was Book 2 of 2. I figured I didn't need to read River God, the previous book, because I knew what happened. Hah! I was compelled to read River God and I'm so glad I did. That book brought everything I thought happened and so much more to life for me. I think that's the first time I ever did that.

I've read the second or third in series first a few times after that, but I've rarely been tempted to go back and start at the first book.

           
 

Simon Haynes

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2019, 04:42:58 PM »
I don't think the followers thing works anymore either. I signed up to follow myself and never get a notice on a new book. Haven't heard of anyone else getting it either.


If you mean on Amazon, I get notices for my own book releases.

Bear in mind I've also bought my own ebooks in the past.


 
 

 
WIP

 
 
>
>
>
>
>

Also

yWriter
(Mac/PC/Android/IOS)

and

SalesScanner (PC)
 

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Trilogy unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 2467
  • Thanked: 959 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2019, 05:46:52 PM »
If you mean on Amazon, I get notices for my own book releases.

I do to.

But I have noticed the time between release and follower email tends to vary by author rank. When mine has been pretty bad, the emails come later, or not at all. Last one was at 8 days, but my rank was just outside 5000 at the time. Although it could be primary category author rank which defines it. Hard to be sure.

If one isn't sent inside 60 days, it doesn't get sent at all.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit. Also Spiritual and Games.



Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 

PJ Post

Re: Goodreads
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2019, 01:15:24 AM »
I think the exhausting part of all of this is that we don't know what we're getting, when we're getting it or who is getting it - which means our strategic planning is little more than a guess. In the old world of advertising we had access to the data that fueled detailed analysis. Now, we get nothing. It's all inference, changing algorithms and comparing piles of anecdotal notes from less than reliable sources - anecdata.
 

Bill Hiatt

  • Epic Novel unlocked
  • ****
  • Posts: 1352
  • Thanked: 556 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Tickling the imagination one book at a time
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2019, 01:34:07 AM »
I think the exhausting part of all of this is that we don't know what we're getting, when we're getting it or who is getting it - which means our strategic planning is little more than a guess. In the old world of advertising we had access to the data that fueled detailed analysis. Now, we get nothing. It's all inference, changing algorithms and comparing piles of anecdotal notes from less than reliable sources - anecdata.
That's always been my complaint about the Amazon follower system. I don't need to know all kinds of details about my followers, but it would be nice to know how many I have, when emails are sent, and what open and click rates are. I've long ago given up encouraging people to follow me on Amazon, because I have no idea whether it's actually doing me any good or not.

Since the people who follow authors on Amazon are typically already part of the Amazon ecosystem, I'm not even sure what Amazon gets out of it. Perhaps neither is Amazon, and that's why so little energy is put into it.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter
 
The following users thanked this post: PJ Post

TimothyEllis

  • Forum Owner
  • Administrator
  • Trilogy unlocked
  • ******
  • Posts: 2467
  • Thanked: 959 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Earth Galaxy somewhere, 2616
    • The Hunter Legacy Universe
Re: Goodreads
« Reply #45 on: Today at 01:41:33 AM »
Pre-order discussion moved to its own thread, still in the Amazon area.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit. Also Spiritual and Games.



Timothy Ellis Kindle Author page. | Join the Hunter Legacy mailing list | The Hunter Legacy series on Facebook. | Forum Promo Page.
 
The following users thanked this post: Gerri Attrick