Tag: Kindle

Kindle eBook graphic.

‘Book-Stuffing:’ The Self-Publishing Crime You’ve Never Heard Of

There’s a scam going on in the eBook industry, and, as with most high-dollar missteps, no one is stopping it.

Before we get into the details of these legal evasions, it’s critical to understand that eBook authors make money per pages read. When authors fill their works with special features to drive the page count into the thousands, eBook readers feel like they’re getting a steal: extra content for the same price. But, for the author, ‘steal’ isn’t that far off.

 

Image Via David Gaughran

 

There have been a number of tactics to stop self-publishing abuses designed to arbitrarily inflate eBook profits, but few have actually been effective. Authors are banned from directly incentivizing reviews, but some have found a workaround: Chance Carter, a self-described “bad boy who writes about bad boys,” created a giveaway in which reviewers would earn the chance to receive a Tiffany ring. It’s clear he really is a bad boy: he nested six extra books in the back of his Mr. Diamond (the precious gem is as hard and desirable as the protagonist’s, well, you know).

This is how authors game the system: filling their publications with bonus content to artificially inflate the length of each book. It’s called ‘book stuffing,’ and it’s no game—the top scammers are making $100,000 per month.

 

Chance Carter's proposal to his followers

Image Via Medium

 

There’s some measure of justice, even if that measurement is more an inch than a mile. Bad boy Carter was banned after #tiffanygate made its way into the public consciousness… but not for long. Many suspect Carter now writes under the pseudonym Johanna Hawke, who writes about “bad boys and hotties.” He’s back with a different name… and the same game.

Well, how bad could it be if an author includes a few bonus chapters? Given that it’s far more than just a dozen extra pages: pretty bad.

 

Self-published Kindle Unlimited authors receive their income from a ‘communal authors’ fund,’ the distribution of which is largely dependant both on what percentage of a book readers complete AND how many total pages readers turn. Amazon has made limited attempts to stop this abuse of the system, enacting a rule that no more than 10% of a book can be bonus content. But many authors have circumvented this system with ‘compilations’ or ‘collections,’ allowing them to hit that 3,000 upper page limit.

This bit of ingenuity is hardly the end of these scammers’ tricks. Many such eBook authors engage in ‘mosaic book stuffing,’ the practice of repackaging previous releases into one new (and derivative) work. While some authors engage in active plagiarism, others will re-use passages of their own works, stitching together some botched Frankenstein’s monster and re-selling it to the public. Others use false links in their novel, which trick readers to skip directly to the end. These authors then get a bonus upon the novel’s completion.

It’s a cheap trick, but the consequences are costing authors who don’t engage in such deceptive policies. The communal fund is, as you may have imagined, communal. Amazon may benefit from the increased sales, and readers may appreciate the extra content. But the authors don’t—at least, not the ones who are honest.

 

Featured Image Via ElegantThemes.com

The 10 Best Things Internet Has Given Book Lovers

Happy birthday Internet! Today the Internet turns thirty-years-old. It’s been a long thirty years. In fact, I barely a remember a time before the Internet, but I’m only twenty-two.

 

The world with the word 'internet' in front of it
Image Via India Today

 

In a nutshell, the Internet has done a lot for us. Some good, some bad, but mostly it gave us neutral tools that we, as a collective, outright abused. So thank you, Internet for these 10 things you gave us!

 

10. It’s easier to buy books

 

Can you image going outside of your house and looking for a book, traversing through dark and shady bookstores, digging in trashcans looking for that one book? Well not anymore! Thanks to various sites, and the websites belonging to independent bookstores, we can now just simply type in the name of the book and find the best deal available!

Or, on the flip side, we can spend hours on the internet looking through every book in existence for the book that just catches our eyes.

Support indie bookstores though. For real.

 

A collection of several books on a shelf
Image Via The Big Game Hunting Blog

 

The only issue is having to wait to get the book. No more grabbing the book and leaving. Nope! Our primary mode of buying contains a lot of waiting.

 

9. Easier to sell books

 

A young woman showing an older woman a book
Image Via Sell Back Your Book

 

I got these piles of books and I want to get rid of them. Do I throw them out? Nah, I need some cash to buy some other books, and maybe pay off my student loans. What to do, what to do?

Well, thanks to the internet I can go online and sell the books. Millions of people just like me are looking to buy books and I might have what they’re looking for! And the odds are higher than when before the internet was around, given those millions of people I mentioned before.

 

8. Self-publishing

 

Have you written a book and you can’t just wait for the public to read it? Having trouble finding an agent or publisher? Well, self-publishing might be for you.

 

A clipboard upon which are the words Write, Edit, Design, Publish, Distribute, Market, beside of which are marked checkoxes
Image Via Editage

 

You have more creative control and, according to Editage, “Traditionally published books have a limited shelf life in the bookstore and are periodically removed to make way for newly published books. Self-published books, on the other hand, are always available in online bookstores and can be discovered and purchased months and years after the book is published.”

The cons? The bookstore’s won’t see your book unless you get traditionally published, but at least they will always be in the online store! Plus, you get immediate statistics  on who bought your book.

But be wary: There are a lot of scams out there. As with everywhere on the internet.

 

7. Traditional Publishing

Rows of books
Image Via Publishdrive

There are a lot of working parts to make a book a reality. The writer has to maintain contact with their agent, their cover designer, their editors. All these moving parts, and no easy way to stay in contact.

Not anymore. Thanks to the internet, you can just email all these people.

Haven’t been published but have a ready manuscript? Then you have to pitch your book. Back in the day writers sent out letters:

 

A ballpoint pen on an old letter
Image Via Role Reboot

No longer. Well it’s an option, but why not just email them? It’s quick, easy, and costs nothing.

 

6. E-Readers

A tablet turned on with a book ready to read
Image Via PCMag

 

In 2012 The Pew Research Center found that in February that 21% of adults in America were reading from an e-readers.

And why wouldn’t they? E-readers take up a lot less space than books, you can fit them all on your tablet, and many more books are available at the tip of your finger. As long as your tablet is charged, then you have not only one book for your commute, but an entire library.

Imagine if you had to carry your entire library with you?

A man holding a stack of books
Image Via Dissolve

 

It would only be better if the books actually read themselves to you. Oh wait…

 

5. Audible

You can buy a book and a celebrity will read it to you! It’s like when you were a kid and you had a bedtime story, except this time you’ve never met this person! Plus, all these listenable books are ready with only a touch. You can fit as many as you like in your phone, so no “My house is filled with all these gigantic books” problems.

Now when you go to the gym, you can have earbuds and listen to your books.

 

A woman on the treadmill putting headphones in her ears
Image Via Video Hive

Isn’t that great? And going off the “I’m at the gym working out and I’m reading” motif, you can read and do many other things. Multitasking for the win. Complex has you covered with a top 10 list of books you can listen to while driving.

The Times even found that “[commuters who may not have picked up a paperback since leaving university are increasingly listening to audiobooks on the way to work as it is seen as more relaxing than reading.”

The best part? All these listenable books are ready with only a touch. According to National Public Radio, “Now they’re a $1 billion industry with more than 35,000 titles published in 2013 alone.”

Unless you bought a book and it doesn’t have an audio book. Then you’re stuck to doing things the old fashioned way, like a peasant.

 

4. Podcasts

 

A image of headphones against a blue background
Image Via Wired

 

Why stop at listening to someone reading a book when you can listen to people talk about books. Podcasts have you covered.

Here The Guardian lists ten (Ten!) places where you can listen to your book talk. Reviews, discussions, podcasts have them all.

 

3. Goodreads

 

The Goodreads logo
Image Via Goodreads

 

It’s the largest site for readers. Need to know how far you are in your current book? Goodreads give you a percentage. Need to know how long you’ve been reading Game of Thrones?

All 5 Song of Ice and Fire Books together spelling out "Game of Thrones"
Image Via Juniper Books

 

Goodreads gives you the date you started. Need a book recommendation? Need to see what your friends are reading? Goodreads is the Facebook for book readers. Thank you Internet.

 

2. Fan Fiction

 

The words Fan Fiction written with a ballpoint pen
Image Via FilmFreeway

Now you can share your Harry Potter fan-fiction and you can read other people’s Lord of the Rings fan-fiction. You can flex your creative muscles, to stain those the calves of those sentences, to tighten those wordy hamstrings, training you to become the new generation of writers.

Plus you can change the ending to Game of Thrones if you don’t like it. (You might not like it.)What could be better?

 

  1. The Best Thing Ever

Are you ready?

You sure?

Be warned, this is by far the best thing the Internet has ever given us….

You sure you’re ready?

Okay.

Proceed and feast your eyes upon…

 

 

The Bookstr Logo
Image Via Facebook

Check us out!

Kindle for Kids Ad

This Amazon Kids’ Bundle Will Help Kids Complete Their Summer Reading List

Attention, parents! Summer vacation is starting sooner than you think. Your children are ecstatic! But what does this mean for you? Well, for starters, you will probably have to make sure your children actually do the required summer reading. Fortunately, Amazon thinks it has the perfect solution for you.

 

 

Amazon is offering something called the Kindle for Kids Bundle. Amazon continues to prove even more that it is the GOAT. This $99.99 bundle comes with the latest edition Kindle (you can choose the case) and a two year warranty. The Kindle itself also comes with four gigs of storage. More than enough space to hold all those books.

 

 

Bundle Image

Image Via NorCalCouponGal

 

 

But wait! That’s not all! Not only is there an almost $30 discount, it also comes with the capability to enforce something called FreeTime. It is a parent controlled progress tracker — NOICE. The parent is able to lock applications and games from being accessed by the child on other Amazon devices until they finish reading up to a certain point. Social media sites and other outlets can also be easily blocked. Your children will love you.

 

Amazon also has its own list of recommended books to read this summer (age divided categories). With Amazon and this Kindle bundle, you and your child will have a summer full of reading. Which isn’t a bad thing. Yay for summer reading. Go, You. Go, Amazon.

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon