Saturday, April 18, 2015

Gaming the Kindle

A lot of authors are finding out that people are gaming Kindle's system in a misguided effort to gain a quick advantage over their 'competition', in this case other authors.

Amazon is suing a company that, for $$$, will flood your reviews with 5stars and use bots and such to keep your 5star reviews coming up first in all the 'voted most helpful' lists. This gaming of the system started for electronics but has now moved into book. And with books they're doing it on the cheap. An author will ask all their Facebook/Twitter followers to vote a bad review 'helpful' on another author's book to move it down and themselves up in the rankings. And, of course, vote up their own 5 stars. Some authors even refer to their Facebook followers as 'their army'.

Against a King or a Potter, these tactics are useless, but against an Indie they are devastating.

Yelp was recently sued over reviews posted by 'customers' that lived 1,000s of miles away from the store they negatively reviewed.

Sadly, the only way to fight this kind of childishness is to do the same thing yourself, something I refuse to do.

It does, however, dump a bucket of cold water over whatever passion I had left for writing. What amazon and kindle are quickly becoming is not the kind of business I want to be in.

Sadly, Amazon has the tools to eradicate this, but refuses to use them. Instead, they offer a 'service' that authors can pay Amazon for, that will help neutralize it, much like Yelp offers to help businesses that have been victimized by Yelp reviews, for a small fee of $1,000 a year.

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