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'Meet Our Authors' Forum

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Initial post: Jun 28, 2011 3:36:16 PM PDT
In May, we created the `Meet Our Authors' forum to help organize authors' promotional activity. Prior to this forum, authors left promotional posts for their books in `shameless promotion' threads scattered throughout Amazon's many forums. To help improve relevance and findability, we created the `Meet Our Authors' forum as a home for all of these various threads. Moving forward, we are asking that all authors limit their promotional posting to threads within the `Meet Our Authors' Forum. This gives authors a clear space to connect with customers who are looking for their next good read.

In just 5 weeks we have seen over one thousand discussions in this new forum! We are excited to see things taking off and appreciate all of your patience as we moved threads around.

For those of you who have not checked out the `Meet Our Authors' Forum, be sure to stop by:

- The Amazon Communities Team

Posted on Jul 7, 2011 4:20:01 PM PDT
Thank you for creating the 'Meet Our Authors' Forum as well as taking a stronger stance against self promos outside of the MOA forum. Please, please, please continue to delete self promotions posted by some of the authors outside of the MOA forum. In addition, please continue to take actions against those authors that repeatedly violate the self promo policy. Thank you.

Posted on Jul 7, 2011 7:07:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 8, 2011 9:44:08 AM PDT
"...In just 5 weeks we have seen over one thousand discussions in this new forum! We are excited to see things taking off and appreciate all of your patience as we moved threads around..."

It's because you've dumped every thread imaginable in this forum including dead threads.

Meet Our Authors Forum was a great start in the right direction but the problem with the MOA forum is you have all genres mixed together, it's simply a mess. Why not create individual:

Meet Our THRILLER Authors forum?
Meet Our ROMANCE Authors forum?
Meet Our Christian Fiction Authors forum?

As authors we want to reach our target readers. Please take this into consideration.


Posted on Jul 7, 2011 7:36:23 PM PDT
Or at least allow us to pin genre threads to the top, perhaps with a post-length and frequency rule.

I can look through a couple dozen blurbs and usually find something I want to learn more about. After three half-page posts, I usually quit looking. The long description belongs on the page with the sample. If it's all in the promo post, what reason is there to go to the page, especially if you skip the long thing? And people can't click for a free sample or purchase in a post.

Posted on Jul 7, 2011 8:02:01 PM PDT
Doug DePew says:
First of all, thank you for creating the Meet Our Authors forum. It has great potential as a way for authors to share their work with readers and is becoming a good, friendly community.

I agree with Patience and Spinner. Some pinned topics for general, broad genres would be wonderful addition to MOA. Right now, it is all jumbled up, and it makes it nearly impossible to get the most out of the forum as an author or a reader. It would be very nice if readers had a place where they could easily browse a type of book that stayed on the front page. Something like:
Find a Memoir
Find a Fantasy
Find a Christian Book
Find a Thriller

That type of thing would be wonderful! Thanks again.

Posted on Jul 8, 2011 12:43:22 PM PDT
It's true, if we want genre threads to stay on the first page in the MOA forum, we have to keep posting to keep them there. It is maddening at best. With threads that stay put, we could just list our books and chat under more interesting threads.

Most of us are happier with our own forum. However, we lost a lot of sales when you moved us. We can't blame it all on the move, but my sales dropped from 60 a day to 10 (on my first book) immediately after the move.

Please, please consider stay-put genre threads or some other remedy. It's what readers want too.

Posted on Jul 8, 2011 2:19:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 9, 2011 12:26:51 PM PDT
I had a disappointing conversation with Amazon about their "Meet Our Authors" forum. They told me I couldn't include a product link to Amazon's own web page for my blog within the signature file for my posts - even in the "Meet Our Authors" forum!

I thought that was the point of that forum - that authors could introduce themselves, and also point readers to the works that they're associated with. (It's helpful when you read someone's post in a forum if you can tell what their "credentials" are, but if you want to follow-up, Amazon's saying "No! We forbid this author from offering any directions to their work.")

What's really baffling is it's still okay for an author to include an Amazon product link in their *posts* in the "Meet Our Authors" forum. Like this...

I write the blog Me and My Kindle.

But that same link is forbidden if it appears at the *end* of that same post, in their signature file. (According to what Amazon told me this weekend...)
Jon Cog, Editor
"Me and My Kindle" blog

Posted on Jul 8, 2011 2:28:08 PM PDT
Claudia says:
As a reader, I can certainly support this idea. I used to frequent the genre forums, but the creation of the MOA in effect killed many of those genre forums, which I used to find new books in my favorite areas. With authors unable to promote their books in those forums, they've been forced to abandon posting there because they don't have enough time to post in those and the MOA forum, or because they don't feel welcome anywhere other than the MOA forum.

I think this whole thing started with a relatively few authors over-promoting their work on multiple threads within forums. In the long run, it may turn out to have been a good move; however, as a reader, it has certainly made it harder for me to find things I want to read - harder, and much more time consuming. I see the frustration expressed by many authors as a negative, as well. There was a considerable amount of 'author-bashing' going on in the Kindle forum, for example, that I thought was uncalled for. I can't help but wonder how much Amazon's move was a result of a vocal few who protested much too loudly that authors were dominating 'their' forum and should be restricted to a certain area. Is it really better to use those areas for people to have 'chat room' privileges, in effect, than for readers and authors to interact and talk about books, and your Kindle device? I don't think so.

Amazon's end goal, of course, is to sell books. That's a benefit for authors, readers, and the company. In many respects, I think this MOA creation, and the way in which it was handled, has been a negative for all three. It's harder for readers to find books they want to read, harder for authors to promote their work - both of which, I'd think, would make it hard on Amazon's profit margin. If people can't find things they want to read, they aren't buying books to read. If people aren't buying, authors aren't selling. I think this is all obvious.

It would help tremendously if there were genre threads in the MOA forum that were easily accessible and didn't disappear after a day or so of inactivity. That would certainly make it somewhat easier for me to buy more books.

I would add that I think it would help all of us too if signature lines were again allowed to serve as promotional tools including a hot link - but I'd restrict it to ONE sig line as opposed to the sig paragraphs listing multiple books that the authors who were over-promoting were using. The fact that authors can't link to their work in a sig line is something else that makes it more difficult and more time consuming for me, the reader, to find books. While it's true that a C&P of a book title isn't all that big a deal, it's also true that when you're searching for books and doing a dozen or two of those C&P actions, it is time consuming.

I'm sad to see how many authors say they've lost sales simultaneously with the creation of the MOA forum. It shouldn't be that way. I don't think that was the intent of the corporation, but I do think it is one result. I've pretty much abandoned all the other forums except for the MOA one because the authors were and are the people with whom I prefer to interact, and I'm not sure that having readers abandon the other forums was the intent of creating the MOA forum either.

Posted on Jul 8, 2011 2:41:16 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 9, 2011 12:32:24 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 8, 2011 2:42:21 PM PDT
Louise Wise says:
It's nice to meet up with other authors in MOA, but I doubt many readers go there tbh.

My genre is romance, and I do feel unwelcome in that forum. A few times I have disagreed with a some posters only to be shot down and "accused" of being a writer.

But over all people in general dislike change, so I think it needs a few more months before "true" feedback can be evaluated.

Posted on Jul 8, 2011 2:47:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 8, 2011 2:48:25 PM PDT
If all promotion efforts have to be ghettoized, it might not be a bad idea for Amazon to help direct traffic here. How about a sticky at the top of the various genre forums telling readers that they can come here to interact with authors and learn about our work?

Also, I think Amazon needs to re-think the policy of not allowing authors to post a link to their books and /or Amazon author page at the end of their posts. Perhaps limit it to a single link? There is no real difference between allowing me to type:
Author of Luminous and Ominous
Luminous and Ominous
In fact, the link takes up less space.

I understand that authors listing a long list of books is a bit too much, but how about one?

Posted on Jul 8, 2011 3:16:50 PM PDT
Amazon, please do not allow links back on the sig line. In fact, I'm one of those readers that don't even want to see the name of the book on the sig line (even without the link). IMO, it just invites some of the authors to start posting "nothing" just to get the names of their books out there again. Then we'd be back to square one.

Posted on Jul 8, 2011 5:12:49 PM PDT
Nothing? I'm posting saying nothing? Oh, I guess I am, so I can't mention . . .

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2011 5:52:26 PM PDT
Marise says:
Would it be possible to create a "Meet Our Authors' sub-forum within the genre forums? Or genre sub-forums in the "Meet Our Authors" forum? I don't mind having promo threads set aside so they don't bother readers who don't want to see them. However, the current forum is too busy and too general.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2011 6:14:42 PM PDT
Well put, Marise. A balance needs to be found between promotion clogging up conversations and 10,000 writers all squeezed into a single forum....

Posted on Jul 8, 2011 6:48:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 8, 2011 6:49:44 PM PDT
Yes, many authors have mentioned that their sales have dropped ever since the move to MOA. Mine have dropped too.

I like the idea of adding one book link to the signature block because what's the difference if you add a link or type your book? I understand this new rule applies to reviews but it should not apply to the discussion threads.

Again, we can't stress enough, we need separate genres in the MOA forums or outside. When the MOA forum was first created I had the most returns ever in one month because, I think, people purchased my book and not realizing it was not their genre. It's weird promoting a Christian Fiction alongside an erotica fiction. This is a waste of time for readers to plow through so many posts that don't interest them.

Posted on Jul 9, 2011 1:01:15 AM PDT
Kribu says:
As a reader who occasionally visits the Meet Our Authors forum, I have to agree that it would be incredibly helpful to have separate threads for genres (in addition to the general chat, book- or author-specific threads etc). I'm currently only really interested in a couple of genres and having to look through threads titled with the name of the author or the book is frustrating - I don't know these authors, I don't know what genres their books are in, so I just don't bother.

Having pinned threads for genres, with authors posting a blurb and a link, would make browsing so much more efficient and would help out both readers and authors. I realise there are very many genres, so having a thread for each subgenre would not work, but threads for at least major genres / age groups would be wonderful (e.g. mystery, romance, fantasy, scifi, young adult, children's, memoirs/biographies, literary fiction, christian fiction, non-fiction).

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2011 10:16:18 AM PDT
Thanks Kribu, it's nice hearing this from a reader!


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2011 12:26:46 PM PDT

I did not say YOU posted nothing. I said SOME authors. And I was referring to the small minority of authors that have absolutely no interest in participating in the discussion and/or no interest in being a member of the community of the particular forum. These handful of authors post comments for the sole purpose of promoting their book(s) and could care less whether they are contributing to the discussion at hand.

Posted on Jul 9, 2011 2:01:54 PM PDT
Just call me...Kelly,
Actually, I was trying to be funny. I did not take it personally. I'm sorry to have misled you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2011 2:03:43 PM PDT

Thanks for the clarification. I was concerned that you may have been offended and/or insulted when I wasn't singling anyone out. Thanks again.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2011 2:54:43 PM PDT
So I checked out the forum last week and saw that it was already filled to capacity with threads (not surprising, given that most of the posters are probably writers), and I couldn't figure out where, exactly, to hang my hat - not sure where I fit in there, you know? Is every author supposed to start their own thread for their book, or...?

Any suggestions?

Posted on Jul 9, 2011 3:03:33 PM PDT
Okay, so I just hopped onto the "Authors with Five Star Reviews..." thread - but, man, it's a little overwhelming over there...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2011 5:27:54 PM PDT
A LOT of authors....

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2011 6:25:57 PM PDT
Esse says:
I agree with Kelly. Authors are a wide and varied group and can't all be trusted to act appropriately when advertising. A few have ruined it for the many and that's unfortunate, but I think reversing the linking/signature policy would not be a good idea.
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Participants:  34
Total posts:  83
Initial post:  Jun 28, 2011
Latest post:  Feb 25, 2014

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