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Authors: are you wondering why your posts were deleted?

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Initial post: Dec 1, 2011 10:56:41 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2011 10:58:17 AM PST
As of May of this year, self-promotion is prohibited by amazon's Terms of Services, except within the Meet Our Authors forum. You will find a link to that forum by scrolling all the way down & looking in the list of Most Active Customer Discussions.

If you post self-promotion, Amazon will probably delete your post. If you are sufficiently clever that you post self-promotion under a screen name, your post may not be deleted. Nonetheless, your suggestion may be ignored, and you may find yourself on permanent ignore with some of the participants, at least.

If you spam every thread with the same recommendation, I will assume that your post is self-promotion and ignore it. I can't speak for anyone other than myself, but I suspect that I am not alone.

How are you to sell your books, then, is the question that you are probably asking yourself right now? You are invited to remain in the forum and post recommendations for books that you have read, but did not write. You are invited to engage with readers in a personal fashion that has never before been offered to authors. We, your prospective readers, are here because we love to read fantasy. Most writers are voracious readers. We have something in common already.

Convince me that you are literate and interesting and I will probably click on your profile. Put information related to your book there so I can find it. Link to an author page. If I like what I see, & if I've enjoyed our interactions, there is a good chance I will be convinced to buy your book.

It is not that you are not welcome here, it is that your self-promotion is not welcome here. There is a difference.

Thank you!

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 11:19:57 AM PST
Thanks for this post, Christine! I hope it will reduce misunderstandings and weed out the people who are here to promote books rather than enjoy discussions about fantasy.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 11:25:05 AM PST
"If you are sufficiently clever that you post self-promotion under a screen name, your post may not be deleted."

Amazon can still tell that you're the author, even if users can't. If it looks like a shill post people will still click on the report abuse button and Amazon will check it out and delete.

Figured I'd mention that, so people don't think using a screen name is a viable way to get around policy. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 11:29:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2011 11:29:21 AM PST
That's why I said "may." I've seen them go, and I've seen posts that I'm pretty sure are self-promo stick around. But, thanks for the info, Robin!

I'm frustrated with this forum. It feels like every time some progress is made and some interesting people wander in to actually talk about books, all of that progress gets drowned in a sea of self-promotion.

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 11:54:48 AM PST
I haven't posted here in a long time because I've heard that things have gotten rough and wild over at yonder Amazon forums. But, Christine, I appreciate you laying down some guidelines so that I have an idea about what's going on over here. And I hope to start participating again.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 12:00:00 PM PST
Just to be clear (not for you, but for anyone who is lurking out there & stumbles on this thread), because I, and others like me, have been repeatedly taunted, heckled, ignored and snarked at by various & sundry who think that somehow we are trying to enforce rules that don't actually exist, these aren't "Christine's" guidelines. They are Amazon's guidelines. It's Amazon's world -- we just play in it. :)

Welcome back!

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 12:05:12 PM PST
Redwithabook says:
Wonderful thread! I don't visit this forum as much as I'd like to because you guys get so many self promo authors. they drive me crazy and they seem to try it on EVERY thread over here. I hope the authors are listening!

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 12:36:58 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 1, 2011 12:38:35 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 12:39:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2011 12:42:57 PM PST
So sorry, a double post. Yes. It would seem a whole bunch of authors offended everyone, so now all the authors are exiled to the "Meet our authors" thread.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 1:20:46 PM PST
jaimilyn says:
whole bunch = an overwhelming percentage of posts were totally unrelated spamming, making the discussion forums nearly useless

exiled = promotion posts only allowed in one forum (there's a huge difference between forums and threads)

Authors are more than welcome to participate in discussions on any forum as long as they're not trying to advertise.

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 1:56:06 PM PST
Troy Smith says:
I was unaware of the change in rules, and didn't mean to offend (it was the first time I'd been on these threads in a long while.) I can certainly understand the desire to avoid a constant barrage of self-promotion, especially if folks were spammin' it up. That said, I've enjoyed the recommendations and plan to check out some of those new authors that've been mentioned.

Posted on Dec 1, 2011 7:08:48 PM PST
Apparently my DVF has followed me into the fantasy forum.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 7:49:08 PM PST
jaimilyn says:

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 7:51:46 PM PST
Down vote fairy.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 2:10:48 AM PST
ginmar says:
There. I voted you up.

Can you post this in every forum?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 5:03:00 AM PST
jaimilyn says:
Oh right, I should have known that.

And thanks to ginmar for voting up my post, the dvf makes me feel a little insecure sometimes...

Posted on Dec 2, 2011 5:51:40 AM PST
Pulpman says:
Having read all the comments I still disagree with Amazon's policy. I never saw spamming as bad as it is being described here or at other discussions. I also feel that the authors are being treated shabbily by commentators and Amazon. It is painfully obvious that since the new rules that most discussions have dried up and are not as much fun the authors did add alot to all discussions and the lack of really good active threads shows this.
I now find that most threads turn into off topic pal chats where just a few are saying rather absurd things to each other that only they know what it means, One thread I recently visited was comprised of such chatters saying just "bump" and it was no where near topic.
Just bring back the authors and see what happens I mean really was that bad that even now the banning of authors is still one of the most active discussions around!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 5:56:45 AM PST
ginmar says:
Um, do you even go here?

There are some forums NOW that consist of nothing BUT spammers relentlessly, blindly spamming. That's all. THAT'S their big contribution? That?! Let me guess. You must be a self published writer.

THE AUTHORS are being treated shabbily? Well, tell that to the readers whose conversations they stomped through.

WE'VE ALREADY SEEN WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE AUTHORS ARE AROUND. You know what? YOU may not find value in OUR discussions, but THAT'S THE POINT.

WE DO. You don't get to horn in, shill your book, and then whine that WE'RE not talking about what you want to talk about....namely you. Rather than demand the forum revolve around you, why not go seek out people who WANT to listen to you?

Posted on Dec 2, 2011 6:02:35 AM PST
C. Krofchak says:
I'm an author and I absolutely hate spam. I always skip it. And I never do it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 6:08:52 AM PST
Pulpman says:
Well glad to see that you are open minded. First I am not an author. What forums are being relentlessly spammed. I have gone through several sights and found none. Sorry you are so upset but this is a public forum set up by Amazon and I am only stating my observations.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 6:15:46 AM PST
jaimilyn says:
Pulpman, it's likely you weren't in the right forums to see the worst of it. There were literally threads that had every second or third post an unrelated drive by posting of "read my book!!". These posts made the actual discussions very difficult to follow.

Imagine it this way...

you're in a real bookstore with several friends hanging around and chatting about books you've read, or just shooting the breeze.

One of your friends says, "You know, I've really been on a wizards kick lately, any of you guys know a good wizard book?"

The rest of your group starts making suggestions based on books they've read in the past, when another patron of the bookstore overhears the discussion and says "Hey, I've written a great book, it's all about wizards and I think you'll like it!" He hands you his copy of the book and then wanders off to see what other people are talking about.

Then, someone else comes by with their book and says, "Well, there's no wizards in here, but there are some witches and zombies. You should try it anyway because I wrote it, and it's great." They also wander off.

You look around and notice that you've been surrounded by other store patrons, presumably authors trying to sell their books, because they all have a prominently displayed book in hand. And they're all getting closer, speaking at the same time in a zombie-like fashion... "Read my my my book". You notice that the books they're holding are mostly unrelated to wizards, even some gardening and non-fiction books. This is all very disruptive to the innocent conversation you and your friends were trying to have.

In this imaginary bookstore, it is totally the owner of the store's to perogative to start posting signs around the store telling authors to leave the discussion groups alone. Same with Amazon.

And I repeat from earlier - the authors are totally welcome, just don't go shoving your book in our face.

Posted on Dec 2, 2011 6:16:07 AM PST
C. Krofchak says:
Keep looking, Pulpman.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 8:47:34 AM PST
Redwithabook says:
Love how you described it! That's exactly how it is.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 9:21:25 AM PST
You can copy & paste it if you want. I already get plenty of b!tching about my spamhammer -- I'm not taking my act on the road to forums for genres I don't read. However, I hereby surrender all copyright to the OP & will allow anyone to freely, and without attribution, post it wherever they want, including the bathroom wall at a gas station. As long as you don't include my phone number. ;*)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 12:24:35 PM PST
Zen Druid says:
Couldn't agree with you more Pulpman. I've frequented numerous fora here for years and have never seen spamming as bad as is claimed by some around here. The threads are far less interesting to me without the author participation. As you say, a lot of off-topic pal chats, occasionally I can pick up some new book recommendations, but since I mostly enjoy new indie authors I have far less new recommendations to check out without any author input allowed. Bah!

Then, of course, we can have posts and entire threads by those who feel the need to post the rules every other day. How enjoyable!!
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
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Initial post:  Dec 1, 2011
Latest post:  Jul 12, 2013

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