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authors: please read this post!


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Initial post: Jan 10, 2012 2:16:35 PM PST
Hi Authors,

I am very impressed by all of you - you had the determination and the dream to write a book and you had the tenacity to see your book published. That is indeed a fine accomplishment!

However, I feel that it is important to me as a reader to remind you of the rules and expectations that Amazon has given to authors. This forum is for readers to share the books they have read and to discuss these books. Therefore, I have provided you with a reminder and links to explain what the policies are about self promotion of books.

Self promotion is not permitted by Amazon, except in the Meet Our Authors forum.

A) Read the posting policy of what is and is not allowed
http://www.amazon.com/gp/forum/content/db-guidelines.html/ref=cm_cd_f_h_help

B) Read Amazon's post (that appeared on all forums earlier this year) that specifically says they are cracking down on shameless self promotions
http://www.amazon.com/forum/romance/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg1?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxM42D5QN2YZ1D&cdPage=1&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx20TWTO4E05JYM

C) Visit the Meet Our Authors forum to self promote or learn about other authors books.
http://www.amazon.com/forum/meet%20our%20authors/ref=cm_cd_topf_t?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx2UYC1FC06SU8S

I know that there are authors who are readers as well and they enjoy posting the books they are currently reading and enjoying and that is great. As a reader, I love hearing from all of you. But I do not enjoy entire threads which are ruined by constant self promotion. This does not encourage dialogue and for this reader, it does not encourage me to buy your books. I simply find it infinitely tiresome.

Thank you,
Mary Beth

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2012 4:39:14 PM PST
Misfit says:
Mary Beth, thanks for starting this and I couldn't agree more. It's become a ghost town around here. Most everyone is over at Goodreads and/or Historical Fiction Online where spamming threads is not so easy to do...

Posted on Jan 11, 2012 11:06:53 AM PST
Joe Hohmann says:
I agree with Mary Beth. I used to come here to hear what people read...and liked, not wrote and promoted.

Posted on Jan 11, 2012 12:50:54 PM PST
Elise says:
Here! Here!

Thank you, Mary. You did a beautiful job of conveying a strong message. I have soooo had it with stuck up self-promotion, that I could not have been as polite and diplomatic about it.

Maybe some of our favorite threads can get back to the way they once were.

Posted on Jan 11, 2012 7:04:45 PM PST
Selene says:
Good on you, Mary Beth. You know, I always thought the first thing you did before joining a forum was to read the FAQs section. Silly me...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2012 7:43:29 AM PST
Misfit says:
Well, the shilling stopped for 48 hours or so?

I notice our comments have picked up a healthy number of negative votes :D

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2012 1:00:50 PM PST
Elise says:
Like we really care about negative votes, right? LOL

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2012 1:05:39 PM PST
Misfit says:
They do speak volumes, don't they?

Posted on Jan 14, 2012 4:01:01 PM PST
I was actually checking some Kindle discussions and this discussion mysteriously showed up. I haven't been on the forums here for probably 6 months, in part because it seemed for every reader comment, there were 2-3 'try my book' ads that had nothing to do with the time period/subject matter being discussed.

I commend Mary Beth and her efforts to try and deal with a sensitive issue and shake my head in disbelief at the amount of negative votes received. Are the negative votes for mentioning Amazon rules and their increased efforts against abuse of self promotion or the meet the authors forum? If so direct your displeasure towards Amazon. Is it for mentioning the ? If there is something you don't like about the forum direct this to the Amazon PTB. Is it the praise over the author's efforts in writing and getting their works published? Maybe you feel this was said with sarcasm, I don't feel it was, but no matter what or how it is said, we probably can't change how you feel. Is it because she states that she, like the majority of readers, welcome and enjoy the insights of authors when they join in a discussion for the pure joy of talking books and want to have those discussions kept to that end? Maybe you are simply taking things too personal and too much as a writer and forgetting the reader in you.

This is not an attack against writers, or readers versus authors, but an effort by readers to simply discuss books with out having to worry about an ad popping up in the next post that totally sweeps away the joy of talking about books. It's like coming across a major typo or anachronism while reading, you get pulled out of the story and then have to work at getting yourself back into it. The problem with the discussions threads is readers feel they must be on guard for these check out my book ads, meaning they can never fully enjoy the discussion. In other words readers would like writers to approach these discussions as a reader first and foremost.

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 6:29:06 AM PST
Thanks Dawn! No, I was not being facetious in my comments about authors and my deep respect for them. How could I be? I am a reader and where would I be without authors to write the books that I adore!

To Misfit and all of those who have commented about the negative votes - I really do not care about those votes. I spent many years of my life as a parent and a teacher. I learned many years ago that being effective is not always about being liked! So it goes...

I am excited about the idea of the forums returning to the way they were several years ago. There used to be such wonderful discussion and sharing among readers. Some of the most wonderful books that I have read were discovered through this forum.

Again, thank you all and keep on posting and telling us what you are reading in those discussion threads!
Mary Beth

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 7:13:57 AM PST
kestergayle says:
Several message boards have been referring to negative votes and voting in general. I assume they mean people are clicking on the yes/no boxes at the bottom right of each message. But how does that actually impact anything, and how do you find the tally of votes? People talk a lot about tagging, too, and I'm completely in the dark about that. Maybe someone can help out a newbie explain how it all works, and what the signifigance is of the voting/tagging? Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2012 8:29:28 AM PST
Misfit says:
@kestergayle. Voting comments up or down has little affect, except when a comment gets a bunch of not helpful vote, then the comment is *hidden* and you'd have to click on it to see it. There's no impact towards reviewer ranking, nor is there a tally kept anywhere (at least not that I'm aware of). RE: tagging. I've never quite understood it, though I do tag or caterorize reviews on my blog and at Goodreads. Some how folks use them to find you or the book, but not quite sure how.

@Mary Beth. It would be nice to have simple book discussions here again.

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 9:27:46 AM PST
kestergayle says:
Thanks, Misfit. It does seem like a lot of work just to read and/or chat about books.

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 2:41:02 PM PST
Your more than welcome, Mary, and I too hope discussions can return to what they once were, then maybe I will return more frequently. Like you, these discussions added so much to both my enjoyment and TBR pile, including new books by authors who joined the discussions as readers.

I don't understand why people get so insulted and act so petty because we readers would like our book discussions to be kept ad free. It's sad that the few have marred not only the reputation of authors, in many readers' minds, but also the overall enjoyment and intention of the discussion threads. That is a level of selfishness I personally hope I never reach and would have no pride in doing so.

Misfit, voting on actual reviews does affect things right? If you don't know about the tagging then no one does, LOL.

kestergayle, By tagging, does it mean when something is listed as historical fiction, Tudor fiction, etc? Are people able to make up their own tags here on Amazon? I'm just curious what it is you refer to with "people talk a lot about tagging", are people somehow abusing this?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2012 3:29:11 PM PST
Misfit says:
@Dawn. Voting on reviews affects rank. I believe votes can also affect whether a review gets spotlighted or not, but again that is conjecture on my part. No one knows for sure.

Posted on Jan 16, 2012 5:39:37 PM PST
Misfit says:
Sigh. It is starting again, so I might as well bump the thread to the top. How much good it will do...

Posted on Jan 17, 2012 5:55:00 AM PST
Experience on other forums has shown me that it sadly, is a matter of constant vigilance. I wish that things were different, but so it goes....

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 7:25:20 AM PST
Misfit says:
The gals at the Romance forums have been able to keep it under control, but it is a group effort and they've had to be forceful about it at times.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2012 10:25:23 AM PST
Misfit says:
Another round of self-promos this morning. Le sigh.

Posted on Jan 18, 2012 2:51:36 PM PST
I really wish the authors, who do this self promoting in the wrong threads, would come on here and try to explain why they continue to go against Amazon rules and why they think this behavior brings them readers. I know the chances of this happening are slim but please explain your rationale, after all we are your target audience. I personally promise no rude or derogatory comments from me, I don't feel they are necessary and in fact hinder communication, and would appreciate the same in return.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2012 3:19:19 PM PST
The women on the Romance forum are 'amazons' indeed. They are utterly determined to keep the forum for readers and their methods do not always look pretty, but they are effective. I do think that their vigilance has gone a long way in keeping that forum quite readable and informative most of the time.

I noticed on another thread here, just in the last couple of days, a poster calling someone on the self promotion and that is exactly what we will all need to do in order to attempt to turn things around here.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2012 4:26:14 PM PST
Misfit says:
I agree, although the attitude you get for *gasp* doing it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2012 6:44:07 AM PST
Misfit - I understand and I sympathize. For a few years, I simply read the forums, shook my head, felt sad and did nothing. I am really not at a point in my life where I am interested in taking on issues which can easily become contentious. However, a few months ago, I reached the point where my feelings of deep annoyance out weighed my desire to not become involved in discord. I will attempt to remain polite, yet firm and believe that eventually all will be well!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2012 5:37:35 PM PST
Misfit says:
That's my problem, is that I have a problem with staying polite :)

We can try though.

Posted on Jan 23, 2012 3:46:36 PM PST
Misfit, as always understated ;~)

As I mentioned before I've stayed away since sometime early last year due to these intrusions. Why is there such contention over this issue? Why can't this be settled without all this mess? I sincerely do not understand why it has rose to this extreme, with some authors pitted against readers, don't they get that this is their target consumer? It just makes no sense to me, all we ask as readers is that the authors participate and contribute and not just leave an ad, why is that so contentious an issue?
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Historical Fiction forum
Participants:  29
Total posts:  254
Initial post:  Jan 10, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 3, 2014

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