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Amazon is moving threads to the Meet Our Authors forum


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Initial post: May 17, 2011 1:27:28 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
Really fascinating, and pretty smart.

Amazon recently started a new forum where authors can promote their works (and chat with readers, of course). In conjunction with that, they are banning "shameless self promotion" (their words) on this and other forums.

Someone recently started a thread here...and I noticed in my "Recently Viewed Discussions" that it was now in that other forum!

There is a notification there that Amazon moved it.

The only problem is that there are posts in the thread now reporting it for abuse. It was arguably abuse when posted, but isn't now. The posters who did that might want to consider editing those comments...but I can see where there is an argument not to do that. It's just confusing to see it there.

http://www.amazon.com/forum/meet%20our%20authors/ref=cm_cd_np?_encoding=UTF8&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx25QSZ1G5XLUK1#CustomerDiscussionsNew

(Amazon thread relevant to the discussion)

Bufo Calvin
Amazon Author Central page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002E0NBIW

Posted on May 17, 2011 1:43:32 PM PDT
Honeywell says:
That post violated the old and new rules for self promotion so I think it's pretty clear--it certainly was abuse and the comments reflect that. Authors and fans can buy his book in solidarity over how mean, cruel and unfair it all is and customers who are fed up with the self promotion appreciate the heads up. *shrugs* No confusion here.

Posted on May 17, 2011 1:48:58 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
However, Honeywell, I don't think it violates the rules over in that other Amazon forum. That's why it seems confusing. It's a bit like reviews that criticize a book for having a high price...and that remain there after the price is lowered.

Bufo Calvin
Amazon Author Central page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002E0NBIW

Posted on May 17, 2011 2:02:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 17, 2011 2:04:56 PM PDT
Honeywell says:
But I still feel antagonistic towards the self promotion whether someone came behind him and cleaned up the dump he took on the forums or not. And while I can appreciate that you're a good, aww shucks, give 'em a break kind of guy I'm not. I *want* to know the origins of the thread so I can hold it against him forever and ever. Hence, no confusion. :)

ETA:
I'm also not confused by reviews complaining about high prices even if the price has since dropped. It's perfectly clear to me that the price was once higher in those situations.

Posted on May 17, 2011 2:04:57 PM PDT
Moe Zilla says:
Bufo, it's good to see you're still posting in this forum! I'd worried that some people might wonder if Amazon's new rules applied to the "signature" lines at the end of your posts (and my posts)...
___
David Cassel, Editor
"Me and My Kindle" blog

Posted on May 17, 2011 3:13:23 PM PDT
Claudia says:
I think some of us are a bit dismayed by this recent action. I enjoy interacting with authors and discussing books, but to be told that interaction has to be restricted to a certain venue seems to grant a boon of sorts to the big publishers while sentencing the indie authors to a sort of nether-world which may or may not be frequented by as wide an audience as the main forum. I think a lot of how it shakes out remains to be seen, but I rather liked things the way they were.

Then again, I confess to being an old dog who doesn't adapt well to new tricks, and perhaps I'm one of the very few who will miss the ease with which I've been able to connect with some people in the past.

Posted on May 17, 2011 7:29:51 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 18, 2011 5:33:16 AM PDT]

Posted on May 17, 2011 7:41:28 PM PDT
Emerald says:
<<Why should I have to go to some special forum in order to chat just because I'm also an author?>>

You just can't promote outside of the Meet the Author's forum. You can certainly chat. Probably you'll want to chat without a book link, as that's promotion.

<<restricted to a certain venue seems to grant a boon of sorts to the big publishers while sentencing the indie authors>>

Any author, whether published by a big-name or self-published, or a even published by real indie publishers, is subject to the same rules. There is no bias against the self-published. Nobody is being victimized.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2011 7:45:52 PM PDT
No one ever said authors couldn't post on any thread(s) they want. The only caveat is that promoting their books is kept on one area. If that's all you have to talk about, then yes, you are being limited - by your own refusal to take part in real conversations.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2011 8:08:49 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
David, I was previously told by Amazon that including the Amazon Author Central page was okay. I know this new forum represents a shift, but I think it will continue to be okay to list the Amazon Author Central (AAC) page. I don't promote particular items by including it...people can choose to go find out more about me or not.

I haven't posted on the other forum yet...I might, but it makes me a bit uncomfortable for some reason. I already have a forum on my AAC page...I'm thinking I'm okay with people using that. I'll think about it, though, as it evolves.

I don't see how this favors tradpubs (traditional publishers) over indies (independents), personally. Everybody has the same rules there. Tradpubs didn't tend to post here, but indies posting promotional threads here still feels new to me...and seemed to be against the Guidelines to me.

J.R., I don't see that this changes in anyway you talking to people on this forum...just not doing self-promotion here, which seems reasonable to me. Again, I think that doesn't include the Amazon Author Central page, but I'm sure they'll clarify that. Anyone with a title in the Kindle store can get an AAC page, I believe...you start here:

http://authorcentral.amazon.com

(Amazon page relevant to the discussion)

Bufo Calvin
Amazon Author Central page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002E0NBIW

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2011 9:32:09 PM PDT
Claudia, authors are still more than welcome to participate in the discussions in this forum. They just can't promote their books here. There are some authors who have participated on this forum for a couple years or more who pretty much never mention their books. They just like to gab like the rest of us.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2011 9:33:51 PM PDT
M. Ratcheson says:
I've seen you in dozens of threads, J. R., and I know you mostly post as a reader. I've never seen you post anything off the topic of a thread to promote your books. I really hope the people at Amazon don't think including a simple link to a book in a sig constitutes shameless self promotion, that's carrying it a bit too far, imo.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2011 9:46:30 PM PDT
"As an author, I have to say it has made me feel thoroughly unwelcome on these forums. I am also a reader. Why should I have to go to some special forum in order to chat just because I'm also an author?"

You don't have to go to another forum to chat, just to promote.

You have helped to contribute to the situation by doing things like posting about your books twice in less than a month in a thread that specifically states it's for books from publishers and self-promotion is not allowed there. You never even had the courtesy to go back to that thread after you posted, or you would already know this.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2011 10:10:12 PM PDT
@J.R. Tomlin:
Okay...we hear you...you are upset.... But behaving like a petulant child is going to do nothing but to damage your good name and reputation. In addition, why are you including the sig line when you know it is against the new policy??? It's almost like you are daring Amazon to delete your post. I spent most of this afternoon over at the Authors Forum lurking, posted a few hellos over there, and noticed on few of the threads where you posted your displeasure. Do you think I am the only reader that went over to the Authors Forum to check things out? Absolutely not. I saw many readers over there posting hellos and interacting with authors.

As for me, I actually was so impressed with one of the authors that I downloaded two of his books today. This is an author that I've seen in the Kindle forum many times but I never looked into his books before because it's not a genre that I normally read. But his sense of humor in his postings sooo impressed me that I wanted to read his work. I would imagine that I'm not the only person who's discovered new authors/books this way.

Please, J.R., try to get past your anger and do something positive that will garner you a slew of new customers like your fellow authors are doing over at the Authors forum.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2011 10:10:13 PM PDT
M. Ratcheson says:
Yes, sorry, now that you mention it, I did see one of those posts and I guess I forgot about it. I probably haven't been around long enough to fully appreciate the potential impact of those messages on a conversation. But I've also seen J. R. simply participate in a number of other threads.

My main concern is that a simple link in a signature, should not be considered to be some kind of infringement, assuming the message is on topic.

Posted on May 18, 2011 5:20:48 AM PDT
Debi says:
I'm not liking it much, but I imagine it'll work itself out.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2011 5:34:00 AM PDT
@M. Ratcheson:
The ONLY reason an author would have a sig line is to promote his/her book. Regardless of whether the author's posting is on topic or not, the sig line is there so that everyone would see the name of his/her book. I know a number of regular contributors that are authors, but they never mention their books and they never have a sig line. As a reader, I see the sig line as a self promo and feel like it is going against Amazon's policy. But I guess every author has to decide for themselves whether to push the envelope or not.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2011 5:55:02 AM PDT
Amazon's new rules do not prohibit self-promotion outside of their new forum. They prohibit SHAMELESS self-promotion. There's a big difference between the two, and it'll ultimately be Amazon that makes the call on where to draw a line.

IMO, a signature link in an otherwise on-topic post is self-promotion, of course, but I'd hardly call it 'shameless'. A totally OT post plugging their book is very much 'shameless'.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2011 6:03:01 AM PDT
@SingleEyePhotos:
This is part of their official announcement...
"With the advent of the new community, we will no longer allow self promotional posts in other communities."

IMO, self-promotion is a self-promotion is a self-promotion. Just like the saying, "If it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, then...." But as you said, ultimately Amazon has the final say since it is "their home".

Posted on May 18, 2011 6:25:37 AM PDT
I think this is like dividing a restaurant up into a non-smoking and smoking section. Or actually, into a non-smoking restaurant, and a place out in the alley by the dumpster for smoking. :-) Since nobody even knows where the new author's forum is, without looking around for it.

Posted on May 18, 2011 6:31:31 AM PDT
TravelingGal says:
I thought this was a great idea but they dumped all of the Paranormal Romance forum threads, starting in March, into the Meet the Authors forum. This included many threads where there was no self-promo at all. If they are getting rid of the genre forums, I am not going to be happy.

Posted on May 18, 2011 6:32:42 AM PDT
G Jaros says:
IMHO, a simple signature link is not shameless self-promotion. Restrained self-promotion maybe, proud self-promotion? I think the signature links should stay!

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2011 6:38:32 AM PDT
@G Jaros:
Amazon isn't just banning "shameless self-promotions" -- they are banning ALL self promotions in all of the forums except in the Authors Forum. This is from their announcement..."With the advent of the new community, we will no longer allow self promotional posts in other communities."

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2011 6:45:25 AM PDT
Mary Jane says:
..."With the advent of the new community, we will no longer allow self promotional posts in other communities."

I take that to mean that the author cannot start a self promotional thread. It doesn't say anything about a signature link.

Posted on May 18, 2011 6:50:28 AM PDT
Just a question because I'm curious. I'm not an author, so this doesn't apply to me, but I noticed it on another posters name..... They changed their profile name to read : Jane Doe author of xxxxxx xxxx.
Does anyone else see this as a ridiculous way to get around Amazons TOS and does anyone else fear that this will start a trend?

Just a question and looking for some opinions...
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  61
Total posts:  309
Initial post:  May 17, 2011
Latest post:  Nov 30, 2012

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