The New Scam Bilking Readers

On a recommendation, I picked up a <book> that turned out to be 21 (est.) pages for 99c. It was a single erotic scene, lacking much lead-in, a very long scene of affection, and then a cutesy throw-away line at the end.

Character development, plot? We don’ need none of that stuff…

That’s not a criticism…

This is.

318969-amazon-kindle-fireWhen I opened it on the Kindle Fire, there was the title and then several, many, didn’t bother to count but a *lot* of blank pages. I had to move the slider to see if I’d had a bad download or … whatever. And at 323kb total, when I finally found the beginning of the scene I was at 9%.

This is the new scam: put fillers in the front, so many of them that when you finally reach the story bit, you are at the 10% cut-off for Amazon’s KU algorithm to kick in with a payment. I pay (get bilked out of) 99c, Amazon kicks in $1.33 or whatever the “share from the pot is currently” to the author. As a business model? Hmmm.

I call BS here. And I’m getting *really* sick of the market being flooded with chapters being dubbed “books”. Not even chapters… They are “scenes” most times, mostly erotic but not exclusively.

Here’s a thought: how about putting actual word count in the Product Description, instead of the mystifying kilobyte or estimated pages.

I’m to the point where, if I see a “book” (in quotes because how the hell does 21 pages, at least 8 of which are blank, count as a book?) for 99c and it’s in Kindle Unlimited, I don’t even bother to read the blurb. I know what it is—a rip-off (not all, never all, but enough I’ve been warned off).

rip_off_marquee

How about you, fellow readers, what’s your take on this?

 

About Nya Rawlyns

Nya Rawlyns doesn’t write typical romance. She writes emotion as a contact sport, rough and often raw. It need not be pleasant, heart-warming or forever after. What she seeks is what lies beneath—a dance of extremes, the intersect of need and desire, and the compromises we make when pain and pleasure become indistinguishable. ***** She has lived in the country and on a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay, earned more than 1000 miles in competitive trail and endurance racing, taught Political Science to unwilling freshmen, and found an avocation in materials science. ***** When she isn’t tending to her garden or the horses, the cats, or three pervert parakeets, she can be found day dreaming and listening to the voices in her head.
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2 Responses to The New Scam Bilking Readers

  1. Your information isn’t quite accurate. If you paid .99 for the book, then it is not under the KU payment system. The author gets a royalty of .34 or whatever. If you borrowed the book on KU then you paid 9.99 a month to download as many as you want for free. That is when the KU payment of 1.35 or whatever kicks in. Also mind you, on the product page it gives you an estimated page count. So there is no reason to be duped into buying a super short book.

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  2. Either way, putting several blank pages in front of a “book,” book, story . . . whatever . . . is still pretty shabby. The reader thinks they’re getting a longer story, and many readers decide what they want to read based on word length. I agree with Nya, this tactic is nuts, and to have done it by “accident” (don’t think so, or you’re a horrible formatter), is not cool either. On the flip side, there are some authors who are known for doing very short serial presentations for 99 cents and are making some good money.

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