Eleanor Xander and the Awakening of the Power - Adam Thomson

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Mark Seldek, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say no. It doesn't have an Amazon sales rank:


    By comparison, here is the same area for the first self-published book that came to mind (The Abject God by @ABatch ):

  2. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    I wonder if @Mark Seldek would be willing to provide a free copy to any of us for an 'honest' review?
  3. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    If I was that kind of a glutton for punishment, I would've taken Robert Stanek up on his offer a few years ago. (Yeah, he emailed me about posting a book review on Ammy. I "forgot" to reply. And by "forgot," I mean I mocked him here and deleted his message...)
  4. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Somebody please explain the following Amazon phenomena to me:

    13,044 reviews...Hugh Howie Wool 75% 5 star 17% 4 star

    9,499 reviews...George R.R. Martin 74% 5 star 14% 4 star

    1,463 reviews...Robin Hobb Assassins Apprentice 61% 5 star 23% 4 star

    Now...stand behind my back, piss on my shoulder some more, and tell me it's raining.. tell me how these guys like Hugh Howie aren't crooked. Believe what you like. :rolleyes: I fully expect him to be #1 on Ben's next installment of top 50 best epic fantasies. :lurking:* Do you really believe Amazon polices them as some claim? Seems to me like they turn their heads when there is money to be made.

    There are many more examples from that list. But people will still say "no writer would stoop to..." How about relative unknowns with 100 reviews and almost 100% positive 4 or 5 star? (Mostly 5 star).Maybe they didn't "break any rules" but they have a whole lot of biased friends and relatives giving "honest" reviews.

    Just one man's opinion. Take it FWIW. Everyone has one opinion on a matter and one a-hole on their body. Sorry. I'm in a foul mood tonight from unrelated matters. :mad:

    *Credit given to @Silvion Night 's for this suggestion of a "sarcasm smilie". Love it.
  5. ABatch

    ABatch Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Well, sir, that's pretty compelling evidence. Hard to disagree with what you've posted.
  6. ExTended

    ExTended Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    If we focus on the bigger picture - Amazon is the biggest online shop because of their returning customers.

    Having a catalog consisting of pretty much most of the traditional published books in the world and most of the self-published books in the world, do you think they'd risk a customer with stupid short-term tactics like "Let's sell him one book with inflated reviews and piss him off our website, instead of selling him 20-50-100 books of established authors with real reviews in the next year and in the years after?"

    They might not be 100% perfect in their removal of fake reviews, but every algorithm has its flaws and imperfections.

    But seriously, implying that they'll tolerate shitty books for the sake of it - cannot happen. It's not good business and Amazon are all about good business. That;s their bread and butter and what not.
  7. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    It's pointless to obsess about these numbers, and to treat paranoid suspicions as facts to be debated. You can't ever know the truth so stop wasting time and effort to do so. Is the book good? Did it provide you with enjoyment and other positives? That's the bottom line and the only thing you can know for sure.
  8. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    Agree entirely. I think Howey is a great author, and if I'm honest i don't give a toss if he's been a bit naughty. It won't stop me reading anything else from him.
  9. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

    I'm honestly surprised by your take on this, @kenubrion , and by your agreement with it, @TomTB. It matters when authors cheat like that (and get away with it) because it makes Amazon reviews and Goodread reviews essentially worthless. If Howey is a great author, how the hell am I supposed to know it? By his fraudulent reviews?
    We can only know for sure once we've read the book? Why can't we go to the review pages and "know for sure" what other people thought after they read the book?

    I get @ExTended 's take, that it's harder than ever to create fraudulent praise for self-published books and that it's not as big of a problem as it once was. I get @Darth Tater 's take, that it's actually still a problem and some authors are still benefiting from fraudulent reviews. Those two things can both be true. Stanek got caught, but Howey and others didn't. I can also accept that some of the bad actors are actually decent (or even good!) writers. What I can't accept is that we should just ignore, forget, and forgive the bad actors.

    Do you really believe this? Authors can't be caught doing unscrupulous things? Isn't it painfully obvious sometimes? Like... the OP of this thread? Or the Stanek reviews?
  10. Davis Ashura

    Davis Ashura Listens to The Unbeliever whine about life

    100% agreed. At the end of the day, that's all that matters to me, too.
  11. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Yep! See, people will believe as they wish. "Well, there is no proof" Well, OK. "There IS proof". "So, who cares".? :hilarious: That's a weak cop out. I guess we can end most discussions in that manner. As I said earlier that just because an author cheats doesn't mean his book sucks. If you want to talk about "who cares", that is fine but it is a different debate and highly subjective. But guys who play by the rules get screwed. Again, sorry to the guys like A Batch who suffer. Most here love his work. If he pays for reviews and uses sock puppets I for one will NOT read his book as planned. Right now, if you didn't know A Batch would YOU buy HIS book over a guy with over 13, 000 reviews who kicks ass over Martin and Hobbs? I know..."So...who cares"...:rolleyes: .
  12. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Really? As you are an author, who in all likelihood loses some sales due to this stuff, I find your magnanimous attitude most curious but highly commendable. If you have 100 authentic reviews (not everyone will love your book) and anoter guy has 200 glowing fakes that show he's a better author than even the greats, I believe most people who "don't care" about integrity or don't catch the cheats will buy their book over yours.

    If enough people couldn't care less, these authors who got rich by fraudulent schemes should be trailblazers to all authors. But it is the way of the world, and I am not sure I blame them for doing it even though I don't like it.

    It increases the sales of their books. Doesn't matter who suffers. Either the sucker who buys a book that may be crap or the sucker author who is too "dumb" to use the system to their benefit.
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  13. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    All I can say is that i read 5 Howey books before I found our about his questionable antics, and thoroughly enjoyed every single one of them. Hence my agreement with Ken. Knowing what i know does not impact my opinion in the slightest, nor will it impact my decision to read more of his books, because I like his style and like his books!
  14. Davis Ashura

    Davis Ashura Listens to The Unbeliever whine about life

    It's not magnanimous. It's simply knowing that it's a battle I can't win, and one that I can't waste time trying to win. I write. That's what I want to do well. I hate marketing. That's what I do poorly. There are writers who write worse than I do but market better and sell more. But I'm not going to assume that those who sell better than me are doing so through deceitful methods simply because some guy says so.
  15. ExTended

    ExTended Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    @Darth Tater - you are putting too much stock on reviews numbers when it comes to the author's viewpoint. The reason most authors don't fret over how many reviews author X has compared to them it's because at the end of the it doesn't matter that much.

    Most of the self-publishing marketing revolves around getting the right people to your books, having the right triggers that would make them buy. If they do not buy now - they won't come back later and say "you have 100 reviews, but guy B have 101, so you can go .... yourself".

    You sell books thanks to your covers, your blurbs( premises), your preview 10% of the text and yes - your reviews too. But if you have 'enough' reviews, people will concentrate on the more important stuff instead - how THEY feel about the combination of your cover + blurb + excerpt.

    You pay 5 or 10 cents to bring an interested reader to your book - you have a few seconds to gain his attention and curiosity, then a small window of time to convince him of the quality of your book and then if that person closes your link, he is as good as gone.

    Sure, some people would scroll in Amazon and judge the books they scroll around partially on the numbers of reviews, but I don't know anyone who would buy a book because it has a certain number of reviews as the lone factor for that decision. If a book has like 25 reviews - I'd give it chance. I'd be equally wary of a boo having 7 000 reviews and a book having 25 reviews.

    As part of my work sometimes I'd post as many as a thousand new ads for the day( in FB). The social proof there is important for how people would perceive an offer. A post without likes and comments could still do well, when you get your likes into the two and three digits it usually performs better. But after that initial treshold is passed, whether the post has 500 likes or 2 000, things don't change that much - from a marketing standpoint, the effect of the herd is much more easily achieved and exhausted than what most people would have thought.
  16. Davis Ashura

    Davis Ashura Listens to The Unbeliever whine about life

    My last reply comes off as pretty snarky, and I'm going to apologize for it.

    The thing is, I get what Darth is saying, and I don't mean to minimize it. No one wants to be played for a sucker. I don't, either. I guess it's a matter of figuring out who you think is trying to do that vs. who's just writing good books and got lucky that their book took off. I'm more in the camp that a person got lucky rather than were unethical. If I didn't think of it that way, I'd spend too much time being frustrated and angry.
  17. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    I took no offense. No apology is called for. I speak bluntly and appreciate when others do. Easier to understand where people are coming from.

    I know you don't want to waste time thinking about it because you're helpless to stop it and I understand it. You will drive yourself crazy worrying about it. It doesn't mean that it is not harmful. IMO, it'sgood that you don't waste energy on it. I respect that. Somebody like me would dwell on it and that is unhealthy.

    Robert Stanek. Buffoon who got rich on garbage. Reviews matter.

    But like everyone else, you are entitled to your opinion. I just don't agree with the way you have interpreted data.

    Tom, I am not implying that his books aren't really good. I believe you. Better than all the legends? I sincerely doubt it. Personally, I do not like his methods and refuse to reward him. I buy books from authors I would not invite over to dinner. However, I draw the line in the sand when I see this stuff. It does not make me correct and it does not make me more moral than you. I'm merely pointing out that a lot in that article is true. It comes off to me like it is an angry disgruntled person who may be jealous of those who have had great success. However, if the person made up all of that stuff, then that is pretty ingenious and you would think they would write a book, if they have not already, and use those methods. Doesn't matter if it's crappy like Stanek. What if the person who started this thread actually wrote a great book? We know it is not true but hypothetically. From your posts, I think coming onto a forum as a sock puppet is where you choose to draw your personal line because I take it you would not buy his books no matter how great they were?
  18. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    I dunno. Imagine if this dude was actually a brilliant author, and after years of mediocre sales and very dodgy marketing techniques, it turned out he'd written a modern fantasy masterpiece, and went on to get signed up by a major publisher and write a plethora of big selling well received books.

    Not gonna happen I know, but I'd probably not 'not read his book out of principle' because he was a jerk in an internet forum in a former lifetime!
  19. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Well, we both agree that there isn't a snowballs chance we will ever know for sure. What's important to me is that we agree I will love the Expanse series you highly recommend. I enjoyed 5 of 6 books in your Old Mans War series as a nice change of pace light reading.

    Admittedly, when a tosser is on a favorite sports teams I root like hell for him. Or when he is a known jerk on the field, we love him because he's OUR jerk!. :facepalm:

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