Monday, July 13, 2015

Amazon Review Policy, NetFlix for Books Models Want You to Read Less, and The Circle of Friends Series Release

First, I am proud to announce the release of my series in a boxed set. Newly revised and edited, at the $8.99 price readers are getting 5 books for the price of 3. If you like contemporary stories with a positive twist, prepared to be inspired!

The Circle of Friends Series by L. Diane Wolfe
Ebook ISBN 9781939844125
New Adult/Young Adult

Get inspired to achieve your dreams!
Book I...Lori - Driven by Olympic dreams, the swimmer appears destined for success. But something is holding her back. Can the star quarterback help Lori break free and achieve her dreams?
 Book II...Sarah - There are no rewards for second best. Estranged from her father, envious of her best friend’s perfect life, Sarah’s unable to measure up to expectations. Can a future NFL receiver with baggage of his own make a difference?
Book III...James - Haunted by a troubled past, he’s determined to break free of the abuse and start a life with Maria. When a life-changing crisis erupts, James nears the breaking point. Can he find peace before the mistakes of his father destroy him?
Book IV...Mike - A prisoner of guilt for so long, he’s consumed with condemnation and unable to forgive himself. When Danielle enters his life, he can no longer hide the past. Will she be able to reach him or is Mike past the point of redemption?
Book V...Heather - When confidence turns to frustration, she finds her dream of coaching basketball tarnished. Heather struggles with a dying father, a troublesome sister, and a cocky player. Can Mark help the feisty woman survive?

There is a campaign right now to change Amazon’s "You Know This Author" policy. Since many fans follow their favorite authors online, this can be misconstrued as a personal relationship. And even if the reader knows the author, why should that review be any less legit? (Granted this sometimes results in inflated 5-star reviews, but you can’t discount them all.)

To add your name to the petition - Change the "You Know This Author" Policy

Another policy of Amazon’s I wish they would change is their return policy. They are the ONLY one who allows ebook returns. (And that after a whole 7 days.) Many people abuse this system by either downloading a book long enough to read it or to gain “Verified Purchase” status. With digital purchases, there should be no returns.

What do you think about either of those policies?

I found this interesting article on Wired:

Netflix-Like Book Services Would Be Happy if You Read Less

These services are more successful the less people read. However, romance readers are voracious readers. And for these companies, that’s bad.

According to the article:

But in a recently leaked letter, San Francisco startup Scribd revealed the company was planning to pull thousands of romance titles because their popularity was costing the company too much money.

...Scribd and its closest competitor Oyster pay publishers a sum of money each time “a fair portion” of a book is read. That and the fact that both Scribd and Oyster offer valuable reader data made for apparently sweet deals for publishers, who have lined up behind these services. But the deal in the end wasn’t so sweet for Scribd.

“We bore the majority of the risk when establishing a business model that paid publishers the same amount as the retail model for each book read by a Scribd subscriber,” the company noted in its letter. When readers read too much, as romance readers apparently did, the costs become too much to bear. Which points to a funny irony for e-book services: as long as they pay publishers every time a book is read, their businesses are more successful the less people read.

Is that not ironic?

Finally, I have been working to update the Conferences, Workshops, Etc. and Publications page at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group site. We now have a full list of conferences, conventions, workshops, festivals, retreats, and seminars. There are still more to add, so I will continue working on it this summer.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Congratulations on the box set! Great news. :)

I think Scribd would have done much better to simply offer tiered pricing for heavy users. :(

H. R. Sinclair said...

Congrats on the box set!

I didn't know about the "you know the author" thing. I'll have to check that out. I don't like that they allow 7 days to return an ebook. A few hours, okay, you might have hit the download button by accident, but past that, no.

Anonymous said...

I will have to check out your box set. I signed the petition. I disagree with the return policy. I returned books a few times within minutes because I realized I already had the print book or some other solid reason. That's really cheating the author that some people read the book and then return within a week.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

You've done a great job on the new page. Hope the boxed set is a hit. I've heard that about the Scribd. It is ironic and was very short-sighted of them. I thought everyone in the industry knew that about romance readers.
Susan Says

Bish Denham said...

Food for thought here. I have to look into the petition and the return policy for ebooks sucks.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Holly and Medeia, no one else allows the return of ebooks, which really makes it unfair.

Thank you, Susan.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations on the release!
I signed that petition last week.

cleemckenzie said...

I've signed the petition for "you know the author" and sent out emails to a lot of my followers. We only need a little over 2000 signatures to make our presence felt.

I wasn't aware of the return policy. Heck in 7 days you can read three books!

Thanks, Diane.

nashvillecats2 said...

Congratulations Diane hope the boxed set sells well. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I've had a dozen or so returns of my Kindle titles over the past few years. Amazon's policy makes it easy for stingy customers to read an eBook cover to cover for free without joining Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited.

Kelly Steel said...

Congratulations on the box set! Great news.

Amazon has been deleting my reviews all the time so I've stopped posting now.

Anonymous said...

The box set looks great! I didn't know that about Amazon. I wouldn't even have considered returning an e-book. If they just want to 'borrow' a book to read, isn't that what the library is for? Our libraries in Canada do offer e-book loans. It isn't a sale, but at least it is an honest 'purchase to read.'

dolorah said...

Hope your box set does well :)

I would be in trouble if not allowed to post reviews for authors "I know." It doesn't matter what the system or service, some people will always abuse it. But I think more people use services honestly. It is discouraging that a company that seems to encourage readers to write reviews makes it so difficult to love an author. Regulating books and readers is getting out of control.

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations on the box set, wishing you much success with it. Amazon tends to have some strange policies.

J E Oneil said...

Congrats on the release!

The "You Know This Author" thing is ridiculous. If you follow an actor on Twitter, it doesn't mean you know them any more than an author. And why shouldn't you be allowed to review a friend's book?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Lee, you were the one who brought it to my attention. Thank you.

Milo, yes it is.

Lynn, I would never return an ebook either.

ELAdams said...

I signed the petition. I've been having trouble with Amazon deleting reviews from genuine readers for years - my close friends and family don't even have accounts on the US Amazon site!

Congratulations on the box set!

Jo said...

Congratulations on the release Diane. Way to go.

Re ebooks, I do think being able to return them within, say, 24 hours is a viable thing. I have downloaded a book accidentally and realised it was the wrong one. But no, 7 days is just inviting trouble.

klahanie said...

Hi Diane,

Congrats on your release, um the release of your series in a boxed set. I shall duly share the good news via all those social "notworking" sites.


Yolanda Renée said...

Love the boxed set, congratulations!

Did not know about the petition, (in the middle of edits) but sign, thanks for posting about it. Amazing that ebooks can be returned. I can understand if it's within the first 12 hours, but longer than that - just stupid and totally unfair to the author.

Denise Covey said...

Your boxed set looks and sounds amazing. I'm thinking it would be good for high schoolers to read. Will order myself a copy and do a pre-read.

That Amazon returns policy is ridiculous. Imagine taking a book back to a bookshop after a week and saying you didn't like it. Take it back. The only time it should work is if you clicked on a book by mistake and then return it instantly.

Denise :-) said...

First, big-time congratulations, Diane! Your book series looks and sounds like great fun.

Are you kidding? I never heard of "You know the author." Of course authors know each other. The writing/author community is relatively small and we artists have to encourage each other. If we don't, who will? I'm also in full agreement with you on ebooks. One whole wk offers plenty of time to finish and return. Why return something that you only spent a buck or two on anyway? They shouldn't allow returns at all. It completely unfair to authors. In other words, thanks for the info. I'm going to add my name to the petition. said...

First, big-time congratulations, Diane! Your book series looks and sounds like great fun.

Are you kidding? I never heard of "You know the author." Of course authors know each other. The writing/author community is relatively small and we artists have to encourage each other. If we don't, who will? I'm also in full agreement with you on ebooks. One whole wk offers plenty of time to finish and return. Why return something that you only spent a buck or two on anyway? They shouldn't allow returns at all. It completely unfair to authors. In other words, thanks for the info. I'm going to add my name to the petition.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on your boxed set. And it doesn't seem fair that people should have a week to return an e-book. So easy for them to read it and then not pay.

Dean K Miller said...

Awesome news on the boxed set!

Every day something changes in the ebook (and paper books) world and it seldom seems to be in the author's favor. But our time will come.

Karen Lange said...

Congratulations on the series! Wishing you much success. Don't care for those Amazon policies either.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane - congratulations on the boxed set - I love the cover .. clever. I signed the petition ... and watch with interest the book / author developments ...

Good luck - cheers Hilary

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Your books sound excellent, the kind I'd have steered my teen readers to when my kids were that age. I disagree with both of these Amazon policies but I can see why they started the review policy as it protects against trolling as well.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Congrats on the box set!
Best of luck with it!
So cool!

Thanks for the other info as well!

I need to check that list of workshops!


Chrys Fey said...

Congratulations again!!!! :)

I hate that Amazon policy. I've had at least one review not able to go up because the reviewer knows me...and is a family member...but this person actually read my story and had intelligent things to say. Hopefully they change this. A review is a review. That should make them happy.

Jemi Fraser said...

You can return ebooks? That's nuts!
Off to sign!

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats on the boxed set!

I don't agree with either policy, although so far the author reviews one hasn't affected the reviews I post or those on my books. With the inside view feature, there's no reason for anyone to return an ebook, except in cases of accidentally purchasing it. Those one-clicks on touch screens can be brutal, but that doesn't require seven days to return.

Romance Reader said...

Congratulations on the box set! Exciting!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Sweet box set L! It's ironic about the Scribd letter but it shows they have a flawed business model.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Jo, it does invite trouble.

Denise, thank you. It is good for older teens.

Robyn, it baffles me that someone would go to the effort to return a book that only cost a couple dollars.

Cherie, it only require a couple minutes to realize you ordered the wrong book.

Stephen Tremp said...

Diane, I just got back from navigating through the IWSG site and it looks great! Lots of tabs with great information and links. I'll have to do some shout outs for the Website this week to my many Facebook writer groups.

And good luck with your Box Set!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Diane - I'm new to your blog. I popped over to the petition and signed it. Thanks for the info.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Congratulations on your book!
And . . . the business model for books and pages read is sadly ironic.

Ella said...

Congrats, Diane! I am thrilled for you and off to check them out~

Thanks for the update~