In a recent post on his blog, David Gaughran suggested the solution to the tide of scamming is “honest authors lifting each other”.
If you’ve been following David’s journey over the past few years, you will know that he is very vocal against black hat tactics employed by some to gain an unfair advantage at Amazon.
But rather than his usual comments about reporting fake books and scamming to Amazon (since it only relates to Amazon), he suggests that “honest authors lifting each other” might be the answer.
We can’t fight the scammers, and I don’t think it’s a productive use of your time, unless, and only unless, there are very specific practices that apply to very specific companies or people.
Let’s not forget that we’re not talking about the law, but we’re talking about the Terms Of Service of a company. They can decide whatever they want. Scamming on Amazon is a problem for Amazon, not for writers.
“But they steal our positions on the charts!”
Sure, but a little birdie tells me that it’s probably a silly idea to rely too much on these charts anyway, because they can go haywire at no notice.
Honest authors lifting each other is of course exactly what cross promotion is about: building brand and trust. If I tell people on my list that author XYZ is a good egg, they’re likely to believe it. If an ad says the same, people will go yeah, right.
We have been doing this for years with cross-promotion. Companies like Bookfunnel, Prolific Works and Story Origin have made this an easy process.
And then there is the Ebookaroo newsletter and others like it, run by private authors, where books are featured free or for a return share.
There is nothing new about the concept of authors recommending their friends. It’s not just about authors recommending their mates, but it’s about them saying: try this other author. I can’t guarantee you’ll like the books, but there is a good chance you might, and I will guarantee that they’re proper books and not scamlets, and the authors are real, honest people.