Amazon’s Biggest Single Day Loss … of Reviews by Its Top Ranking Reviewers

This is the weirdest day in Amazon’s history. Tens of thousands of reviews on books and other products alike by multiple top ranking reviewers got deleted this afternoon in a single sweep. Top ranking, hall of fame reviewers such as Grady Harp and J. Chambers, along with many others, all fell victims to this inexplicable, unannounced move.

If you have a book that had a review from one of those victimized top reviewers, well, tough luck! If you browse to your bookmarked review page, you are likely to see Amazon’s not-so-pretty 404 page:

amazon_404

What happened? Is this an intentional purge? If so, why did Amazon bite on the the very hand that feeds it? Or is it a algorithms jam that caused a internal server crash?

The jury’s still out. In the meantime, Amazon is still Amazon, just a few hundred thousands of reviews less!

 

 

ありがとう!Thank You Japan, for Making My Book the #1 in Kindle Store

How to Make Tofu at Home [Kindle版]

How to Make Tofu at Home [Kindle版] #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle洋書 > Health, Mind & Body > Diets & Weight Loss

Wow, I woke up this morning to discover that my humble little book “How to Make Tofu at Home” is the #1 seller in Amazon.co.jp Kindle store under three categories:

I’m totally flattered. Who’d ever thought? I mean this is Japan, where the average housewife probably already knows how to make tofu at home. But hey, I will take it.

And thank you Japan!

How to Make Tofu at Home [Kindle版] #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle洋書 > Health, Mind & Body > Diets & Weight Loss

How to Make Tofu at Home [Kindle版] #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle洋書 > Health, Mind & Body > Diets & Weight Loss

 Here’s the book’s page on Amazon.co.jp: http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B00IM10AB8.

The same book on Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/1g8ay4X.

 

 

Fortune Loves Company: Two Books of Mine Become Hot New Releases on Amazon

two_books_by_m_eigh_become_hot_new_releases

Two Books by M. Eigh Become Hot New Releases on Amazon

Some times the wind breaks in my favor. Today is one of those days. Both How to Get Unlimited Free Traffic Everyday (2.0) and How to Automate Everything You Do on the Web (2.0) are sitting pretty in the catbird’s seat: They are the # 2 and #3 Hot New Releases under “Internet Web Browsers” category on Amazon.

If you market your product on the web or simply blog and are anxious to get visitors, you owe yourself to check them out:


No. 3 Hot New Release under “Browsers” on Amazon How to Get Unlimited Free Traffic Everyday (2.0)

How to Get Unlimited Free Traffic Everyday (2.0)

How to Get Unlimited Free Traffic Everyday (2.0)As God is my witness, I will never pay a penny for traffic again!

What’s your website’s daily pageview count like? Not completely satisfied, or not satisfied at all?

You’re not alone. Millions of quality websites out there are like spinsters sitting in the corners of singles’ party, pining for some attention. On the web, attention can only come in one form – traffic. That’s why a site is rated by search engines by its daily pageview count, among many other things.

No. 3 Hot New Releases: How to Get Unlimited Free Traffic Everyday (2.0)

No. 3 Hot New Releases: How to Get Unlimited Free Traffic Everyday (2.0)

This book teaches you how to roll up your sleeves and generate unlimited FREE traffic, with the help of a great bot you can download free, while many others are still dishing out their hard-earned money to pay for traffic.

You will be excited about the prospect of an improved search engine ranking after you read my book. But what’s revealed in this little book is just the tip of the iceberg. In the battlefield of web marking with web bots, what you learn in this book is a beginner’s game. If you are serious about web marketing and you mean it when you say you want to sell your books or other products on the web, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of my other book,

Whispers, Automated Marketing with Webbots

The World According to Amazon

Ka-Ching! The 80% Royalty Formula for KDP

Amazon KDP appears to be a well-designed assembly line that mass-produces Kindle e-books and takes the lion’s share of the e-book market.  It’s structurally optimized to deliver solutions to all problems that may arise from all aspects and stages of book publishing and marketing, with KDP as the chute to market for e-books, CreateSpace as that for printed books and Author Central as the shared portal between the two. You have a question? Amazon has an answer!

Behind this impressive façade, Amazon is no more than a Darwinian monster who is frantically and constantly realigning itself to better process the books in its pipeline. Without a doubt, Amazon is a superb survivor who is always able to innovate in order to stay ahead of or catch up with its competitors.

Need an example? Just reflect for a minutes on the major steps Amazon took in the last couple of months in 2013: It introduced Kindle Book Countdown as an alternative to the conventional Free Book promotion; it introduced Kindle Matchbook program; it started offering matte finish of covers for printed books and last but not least, it stopped charging $25 for Extended Distribution for printed books.

It’s fair to say that Amazon knows what it is doing. Nevertheless, do not assume that Amazon holds the crystal ball for the future. Your guess about the future of e-books is just as good as Amazon’s. All Amazon has in its power to maintain its lion’s share in the e-book market is the will to survive and the agility to adapt.

And adapt it does, sometimes ever so frantically. If you use KDP Bookshelf as often as I do, I am sure you have noticed the unannounced service down notice and the rather frequent changes of the user interface. And if you are as “lucky” as I have been, you would have observed absurd incidents. For example, in the month of October, 2013, I often got to see a French writer’s royalty report, when I refresh my KDP royalty summary page. To prove that I am not just making this up, I have pasted in the screenshot as follows:

french_writer_royalty

I remember saying to myself when I saw this page in my own KDP Royalty report: Damn, these books are doing great for eight days into the month; I wish they were really mine!

Prior to that, I’ve also once seen the author Jamie Adams’ royalty summary, as shown in the following screenshot:

jamie_adams_royalty

Judging from the sales number, she’s also doing great and making me wish that this royalty summary was really mine.

These two freak incidents both happened when I was doing something completely normal – just clicking around after I had logged into my KDP account. Weird. Totally bizarre.

But there is a perfect explanation for them: the coders at Amazon were having a bad day in the office. They were trying to pull off a quick fix instead of methodically revamping a cog in the KDP machinery. It also appears that they were in a hurry, or else such bizarre incidents should never have happened in the real KDP production environment. They should have tested the fix thoroughly in their QA environment.

Whatever. Amazon is not as strong as it would let on. It has its own Achilles’ heel. And when it strives to fix its weaknesses, it exposes vulnerabilities.

For as long as I have been publishing on KDP and CreateSpace, I have kept a close eye on Amazon’s weaknesses. I see my KDP publishing career as my personal David vs. Goliath.

If I want to survive in the Jungle of Amazon, I need to gain the upper hand sometime in my battle against Amazon. There is no way I can gain any upper hand if I do not have any clues on Amazon’s weaknesses.

This book is a result of my observations on Amazon’s weaknesses. I am sure as time goes on, I will discover more and share with you. But as of now, I think I have enough to pack into a little book and make the readers happy.

But before I go into the details of what I want to share with you in the subsequent chapters in this book, I would like to summarize the principles I employ in devising strategies that target Amazon’s weaknesses I have identified.

Ask, and You Shall Not Receive

I am sure that you have seen those arbitrary prices big publishing houses put on the Kindle editions of their book. Like you, I can’t help wondering about the wisdom of their pricing. I have seen many prices above $1.00 but somehow mysteriously below $2.99. I have also seen prices between $10 and $18.

They do not make sense to me. By Amazon’s rule, Kindle books priced in between $2.99 and $9.99 are entitled to the 70% royalty rate. Any Kindle book priced below $2.99 are subject to the 35% royalty plan. Why would the big guys price their Kindle books below the $2.99 threshold?

By the same token, any Kindle books priced above $9.99 are also subject to the 35% royalty plan. In order to get the same royalty a $9.99 book gets on the 70% plan, a book with a price higher than $9.99 would have to go up to $19.98. Again, why would the big guys bother to price a book at $15 when they can get more royalty out of it at a price of $9.99?

The answer is simple: The big guys do not play by the rule Amazon sets for the small guys. The big publishing houses work with Amazon on negotiated royalty plan. I do not know what royalty rate they are getting, but I am sure it makes perfect sense for them to price their books with total disregard for Amazon’s $2.99 and $9.99 thresholds.

I do not know about you, but I, for one, would like to get the 70% royalty rate when my books are priced below the $2.99 threshold. I do not really care much about the other end: Pricing a Kindle book above $9.99 seems to be rather extreme.

But, would I get the 70% royalty rate for a book of mine that is priced at $1.49 if I ask Amazon for it? Of course not. Who do I think I am? The most I will get out of my inquiry is the predictable form email from KDP support with links to KDP’s pricing rules.

I am using the above example to illustrate a point: You can ask Amazon for a favor, but you will not get it. Amazon will always act in its own best interest and not grant favors to authors. Think of Kindle e-books’ one-week return policy. It is very generous to the buyers but has irked so many authors, of whom so many have written to Amazon or vented on forums to complain about it. What has Amazon done to ameliorate the pain for authors? Nothing.

Remember, when dealing with Amazon, it is “Ask, and you shall not receive.”

Push the Right Button, and You Shall Receive

On the contrary, if you push the right button, Amazon hands you what you want on a gold plate.

Why? You may be asking. Well, think of Amazon as a giant robot playing a game of chess against you. It is wired together with a plethora of complex algorithms. Unlike the human brain which can act on hubris, intuition and other illogical instincts, these algorithms are 100% logical and reactive – hence predictable.

This robot will outsmart you if you keep making logical – hence predictable – moves to advance your own interest. It analyze, evaluate and predict your follow-up moves in nanoseconds and make a move to block your planned route. Along any series of logical moves, if you see three steps, the robot probably sees eighteen hundreds. Forget about it. You will never beat Amazon if you play like a robot.

You can only beat the robot if you make disjointed moves. For example, you make move “A” and then move “B,” each of which indicating to the robot that you have a hidden goal to achieve. The robot instantly ascertains that the two goals are disjointed and they cannot be achieved at once; it also establishes after a tremendous amount of calculation that when A and B are made together, the overriding likelihood is that the perpetrator is trying to achieve the goal associated with A.

Therefore, the robot makes a move to block you from getting any closer to the goal of A. For the sake of easy reference later, let us call this move of the robot R1.

Game is over, if you are indeed trying to achieve A. You cannot change plan to achieve B either, as the robot has the upper hand now in the game and can easily block you from getting closer to B with its next move, R2.

But, what if all you really wanted is R1? You make A and B so that the robot reads your mind the way a robot predictably would and it is bound to make move like R1. And R1 is what you have really been craving for, not the goals affiliated with A or B.

Wouldn’t you consider the mission accomplished when you see R1 on the table? I would. And that is what I refer to as pushing the right button.

With Amazon, when you push the right button, you shall receive. If all this strikes you as too abstract, do not worry. You will get all the details and specifics when we get into the game moves of pushing the right button so Amazon hands us the 80% royalty plan, among other goodies covered in this book.

Don’t Get Mad, Get 80% Royalty

If you hang out in virtual places like GoodReads’ Author Feedback Group, you will notice a lot of complaints about Amazon. It is an understandable sentiment: Everyone loves to hate the Yankees. Being at the mercy of a giant will do that to you. Many Indies find many reasons to feel bitter about Amazon and wish for Amazon’s instant demise just for spite. This is evidenced in the waves of rumors we hear about flight of quality among Indies from KDP to other platforms.

I have read and heard about so many shocking statistics that indicate that pretty much everyone currently enrolled in KDP Select is thinking about leaving it, if not already did. Theoretically, that should have made it easier for the few foolish ones like me who have chosen to stay behind.

Not so. Amazon is as ever a competitive battlefield for anyone to survive. In fact, it may be tougher than it has ever been.

My humble advice is: Don’t get mad, get the 80% royalty rate. That ought to increase your odds of success on Amazon.

Get the 80% royalty rate how? The secret is all in Ka-Ching! The 80% Royalty Formula for KDP: Buyer Beware: You Will Never Settle for 70% Again!

Don’t Get Mad, Get 80% Royalty

Still hot and toasty from my oven but already live on Amazon — “Ka-Ching! The 80% Royalty Formula for KDP.”

Ka-Ching! The 80% Royalty Formula for KDP

You can catch a sneak preview here: http://amzn.to/1ft0BPm.

Buyer Beware: You Will Never Settle for 70% Again!

Rock solid, unadulterated trade secret revealed in a step-by-step guide that’s intended for the go-getters only.

In no time, you will recover the small tuition you pay on this book with the 80% royalty you earn on every book you publish on KDP for the rest of your life.

Why don’t I sell the book at $5 a pop and sell thousands of copies? Won’t I make more that way?

Because I don’t want to have too many competitors out there.

The price of this book is a test in itself: To be a winner, you must first be smart enough to invest in a winner’s playbook.

M. Eigh

http://m.eigh.com/

P.S.: Respond to me if interested. I offer a 50% discount to the people who contact me by email. (You will order from me, not from Amazon, to enjoy the half-off.)

“How to Automate Everything” Going Strong

Since I added a new chapter to my book “How to Automate Everything You Do on the Web” has been going strong and is listed as the # 2 Hot New Release in the Web Browser category:

Say Goodbye to Tab Dance™! How to Automate Everything You Do on the Web

Say Goodbye to Tab Dance™! How to Automate Everything You Do on the Web

This book is a practical guide to automate routine web tasks you repeat everyday. Leave the grunt work to automation and reserve just the fun part of web surfing to yourself. You owe it to yourself to check the book out:

How to Automate Everything You Do on the Web (Updated!)

How to Automate Everything You Do on the Web (Updated!)

 

No. 2 Hot New Release on Amazon: Revolution Is a Dinner Party

J. Chambers (Georgia, United States) who wears a few highly coveted Amazon badges such as “HALL OF FAME REVIEWER,” “TOP 10 REVIEWER” and “REAL NAME” recently gave my book “Revolution Is a Dinner Party — Rogue Pluralism in China” a 5-star rating. You can read his review here: http://amzn.to/M5DNOy.

ebook_revolution_cover

 

The book is the # 2 Hot New Release on Amazon today under Chinese History:

Revolution Is a Dinner Party -- Rogue Pluralism in China

Revolution Is a Dinner Party — Rogue Pluralism in China

 

It’s got 7 reader reviews, with two 5-stars, four 4-stars and one 3-star. Check it out at http://amzn.to/M5DNOy.

Say Goodbye to Tab Dance™!

In case you are wondering: No, it is not a typo. I mean tab dance, not tap dance.

Once upon a time, browsers were not smart enough to have tabs. To visit multiple websites at once, we had to open multiple browser windows. For those who remember using tab-less browsers, I do not need to explain what a resource drain and inconvenience those multiple browser windows presented. For those who have never used tab-less browsers, thank God you do not have to now. All browsers have tabs. You browse to a web page and pretty soon you end up with tabs spawned from links buried in that page, if you have set your browser to open new pages in new tabs, or you simply right-click a link and choose to open it in a new tab.

I don’t know about you, but I often end up with too many tabs, to the point I cannot seem to find a particular one without guessing, as the tabs are crowded together and too squeezed for me to read their titles. In order to locate a particular tab, I guess and click, hoping for a hit but am prepared for a miss. And I often have to repeat this guessing game a few times before I get a hit.

I call it tab dance. Sometimes I catch myself running amok with tab dance, especially when I am doing some heavy duty research. A typical tab dance session can be described as follows:
• I have a tab open that displays my Google search results.
• I have a few tabs open corresponding to a few specific results of the search. I jump from one tab to another to read and compare notes.
• At the same time, I have to open a few more tabs for “utility” websites such as Wikipedia, a dictionary site and Google Translate. Understandably, I would also have a URL shortening service site such as Bit.ly open in a separate tab.
• One thing leads to another, I encounter some information in metrics so I need to convert them. And I am too lazy to do it manually, so I open a new tab and type a dumb question like “How many inches is 84 centimeters?” into the search bar, and let my default search engine work out the answer for me.
• The subject I am researching involves a mysterious death of a celebrity and she died in a New England Bed and Breakfast. I need to figure out the mileage she covered going from her New York City apartment to that B&B. Therefore, I open another tab for Google Maps …
• … and I have to keep all my other tabs open so I can get to them quickly again – you know, it took some effort to find them …

Alas, how many tabs do I have now? Well, you get the picture. Reflecting on my routine overdose of tabs, I often wonder how much time I have wasted on tab dance – time I could have used on doing real research. Without a doubt, tab dance is a huge drain on our web browsing productivity. It gives us a false sense of achievement – Jumping around the tabs makes us feel that we are multitasking; we are also tricked into believing the more tabs are open the more information we are absorbing.

If only that is true. How many times have you run out of time or gotten distracted by another pressing task, and you ended up closing the entire army of open tabs? You have not gotten far in any of them but you have to shut down the mission, and pick it up where you have left it on another day. Since there are so many tabs and therefore so many URL’s to bookmark, you decide to just to close them all. After all, you started the ensemble of tabs with one single Google search, and that is super easy to replicate.

Then it is déjà vu all over again when you pick it up where you have left it. Trust me, tab dance is harmful to your productivity.

The thing is, the majority of the tasks that you open a new tab to do can be achieved in the same tab, you just need to know how.

And the know-how’s are all in my book How to Automate Everything You Do on the Web (Updated!) at http://amzn.to/1fXr6Ov.

How to Automate Everything You Do on the Web (Updated!)

How to Automate Everything You Do on the Web (Updated!)

Are You Ready to Be Inspired?

Word to Kindle: Secret Shortcuts

Word to Kindle: Secret Shortcuts

If yes, check out my book “Word to Kindle: Secret Shortcuts” at http://amzn.to/1bfj725. It’s today’s #1 New Hot Release on Amazon under the Authorship category:

jumps_to_number_one_hot_release