A few months ago, there was a new service opened at the WarriorForum that promised to deliver a specific number of free book downloads on your KDP Select Free Day.
I always questioned the service, because I don’t know how anyone could guarantee a specific number of downloads, unless the game was rigged somehow.
Someone had sent a ticket to the Amazon Kindle Support Team, and the support team assured us that using this service was not against Amazon’s TOS.
I did send one email about the service, and shortly after, I pulled my support because I was talking to the owners of this service on Skype, and I thought they were a bit too dodgy and dishonest about exactly how they delivered their service.
It would have been an awesome service if it were real… But when I would ask questions, they would say that they had already answered those questions, when in fact they never had answered the questions at all.
I knew that there was something wrong, although I could never exactly put my finger on anything more than a deep suspicion.
When the service was posted to Kboards, the people there also felt uneasy about the service, but some there were more than willing to give it a shot.
After reading through all 22 pages of that thread, I came to the same conclusion as many others that these folks are running a “bot network” to generate “fake downloads”.
I have been cautioned several times about Kboards. People tell me that the majority of folks who participate on Kboards are more deeply suspicious than I am and also very negative in their thinking. I don’t participate there often enough to have reached my own conclusion about that forum, but I still read it more than I comment, and that kind of behavior is so unlike me.
I am often saddened to see people who automatically dismiss anybody who participates at the WarriorForum. It is like anything else in life. There are good people and bad people, who participate there, and the fact that people sometimes advertise their products there has no bearing on the quality of the product you are going to get. Sure, there are some people who advertise junk there, but some of the best products I have ever purchased were also advertised as a Warrior Special Offer.
There is nothing so silly as throwing out the baby with the bath water, but several people on the Kboards thread about this service were saying things such as, “Well, it was posted on the Warrior Forum first, so it must be a scam.”
I cannot fathom the mind of the person who declares something a scam based on where it was once advertised.
Anyhow, the only reason I sharing this information with you here is because that KDP Select Free “Guaranteed Download Service,” currently offered at FreeBookService.com, has been blacklisted by Amazon!!
One of the book authors who was given a free test run of the service on Kboards came back to share that she received the following email from Amazon Kindle Support:
“It recently came to our attention that you may have used the third-party site, www.FreeBookService.com, for your title, [My Book]. While we will always support legitimate efforts of KDP authors to promote their books, this site uses improper practices to artificially inflate sales ranking in the Kindle Store.We take activities that jeopardize the experience of our customers and other authors very seriously. We wanted you to be aware of the nature of www.FreeBookService.com’s offering and ask that you not work with them or other services that attempt to manipulate the KDP platform. If this activity continues, we will have to take appropriate action (which may include removing your title from Amazon and/or terminating your account).”
NOTE: The highlighting was provided by me.
If you want to read the entire thread, you can find it here:
The key piece of this email for me is that Amazon is not opposed to us advertising our books through third-parties.
Instead, they take issue when the third-party service “artificially inflates” the numbers.
It is not bad to advertise your book to real readers and for those people to make a conscious decision to download your book. This is not the activity that Amazon has a problem.
No. The reason that Amazon has taken a stance against this service is because it is engineering “fake book downloads” to skew Amazon’s internal book ranking system.
Now that Amazon has dropped the hammer on the Guaranteed Book Download Service available at FreeBookService.com, only the uninformed will use this service. So, feel free to forward this post to anyone that you might think should read it, and please share it on FaceBook.
After having pulled my support for this service early, I feel vindicated for having done so.
My only disappointment is that I did send one email telling about the service, even though my recommendation of the service was luke-warm at best.
The bottom-line is that we all make mistakes, and I made a mistake telling you about that service the one time that I did.
I apologize to anyone who might have seen my email and thought that service might be useful to them. And I promise that next time, I will follow my gut-instinct out of the gate.
p.s. If you would like to be on the email list to where I originally sent this message, CLICK HERE to subscribe to my Professional Book Marketing Tips newsletter.