Scammers Break The Kindle Store

Found this through Ilona Andrews blog post on the subject.

David Gaughran

On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.

The Kindle Store is officially broken.

This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling. Last Sunday, a clickfarmed title also hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action.

Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever. There are many such examples.

I wrote at the start of June about how scammers were taking over Amazon’s free charts. That post led to a phone conversation with KDP’s Executive Customer Relations.

Repeated assurances were given that the entire leadership team at Amazon was taking the scammer problem very seriously indeed. But it was also stressed that the…

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Mad Cow Alert! Elizabeth Llewellyn

Dear, dear Readers, it has been too long. Get out your popcorn and beer. Ready?

You read my review of Putting My Foot Down? Fairly innocuous, I thought, but I guess I was wrong. (Well, no, but that’s the reason for this post) Turns out my old, dear friend, Elle, she of Suicide Ride infamy has also posted a review of the “book”.  And she gave it 5 stars.

Whatever.

But it now seems that between revisiting my review of her book, trashing her family and mother-in-law, proclaiming her deepest admiration for tRump, and using her dead husband to bolster her claim of victimhood, Elle has found the time to take exception to my review. Of someone else’s book.

Someone needs to take her bottle and keyboard away cause she’s a nasty piece of work even without the booze.

One of my (many, cherished) minions sent me this:

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I did not have it taken down, I sort of wanted the cray cray to remain for all to see but it did get taken down, along with several of her other comments but we’ll get there in a minute, so she returned because Elle has to have the last word.

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My “stank toe”… oh, yeah, this one is a writer. Not half as much as she thinks she is. But wait! There’s more! There was one other one star review and Elle just had to drive by and take a shot (first from the bottle then on the keyboard).

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No dissenting opinion is safe. And before any more of you ask, that is the way she writes, drunk or sober and if you keep asking I will post parts of her now unavailable books to prove it.  (She claims she removed her books to give them to a legit publisher so they will get what they deserve. Yeah.)

Well hell, what do I care if some drunk, desperately searching for recognition  heifer from the South wants to take what she fondly think of as the greatest potshot in history? I don’t but Monday afternoon after I had spent the day doing things in the life I don’t have (according to so many of my adoring followers like Elle) I opened my emails to find this.

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What the everloving fuck? If you guessed Elle, you guessed correctly. She commented and down voted all these reviews. Some comments Amazon had erased before I got there and a couple didn’t make any sense, once or twice she made more than one comment.

This is a woman who claims all of us haterz  want to be her. No. Oh, no. Hell to the no.  Who in their right mind would want to be this mess? Want to know who the heifer follows on Amazon? Not her friends whose books she reviews (in violation of the TOS), no not them, she follows one woman.

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I’m so, well, not flattered. Maybe a little creeped out. And a little concerned for the people she is fixated on living close to her. Okay, she had her fun, moo-ving on. But wait! There’s more!

Tuesday emails brought this.

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I think she managed to comment on all of them. Who doesn’t have a life? I’m thinking it’s the heifer, must be the grass looks greener outside of her pasture.

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An image of a Belted Galloway. It takes a brave bovine to wear a wide, white belt around the widest part of their body but the BG is a fashion forward cow.

Back to our heifer of the hour. Since I didn’t respond and Elle is desperate for attention she interrupted her regularly scheduled post about being a grieving widow to post this.

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Yes, I have pissed off a few deserving souls and I own it. The most amazing part of the post above is if you go to that Google search one of the top posts listed is one I reposted about Weinberg’s limp attack on John Green.  But they all mentioned my name so they all must be about how terrible I am.

I have a lovely collection of screenshots (no surprise) all about Elle but leave you with this link and this screenshot.

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Is this enough recognition for you, Elle, because all those screenshots do not paint a flattering picture of you.

 

Harlequin Closing Five Lines, including Kimani Romance

Found out through Bookriot this morning.

Although Harlequin has yet to make an official announcement, word has broken that they are no longer acquiring titles for five of their series: Harlequin Western, Harlequin Superromance, Love Inspired Historical, Harlequin Nocturne, and Kimani Romance. The last books for these lines will be released next year.

Author Courtney Milan broke the news on Twitter.

Read full story here.

Just found RWA’s announcement of  the closures here.

Beware of Sharks in Publisher’s Clothing

DO you read The Book Designer? If not, then you should and here is one excellent post why.

 

Tate Publishing bit the dust and formally closed its doors on January 24, 2017. There are millions of dollars in lawsuits including one from Lightning Source (that’s Ingram) for over $1.8 million. In February, a default judgment was entered against Tate when its owners did a no-show in court. I can’t even imagine the number of authors and books who have been damaged.

Why another column on what I call the Publishing Predators?

  1. The self-publishing / indie publishing avenues now publish far more books than the traditional publishing stream from New York.
  2. Whenever there is growth, it identifies opportunity.
  3. Opportunity encourages darker forces to surface. The floodgates opened for self-publishing went into high drive when Amazon introduced BookSurge, the predecessor of CreateSpace in 2007. Scammers paid attention.
  4. In other words, scammers, publishing cons and publishing predators are breeding.

 

Continue reading here.

The Return of the Prodigal Publisher (Engler/Black)

It’s been too long, dear readers, since I’ve posted about any sort of bad behavior in the book community. But before we commence, the 28th is rapidly approaching and you all need to download any books purchased from Samhain because they are closing for real on that date.

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Now, let’s talk about another ebook publisher, namely EC for Books, previously known as Ellora’s Cave. It is now dead and gone but still causing problems for authors as I wrote here, but then it seems that there is also:

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And this:

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Somebody asks the pertinent question:

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So, EC is/isn’t sending 1099s to authors that may or may not have received the royalties claimed in the 1099. It also sounds like Torquere isn’t bothering to send any at all. Ah, the glamorous life of the author. Now, I’ve been wondering what Tina Engler/Jaid Black would come up with next because those ill-gotten royalties aren’t going to last forever.

Yesterday:

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Yes, she’s back and selling not one but five ebooks on Amazon, the business she (tried to) blame for her company’s financial woes. Let’s take a look. (Since I started this post she has added three more.)

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Now, do you notice anything? Look closer. Closer.

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Valentina Antonia? Who? What?

 

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Well that’s really not helpful. And Riley Park? I looked up Riley and this popped up:

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Looks like Engler/Black has hidden herself or is trying to hide herself behind a registered agent service. Notice the filing date. Don’t you just love a woman who plans ahead?

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“When you create a Wyoming corporation or Wyoming LLC, you are forming a legal entity that does not have the ability to communicate on its own.” Engler/Black has never had any problem not communicating before. “If your business is ever sued…” Uh, we all know she’s more likely to sue than be sued but there is always a second time (the first being Chris Brashears). Add to that no taxes and the anonymity of not having any member names listed anywhere and it does seem that E/B has found her idea of consequence free heaven.

Engler/Black and her mother, Patty Marks, left quite a mess behind them and now it seems that E/B is trying to shake off the consequences of her own actions and start over with a clean slate while the authors she cheated are still trying to recoup their financial losses, republish their books, and maybe deal with a 1099 for money they never collected.

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Posted from Galit.

 

“We did our part…”

Let’s file this under “bitch, please”.

On January 2 Jaid Black posted this on her FB page:

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This was the first time in, well, quite  a while that she has mentioned EC. And when someone posted their regrets for the closing she had this to say:

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“No longer worth it”? Not enough authors left that she wanted to not pay royalties to, I guess. And on a post about the sudden closing of All Romance Ebooks she offered up another excuse:

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The “Amazon did it” excuse. Amazon did not not pay EC but EC sure as hell did not pay part of their authors. EC/Jaid Black/Patty Marks never seemed to understand that Amazon wasn’t going to roll over and give them special treatment because they thought they deserved it. Black played the victim for years.

And there were, and still are, plenty who think she is. Or maybe just a weak-minded, dull-witted, easily duped fragile flower.

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Aaaannnnd Kevin Weinberg gets it wrong, so wrong, again. Oh, he never got paid but the reasons why were much different than he wants Redditors to believe. They had a falling out over politics for sure but Weinberg was stupid enough to tell her to her FB face that he knew better than she did about racial discrimination. (My sympathies were totally with Black on this one.)

Not surprised he didn’t get paid. Not surprised that it wasn’t his fault. Really, these two were a match made in denial heaven. And speaking of denial heaven, Black posted this today:

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So many retorts spring to mind. I do love the “We cannot continue to expend time on an endeavor that provides us with no income” line. Isn’t that what part of your authors were doing? They received no income, EC got the money, the authors got nothing but insults and accusations. I love that Black tries to herself in with the affected authors because we all know that if Amazon doesn’t correct this problem soon that Black/Marks/EC will be receiving money from Amazon and all those other authors won’t.

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