Episode 197 – Ethics, Page Stuffing, and the Constitution

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Question of the Week: By linking to a free preview far at the end of an unlabeled multi-book collection, did the romance author we discussed do something opportunistic or simply unethical? If you saw a similar tweak that could get you more pages read from KU, would you do it if you knew Amazon was unlikely to take action? Why or why not?

Reminder: Jan. 12th is the final day to get your SMBS Summit ticket at the early bird price! Jim and Bryan kick things off with a big thanks to their featured patrons. Tips include why midlevel authors should slow down or pick up the pace, how authors get into the right business mindset, and how one author went from KU to wide. In news, one author’s Amazon rank was stripped for a third time, new and continuing trends for 2018, why Indian girls are falling behind when it comes to internet access, how scammers are stuffing books, and how one cease and desist letter helped project a book to the top of the charts. Question of the Week: By linking to a free preview far at the end of an unlabeled multi-book collection, did the romance author we discussed do something opportunistic or simply unethical? If you saw a similar tweak that could get you more pages read from KU, would you do it if you knew Amazon was unlikely to take action? Why or why not?Question of the Week: By linking to a free preview far at the end of an unlabeled multi-book collection, did the romance author we discussed do something opportunistic or simply unethical? If you saw a similar tweak that could get you more pages read from KU, would you do it if you knew Amazon was unlikely to take action? Why or why not?
What You’ll Learn:
  • Why midlevel authors should slow down or pick up the pace
  • How authors get into the right money and business mindset
  • How one author journeyed from KU dependent to fully wide
  • How one author’s rank was stripped for the third time
  • What new and continuing trends will authors see in 2018
  • Why Indian girls are falling behind in access to the internet
  • How scammers are stuffing books and how to detect the fakes
  • How one cease-and-desist letter took a book to the top of the Kindle and paperback charts

Last Chance for Early-Bird Summit Pricing
Webinar with J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon on Collaboration
The Life Actionbook: Tools and Actions for Personal Development by Steve Shockley
Somebody’s Darling by Linda Fausnet
Nightblade by Garrett Robinson
Tip #1: Optimum Velocity
Tip #2: Mind Over Money
Tip #3: Free Range
News #5: Third Time’s a Curse
News #4: Future Forecast
News #3: It’s a Man’s World (Wide Web)
News #2: Overstuffed
News #1: Wolff of White House (1)
News #1: Wolff of White House (2)
News #1: Wolff of White House (3)

Question of the Week: By linking to a free preview far at the end of an unlabeled multi-book collection, did the romance author we discussed do something opportunistic or simply unethical? If you saw a similar tweak that could get you more pages read from KU, would you do it if you knew Amazon was unlikely to take action? Why or why not?

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  • Violating the terms of service is always wrong. Some terms of service/corporations are predatory, and they are wrong. Two wrongs don’t make a right. In this specific case: If people only read half of your book but you get paid for the full book, then you are cheating another writer out of their KU money whose entire book people did read, because now they’ll decrease the KU payout because of a lot of fake pages read. Amazon does not have unlimited money. Are they bad? Maybe, maybe not, but we should encourage people to improve the system through social and monetary pressure and honest means.

  • Woo-woo: adjective. Unscientific or pseudoscience. Especially a strategy in business that has no tangible improvement on your success. “You should smear peanut butter in your hair before you sit down to write.” “I don’t know, that sounds pretty woo-woo.” “I do, and it’s doubled my word count.” “Are you sure it’s not something else that’s doubling your word count?”
    I’ve heard this used on several business podcasts, including Pat Flynn. I don’t like the use of the word, because it undermines results-driven efforts and the scientific method. That said, I have a special hat that I wear when I write: whenever I start to get distracted, and my brain says that it’s ok to get up and do something else or check social media, I feel that hat on my head and remember that I committed to write until the hour has elapsed.

  • Woo-Woo: a bunch of nonsense that makes you feel better but has no tangible or provable results. Deepak Chopra is the Lord King of Woo-Woo. There’s even a fake Deepak quote generator that claims to be indistinguishable from his actual tweets. Like: “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” And “Self power exists as dimensionless marvel”

  • And stuffing a book like that is unethical. If you’re not fairly representing what you’re selling, you’re making a mistake (and likely scamming people).

  • I’m a long-time lurker and was astonished to hear my name and story on your show while I was walking back from writing at the cafe this morning.

    I just wanted to write and say I agree with what you said: I do not think this is something the average author needs to worry about.

    However, the system needs some tweaking – innocent authors swept up in the massive crackdown need an avenue to plead their case. I am a veteran newspaper reporter and thought I was pretty savvy in digging up information and channels to reach people and yet I was unable to reach anyone on my own who would even attempt to let me present evidence of my innocence and hear my case.

    Since David Gaughran shed light on this, I’ve been in contact with a few people in Jeff Bezo’s office.

    I’ve told them this: That I, and I believe the majority of authors out there, 100 percent support cracking down on scammers. I also said I understand that with a company as massive as Amazon some innocent people could be caught up in the enforcement.

    HOWEVER, my issue is that it was nearly impossible for me to present evidence or plead my case. I spent hours and hours dealing with automated emails. I called numerous times and begged to be connected to someone handling the compliance issue and was shut down every time. One guy told me it was IMPOSSIBLE for him to connect me to someone in that department!

    So, now this week, I told the KDP people that what I really hoped to see come out of all this attention was that others authors like me would have an easy way to prove they had done nothing wrong. Right now, it is next to impossible to get past the bots and automated emails that are sent out.

    It took Gaughran – the underdog’s hero! – shedding light on this for me to get any help – and get an apology AND have access to the people at KDP who can investigate and prove I did nothing wrong.

    I will also say that the people I spoke with were lovely and helpful and I believe do want to fix things on a bigger level. I may be naive to think that, but I really do believe that right now and am going to stay in KU because of that faith.


    PS I use “woo-woo” all the time. Usually to make fun of things I feel are too out there. With that said, I’m reading the Miracle Morning right now and I am ALL about starting affirmations and visualizations, etc. Which is actually pretty Woo-woo, come to think of it. : )

    • Dan Thompson

      I disagree with Jim’s dismissal of this. It *is* the kind of thing the average author needs to worry about. Rank stripping is not merely an insult to vanity. It’s not about how often we check the ranks of our books. The whole point of running these promotions is to find new readers, and climbing up the RANK charts is one of the better ways to do this since readers will check the Top 100 lists looking for new books. So every author who runs a KDP Select promotion should worry about this, and if Amazon is going to treat its authors’ promotions that way, those promotions will not longer be seen as an advantage to joining KDP Select.

      • You’re right. It hits us right in the wallet – big time. Nothing to do with vanity. Checking your ranking when you’ve paid for a big promotion is marketing savvy. I’m hopeful that KDP is sitting up and paying attention now and working to ensure that innocent authors aren’t punished anymore.

  • Spider McGee

    I’ll just leave this right here.


  • Jiggles L’West

    Hi guys, love the show.
    This ‘linking to the back of the book issue’ seems like just another version of the question: do you care how you affect other people or are you going to spend your career wearing blinders and treating your teamates (and probably your customers) like garbage?
    There will always be plenty of opportunities to take advantage of a glitch in the system. That doesn’t justify opportunism.
    The incredibly smart people who are building these massive, expensive, high tech systems are trying to help us -even when it doesn’t look like it.
    How do you think they feel when we act like a bunch of sharks and tear into their system to pull out the big meat and clear out their wallets?
    Why should they even bother if we’re going to treat them like supper?
    I don’t think blazing trails right over the corpses of everybody we can run down to get wherever we think we’re heading will really take us to true success. Or, more importantly, happiness.
    Let’s face it. How often do our goals lead us to our intended destinations?
    In the end, being a writer really is about the journey. That definitely includes how we choose to represent our brand in the marketing world.
    Being ethical will always win out in the end. It’s the very basis of storytelling. When it doesn’t seem to, it just means you’ve stopped at the Black Moment and need to get up and remember how to be a Hero again.

  • You kids are the Dharma and Greg of book publishing shows. Woo-woo!

    • Stella Wilkinson

      Ha ha! So true.

  • I have a book from 2012 (that’s never been in KU) . It has a link in the first chapter to the resources in the very back.

    There are good reasons for this stuff, so it’s tough to say THAT aspect is scammy or even on purpose.

    However, the stuffing combined with the link to the back seems shady…

    • Just because it’s high in the sales ranks doesn’t mean it’s a good book. They could have Amazon ads running to it. They could have used a BookBub to kick it off. They could do all the things legitimate authors do to get their book in front of readers. And as long as nobody returns it or keeps flagging it as crap it’s going to stay high in the ranks.

  • Woo-woo is totally a word… It’s even in Merriam-Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woo-woo

  • The proper phrase is “woo-woo hippy crap” and I’m BIG into it. 😉

    As for the kindle page jump thing, I think we all know the answer. It’s against the TOS, and if you decide to do it in spite of that, you may wake up one morning to find your titles removed or you account suspended.

    The temptation to get extra money through gray practices is there, but would I? No. Do I think it’s a money grab? Absolutely. Am I resentful of the extra money the author may receive as a result? Not really. I want to keep my “woo-woo” vibes positive, and that stops me from taking actions which may keep me up at night.

  • Melissa E Beckwith-Author

    I guess I need to go to that video Jim mentioned and watch it because I’m not quite clear on what “page stuffing” is. Are these blank pages or are these actual real books or extra content the author has provided for readers? Is the problem that the author did not label the book as a box set or is the problem the link to the back?

    I would not knowingly do anything against TOS for fear that Amazon would ban me, but I can sure see the lure of taking advantage of some grey loop hole in order to make extra money. It’s tough to pour out your blood sweat and tears and spend thousands of dollars to get your books ready for publication and advertisement only to watch them just sit there and do nothing. But we are in this for the long run. Our reputations are on the line and we are trying to build a solid career, not just a quick money grab through an Amazon loop hole. 🙂

    Oh, and I’m from California so I know Woo Woo well…we are on a first name basis. 🙂

  • Stella Wilkinson

    We even use woo-woo here across the pond. However, I have also heard it used to describe “lady parts” a few times too!

  • Regarding the question of the week: I think page count stuffing is unethical if for no other reason than how Amazon computes how much they’ll pay the authors. They declare a pot of money for the month and divvy it up based on each person’s pages read. Purposefully inflating one’s page count is literally stealing money from other authors.

  • Stella Wilkinson

    Linking to sneak peaks that take you straight to the back is both
    calculated and grubby (IMHO). It means they are getting paid for pages
    read that were never read. It is taking big chunks out of the KU pot
    that were never rightfully earned and it makes a smaller payout all
    round. This might be a business decision but Indie Publishing only works
    as well as it does because it’s also a community. Do you
    guys really put in the many many hours you spend on the podcast just to
    promote yourselves? Of course not! You both clearly like to give back
    and it’s all the sharing that makes this little industry so successful. So yes, the technique makes the rest of us feel a bit annoyed at the few authors who do stuff their books.

  • Author L Bay

    This podcast is spreading incorrect information. Linking to the back of a book in the TOC does not earn the author extra page reads. Amazon pays per page read. Also, bonus books are allowed per Amazon’s TOS. https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202018960 Whoever is spreading this information is on a defamatory witch hunt.

    • Author L Bay

      To be clear, the link I posted above is of Amazon’s Terms of Service and clearly allows what these authors are doing so these statements to the contrary are based on fantasy instead of facts. It clearly allows for other stories (as long as they are exclusive to the Kindle store/ Amazon) and previews of other books to be included and specifically states that they should be placed at the end of the book.

      Bonus Content
      If you choose to include bonus content (e.g. other stories, or previews of other books), it should be relevant to the customer and should not disrupt the reading experience. To meet these guidelines, we recommend placing additional content at the end of the book.

      This is taken from this Amazon LINK: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202018960

      • We are a news and commentary show. We are not journalists. We do not pretend to research stories as a journalist should do. All we’re doing is talking about news and giving our thoughts/opinion. We do not wish to harm authors; just talk about what’s going on.

      • Daniel Martone

        Sorry, but sticking a link at the end of the original book/story, that takes the reader to a preview on the other side of 5 books is clearly an attempt to boost pages read beyond what you deserve. You are taking money out of other author’s pockets. Period.

    • Bryan

      Hey LB. This story isn’t about the table of contents. It’s about linking to a sample at the end of a book, so after a book has been completed… but stuffing 5 other books in there between the end of that book and the sample. Which causes hundreds of additional pages read to happen that the reader didn’t actually read. I hope that clears things up. Thanks!

  • Benjamin Douglas

    Another good show, guys. Thanks for doing it! Orders of business:

    1.) Woo woo is defined on urbandictionary.com as Bryan uses it. Huh. I’ve always said “hippy-dippy.”

    2.) The real problem for me, ethically, is the link that takes readers to the bonus book at the back (assuming that does in fact garnish extra KU page-reads). But just the question of putting some bonus content at the back, like the first chapter of the next title in a series, or perhaps a sneak-peek at the first few pages of a ML magnet exclusive… I always thought of that sort of thing as best common practice. If the nuts and bolts of KU and the toxic rhetoric of we the indie community have complicated that these days, I think that’s too bad.

    3.) As of now, 6:30pm CT US, 1/10/18, Michael Wolff’s “Burn Rate” is down from no. 31 to no. 81 in Books > Computers & Technology > History & Culture > History. So if it got a bump from “Fire & Fury,” it seems to have had a short tail. That doesn’t refute Jim’s point at all, which seems like common sense to me, but it may be of interest to numbers people.

    4.) I’m a big fan of this show and I really appreciate the positive drama-free tone. But I do think there is some risk in making blanket statements about how ethically questionable business decisions may or may not hurt anyone. There’s a big vitriolic dialogue rolling along about how much the scammers do indeed hurt the KU system due to KU payouts, rankings, etc. I’m not making a judgment on that beyond acknowledging the risk in touching that dialogue, though I think if I were cleverer I might try to make an observation on how this episode plays both signified and signifier, in that Jim’s comments about how stoking the fire can explode a brand were framed in broad hypothetical statements about this potentially vitriolic dialogue. But that would be sort of silly, and also a bit fire-stokey of me.


  • Shane Honorae

    No doubt this is unethical on a business level. However, from the reader’s POV they’re getting a deal (more content they want for less money). It’s Amazon and fellow authors who suffer. As another romance author, I’m also faced with this decision. I do not page-stuff because it’s a matter of WHEN not IF Amazon will come down on the scammers. My business is too important to me to risk for a few extra bucks.

  • trishheinrich

    I am one of those people who always assumes I will be the one person that will be made the example of if I break a rule, so no, I wouldn’t do anything consciously to break a terms of service. My question is: Did the author know before this big blow up? I mean really, has anyone read ALL of the terms of service. I would venture to guess, not many. So if the author unknowingly violated a rule, then that’s one thing. Maybe they got angry at the automatic assumption that they were scamming when they just didn’t know and now are sticking to their guns. If they did know…Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, I feel like this is a small thing. To me, stuffing is nonsense stuff, not anything resembling a story stuffed into a file to look like an ebook. It doesn’t sound like this person was doing that.

  • You take your professional life into your hands everytime you go against a platform’s TOS. And especially in an age when checks can be automated, you don’t want to risk falling afoul of the system, either now or at some point further down the track. This kind of exploit seems like short-term thinking rather than career building.

    PS woowoo is the sound a steam train makes and is the only context I know of.

  • Matthew Staggs

    From a purely ethical standpoint, I can’t think of a way that page-stuffing would not be considered unethical. If it’s rule that is given to everyone with the assumption that everyone will abide by, and you don’t, then you’re acting unethically. More importantly, if you “steal” a larger portion of the pot than you are entitled to, which harms the others also depending on that pot, that is also unethical.

    All that being said, while I can fault the author for page stuffing because of its lack of ethics, I can’t fault him from a business standpoint because it is simultaneously opportunistic. While my personal strategy is long-term with steady growth, I wouldn’t try this tactic because it could disrupt that progress. But if this author is a quick-hit, crash and burn type of businessman, then this tactic is brilliant. (Please don’t read this as an endorsement of the tactic, just an objective viewpoint). If a rule is stated but never enforced, to someone like him, it may merely seem arbitrary. While I think Amazon will eventually do something once enough noise is made, if he’s just trying to get as much as he can before the hammer comes down, then I would say his tactic is working.

    Again, I do not think this is ethical, and I do not wish to partake in this type of activity, but one thing I learned from years of hockey is that if the ref didn’t call it, it’s not a penalty, so you had better get over it and play your game.

  • Dave

    There are actually several parts to the claims being made about page stuffing. First, the idea that you must be a “boxed set” if you are going to have more than one story. I kinda disagree with that because lots of books have multiple parts that could just as easily be full books. Further, the book in question actually said six in the title which implied to me that there were six stories. So this one is definitely in the gray area as it reportedly relates to the TOS. To this, I have absolutely no problem.

    On the idea of skipping to the end, that is stealing, pure and simple. Since KU pays you per page, that is pretty much the same thing as getting paid by the hour at work. If someone came to work, punched the time clock then left for 8 hours before coming back and punching out, there would be no argument that the person was stealing from the company because they didn’t work the hours they were getting paid for. In this case, you’re actually stealing from fellow authors not Amazon (they are paying someone either way), which is actually worse than stealing from Amazon, in my humble opinion.

    If you wanted to get into the grey area of putting the most popular book in a boxed set at the back to get people to skip to the end, that could be a discussion, but simple skipping to the back is black and white wrong.

    • Stacie Orsburn

      Uh, that was a 6 men to one woman romance story, not six separate stories. That’s why ‘harem’ is also part of the title.

      • Dave

        Well, it’s not my genre (as a writer or reader) so I guess I didn’t get that. Either way, the crux of my opinion was that intentionally trying to get paid for work you didn’t do (ie. pages that didn’t get read) is stealing.

  • I think the stuffing being discussed is both unethical AND an opportunity. And I wouldn’t do it even if I thought Amazon wasn’t going to take action, both because it’s against the TOS and because that’s risky, short-term thinking. I used to do a lot of SEO as part of several different day jobs, and this kind of thing came up all the time in terms of using black-hat tactics in order to gain rankings quickly. And there were always examples of guys who did shady things and weren’t penalized by Google—until they were. In hindsight, if often turned out to be the case that playing by the rules and building rankings over the long haul would’ve been the better choice, given the loss of those rankings and the damage to your domain when all was said and done. Look at it from a sports angle: how many athletes juiced up for the wins and glory, only to have it all taken away from them after they were exposed?

  • The definition of “woo-woo” might be “witchy-poo.” The definition of “integrity” is “doing what you know you should even when no one is looking.”

  • Amy Cesari

    I’m a woo-woo Author! It’s a super fun, powerful topic! I also have a masters degree in business and I did my thesis on indie publishing/author business.

  • Crissy Moss

    Woo-woo often was used on some of those debunk shows that showed how palm readers, and other “magic”, scammed people. So ya, I’ve heard it a lot.

    QOTW I wouldn’t use a method like that for two reasons. One, I have some pride in being honest and not scammy. Two, I want my readers to know what they are getting. If all the books are in there why wouldn’t I tell them? Plus there is the fact that I don’t get to see follow through in reads and percentages of people who like my book enough to read the sequel.

    But I’m a writer. I’m in it for the story. A scammer isn’t.

  • Alexa Kang

    I’m SOOOOO disappointed you guys didn’t talk about the Masterminds’ method of “self”-publishing (giving full benefit of the doubt that their publishing, release, and marketing methods are legit. I thought that would be your top story of the week. Instead, we got Trump? Ugh. For him, against him, maybe I’m suffering Trump fatigue but I just don’t care. I don’t care that Wolff’s book is blowing up the chart either since his book is Trad Pub. We indie authors will never be publishing a tell-all book about a celebrity/famous person who can garner that type of sales, and if we have such insider info, we can easily find a publisher to handle everything for us including arming ourselves with a team of lawyers. I feel that topic was pretty useless for us, whereas the Masterminds and those like them are giving serious competition to a lot of indie authors working alone. I think that is much much more relevant, and probably worrisome to Romance authors who feel they can’t compete. I don’t write Romance and my genre is probably one of the last that the Masterminds will ever bother to get a slice of, but I’d be so interested to hear you guys’ take on it. And this is a totally separate subject than the stuffer/scammer topic you discussed as No. 2. Would you consider talking about the Masterminds’ way of sale and marketing vs. Indies working alone? And where will self-publishing go from this point on?

    • Bryan

      Hadn’t heard of this. Got a link to a post or blog about this? Would love to hear more!

      • Alexa Kang

        Sure. Here’s the link with a VERY eye-opening discussion on this matter. I’m surprised you guys haven’t seen it: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,259578.425.html, the same controversial discussion about the stuffed books. If you want to cut through all the noise to see the crux of the method, the discussion of the “Masterminds” sort of begins on p.9, posts 207, 209, & 283. A more concise summary of how it all works is on p. 18, post 448. Even Joe Konrath jumped into this discussion and you guys have the clout to ask him more about it. The “Masterminds” are the same people who David G described as “bad boys romance authors”, for a lack of a better term, who were at the center of the book stuffing issue. Apparently they call themselves the “Masterminds”. TBH the book stuffing thing is like a tempest in a teapot comparing to the bigger issue of the Masterminds’ way of selling books.

        On another note, there’s another side discussion about authors with pen names “cat fishing” readers that you guys might want to check out. I personally have very little interest in that side show but your other listeners might.

  • I’ve heard the term woo-woo plenty of times over the decades, usually having to do with having one’s head in the clouds.

    Page stuffing a book is unethical and does cause harm to other authors in KU by skewing the distribution of funds made available. I recognise that this kind of thing is a common business practice in many areas, but I wouldn’t do it.

  • Woo-woo (or simply ‘woo’) is based on the sound someone makes when someone talks about things like crystal balls, astrology, or homeopathy.

    Witchy-poo is the name of the witch on HR Puffinstuff.

    Let’s not confuse the issue just because they both have an oo sound.

  • Amanda Smith

    Haha, I never expected to hear woowoo on the show. I first heard it from the athiest community. Woowoo refer to any type of spirituality, and has condescending connotations. “That’s a bunch of woowoo BS.”

    But in the last couple years I’ve heard kinder uses of the word from both atheists and agnostics. “He’s a bit woowoo but I like what he’s trying to do.”

    I think and hope the shifting usage of the word reflects an easing of dogmatic condemnation of thiests within the athiest community.

  • Daniel Martone

    Book stuffing is ripping off every other author who has their books in KU. By falsely inflating the number of pages read, we are all making less. They are taking money out of my pocket thru their illegal practices. This needs to be dealt with.

  • Daniel Martone

    Um, public officials can indeed file lawsuits for libel and slander. Just because you are a public figure does not give anyone the right to lie about you. You have to prove malice. If they do indeed know that they are lying, and that can be proved, they will lose the case. If they just didn’t do enough research but thought they were right (when they were actually wrong) then they’d get away with it.

  • Daniel Martone

    In regards to the mid-level authors “tip”… in order to move beyond that, you could also purchase a bunch of lame pre-made covers, come up with inept stories matching them, and sell them as pre-packaged books to be written, that will get new writers on their way to being “real” authors… and you could sell those for $17,000. 😉

    • Daniel Martone

      Sorry, still a bit of venom left over from 2017.

  • Liberty Speidel

    Main question:

    I do think the author in question did something unethical. Would I do it myself if I had the opportunity? I can’t say as I would because I have to live with myself and I can’t see doing something unethical just to make a buck. Plus, I wouldn’t want the heavy hand of Amazon coming down on me should I be found out. I’ll be honest, thank you very much. I’d rather be able to be proud of my accomplishments.


    Yes, I’ve heard of the phrase “woo-woo”. I’ve used it since I was a child. As Jonathan Small pointed out, I use it to describe something that’s unscientific–such as the neighborhood witch store that I have to pass to go to town.

  • James Faulkner

    If I sell hamburgers that are 90% oatmeal and 10% real beef, no matter how well I try and sell the real beef part, people will ultimately not like the 90% oatmeal part. Page stuffing is wrong and they know it. That being said, if they can sell oatmeal burgers and get away with it, then so be it. That door won’t stay open for long. Once the bright spotlight is placed on it, it will change. Cockroaches tend to move back into the shadows when there is too much attention on them.

  • Spider McGee

    It’s unethical, sure, but when did that stop anyone? Only when Amazon starts enforcing their TOS will authors stop doing it. It’s obviously not costing Amazon any money or they would have already shut it down.

  • Laura Martone

    Others have already covered “woo-woo” – so I’m assuming Jim gets the meaning now… and will still refrain from ever using that particular word in a conversation. 😉 As to the QOTW, I’m honest to a fault, so there’s no way that I would do what those page-stuffing romance authors have been doing as of late. It’s dishonest, opportunistic, and unethical, and it does harm other KU authors, as it falsely inflates their page reads (if, that is, readers click on such links and are propelled to the back of the book). As a reader, I once read a 40k-word romance novel that also included two multi-chapter samples and an extra 40k-word book. I actually read all of the content, thinking it was a nice bonus – but in that case, the author marketed the book as having such extras. When an author hides it from the reader, it feels like false advertising, especially if the author urges readers to click a link that allows them to skip a bunch of filler material and rack up said author’s page counts. Boo hiss to that malarkey!

  • Annelisa Christensen

    I love the woo-woo term. Some might think Bigfoot woo-woo, but if you believe, you believe. Especially now we know they have romances like the rest of us, and even have books written about them.

  • Bryan

    So many great comments everybody. Thanks for posting!