Scammers Break The Kindle Store

A wake-up call for all readers who mistakenly think quality writing is found at the top of KU lists.

*Full disclosure: None of the books I publish myself are on KU. We tried it once and lost a bunch of money.

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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4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I would hope discriminating readers select their reads from known authors or qualified referrals. I for one would never select a book because of its ranking. Means nothing to me, even the NYT best seller lists.


  2. I agree totally. I don’t pick my reading based off of what others say. I have my favorite authors. That’s who I read. I occasionally try a new author and if I like them I read their other books. My mother taught me that if you can’t say something nice, keep your mouth shut. That’s why I’m not going to go into some if the useless drivel that has made the bestsellers lists. That’s not to say all of them, just a few shining examples of trash that I could point out, but won’t.


  3. I choose my books by their content for new authors. Once I’ve established thst they are a great author I read everything they publish. Dana Stabenow is a classic example of this. A great author amongst many I read. Jo Nesbo and a lot of yhe scandanavian crime writers


  4. I seldom pay any attention to any of the best seller lists and don’t try out a new author when they turn up on a free list. I read favorite authors, I read multiple reviews of a single new title before I buy it. I rely on the recommendations of book-reading friends and recommendations from my favorite indie book sellers.


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