7 Replies to “13 of the top 20 titles on Amazon UK today are abusing the metadata process. But just who is to blame?”

  1. Do as I say and not as I do comes to mind, indeed. I’ve read sometimes comments from readers complaining about false claims, but some seem to think somebody else has endorsed the book (I remember a novel saying ‘The best noir novel of the year’ or something of the sort, but it did not give any indication as to according to whom. I knew it was the author, in that case, but your standard reader wouldn’t know).

  2. I feared that I’d be called out for having “laid into the indie author community”. In my experience it was indie authors that first discovered that the practice of adding advertising copy to a title could improve sales. That’s the kind of innovation that the indie publishing scene is noted for. “Blame” was an unfortunate choice of words: “credited” is more accurate. You’ve done a great job of showing how far the practice has spread, that “yes, self-publishers are partly to blame, but they are by no means alone.”

    1. You’re right, Thad, in that self-publishers led the charge back in 2010-11, gaming the Kindle UK (and probably US, but can’t be sure) charts with references to big-selling trad-pubbed names in the title bar.

      I’m not sure whether, back then, Amazon’s guidelines made clear this was not permissible. There was, a point some time in 2011 when two indie titles by the same author hit #1 and #2 simultaneously with references to big-name authors in the metadata. That same writer is now a successful Thomas & Mercer author, which perhaps say a lot.

      The real issue here is that when some of the biggest publishers on the planet, along with Amazon itself, are happily abusing the system, it’s not surprising some indie authors, being largely unfamiliar with industry rules, assume this is acceptable and normal.

  3. Then I wonder if I am on the edge of acceptability with my fantasy title on Amazon: Ifflepinn Island -A read-aloud fantasy in the Hobbit-and-Narnia genre: for green-growing children and evergreen adults. A true enchantment! –Or am I completely out of order?

    1. Completely out of order. Unauthorised reference to successful titles by other writers is against guidelines.

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