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I think I've just been kicked in the nuts.....By Amazon

A completely non-Fiverr issue here but one which I would be interested to see if anyone else has been impacted by.

A couple of years ago, I needed an ebook. I knew that the book I wanted was considered public domain. The thing is, I wanted a decent ebook version so I decided to pay 99 cents for one on Amazon. What I quickly realized, however, was that hundreds of ‘publishers’ were releasing public domain works on Amazon which had been run through an automatic ebook converter. The result? Completely unreadable books which just frustrate the hell out of readers.

So… I had an awesome business idea. I decided to start releasing public domain titles, the USP of which was that each was formatted to the same high-quality standard as an ebook published by a big publisher. And it worked! In fact, my public domain books averaged more in sales than my own books.

There is just one problem. Over the past few months, sales have flatlined. What’s more, I’ve just noticed that this is likely because Amazon has started collating reviews for public domain titles.

What this means is that when I look at one of my own or one of my competitor’s public domain ebook listings, reviews have no bearing on the actual book format being offered. Worse, in some cases, previews of books revert to the highest selling ebook formats, not those which are offered on the listings which are actually being looked at.

It’s really upsetting. Amazon has effectively just decapitated my niche! The only question is why?


Marketplaces and their problems… :joy:

‘Clubbing reviews’ might hurt quality-focused sellers like you - but I’m sure Amazon did that keeping customer experience in mind. As far as ebook reviews are concerned they are more about content rather than presentation and it would make sense for the reader to read all reviews at one place.

But sorry to know an enterprising individual’s quality work getting sidelined.

I’m just impressed with your entrepreneurship. I’m sure you’ll think of something else.

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I don´t like this, really not. It´s not just books.
You need a new laptop and read the reviews for a specific model, because you´re interested in specifically that model? Don´t forget to check the small print, because they feed you reviews on similar but not the same models too.
My guess when I noticed it was that it´s to up the number of reviews for the products, especially for those that don´t have many, of course.
I´ve read quite a few electronics reviews, like one does when needing a new device, and suddenly thought… one moment… and found that the review was for a variant (which might be some 10s or 100s of € more or less, on top of that), and even once you know it, you tend to forget it, and need to be lucky that something really catches your attention, like someone talking about Optimus while you thought you were reading reviews for the model with G-Sync or vice versa. :frowning:

Yeah, anyhow, I understand you being upset and am pretty sure it upsets a lot of customers, too. I am usually fine with paying a bit more if I get a less annoying, or even not annoying :wink: , book or other product then.

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Funilly enough, this just made me remember how back in 2011 I bought the worlds worst laptop from Amazon. I always meticulously research computer equipment I buy. I slim things down to a specific brand and model number and then I try to find where I can get that make and model cheapest.

In 2011, the cheapest place I could find was Amazon but about a year later I realized that the laptop I’d bought wasn’t what I thought it was. It had the same chassis and looked visually identical to what I thought I was buying but everything on the inside was of such poor quality that Toshiba discontinued the line of laptops mine was really from before I even purchased mine.

I’m really annoyed by this as I have been looking at the possibility of dropshipping through Amazon and actually, this review grouping nonsense wouldn’t allow the business model which I have in mind to work at all.

Down with Amazon! (Just not the web services bit which Fiverr relies on).

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I noticed what you are talking about a while back but didn’t realize it was pervasive throughout the entire site. It sounds like Amazon has destroyed the best thing about the site.

I still think, It’s fair on the part of e-commerce players to club products by ‘Brand’ lest the search listing gets too thin and too long. Now for a public domain work, the work is the brand not it’s package…

Just what I was thinking. Someone who can think outside of the box like this will surely come up with something else innovative while the rest of us are slaving away for Fiverr!

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