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Old 09-25-2011, 10:01 AM   #1
HarryT
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IMPORTANT: Rules for posting affiliate links in this forum

We have received a number of complaints about the fact that some users are posting affiliate links in the forum without openly declaring the fact that they will financially gain whenever anyone clicks on such a link and buys a book (any book, not just the one clicked on). In order to address such concerns, we are imposing the following rules for the forum, which will take effect immediately:

1. If you wish to make a post containing an affiliate link, you must create a thread whose title is "Affiliate Links for <your MobileRead user name> for <month, year>".

2. In the first post in that thread you must state clearly in what way you will financially gain when someone clicks on one of your links.

3. Any post containing an affiliate link must be posted only in your personal thread, and nowhere else.

4. Please start a new thread each month for your affiliate links.

5. Posts which do not contain affiliate links may, of course, continue to be posted as normal to the forum.

6. Affiliate links within posts are only allowed for ebooks and ebook-related deals.

We require full compliance with these rules with immediate effect.

Thank you for your co-operation.

[The MobileRead Moderating Team]

Last edited by HarryT; 10-16-2011 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Added new rule #6.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:40 PM   #2
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I think this is a very bad idea and an overreaction, and should be reconsidered.

It means duplication and confusion for members looking for the deals and freebies. Now I'll have to look through posts in numerous threads, instead of being able to quickly scan the deals section by book titles or devices.

I think it would be better to have the individuals who post affiliate links include a sentence in each post disclosing their affiliate relationship, if the powers-that-be think some kind of disclosure is truly necessary.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I think this is a very bad idea and an overreaction, and should be reconsidered.

It means duplication and confusion for members looking for the deals and freebies. Now I'll have to look through posts in numerous threads, instead of being able to quickly scan the deals section by book titles or devices.

I think it would be better to have the individuals who post affiliate links include a sentence in each post disclosing their affiliate relationship, if the powers-that-be think some kind of disclosure is truly necessary.
Amen. Easy, straightforward, sensible. =)
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:48 PM   #4
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why not just have them prefix the thread with (affiliate) or something like that. I much prefer the individual thread per book.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:48 PM   #5
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However, if it absolutely must be done with separate threads, could they at least each be stickied so it's easy to find them each day?
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:49 PM   #6
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why not just have them prefix the thread with (affiliate) or something like that. I much prefer the individual thread per book.
Another good idea. =)
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I think this is a very bad idea and an overreaction, and should be reconsidered.

It means duplication and confusion for members looking for the deals and freebies. Now I'll have to look through posts in numerous threads, instead of being able to quickly scan the deals section by book titles or devices.

I think it would be better to have the individuals who post affiliate links include a sentence in each post disclosing their affiliate relationship, if the powers-that-be think some kind of disclosure is truly necessary.
^ That.

(Though, seriously, I don't see what the fuss is about - you don't pay extra for the book and they get like $0.10 or whatever when you buy a book using their link. I'd much rather subscribe to these person's blogs and avoid the unnecessary mess this new rule will create. Just my $0.02)
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:40 PM   #8
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I think it's an overreaction as well. I think it will make it easier to overlook deals. I think it would be sufficient for the posters to somehow mention affiliate links, perhaps mentioning in the poster's signature that all Amazon, et. al. links in the posts are affiliate links.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron. View Post
why not just have them prefix the thread with (affiliate) or something like that. I much prefer the individual thread per book.
^This! Plus if a poster chooses to stay in one thread, as Koland has decided to do, then having that thread also stickied would be a great help, as well.

I have no argument as to whether or not it is an overreaction or justified decision becuase it is not something I have ever really thought about, considered or realized.

The only links I follow on a regular basis are from the Free/Bargain Kindle deal threads. If Koland is getting a stipend for posting them, then I see no harm or foul. I appreciate his putting all of those links in one (or two places) for us to find.

Harry, can you please explain the nature of the complaints? I'm curious to know the cons of affiliate links.

Than you.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:35 PM   #10
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My take is that I am more than comfortable rewarding affiliates when they add value. However, when they are paid for listing books with no added value it may lead to link spam.

If I just want to pages of free or reduced books, I can go to Amazon directly, or Ereaderiq.com . Visits here often don't add much value for me.

Where I find value is when someone helps me find good books that are bargains/free. Rather than hearing about every possible free book (link spam IMO) I would rather hear about ones that were highly rated, or about ones that the poster recommended from their own interest. Or, even a post from an author as long as the book was a bargain (otherwise go to the self-promotion thread). Ideally an affiliate would start with the list of all bargain books and reduce them to those that they recommend.

Today, I handle this by paying more attention to posts from some people that are more likely to fit my definition of quality posters.

However, I have no complaints about the others. I'm a big believer in entrepreneurship and wish the affiliates success in their activities. I mean this post more as possible market research information that might tell these folks how this particular consumer makes his buying decisions. If my thoughts are representative, it could help them to improve their success rate. If I am a lone voice, then no problem.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:48 PM   #11
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Personally, I'd be fine with affiliate-linked posters continuing to post in regular-style threads, provided there was a mention at the top of each post before the links began that they would receive the click-through commission on (additional) purchases.

Sig-only disclaimers wouldn't work because some of us have sigs turned off.

As for authors posting "bargains" of their own books, I'd really rather all that stayed in the Self-Promo forum, because practically all of the authors who've gone and double-posted in both Self-Promo and Deals seemed to think that their $2.99 self-published backlist or 99 cent indie book was a great bargain deal that no one should miss out on, so that kind of thing would really just encourage flooding and clutter, IMHO.

Perhaps a thread in the Reading Recs forum for recommended bargain/freebie books that MR posters have read and enjoyed which just happen to be fortuitously discounted at the moment?
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:04 PM   #12
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I agree - this is going to be a big mess. I don't see anything wrong with leaving things as they are with a disclaimer statement at the beginning. I actually thought everyone was already aware this is going on.

I have more of a problem with people pretending they are putting up deals and actually working for the company listing them - like the two (if they are actually separate people) who work at Copia.

I also definitely don't want to see the authors self-promoting on this forum for any reason.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:09 PM   #13
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I have liked and definitely benefited from the listing of the FREE books. So making it harder to find those listings would not be my preferred remedy. Not only do I visit most of the links but I also generally copy the info that is posted, that is the title, author and wordy description and copy that over to a booklist.txt file. That provides a quick summary of what I have grabbed.

I guess I should see what that's done down below to see how it works in practice.

But let me ask another question about the original post. If I follow a link to a freebie/discount and "purchase" the freebie, they get a "commission" but if I stay on Amazon and find something else to purchase, they get additional commission (for want of a more exact term) even though they did not like to this new item?
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:15 PM   #14
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I agree - this is going to be a big mess. I don't see anything wrong with leaving things as they are with a disclaimer statement at the beginning. I actually thought everyone was already aware this is going on.
Me too; so out of left field
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:15 PM   #15
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If I follow a link to a freebie/discount and "purchase" the freebie, they get a "commission" but if I stay on Amazon and find something else to purchase, they get additional commission (for want of a more exact term) even though they did not like to this new item?
No - each book has a separate link. Try just clicking through one of their links and look at the URL at Amazon. It has their affiliate code in the URL. If you don't see the affiliate code in the URL they don't get anything for it.
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