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Old 09-26-2011, 10:48 AM   #46
anamardoll
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
Exactly. Unless you're typing in the URL each time, you're probably using someone's affiliate link. What is the issue with the people here, who are saving us time and effort by posting bargains, making a few cents per book? For a free book, they get 4 percent of nothing. For a $5 book, the commission is a whopping 20 cents. Woo-hoo!
*quits day job*
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:49 AM   #47
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Please reconsider this. It makes browsing the Freebies forum so much more difficult. I'm with Catlady; requiring a simple disclaimer is enough.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:52 AM   #48
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I have benefited greatly from the people listing free books in the Kindle thread and found it very convenient to check one thread for all the listings with descriptions included so I could decide if it was something I was interested in.

I actually was concerned that the posters providing this service would grow tired of it and stop posting them... so I was actually happy to find out that they were affiliate links which provides a bit of motivation to keep up with this service.

I have no problem with it at all, and I'm glad they receive a tiny bit of compensation with no cost to me.

I thought the way it worked previously was the best - keeping it in one thread and whoever posted it first got the links. It made it very easy to find the new free and bargain books. I would prefer a mention in the post that the links are affiliate rather than people starting separate threads.

I too would like to know who complained and what their motivation was.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:59 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
Exactly. Unless you're typing in the URL each time, you're probably using someone's affiliate link. What is the issue with the people here, who are saving us time and effort by posting bargains, making a few cents per book? For a free book, they get 4 percent of nothing. For a $5 book, the commission is a whopping 20 cents. Woo-hoo!
Many used books end up zero (there is a thread on the aff forums; if you can manage sell enough copies of a single $0.01 book, you could actually make a penny off of it ... those of us who have been affiliates for a long time just laugh at those who are upset they don't make a commission on those penny sales, as it's been that way since Amazon let third parties sell at that price), also.

As you say, to make more than pin money at it, you have to (a) work at it quite a bit and (b) post links that people actually want to click on. One reason Arcdata posts a bit more than I do recently, is that I had to stop staying up until 3AM to find the US price changes (those in Europe/Asia/Africa have a great advantage there). No matter, I still maintain the free thread on the Kindle forum (at least for now, though, I think it will start being free books only, there).
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:58 AM   #50
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I agree with the others who have posted so far. Could matters please return to the way they were, possibly with a disclaimer at the beginning of a post with affiliate links?

For one thing, I have no problem with people gaining a bit when they take the trouble of putting up interesting information for everyone, especially whey they are aboveboard about it.

Second, in the new system it will be very confusing if someone else wants to add the information that the same book is available for free or at bargain prices at other sites (possibly with other formats that some readers may require). Do I start a new thread then? Or do I add the link into Arcadata's, Koland's or whomever's thread, even if they don't get anything through the link I post?

Please reconsider the changes!
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:00 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScalyFreak View Post
I'm confused. There is something morally wrong with affiliate links?
Whenever someone has a financial interest in recommending something, their motives become suspect. Salesmen who DON'T work on commission usually tout that fact because it makes people feel like they are being more honest.

There is of course more emotion than reason here. I could be getting paid off in some other way and totally hide that fact, and make you think I'm recommending something with nothing but your best interest at heart, rather than using a visible referral link. And I think people who are simply link-spamming will be noticed and ignored soon enough.
I have found real value in the aggregate posts in the deals forum by folks like koland and arcadata and it has become the #1 reason I check MR each day. I'd hate to lose that. I think if they refer me to a book a like, they have every right to get acknowledged for that referral, and if referral tags are ultimately banned here, I'd probably book mark their websites or affiliate stores so they would get credit.

Still, I don't mind more direct disclosure of any financial interest.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:09 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
Whenever someone has a financial interest in recommending something, their motives become suspect. Salesmen who DON'T work on commission usually tout that fact because it makes people feel like they are being more honest.
This is why I disclose in a review if I received the product for free.

Affiliate links are not reviews or endorsements, though. They can be accompanied by endorsements, but I haven't seen, say, Arcadata saying "buy this book, it's awesome". Just "hey, it's on sale here". That's not a recommendation.

And, as Catlady said, this would be fixed with a "say if the link is an affiliate one" rule instead of this "one thread to rule them all" implementation.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:12 PM   #53
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Whenever someone has a financial interest in recommending something, their motives become suspect. Salesmen who DON'T work on commission usually tout that fact because it makes people feel like they are being more honest.
True enough. I guess the reason I don't think that's a big deal here is because of the ridiculously small amount of money involved. In order to make a large enough amount of money on affiliate links that it actually makes a difference, it almost has to be a full-time job.

Posting a few links on a forum every now and then doesn't add up to enough money that I feel scammed or cheated if someone made money from the link I clicked on, and didn't bother to tell me. Besides, we're on the internet. Affiliate links have been in use for how many years now? I realize that just because something is obvious to me that doesn't mean it's obvious to everyone else, of course. But really, were there people who genuinely believed that nothing but self-less generosity drives the people who spend hours and hours every day searching for deals and post them for complete strangers to enjoy? If so, wow.

I see this the other way around. Anyone who is willing to benefit from the time and work put in by the ones who post the deals and bargains here, and who begrudges them a bit of pocket change for their efforts, is the one with suspect motives. It strikes me as petty.

This forum would work much better if each separate deal gets its own thread. Disclosing that it's an affiliate link can become mandatory, to avoid misunderstandings. I don't care if it is, but apparently there are those who think this is a big deal.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:16 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by ScalyFreak View Post
I see this the other way around. Anyone who is willing to benefit from the time and work put in by the ones who post the deals and bargains here, and who begrudges them a bit of pocket change for their efforts, is the one with suspect motives. It strikes me as petty.

This forum would work much better if each separate deal gets its own thread. Disclosing that it's an affiliate link can become mandatory, to avoid misunderstandings. I don't care if it is, but apparently there are those who think this is a big deal.
QFT.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:36 PM   #55
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Addendum:

The by far worst part about the new rules is that all the different formats go in one single thread and that makes it extremely hard to find the Sony specials I come here to look for. And no, Ctrl-F to find them does not work. That hits every single post in the thread, since koland and arcadata both have "Sony" listed among his devices.

Moderators, please reconsider forcing the affiliate links into a single thread. This is making it far too difficult to those of us who come here every day looking for deals specific to a single store or device.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:37 PM   #56
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QFT.
Quantum Field Theory?
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:40 PM   #57
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True enough. I guess the reason I don't think that's a big deal here is because of the ridiculously small amount of money involved. In order to make a large enough amount of money on affiliate links that it actually makes a difference, it almost has to be a full-time job.
Even if they were to make significant amounts of money by posting the affiliate links, so what? The principle is the same. It's not an added cost to the consumer, except in the broad sense that Amazon and BN are passing along these costs, along with all their other costs.

Britomart makes a good point about the potential confusion of adding information about the same title at a different store or in a different format.

This "solution" is like killing a fly with a sledgehammer.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:46 PM   #58
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Quantum Field Theory?
Quoted For Truth.

And to Catlady:

The only way I can see this being an issue is if only one or two of the ones posting links here have affiliate links, and the others don't. The ones who make no money might feel it's unfair, and I can sort of understand that. Except that it's not that difficult to get an affiliate link of your own, if you really want one.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:47 PM   #59
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@ APK, quoted for truth.

So, so far we have that "one affiliate thread per member" policy will:

1. Make it harder for people to find the deals they want (and for the devices they want).

2. Discourage deal posting for the non-careers (i.e., I posted an affiliate link deal once; I'm not going to make my own thread for the once-per-month deal I find).

3. Increase duplication of deals across the forum (i.e., the same deals in multiple affiliate threads).

4. Bog down the actual deal threads (harder for someone to pop in an endorse a book).

5. Result in MEGA-deal threads of 100s of pages long that will confuse newbies (why are the deals in the OP expired??).

Anything else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScalyFreak View Post
The only way I can see this being an issue is if only one or two of the ones posting links here have affiliate links, and the others don't. The ones who make no money might feel it's unfair, and I can sort of understand that. Except that it's not that difficult to get an affiliate link of your own, if you really want one.
Takes 60 seconds to sign up, seriously. And there's a parable of the workers somewhere that I might pull out...

Seriously, posters being sour about "competition" doesn't help the deal forum be active and helpful. If the people who were complaining were doing so because they weren't making MEGA-bucks, then I don't think their complaints help the actual users.

Last edited by anamardoll; 09-26-2011 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:14 PM   #60
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Well, one potential issue I can see being a consideration is that as MR grows and attracts more members as e-readers become increasingly popular, some of the newer ones might end up seeing the Deals forum as a way to $$$MAKE MONEY FAST$$$.

Then they might end up posting individual threads for each and every one of their bargain "finds" which happen to be under $5 (instead of the tidy and considerate grouped-per-publisher time-limited discounts/well-known author on special promotion threads that people currently post), thus leading to a lot of clutter as they try to put their affiliate link out.

And doing the math, it doesn't really take all that many links to add up to a decent sum. Today's new FT Press Kindle freebies all have page views of at least 80 already, and it's only been what, 10 hours since they were posted? Some of the repeats are well into the hundreds.

If even 25 of those hundreds of viewers who click through on the freebie then go to buy a single 99 cent indie book within the next 24 hours, at 4% commission that's roughly a dollar a day, which will pay for three shiny new Kindles With Special Offers over the course of a year.

Admittedly, it would be a lot of work to track down and post free books that hadn't already been posted before in order to earn this amount, which by that point would have been well-deserved.

But my cynical side says that any potential link-spammers probably wouldn't even bother providing us with freebies and would likely just crib a bunch of books from the "Sort By Lowest Price First" search on Amazon in the hopes that enough of us will will want to buy those $1.99 With Bonus Material HarperCollins titles and end up posting individual threads for every single one of them.
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