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Old 07-16-2018, 02:53 PM   #1
ZodWallop
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Bad Romance: A cabal of authors gamed Amazon’s algorithm

The Verge did an interesting article on the hijinks a group of romance authors got up to in order to game Kindle Unlimited payouts. It's kind of depressing, but then I guess there's a reason you don't want to see how the sausage is made.

One interesting point: They say that one of the fallouts of this hacking of the system is that it is making romance more misogynistic. I don't know that I buy that. I know very little about romance, but within the article, they don't really support their claim.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:22 PM   #2
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I'm going to write some cocky bad romance.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:31 PM   #3
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I'm going to write some cocky bad romance.
was that pun intended?
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:27 PM   #4
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I'm going to write some cocky bad romance.
I hope you're ready to handle a few lawsuits
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:10 PM   #5
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It reminds me of Grouchos' reply to the Warner Bros letter sent to United Artists when the the Marx Bros were making a movie called "A Night in Casablanca".
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:16 PM   #6
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One interesting point: They say that one of the fallouts of this hacking of the system is that it is making romance more misogynistic. I don't know that I buy that. I know very little about romance, but within the article, they don't really support their claim.
I agree, that was interesting, but not supported in the article. I read romance (it's among my favourite genres, along with fantasy and SF), but I don't subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, so I don't know how it differs from romance published elsewhere.

I'd guess that people who write romance just for the money, without caring about the genre or the community, are more likely to fall back to lazy cliches from the bad old days in the 80s, like the rapey hero and the innocent virgin heroine, while modern romance has (mostly) moved on from that, in many different and interesting directions.
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:21 PM   #7
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I agree, that was interesting, but not supported in the article. I read romance (it's among my favourite genres, along with fantasy and SF), but I don't subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, so I don't know how it differs from romance published elsewhere.

I'd guess that people who write romance just for the money, without caring about the genre or the community, are more likely to fall back to lazy cliches from the bad old days in the 80s, like the rapey hero and the innocent virgin heroine, while modern romance has (mostly) moved on from that, in many different and interesting directions.
From what my wife had to say when we tried a Kindle Unlimited subscription, it's not the lazy old cliches, it was the books that seemed to be recycled as if written from a very limited supply of story outlines with only the names changed to protect the guilty. Trad publishing tends to do the same with some themes but not to the same unanimity as she was seeing with a good chunk of the indie authors. I'd call them potboilers but that's an insult to potboilers.
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:22 AM   #8
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From what my wife had to say when we tried a Kindle Unlimited subscription, it's not the lazy old cliches, it was the books that seemed to be recycled as if written from a very limited supply of story outlines with only the names changed to protect the guilty. Trad publishing tends to do the same with some themes but not to the same unanimity as she was seeing with a good chunk of the indie authors. I'd call them potboilers but that's an insult to potboilers.
The article did mention that the group of authors would all agree to write about a similar subject to push each other's books up in the rankings. I guess if a bunch of people each decide to write a romance about an arrogant real estate agent and have to churn the books out in a month or less, you'll probably get some pretty similar stuff. Just a guess though.
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