I read an interesting post the other day about tags on Amazon and how the publisher decided to remove them and why. You can read the article in full here: http://ebooksuccess4free.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/amazon-kindle-tags-whered-they-go/
I did notice all the tag options missing from my ebook pages and at first was a little shocked by it, and then I quickly forgot about it as just something new Amazon was doing. But, as of this post, I see tag options back on my ebook pages, so not sure what’s going on over at the Kindle bookstore. Anyhow, there are some important points in the article that reminds me of the cyber culture that we live in. The main reasons for the tag removals is by enlarge because some people are not honest. Many Indie authors were tagging their books with tags that have no business being linked to their product. Tags like Harry Potter when their book is nothing like it, and tags like best seller or best selling author when that is strictly not the case. I’m sure you get the idea. Aside from dishonest tags, cyber bullies abound with unfair tags with intent to harm the author or pick on the author because they don’t like the author or the books subject matter. Over time complaints to Amazon lead to the tag removal. For whatever reason the tag options are back. I have not investigated this, but the article made a great point that Amazon should only allow tags from customers if they indeed had purchased the book. I was surprised that someone who didn’t purchase an ebook could leave tags. Simply dumbfounded to me that they would allow that.
I can relate to this article in the area of dishonest and cyber bullying that goes on in the Kindle forums. First, let me say that I am not discouraging participation on the kindle forums, nor am I implying that this is the only thing going on over there. However my experience says otherwise.
When I was a new ebook author, excited about my new book, the first thing I did was try to promote it. Most, if not all, Indie authors struggle with how to get the word out about their ebook. I logged on the Kindle forums and participated in discussions with a link to my Amazon book page under my signature. It wasn’t long before cyber bullies ripped my book and me personally for breaking some unwritten code about authors promoting their own book. The threats and lies were hurtful. At first I was angry, but then learned a quick and hard lesson. I took my post down and am now very cautious of when and how I post on those forums.
Bottom line…there are idiots and jerks out there that thrive on this type of coward-est behavior that ruin a what was a good thing for the rest of us. Thankfully the tag options are back, but hopefully in a way that keeps the integrity of our craft intact.
If you had anything like this happen to you before I would love to hear about it. Also, in the same light, if you’ve had success in ebook promotion and sales it would be fun to learn and talk about it as well.