Sunday, April 18, 2010

Goodreads | Authors Without A Yacht (AWaY)

Tax time in America brings it home to many author just how much our income is affected by ebook piracy. One cannot even deduct uploads let alone downloads of illegally created copies of our books as "spillage" (which is what bookstore owners call shoplifted books).

Goodreads | Authors Without A Yacht (AWaY)

Some of us got together to create a social networking group to discuss piracy and share just how rampant the situation is.

"Authors Without A Yacht" is a group where book lovers can ask questions and receive honest answers from authors who are affected by piracy.

Most of us would be happy if we could afford a canoe from our book royalties. Readers keep us afloat, piracy and e-book file "sharing" is sinking us.

If you ask, we'll tell you where you can legally find our books for the best possible prices (usually libraries and used book stores), which online retailers are legitimate.

We'll tell you the tell-tale signs that a "free" book is probably stolen, and the trouble that downloading a bootleg could cause, and what to do to be safe... and much more.

Goodreads | Authors Without A Yacht (AWaY)

Please join the GoodReads group, and invite your friends.

And now for something completely different.

I'm one of the moderators of a GoodReads group called "Tips..." It's for authors only, and is all about sharing advice on promoting and marketing books.

One member requested a little brainstorming on how to position his book as a graduation gift. I obliged thusly (some remarks have been redacted):

..... it would be a really good idea to ask people .... to tag the book "graduation gift". I've just written it in for you, but you'll need a lot more write-ins before it gets on your main menu.

There are 823 rival tags of "Graduation Gift". 459 products are in the Graduation Gift community.

The top tagger is Linda Chai with 71 products tagged, but your most creative rival is probably Dahlia, because she is the only one with an atavar, and has tagged 49 times.

There is one discussion (only one!) and it is hardly scintillating.

42 Lists and guides (have you started a Listmania?) but no images!

You could own this Amazon Community. Get on the leader board by tagging 75 of your rivals starting with those that only have 1 vote/tag.


How's that?

My correspondent came back with another question about tagging, to which I replied:


People tag out of reciprocity. Also out of gratitude if you comment on their discussions in their Communities or blogs.

For instance, you could go to and comment on my guest Kelly A Harmon's guest post. (She's doing a blog tour and offering one prize over the course of the tour to one commenter, so commenters will be returning to my blog from her later blogs to leave some remark in hopes of winning.)

So, you visit my blog, and you leave a comment for Kelly... and ask if her book would make a great "graduation gift" and if so would history graduates enjoy it. When you sign in, you include your http TO YOUR AMAZON PAGE instead of to your website.

Maybe you add a sig line at the bottom of your comment
"MR 'graduation gift' expert"

Others see "graduation gift" and associate your name with it. The search engines eventually pick up your name in connection with "graduation gift".

Amazon communities are an untapped resource. Author friends, check it out. Really. You could start your own on almost any subject. There's even a "sperm donor" community!

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