ANOTHER lucrative KU scam ($2.4m+), audiobook news, and The Road Forward

Yeah uh huh that’s right you know it. This guy just made off with AT LEAST $2,440,000 in KU 2.0 money. And nobody knows how much he made under the old “per borrow” system, but I bet it was like you know a LOT. Fuck KU. Fuck Amazon. So glad I’m out of that rotten system.

The article’s author didn’t do all his homework, focusing on the jacking-up of sales ranks. But it’s apparent from this paragraph that (surprise!) of course the scam’s purpose was about KU borrowbux:

Once the royalties (and refunds, rarely) begin to trickle in, the transactions are recorded in Amazon’s sales and royalties reports. Shershnyov’s royalty report showed that itemized revenues from the 11 master accounts generated $2.44 million since June 2015, which is when Amazon changed the terms in which authors were paid based on the number of books loaned. (It’s not known what was made during the six months prior to that, which was when the scam began.)

Well, we all know how great we did under KU 1.0. I quit my job in February 2015 based on a $20k month on just my stepfucker stories. (Probably a bad idea in retrospect, but hey, at the time it looked like the Golden Age had just begun…) So it’s highly likely that he made a couple million more from 12/14 – 5/15 on per-title borrowbux. (He also made a mere $83k in sales.)

This went on for two years. Because the geniuses at Amazon care about only one thing – finding better ways to fuck honest suppliers to “enrich the customer experience.” All their brainpower goes there. Because after all, were customers hurt by this scammer? Only those who paid part of that $83k in sales to actually buy these fake books.

Most of them borrowed these shit books, but they were already paying to borrow whatever they wanted, so “customer experience quality” was not impacted there. No, just suppliers got goatfucked, because monthly KU compensation is a POOL, a pool of money that even now is still getting drained by expert goatfuckers. (This only shut down recently because – for some reason the article’s author didn’t include, don’t ask me why he’d omit it – Mackeeper Security Research Center found the non-password-protected Azure server, and Mackeeper itself may, irony alert, be a scam.)

So if you’re still in KU…you’re still getting fucked by scammers. There is so much money to be made on that, and Amazon is so busy deleting honest bloggers’ customer reviews that, gosh darn it, they just don’t have time to stop people from robbing suppliers! And by golly, if you don’t like it, Mr. Self Published Author, well there are sixty million other people waiting to take your place in this really neat program!

Anyway. I’ve had a bout of bronchitis, finally over, and I’m thinking tomorrow I’ll be 100% vocally. I’m going to finish Apollo’s Curse because it’s already 55% complete, and I missed my window for getting WILTY out by BookBub Day this Friday. And WILTY is at only 35%, and I really need a win, a finish, and AC will give me that sooner.

Audiobook dollars are disappointing. GTC was a “bestseller,” and yet, that didn’t amount to a hill of beans $wise. So far, 307 copies of GTC have yielded… $600 in royalty income. That $2 average represents the actual sales royalties, goatfucked by the $0.50 Whispersync royalties before Authors Republic takes their cut. So basically I’m making less per audiobook than I’m making per ebook…when the audiobook’s list price is 4x higher. Thanks again, Amazon. The only possible offset is that I’m selling a decent number of GTC ebooks at $5, but probably to people who are buying it to get the $2 audiobook. Sigh.

All told, I’ve made $950 on audiobooks since April, not exactly the Golden Age I’d hoped for. That said, $330 of that was in August, and I only have 2 titles out so far. When I’m in “machine mode,” I can bang out a book every six weeks, I think, so over time, it should be a decent money maker, but not a life saver.

My Big Plan to exit gayrom seems to have sputtered and died. I need to face facts – I just don’t have what it takes to start over in a new world. I’m completely paralyzed by the idea of submitting mainstream ideas to agents and hearing nothing forever, or hearing something and having them go to an editor and hearing nothing forever, living on hope and fantasy for aeons and then…dashed. Can’t do it. And no amount of Magical Thinking is making Hollywood reach out to make my books into movies, or making someone famous “discover” and promote me, nor is any other rescue fantasy coming to fruition.

Gayrom is what I do, it’s what I can make a solid living at without “starting over.” I’m gonna be 54 in November – I don’t have that magnificent delusional energy I used to have that kept me assailing the walls of fictiondom when I was younger. I’m fucking tired! I’m not a wabbit!

So Game Theory will happen this winter, after I finish my ghostwriting job in November. And then…?

I don’t know. What I do know is that for some reason lately, all I want to read about is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve read too many books to link to, so I’ll just toss in the titles. Kaboom, My War: Killing Time in Iraq, Little America, Fobbit, The Forever War, The Outpost, Into the Fire, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, Assassin’s Gate, The Gamble. And on my Up Next shelf I’ve got The Good Soldiers, War, One Bullet Away, The Unraveling, Not a Good Day to Die, The Long Walk, Youngblood, Fives and Twenty Fives, The Yellow Birds, Embarrassing Confessions of a Marine Lieutenant.

And on my Amazon Wish List I’ve got The Mirror Test, The Counterinsurgency Challenge (books by amazing guys who I read about in books I just finished, you know how that goes), Lions of Kandahar, Outlaw Platoon, Black Flags, The Terror Years, Thank You For Your Service… 

Why? I’m not doing Adam Vance stuff now, so I have no tangible current reason to be so obsessed. But I know how my creative head works. Something is going on in there, something that needs to know everything about the war on the ground. (My brain attains a blue cheese-like consistency when I try and read about DC infighting over the war; it’s all both disgusting and boring, these petty personal vendettas that cause so many young men to die unnecessarily so one old fat fuck in one part of the bureaucracy can get credit for an “accomplishment” or, even better, deny it to some other old fat fuck in some other part of the government.) I’m obsessed with reading every character-driven narrative about these wars (note, character driven; I can’t digest long learned books about policy sans human interest).

It usually means something will be written about the subject, or around it, or based on it, from a voice of as much authority as I can muster not having “been there.”

Part of it is just that I ran away from the war, like many Americans, because it was all “so futile” and “too depressing to think about.” Now some part of me wants to hear all about it, all about the disgusting waste of resources by USAID in Afghanistan, all about the young men who fought and died in remote outposts, all about how we’ve been punching shadows, trying to build “nations” in parts of the world where “tribes” are the only cohesive units. I just can’t get enough, and that means something is brewing.

Is it Officer Joe, who I was creating as a former soldier? Is it that PTSD Parrots thing I was thinking about as a semi-sequel to A Little Too Broken? Or is it something else…?

Fuck if I know! But I’ll let you know when I do.

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  1. “The Road Home” releases in NINE DAYS! And, KU Reconsidered… – Brad Vance Author

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