Morning Coffee – 29 August 2018

Morning Coffee - 29 August 2018 Morning Coffee

Here are a few stories to read this Wednesday morning.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Xavier Basora29 August, 2018


    Yeah the Amazon astroturf strategy(tm) I laughed. How can a relatively smart company be so doofus and be such a skinflint? 50$ gift cards are ya kiddin me?!
    Some of the tweets I read were amusing. My favourite was a tweet where a guys ask Amazon to send him a suitcase full of those giftcards and be a willing shill.

    Guess Bezos is going to fire someone into orbit for this.

  2. Richard Hershberger29 August, 2018

    The thing about the Amazon astroturfing is that I can readily believe that the individual employees are sincere. I did a stint with Walmart back in the early 1990s. Early every morning there was an all-hands meeting. Sometimes there was actual information to be disseminated, but that was incidental. The real point of the meeting was as a pep rally, including a mandatory Walmart cheer. Most of the workers recognized this for the manipulative hideousness it was and showed the absolute minimum level of enthusiasm that would let them keep their jobs, but there always were a couple of people who were genuinely enthusiastic, and couldn’t understand why everyone else was not. These are the adult versions of the high school students who loved pep rallies and totally bought into “school spirit.” I find it plausible that Amazon has some of their own working in their warehouses, and have put them to work as propagandists. What I wonder about is how many other people have decided that being paid to surf twitter beats warehouse work, and are faking it. I expect that some tell-alls will come out of this soon enough.

  3. Anne29 August, 2018

    That Amazon campaign has me shaking my head but I’m with Richard. I have worked with people who would have taken that type of job and performed it with 100% sincerity. I can also remember a time when I defended my employer about something that with hindsight, I should have known they were lying about. When I was young, I was a lot more gullible. I’ll cut these Amazon employees some slack.

    1. Nate Hoffelder29 August, 2018

      Agreed on cutting them some slack, but I still think this campaign was a terrible idea.

  4. Allen F29 August, 2018

    On the ‘Simon & Schuster’ games/tricks, any bets they’re call it a ‘deep discount’ so the author gets nothing when the ebooks are ‘on sale’ and actually selling? 😉

    1. Nate Hoffelder29 August, 2018

      ding ding ding we have a winner

    2. Peter Winkler29 August, 2018

      The deep discount clause only applies to printed books that are retailed by big box stores or chsins like B&N. My first contract contained a discount cause and it only applied to print books. It’s designed to compensate the publisher for the loss of royalties they suffer when retailers drive a hard bargain and extract a deep dealer discount. Since ebooks are only sold online and there is no inventory, the discount clause doesn’t apply.

      1. Disgusting Dude30 August, 2018

        Times have changed.
        Some publishers apply deep discount to ebooks.

  5. Robert Nagle29 August, 2018

    I don’t know. The S&S titles being discounted are NOT new or underappreciated titles; many have received good reviews; there’s no gain in getting more exposure for these ebooks. I guess the thinking goes that some money is better than no money. Maybe it puts these titles on the top seller list on Amazon and causes Amazon to give more visibility to them.

  6. Disgusting Dude30 August, 2018

    You are correct.
    As long as they are paid for, they count as sales for ranking purposes.
    It is a common, old Indie publishing strategy. And it works.
    Boost visibility of one for a while and sales improve for other titles in the series and other books by the author. Rinse and repeat every few months.


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