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Thread: [Promotion] Books Butterfly

  1. #26
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    BooksButterfly, you're sinking your own ship.

    Yes, you're entitled to defend yourself when faced with unjust accusations. Or even just ones. However, you really should ask yourself first if it's in your interests to do so.

    If someone buys your services then doesn't like them for whatever reason, your priority should be to work out a resolution that customer is happy with. Because then that customer might well return to the negative reviews he or she has left and announce that actually, you're great to work with and have gone out of your way to be helpful.

    If instead you follow your disgruntled customers around the internet and throw out accusations of defamation, you just make yourself look like a banana.

    I can guarantee that your responses in this thread have done more to lose you customers than the post you found so objectionable.

    If instead you'd come here, admitted that mistakes had been made, and fallen over yourself to put those mistakes right, everyone would have appreciated it and would have cheered you on.

    Instead, you've not only further alienated someone who was your customer, you've also put off lots of other potential customers.

    You can learn from this if you want to. Or you can carry on with your long posts, and your outrage and justifications, and destroy the business you've worked so hard to establish so far. It's up to you.

  2. #27
    Romance with Kick-Assitude! Cassie Knight's Avatar
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    I'm a publisher always looking for ways to promote my authors' books. I love learning about new companies and will try them out (my funds to lose, not my authors--my personal account--just clarifying ).

    I would have taken a deep look at your company--until you responded. Now I won't touch you and I'll make sure my 250 authors (some of who are with other publishing companies or self-publishing) know about you. I say what's in parans because I can hear you saying, pshaw, 250 authors. Small potatoes. Well, those small potatoes come with quite a reach and that doesn't even count their social media contacts.

    This is the result of YOU choosing to defend yourself rather than take it on the chin. One negative response does not sink a ship. But you could.
    Cassiel Knight
    Publisher, Champagne Book Group
    www.champagnebooks.com
    Paranormal Romance with Kick-Assitude!
    www.CassielKnight.com

  3. #28
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks for all the feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Cassie Knight View Post
    I'm a publisher always looking for ways to promote my authors' books. I love learning about new companies and will try them out (my funds to lose, not my authors--my personal account--just clarifying ).

    I would have taken a deep look at your company--until you responded. Now I won't touch you and I'll make sure my 250 authors (some of who are with other publishing companies or self-publishing) know about you. I say what's in parans because I can hear you saying, pshaw, 250 authors. Small potatoes. Well, those small potatoes come with quite a reach and that doesn't even count their social media contacts.

    This is the result of YOU choosing to defend yourself rather than take it on the chin. One negative response does not sink a ship. But you could.

    Firstly, thanks a lot for all the feedback. It's great. I appreciate so many people giving good responses

    Secondly, I definitely did not mean you did anything wrong

    For what you wrote:
    No offense is meant on a personal level. This is about business, books, and the business of books.

    ***
    Yes totally. I get it. I know you don't mean anything personal


    *****************************


    I am happy to see so many people helping and giving good feedback

    We have to clear our name. That's all it is

    I totally get the line of thinking of 'Customer is Always Right'. and I totally get that some people are saying 'if you defend yourself then some people will not like that'

    But sometimes it's not an easy choice

    ***********************

    I like all the responses, even the ones that think the best course of action is opposite of what I took. It's all feedback
    We were getting authors who didn't like us when we had 50,000 total readers. Now we have 5 million+ total readers and still some authors don't like us. We just focus on the authors who like us. 97% of authors who work with us are happy and we focus on that. We have to respond in some cases as otherwise people interpret it as 'not responding because guilty'. No one in our company has a degree in the perfect way to respond to authors who are calling us a scam and it's a learning experience for us.

    WE (and I) do appreciate the authors who are helping and giving feedback. We will keep fighting for books and readers and authors and we'll keep learning and if you take offence it's not because we wanted to offend you or meant any offence. It's all a very big shock - you work so hard to take a NEW UNKNOWN author and get them sales and most everyone is happy and then a few authors start attacking you for helping them. We have 7 different businesses and it's a shock because in one line people are offering flights to London as a thank you to help them sell their product and in this line it's 'I hope your business dies a terrible death because you were rude to a customer'
    perhaps the mistake is we're thinking of it as Business to Business - an author/publisher working with a book promotion company
    and we should think of it as a customer to business - and things like Customer is Always Right

    anyways, I really don't mean any offence to anyone and i totally respect the right of people who have decided not to work with us again. We still wish you the best. We work very hard to connect authors with readers and we're darn good at it. And yes, it's easy to lose sight of 'the absolute best way to respond' and that's a mistake.

    We're human and we do discovery in many areas so it's pretty frustrating when this is the toughest area and the only one where a creator will get upset with you. We get pretty mad at ourselves when a book misses. And just 7% to 8% miss (for free book promotions and $0.99 paid book promotions). And most authors are very understanding, which is great. So the ones (2% or so) who don't - that's insult to injury

    We've grown from 50,000 to 5 million readers - and now you're sort of in this quicksand of someone else does the counting and everything is slow and who knows what the algorithms do and think. If you ever wonder why there aren't more book promotion companies that are very big then you can look at this thread. There's very little reward - someone else controls the counting so no matter how much you grow it's not in your hands what the results are. You keep growing and minimize control of the algorithms and get good results for 93% of your author clients and still 2% will call you a scam. And then people write - you didn't respond in the most polite way possible so your business is going to get destroyed

    Nope. There are giant companies trying to destroy our business for only one reason - we're helping indie authors. And they've failed. They can never win. Our model is set up so that 1 or 2 people can keep running it and keep connecting 5 million+ readers with 200 indie authors every day
    ALL WHILE growing 1 million+ new readers a year

    So if you think that 'because these same people who are helping indie authors day and night' didn't respond in the correct polite way and that is going to destroy their business - with all due respect, you're not right

    You can look at 2014 threads and see how we made a hash of responses. And we've grown like crazy regardless

    If you're an indie author you should look at - If I'm in the 93% of authors who get good results OR in the 5% of authors who miss and are still OK with store credit. Then Books Butterfly treats me great
    As long as you're not in the 2% who'll call us a scam everything is beautiful

    We respect your feedback and we appreciate it, from the bottom of our hearts. However, when someone writes that calling out someone for incorrectly calling us a scam is going to destroy our business, then we have to stick up for the principles we believe in

    We are connecting authors with readers and we don't let anyone get in the way of that. If we lose some potential future customers because they don't like the fact that we have principles and ethics and will not let anyone or anything stop us from our mission of connecting authors with readers and creating a world where 80% of the money readers pay goes to authors (and no more than 20% to middlemen) then - that's fine. Death before Dishonour

    And we'll be even more energized because all these pronouncements of 'Customer is always right' and you'll die because you weren't polite were made all the time when we were 50,000 readers and they sure as heck didn't get in the way of us growing to 5 million readers

    We'll fight for a beautiful future of books and we can't lose
    In the end readers and indie authors want the same thing

    80% of money goes to authors
    high quality reasonably priced books
    death to the middlemen taking 70% or 80% of the money right now

    we were standing and fighting in Jan 2008
    WE'll be standing and fighting when the greatest revolution in books since Gutenberg comes to its only logical conclusion

    We will not die until we see the last walls of Rome torn down. If you're an author or publisher who wants to kill us, then take your best shot. Our only crime is fighting for the future of books and for readers and however reluctantly (given the way we are treated) for authors too

    Take your best shot - destroy our business
    We already have 5 million readers and 4,000+ indie authors on our side
    Take your best shot - we'll see who wins, the people who're creating a world where authors get 80% or those who want to give authors 20%
    Last edited by BooksButterfly; 03-07-2017 at 04:09 PM. Reason: just being honest and forthright

  4. #29
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Just to be clear

    Lots of attempts to destroy us over the years. And all for one reason - the dinosaurs are scared to death of indie authors, the mammals

    You had your chance when we were 50,000 readers and our other businesses were supporting the Books Discovery company. At that time perhaps you could have fooled us into thinking it's hopeless. That the existing market powers are too strong

    It's gone now, buddy. We can see clearly now, the rain is gone. We can see all the obstacles in our way

    ****

    Now we have 5 million+ readers and our other businesses don't need to contribute anything to the Books Discovery company

    *************

    We appreciate the feedback

    If you want to write things like - your business is going to get destroyed because you responded in an inelegant manner to an author who claimed you were a scam

    That's your right and we respect it

    The negativity - It just makes us stronger

    We have 42 people doing the work of pushing forward (in whatever small ways we can) the greatest revolution in books since Gutenberg
    If need be just 1 or 2 can keep everything running
    Now it can't be stopped

    So all the people who want to suck the blood of authors and take 70%, 80%, 90% of their earnings and leave nothing for authors - it's game over and you're dead already. We're past the inflection point
    And the small 2% of authors who are so blind they think that by connecting 5 million+ readers to 200+ indie authors and 50+ published authors each day we are somehow the bad guys and are hoping 'our business gets destroyed'

    Do your very best. Get in the Ring and throw your best Punch. Take Your Shot at Destroying Our Business.

    We'll see who's left standing after the war for the future of books is over
    Last edited by BooksButterfly; 03-07-2017 at 04:02 PM.

  5. #30
    Christine Tripp ctripp's Avatar
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    So all the people who want to suck the blood of authors and take 70%, 80%, 90% of their earnings
    I know nothing about book promoters but are you saying there are other promotion companies that take up to 90% from self publishing Authors?

  6. #31
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctripp View Post
    I know nothing about book promoters but are you saying there are other promotion companies that take up to 90% from self publishing Authors?
    I'm talking about the stores and book stores and publishers

  7. #32
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    The ideal world is

    A simple elegant platform

    Authors connect with Readers

    Readers pay

    Platform takes 10% to 20%

    Authors get the rest

    if some authors work with Publishers then they determine what the breakup is

    *************

    What we have now is attempts to create

    Readers Pay
    lots of layers
    Indie Authors get 10% to 30%


    Which is the OPPOSITE of what it should be

    ***********

    the promotion companies and promotion channels are helping you. However, the only real solution is if the bookstores decide to go with the future OR a platform emerges that helps the mammals instead of defending the dinosaurs
    No amount of FB ads, book promotion companies, google ads, etc. can help you if the book stores don't show your books in the bestseller lists and in search engines

    At some point of time the people running the book stores and ebook stores will come out of their STUPIDPHASE and realize that the only way to make money is to give readers what they are actually looking for - high quality books at reasonable prices AND access to indie authors alongside published authors
    Last edited by BooksButterfly; 03-07-2017 at 05:01 PM.

  8. #33
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Think of it this way

    For $1 and $2 books the ebook stores (some of them) are already taking 65% cut

    Why then do you have to spend ANY money at all with a promotion company or with some marketing service, from the paltry 35% you are getting

    Shouldn't the book store itself optimize and promote your book

    ********
    Even for $2.99 and higher books, you're already giving the bookstores 30% or 35%

    Why then should you take some of your hard earned cut and spend that on promotion and marketing - in some cases with the same bookstore that is already taking 30% cut. That's double dipping

    ****************************

    We're not in this because we love getting abuse from authors and having authors give pronouncements of how our company will get struck by lightning sent from Mount Olympus by the Etiquette Fairies. We're in this because the market is completely broken. Once someone establishes a way that authors (both published and indie authors) can get 80% of the money readers pay (or even 70%) we'll be the first to leave and focus on areas where you get thanked for helping people's businesses

    We focused MASSIVELY in Books Discovery starting Feb 23rd, 2013 when a very strong attempt was made to kill off free books

    Free books were killed off because they destroy the marketing budget gap between indies and big companies

    With one free book you can get same publicity that a Big 5 Publishers gets from a $5,000 advertisement

    THAT is the real reason free books and cheap books are now the enemy

    Free books are like fire
    and cheap books are like the wheel

    It makes the mammals (authors) absolutely unstoppable

    ********************

    We didn't grow to 5 million readers by accident. There is huge demand for indie authors. We are providing exactly what readers want and exactly what indie authors are willing to provide - high quality, reasonably priced books

    Think of the way music lovers love their indie bands and film lovers love indie movies. THAT is how most readers feel about indie authors. Now there's a way to create that connection and completely bypass everyone. Even promotion companies like us are unneeded. it should all be AUTOMATIC and SMOOTH

    If a SERIOUS tech company like Apple or Microsoft took a serious proper interest in taking just 30% cut and giving 70% to indies the market would be transformed and then we could step away happily from this
    Last edited by BooksButterfly; 03-07-2017 at 05:14 PM. Reason: adding clarification

  9. #34
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    You're seriously resorting to "trade publishing is evil and will steal all your money" hyperbole now? You need to stop.

    Defend your business on its own merits, not by throwing out nonsense arguments.

    This is a forum of well-educated writers. Scare stories about trade publishing will not fly here, we know better and can disprove all of the figures you are throwing out. Frankly, you've failed to justify your actions, and you look ridiculous in your attempts to change the topic by attacking the rest of the industry.
    Last edited by EMaree; 03-07-2017 at 05:38 PM.
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  10. #35
    Now with more stubble VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BooksButterfly View Post
    No one in our company has a degree in the perfect way to respond to authors who are calling us a scam and it's a learning experience for us.
    See, here's the thing. You're in a thread with publishers, published authors, and editors, trying to tell them how their own business works.

    I'm none of those things. I do have a degree and hands-on experience in journalism/public relations and I have another degree in digital business and tech media production. I have put out a few fires.

    So when I say "this is what not to do...."

    You do realize that, if no one on your team has experience in that area that you can hire people who do, right? Except that requires two things: a.) a company culture where the team will listen to new hires--surprisingly rare in small tech teams, and b.) an ability to attract capable people to your team--an ability your posts in public are eroding, because no way would I want to work with you based on the way you've portrayed your company here.

    perhaps the mistake is we're thinking of it as Business to Business - an author/publisher working with a book promotion company
    and we should think of it as a customer to business - and things like Customer is Always Right
    No, you're B2B. Admittedly, self-publishing services are a grey area, because you'll get people who are capable and competent authors who just happen to also know how to operate as their own publishing businesses. On the other hand, you'll get people who are basically treating the whole exercise as little more than vanity publishing. You have to decide which market is your primary market. Who is your customer? Personally, I'd choose the competent self-pubbers, because they're more professional and have a larger potential readership. So then how are you going to attract more of those customers and fewer of the vanity-seekers? Behaviour online is a big part of it. The professional self-pub crowd are generally pretty congenial but also pretty dedicated. Many of them hang out here, in AW's Self-Publishing sub-forum (among others). Many more hang out on KBoards, where you've also left a similar trail. Some of them are posting in this thread telling you they'd never touch your service, and will tell their friends.

    If you'd done your research when designing a business model for your company, you'd know this. You'd know who you're targeting, you'd know their habits, and you'd know what to do and not to do in public.

    *Or, I suppose, you could be targeting the vanity crowd, offering promotion for self-publishers unaware that their books are unlikely to ever reach a large audience. This is B2C and can make companies a lot of money because authors in this model aren't the providers of the product but, really, the end customer. A company like this sells an ad or a mailing list, then the promotion's done, money's in the bank. Actually selling books isn't critical to the business model. Just how big a boost in sales could I expect from promoting with Books Butterfly? How many books, on average, do your promotions net? How do you measure? These are all concerns raised in that KBoards thread. It rather suits a company that operates with authors as customers to spread a lot of falsehoods about the publishing industry, like the myth that all publishers are terrified of self-publishers, that publishers take everything from authors, that authors can't sell in large quantity (say, more than 500 books at a time), that Amazon rank = sales., etc., because the more an author doesn't know about how to really access the book market, the more money a vanity promoter stands to make.

    Me, I don't actually think you're operating on that business model either. I don't think you have any business model at all. I think you're winging this, and it shows.

    Next step in the learning process? Stop talking, start reading.

    Take your best shot - destroy our business
    We already have 5 million readers and 4,000+ indie authors on our side
    Take your best shot - we'll see who wins, the people who're creating a world where authors get 80% or those who want to give authors 20%
    Frankly, despite all your claims to the contrary, this shows what you think of the people here who are trying to help you.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeryBigBeard View Post
    Frankly, despite all your claims to the contrary, this shows what you think of the people here who are trying to help you.
    No no no. Please. You're misattributing things to us. That's not what I meant. It's not for the people here who are giving feedback

    I mean people who are trying to destroy our business via lies and defamation
    AND
    People who are wishing our business gets destroyed because we don't believe in Customer is Always Right. Seriously, if you're saying - You didn't take the attitude of Customer is Always Right and because of that I wish your business gets destroyed and I'm going to tell all my friends that you don't believe Customer is Always Right and to never do business with you again and try to destroy your business

    That's a bit much, no?

    What was the whole issue.
    ONE author says - they tried to steal my money
    We point out - here are emails and we didn't try to steal your money and when you did chargeback we accepted it
    AND THE FACTS i.e. For every 485 authors who work with us only 1 has to do a chargeback

    AND FOR THAT you are saying we are wrong and Customer is Always Right and we'll tell all our friends to never do business with you

    that's not logical. that's not coming from a place of good intentions

    ****

    The people here who are responding I have respect for and i love the responses. The feedback is great. It's only by understanding how other people see the world can you understand how beautiful the world really is
    We obviously don't like the response claiming our business is going to get destroyed - that's uncalled for. If you really meant to give us feedback why include something like that - that doesn't in any way shape or form make us think you're coming from a place of good intentions

    ****************

    All this makes us better. However, it takes time to integrate feedback. Perhaps we'll always be the kind of people whose response to someone calling us a scam is - Here's evidence we're not. You're mistaken.
    And never reach a place of wisdom where we say - We apologize so much that you were put in the uncomfortable place of not knowing for 3/4 days what was being done with your money. And how can we make it right

    Perhaps we aren't capable of that level of customer service or wisdom or tact or whatever you want to call it

    ****************

    Business Plan

    I see you believe very strongly in the idea of a business plan.

    Imagine someone different from you, who never wrote a business plan and never will, and instead believes very strongly in strategy and an end goal, without caring about a business plan. Call it a Passion Plan. We do what we are passionate about and not from a place of 'how can we not offend people and how can we handle the 2% who don't like us' and instead focus on the 93% of our customers who are happy

    Strategy is simple - connect indie authors and indie publishers with readers, removing all the friction.
    It's worked well

    Our end goal is simple - making sure that CREATORS get 80% of the money
    That's pretty hard - however, we're confident we'll get it done i.e. play our small part

    You don't need a business plan for that. I'm sure it would make us a better company and this and that. But in the end you have to accept yourself for who you are and work only with people who accept you for who you are. We're just not the type of people who're going to change everything around for the happiness of - a small number of people who are wrongly accusing us of being a scam and a bunch of people who've never worked with us and are now clearly saying they never will work with us because the way we responded to being called a scam was inelegant

    So be it. Que sera sera


    **************************

    If it's B2B then I don't understand why there is so much 'customer is always right' and 'you should never point out customer is wrong'.
    It's a business/entrepreneur we are talking to. It's a win win win - you get to sell your books and build a readership, our readers get good quality books at low prices, we continue to grow

    ************************************************** ***

    We really do appreciate all the feedback
    We totally understand people who will never work with us again because we stood up for ourselves and corrected the author claiming we had stolen her money. We still wish all of you the best.
    We still wish that author the best who claimed we tried to steal her money. We've curated her books for our blog and will continue to do so
    We also understand people here who aren't getting what I'm saying and are misunderstanding. Just wait a few years and see the market that develops. Then you'll understand what I mean by Creators should get 70% and middlemen only 30%. I'm just saying this out of our experience in other digital markets, not from any sort of negative place

    Everything I write is open to misinterpretation and some people are unfortunately misinterpreting it. Just wait a few years. Then you'll see it's all true. IT's a war between CREATOR centric models and MIDDLEMEN centric models. So let's be very dispassionate and think about it

    Do Trade Publishers not give a cut to bookstores? Do they not give placement money?

    What if there was a model where that cut was super minimal - just 10% or 20%

    Would there be ANY trade publisher who would not jump at that?

    THAT is what I'm talking about

    Creator - Author

    Author chooses whether to work by themselves or work with Publishers

    If they work with Publishers and publishers help them craft the book and polish it then Publisher is part of CREATION processs


    Now the next step is reaching Readers

    That's where the DISCOVERY problem comes in

    That's where the middlemen come in, who play no part in CREATION and yet want the lion's share

    This also applies to Publishers if they want a disproportionate share - where they wanted authors to take only 8.5% of ebooks

    ***********************************************

    We're just spelling out the future possibilities and suggesting that the best one is one where CREATORS get 80% or more (at the minimum 70%)
    And also pointing out that that future is INEVITABLE

    You have to envision what would be best for readers, for authors, and for everyone connecting the two and if you narrow down the choices then there aren't very many end states that are sustainable
    If you narrow down more and look at what's most likely, to the point of being inevitable, you'll see that my words are just pointing at what is almost certainly going to happen - If you don't want that to happen, then work against it. If you want it to happen, then work for it. If you don't care, then don't care

    Life is too short to work with people who want you to compromise on your principles in the name of some intangible thing called 'Customer is Always Right'. I for one am not going to let a handful of anonymous authors attack our business and slow down our relentless march towards connecting authors with readers in a way such that authors get 80%
    4 years ago we had 50,000 readers. Now we have 5 million+ readers. God willing we'll keep growing faster and faster and help more and more readers and more and more authors. We're not going to apologize to someone claiming this is a scam and trying to stop us from connecting 200+ indie authors every day with 5 million+ readers - that's actually good customer service to our real customers - authors we are helping every day and who are happy

  12. #37
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    BooksButterfly, your walls of text are not convincing. In the last post you spent 1300 words where you could've made your point in a hundred, two hundred at most. They cause anyone but the most dedicated reader to glaze over, especially because you end up repeating so many of your points as if sheer repetition will cause us to agree with you, as if we're simply not understanding what you are saying.

    We are understanding what you are saying. However, you don't seem to be understanding what we're saying.

    No one wants to destroy your business. However, your displays here (and elsewhere, apparently) are not putting your business in a good light.

    No one ever said The Customer is Always Right means, literally, the customer is always right. That truism is a way of behaving towards customers that gets them to feel like you, as the business, are listening to their concerns and working to address them. Sometimes, it is even just the act of listening and seeming to care that will satisfy an unhappy customer. Sometimes it means giving a refund with no questions asked except "What could we do better next time?" because one sale will NOT sink a business (or shouldn't, anyway) but bad PR WILL drive away potential customers.

    You don't need to proselytize. Instead, answer the questions asked (like the ones VeryBigBeard brought up: Just how big a boost in sales could I expect from promoting with Books Butterfly? How many books, on average, do your promotions net? How do you measure?). Instead, listen.

  13. #38
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    You're not making things any better, Butterfly.

  14. #39
    The Hobbit-Vulcan hybrid Lillith1991's Avatar
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    Butterfly, you've gotten some really sound advice from Publishers and authors , all of whom are pretty dang knowledgeable about the matter at hand, and done nothing but give people what I like to call "Yes, but..." answers in response. That does not bode well for you, because people don't want to work with seemingly unnecessarily difficult publishers, authors, or promoters. Trade or self-publishing it doesn't matter, people want an easy and open relationship with the person providing the goods/service so that things are easier for them.

    I would quite while you're ahead. Because, at this very moment in time, you're steadily digging yourself from a metaphorical 20 foot/6 meter hole to a 30 foot/10 meter one. And when you do that as a business people are liable to ignore you. Doesn't matter whether it is trying to get the word out about your business or a cry for help rehabilitating the business. They'll figure you're down there for a reason of your own design and just go on their merry way.
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  15. #40
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Fantasy_freak's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't use this service because last year I was spammed with multiple friend requests on FB from people supposedly working with BooksButterfly. When I blocked one, another (I assume fake, since they all had the same name) popped up. They seemed to go through and target people who had writer or author on their profile.

    I'm also put off when they try and shut down unhappy customers by immediately screaming defamation. You might want to check a dictionary - it's not defamation to give a customer review saying you were dissatisfied with a service. But it does make me highly suspicious why you are so defensive and immediately attack customers instead of resolving the issue.

  16. #41
    Seen 'em come, seen 'em go Gravity's Avatar
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    Let's see, I've got kettle corn, movie theater style, plain, and that godawful stuff with pepper on it. Plenty of each, and cold beer's in the fridge. If this thing goes into extra innings I also have nachos and Slim Jims, but don't pig 'em.
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  17. #42
    practical experience, FTW akaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravity View Post
    Let's see, I've got kettle corn, movie theater style, plain, and that godawful stuff with pepper on it. Plenty of each, and cold beer's in the fridge. If this thing goes into extra innings I also have nachos and Slim Jims, but don't pig 'em.
    Don't see Cracker Jack on that list. Slander! Defamation! I'm calling my lawyer.

    I also don't see why BB is so obsessed with a handful of unhappy customers. Saying mean things about your business on the internet is not illegal. You spend 1300 words on one post explaining yourself over and over when you should be working to solve the communication issues clients have complained about.
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  18. #43
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BooksButterfly View Post
    What was the whole issue.
    ONE author says - they tried to steal my money
    We point out - here are emails and we didn't try to steal your money and when you did chargeback we accepted it
    AND THE FACTS i.e. For every 485 authors who work with us only 1 has to do a chargeback

    AND FOR THAT you are saying we are wrong and Customer is Always Right and we'll tell all our friends to never do business with you

    that's not logical. that's not coming from a place of good intentions
    You're misrepresenting what's happened here.

    One customer of yours has reported a bad experience with you. You respond with a long wall of text in which you make accusations of libel and defamation. We've told you it's not professional to respond in that way.

    A better response would have been to come here and say, "I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience with us, and I'm really sorry for failing you. Can we talk privately to resolve this? We want all our customers to be happy and we need to put this right."

    We obviously don't like the response claiming our business is going to get destroyed - that's uncalled for. If you really meant to give us feedback why include something like that - that doesn't in any way shape or form make us think you're coming from a place of good intentions
    I think I was the first person to use the word "destroy" in this thread, and I didn't use it as a threat: I pointed out that your very negative response to just one person's criticism of your service was going to destroy your business if you weren't careful. You are the one doing the destroying here.

    All this makes us better. However, it takes time to integrate feedback. Perhaps we'll always be the kind of people whose response to someone calling us a scam is - Here's evidence we're not. You're mistaken.
    And never reach a place of wisdom where we say - We apologize so much that you were put in the uncomfortable place of not knowing for 3/4 days what was being done with your money. And how can we make it right

    Perhaps we aren't capable of that level of customer service or wisdom or tact or whatever you want to call it
    You clearly aren't capable of it right now. You've made that clear in all your posts here, and in that outline of an apology above where you had to snark about "3/4 days". Compare your version to mine, a few paras above.

    Imagine someone different from you, who never wrote a business plan and never will, and instead believes very strongly in strategy and an end goal, without caring about a business plan. Call it a Passion Plan.
    You don't seem to understand what a business plan is, or what it's for. Or how a good business plan makes a business stronger and much more likely to succeed.

    Our end goal is simple - making sure that CREATORS get 80% of the money
    That's pretty hard - however, we're confident we'll get it done i.e. play our small part

    You don't need a business plan for that.
    When you're trying to change how things are done, you really need a plan.

    When you are aiming to pay your creators 80% you definitely need a plan.

    That business plan you're being so dismissive of would have shown that if you pay the creators 80% of the gross income--so, 80% of the cover price of the book every time a book is sold--you're going to lose money hand over fist because the remaining 20% isn't enough to cover your overheads, which should be detailed in that business plan. OK, so you pay them 80% of net income--everything that's left after you've paid a few costs. What are those costs? If you don't have a business plan, you don't know. So what is this 80% you're paying your creators?

    We totally understand people who will never work with us again because we stood up for ourselves and corrected the author claiming we had stolen her money. We still wish all of you the best.
    We still wish that author the best who claimed we tried to steal her money. We've curated her books for our blog and will continue to do so
    We also understand people here who aren't getting what I'm saying and are misunderstanding. Just wait a few years and see the market that develops. Then you'll understand what I mean by Creators should get 70% and middlemen only 30%. I'm just saying this out of our experience in other digital markets, not from any sort of negative place
    More snark. You're making yourself look foolish.

    Why are you now talking about 70%, not 80%?

    Who are the "middlemen" you're referring to? If you had a business plan you'd be able to see who they are: suppliers, retailers, etc. Are you suggesting they shouldn't be paid for their services? Or that they should operate at a loss? Why should they do that? Please explain.

    Do Trade Publishers not give a cut to bookstores? Do they not give placement money?

    What if there was a model where that cut was super minimal - just 10% or 20%

    Would there be ANY trade publisher who would not jump at that?
    It would be great, of course! But if publishers sold books at a discount so low, booksellers would go out of business. They already operated on a relatively low profit-margin, and can't afford to sell books where they are only given 20% off list price. Publishers know this, and they know that without booksellers they won't sell books. So publishers don't want to give miserly discounts like that to booksellers, because they recognise that if they did, they'd end up making no sales at all.

    Now the next step is reaching Readers

    That's where the DISCOVERY problem comes in

    That's where the middlemen come in, who play no part in CREATION and yet want the lion's share

    This also applies to Publishers if they want a disproportionate share - where they wanted authors to take only 8.5% of ebooks
    Who are these middlemen you keep referring to?

    You really should take a good look at some reliable sources which detail the costs involved in book production and book selling.

    As for publishers paying low royalties on digital editions: you're not giving us any context at all for the figure you quoted. It sounds to me like you're just regurgitating a number you've heard of, rather than understanding what went on and how things were worked out.

    We're just spelling out the future possibilities and suggesting that the best one is one where CREATORS get 80% or more (at the minimum 70%)
    And also pointing out that that future is INEVITABLE
    80% (or 70%) of what, specifically? How are you going to square this apparently inevitable future with the need for businesses to make profit from their endeavours? Because once writers are paid royalties in the range you're talking about publishers, booksellers, and everyone involved in the production and supply chains are going to become insolvent very quickly. As you'd know if you had a proper business plan to refer to.

    You have to envision what would be best for readers, for authors, and for everyone connecting the two and if you narrow down the choices then there aren't very many end states that are sustainable
    If you narrow down more and look at what's most likely, to the point of being inevitable, you'll see that my words are just pointing at what is almost certainly going to happen - If you don't want that to happen, then work against it. If you want it to happen, then work for it. If you don't care, then don't care
    Your suggestion that writers should get 80% of the sales income from their books is what's not sustainable. I will work against your efforts here, because if we follow your lead on the very scrappy pieces of information you've given us, we will drive the publishing business into bankruptcy.

    Quote Originally Posted by BooksButterfly View Post
    Think of it this way

    For $1 and $2 books the ebook stores (some of them) are already taking 65% cut

    Why then do you have to spend ANY money at all with a promotion company or with some marketing service, from the paltry 35% you are getting

    Shouldn't the book store itself optimize and promote your book
    Consider how many books are published each year. According to Wikipedia, there are about 304,000 books published in the US, and 184,000 in the UK where I am. That's 5,846 and 3,538 respectively each week. How are retailers meant to effectively promote all those new books? How do you suggest retailers "optimize and promote" every single one of those titles in a way which is equitable and effective?

    We're not in this because we love getting abuse from authors and having authors give pronouncements of how our company will get struck by lightning sent from Mount Olympus by the Etiquette Fairies. We're in this because the market is completely broken. Once someone establishes a way that authors (both published and indie authors) can get 80% of the money readers pay (or even 70%) we'll be the first to leave and focus on areas where you get thanked for helping people's businesses
    There you go, putting retailers out of business again by suggesting they shouldn't get paid enough to cover their costs, let alone make profit.

    We focused MASSIVELY in Books Discovery starting Feb 23rd, 2013 when a very strong attempt was made to kill off free books

    Free books were killed off because they destroy the marketing budget gap between indies and big companies

    With one free book you can get same publicity that a Big 5 Publishers gets from a $5,000 advertisement

    THAT is the real reason free books and cheap books are now the enemy
    You're now a conspiracy theorist too. And you clearly don't understand how trade publishers use ads, or what benefit is gained from them.

    Think of the way music lovers love their indie bands and film lovers love indie movies. THAT is how most readers feel about indie authors.
    No.

    Most readers aren't even aware of the differences between authors who are trade published and authors who are self published. The ones who are aware of the differences often avoid self published authors because they've got caught out by the really horrible self published books which proliferate. Only a relatively small proportion of the book-buying public go out of their way to discover and support new self published writers.

    How do I know this? I've read widely on the subject, rather than restricting myself to a small section of the market which self-perpetuates the thinking you're displaying here.

    Now there's a way to create that connection and completely bypass everyone. Even promotion companies like us are unneeded. it should all be AUTOMATIC and SMOOTH

    If a SERIOUS tech company like Apple or Microsoft took a serious proper interest in taking just 30% cut and giving 70% to indies the market would be transformed and then we could step away happily from this
    They won't do it because the business model required would not be sustainable. Which they'd know, because they'd produce a business plan which showed this. And here we are, back to the beginning again.

    I wish you every success, I really do. But if you want to be properly successful start acting professionally. Write that business plan. Learn how publishing works. Stop trying to reinvent a wheel which doesn't work. It'll help you in the long run. And for goodness' sake, stop posting these long walls of text, and stop attacking customers who have had a bad experience with you, and start trying to resolve things in a respectful, courteous way.
    Last edited by Old Hack; 03-08-2017 at 11:39 AM. Reason: clarity

  19. #44
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    More Clarifications

    Quote Originally Posted by akaria View Post
    Don't see Cracker Jack on that list. Slander! Defamation! I'm calling my lawyer.

    I also don't see why BB is so obsessed with a handful of unhappy customers. Saying mean things about your business on the internet is not illegal. You spend 1300 words on one post explaining yourself over and over when you should be working to solve the communication issues clients have complained about.
    Because those 'handful of unhappy customers' are in most cases not customers, just anonymous people writing complete lies
    In this case, for this forum thread, it's an actual customer who hasn't given us a fair chance even after we emailed her, waited 3 weeks, and then wrote our side of the story

    Complete lies and/or a very distorted version of the truth is damaging to a company's business. We'd rather that we presented our side of the story and authors decided themselves. For 3 weeks author didn't respond to us and had a post up on this forum saying she had to call credit card company to get her money back and that other authors should 'avoid us at all costs'.

    At no point did she email us saying she wants to cancel or contact paypal and file a claim and she started chargeback 3 business days (5 total days) after booking a promotion package with no date specified i.e. no indication of urgency

    Even 3 weeks after her emails she hasn't responded, so we have no option to respond. Which we did on the forum

    *******************


    1) yes, FB friend request spam was a real issue. We apologized for it. We apologize if some author is still hurt by it. It was one new member of the team who was overzealous and broke our rule of 'email.contact an author only once at the most'. We fixed it within 2 weeks and the author who started the thread at KBoards updated it and said it was fixed


    2) I do appreciate all the advice. It's not 'yes, but'. It's 'Yes, and'

    Yes, we made mistakes in communication and we're working on fixing them

    And

    We still have to add clarifications if/when an author presents a distorted view of the truth

    *****************

    3) For the author who left a post here, she flat out stated that 'would avoid them at all costs' and for 3 weeks she didn't respond to the emails we sent her specifying details on her book promotion etc

    We just answered here and stated the facts and requested her to update her post i.e.

    a) I'd politely request that you consider the situation

    b) Now I'd request you to kindly remove this post or update it to correctly reflect the situation. We get a lot of slot requests. Sometimes it takes a few days to respond. When an author doesn't specify dates AT ALL, like you did by leaving dates blank - Those slot requests are treated with less urgency.

    **************


    So we're requesting the author to update her post and presenting our side of the story, after author hasn't updated post for 3 weeks after she made it

    **************

    If you want to see Books Butterfly results etc. you can see

    This page for how many readers we have - https://www.booksbutterfly.com/bookp...llion-readers/

    This page for results - https://www.booksbutterfly.com/bookpromotion/results/

    For best estimate of how a book will do you can do live chat or you can email us at booksbutterfly88@outlook.com

    *******************

    It is quite possible to hold these two opinions at the same time

    a) We're sorry for the communication mistake and we're learning from the feedback and we're fixing the process. For example: Now we email within a day manually (in addition to automatic server email) confirming payment and that we are scheduling the book

    AND

    b) We're not a scam and it'd be great if you would update your forum post to reflect reality and kindly stop conveying the wrong impression that a 3 business day delay in responding to your 'no dates specified' book promotion should be punished by going on the Internet and claiming we're a scam

    ************

    Based on the last 6 months
    Only 1 out of every 385 authors who work with us require to do a credit card chargeback
    Only 1 out of every 40 authors who work with us require to do a Paypal dispute or claim. Many of those are settled amicably (and also revolve around 'not responded quick enough due to high volume of slot requests' - something we're working to fix) and Paypal settles the rest. We're working on reducing the dispute rate from 2.48% to under 1%

    If an author uses anecdotal evidence to try and portray us as a scam that's disproportionate to the actual crime i.e. tardiness or in some cases missing the target number of sales or downloads (in the latter case you get prorated refund in store credit to run the book again and get the remaining sales or downloads)

  20. #45
    practical experience, FTW RightHoJeeves's Avatar
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    This reminds me of a hostel I stayed at in Atlanta, Georgia. I was bitten by bedbugs, which is annoying, but it happens when you're backpacking. Anyway, when it came time for me to post a review on Hostelworld, I said the hostel was great overall but unfortunately I got bitten by bedbugs.

    What happened next was amusing. The owner of the hostel emailed me explaining that Hostelworld reviews were vital for her business, and that a review mentioning bedbugs was problematic. I hadn't actually thought about it, but she was quite nice in person so I would have edited the review and removed reference to the bites if she had asked nicely. Why not? I didn't *really* care. But she didn't ask nicely. She said it was impossible to definitively prove they were bedbug bites, she accused me of slander and threatened to sue me. (I tell you what, it was quite a thrill as a tourist in America to have legal threats made against you. Quite the authentic experience!)

    So instead of removing reference to the bites, I edited it to say I was bitten by an unidentified insect, the bites were really itchy and red and kind of ruined my week. Which was a definitively true statement and therefore not slander. I did it basically out of spite because she threatened me with legal action. It was an enormously hollow threat anyway, because by the time I got the email I was in Louisiana and only had a few weeks left in the country. What was she going to do? Extradite me back to the US to face charges of slander in a Hostelworld review?

    The moral of the story is that you actually have less power with your customers than you think. Whether this is right, wrong, moral, or immoral is irrelevant. The fact is people do not like legitimate gripes being met with legal threats, and now when someone googles your business this thread will likely come up.

    I would reevaluate your strategy, even if it means having to take sh*t. Taking sh*t is like 90% of customer service.
    Being judgemental must surely be one of the most joyful activities known to the species and it is cruel that other animals are denied this pleasure.

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  21. #46
    Back in the black, & staying there! Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RightHoJeeves View Post
    The moral of the story is that you actually have less power with your customers than you think.
    Agreed. Even if you manage to browbeat a customer and feel you've come out on top, you'll lose in the long run.

    I once posted in a discussion about tropes in fiction, mentioning a certain cliche and saying I was tired of that. I didn't name any titles or authors. But an author who'd published a novel that included said cliche read what I'd written, and responded asking how this was a cliche. When I gave examples of how it had been used again and again, the author said she and her editor couldn't be expected to read everything. Her response went on to be so defensive that I apologized simply to make her stop. She did, and perhaps she felt better after that.

    But I also decided I would never read anything by this author. The cliche alone made no real difference, because I can overlook those if I'm enjoying the read. The author's unprofessional response, on the other hand, was in a class of its own. I'm now a reviewer for a popular website, and if I find out any other reviewer is considering this author's books, I'll warn them about the author.

    In the end, she would have gained more from either courtesy or silence.
    Last edited by Marian Perera; 03-08-2017 at 02:16 PM.


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  22. #47
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BooksButterfly View Post
    Lots of attempts to destroy us over the years. And all for one reason - the dinosaurs are scared to death of indie authors, the mammals
    Nonsense.

  23. #48
    Christine Tripp ctripp's Avatar
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    If they work with Publishers and publishers help them craft the book and polish it then Publisher is part of CREATION processs


    Now the next step is reaching Readers

    That's where the DISCOVERY problem comes in

    That's where the middlemen come in, who play no part in CREATION and yet want the lion's share

    This also applies to Publishers if they want a disproportionate share - where they wanted authors to take only 8.5% of ebooks
    Your saying Publishers ARE part of the creation process and yes, they are. They foot the financial costs of an Editor to work with the Author, of book design (of an Art Director and an Illustrator if it's a children's book) of print run and marketing and often an advance against royalties. And I don't know any Publisher now a days that offer less then 25% of ebooks to their Authors, 8.5 to 10% on print, yes.

    Book stores will cease to be if they don't take a good cut of sales. I don't understand how a business doesn't understand business and all the overhead costs associated with having a store?

  24. #49
    That door could be a time portal... Deb Kinnard's Avatar
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    CTripp, isn't Harlequin still stiffing their authors by sequestering their e-book royalties in a wholly-owned subsidiary corporation? I think the actual royalty figure as received by the author was in the neighborhood of 4%. The authors lost a class-action suit over this, IIRC.

    That doesn't make Book Butterfly's assertions any more or less true. It's common knowledge that in real-money terms, advances for trade published authors are either flat (I saw one author say she was still getting about $2000 US, identical to advances she'd received in the 70s) or dropping. But, of course, trade publishers can always pay seven figure advances to a celebrity.
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  25. #50
    Christine Tripp ctripp's Avatar
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    Deb, that may be true about Harlequin, I haven't followed this publisher and there are many other cases of, for example Publishers going under, taking their Authors royalties owed with them when they do. A mass market publisher may be offering a lower royalty then commercial, that I wasn't aware of so thanks for the info.
    And advances may well be flat or even lower (looking at cost of living over the past 20 years) but there are advances non the less with many publishers, even some of the smaller ones. Celebs will certainly get a better advance, because the size of it hinges on how many books the publisher assumes will sell out of the gate. This usual works out well for publishers (except for the recent case of Milo
    I come from the kid lit side of the tracks and so I'm not always aware of what's going on in the adult lit world. For example pic book Authors get 5% and the Illustrator the other 5% of print. And Author only (middle grade, YA) 10%. I did assume for the most part publishing worked the same, no?

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