Another day, another Kindle Unlimited scam.
This time, it’s prawns!
Well, shrimps for US readers.
Ok, you can now place your table of contents at the end of your ebook, but it wasn’t the case a couple of months ago.
Many innocent self-published authors, and especially those publishing non-fiction, were caught up in the attempts by Amazon to rid Kindle Unlimited of scammers who were using a weakness in the way Amazon pays for an ebook read in Kindle Unlimited.
As it transpired, Amazon had to admit that it could not tell if a reader had read a whole ebook on Kindle Unlimited, because these scammers were including a link at the beginning of an ebook, to view the table of contents, or other forms of inducement, to get a reader to look at the last few pages.
This was enough to earn a full payment for a completely read ebook.
It proved that Amazon is not as clever as one thinks.
But now Amazon has a new scam on its hands. Prawns!
What are prawns?
They are innocent published authors (yet again), who are being used by click farms.
The Passive Voice explains the scam in his post about Dangers for Prawny Authors. In essence, click farms are being used to inflate the popularity of either free ebook promotions or Kindle Unlimited ebooks.
Basically, these farms earn money by being paid to click on, well, anything such as Adsense ads, but they are now big business as far as Kindle ebooks are concerned.
Click farms are collectives of people with multiple Amazon accounts and have been used for some time to click and download free ebooks to increase sales rank,
However, they are now being used more and more to read, well, only the first and last pages, of Kindle Unlimited ebooks, and thus earning a full payment from Amazon for a fully read ebook.
Even though you may be playing by all the rules, if your ebook is selected (targeted) as a prawn by one of these click farms, expect Amazon to take action.
These click farms try to make their work look a little less innocent by adding a few hundred or thousands of clicks to ebooks that they are not paid to promote so it is harder to track them.
Unfortunately, Amazon does and can track them, and the end result is that the innocent get tarred with the same brush as the guilty.
Yes, yet another swindle to add to the Kindle scammer list. Prawns.