Tales From Ocherva, Volume One is now available on Scribd. You can either read it online or download the PDF or TXT file. Every novel or book that I write will be available for free in some format or another. If you read it for free, please take the time to write a blog post about it, or mention it on Twitter or some other social network.
Attack of the Bots – Not!
My latest novel to appear on Scribd is the mystery, Null_Pointer. Recently it got selected as a featured document. Overnight, I had over 500 views and almost as many users who were now following me.
At first glance I was thrilled. Literally an overnight success. But when I actually started looking at the users who were now following me, I saw that nearly all of them were false users. Clearly the work of a script kiddie who had found a way to scam the system and add thousands of users to Scribd.
It’s a shame that the site lets users be created without having to fill out a bot-halting captcha. Because it’s not exactly rocket science to build a script to automatically generate users and subscribe them other users as followers. Ironically, I tried to send a message to one of these suspected bot users and was forced to get through a captcha.
So now I have over 700 followers on Scribd and I can no longer use that as a metric to judge how popular my novel is. About the only statistic on Scribd that I can reliably use now is the number of downloads and the human readable comments, of course.
I have just received an email from Kathleen Fitzgerald Manager, Content & Marketing for Scribd, Inc., in which she assures me that Scribd is not under a user bot attack.
“Every time a new Scribd user registers, they are presented with a short list of top notch “Suggested Subscriptions” — i.e. some of Scribd’s best, most active users,” Kathleen explained.
Since I was on the list of Suggested Subscriptions, my account was flooded with new users. This makes perfect sense. I was unaware they were doing this primarily because they didn’t do this back when I first joined Scribd.
Thanks for the email Kathleen, I’m glad things are under control and I apologize for suggesting otherwise.
NP Having Success on Scribd
My new Mystery novel, Null_Pointer, is doing very well this week on Scribd. For the past six days the document has been garnering over 100 views and spiking to as much as 300 views on two of those days. Not too shabby. It was featured on the main Scribd page last week and this week that is apparently paying off. I will note that the downloads have not been nearly as plentiful but are still approaching 500. On the good side, every day I get at least two thumbs up reviews by those who have visited the page.
If you have sampled the free version of Null_Pointer and want an actual paperback version, that should be available in August. I’ll have a “for sale” date in the next few weeks. In the mean time, download it from Scribd and pass it around to your friends. Go ahead, it’s free!