#FridayPoetry: The Open Door
'Granny' Award Winner No. 2: Cherie Althauser

I Could Win Kindle Scout - Unless Facebook Fails Me


Framed and Burning _ 1.96MB
This image was rejected by Facebook even though it does not violate their policy.

The long-awaited Dreamslippers sequel is ready, and I've entered it into a competition to win a publishing contract through Amazon. If you haven't already, I hope you'll nominate the book here on Kindle Scout. You've got five days left to make that nomination.

I need all the help I can get. Amazon doesn't share the number of votes an author has gained through the competition, but they do share these metrics: 

- what sites are sending traffic to your Scout page

- how much traffic you receive

- what percentage of that traffic comes from Amazon itself vs. outside sources

- how long your book has been in the "hot and trending" category

One thing these metrics revealed is that Facebook is far and away the largest referral site. The first week of my campaign, I was able to run an add asking people to vote for the book. This made a huge difference. However, the second time I tried to run the exact same ad, Facebook rejected it, claiming it's in violation of their policy because it contains an image (the book cover) with more than 20% text.

This was not only annoying and damaging to my campaign, it's just plain wrong: Facebook's policy states that book covers are exempt from the 20% rule. Here's an illustrative screenshot of their policy to prove my point:

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 8.40.48 AM

There it is right at the top: "The 20% text policy doesn't include: - Pictures of products that include text on the actual product (ex: book covers...." Furthermore, the ad ran successfully for an entire week the first time, but then Facebook's bots arbitrarily red-flagged it. 

After many attempts to resolve this issue, which is a lot of fun because all I get in response are boilerplate emails from bots restating language that has already been stated and doesn't apply, I'm still nowhere.

I have a professionally designed cover that I can't run in an ad on Facebook for no good reason whatsoever.

Assuming that Amazon really is granting publishing contracts solely on the basis of real votes (I'll admit that it could be/probably is more complicated than that), whether I win this thing or not could rest on the faceless Facebook policies that have been called "the stupidest thing on the Internet."

(But let me just say: I love Facebook. I was on there before any of my other friends, I spend way too much time in Facebook space, and I depend on it now for my author business. When Facebook works, it's a beautiful thing.)

The only way to get around this problem is to monkey with the Facebook-provided image grids, as others have done, but this means altering the book cover image. I can only run it with the series logo dropped out and the title moved so it's not over so many of the Facebook grids:

Framed and Burning FB final
This one Facebook approved. For now, anyway.

 Facebook might still reject this one in the future. Of course, hassling with all of this took time that could have been better spent writing.

Beleaguered and a bit jaded, but still hopeful, I press onward. Thanks so much for your vote!


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