Sunday, May 21, 2017

How To Buy My Books In Secret

Hi Everyone!  Watching the poll the other day was actually quite enlightening.  I knew that some people didn't want to risk buying my books for fear of being discovered, but I didn't know the numbers were as high as they appear.

I want to help.

To make this easier for each of you to buy my books, I'm going to issue a set of my books which don't appear to be from me at all (explained below).  Secondly, I'm going to explain in this email how you can buy Kindle books on a secret account on your computer.

Issue One:  A Fake Front

When I publish the next book, I'm going to publish it on Kindle normally.  I'm ALSO going to publish it with a fake cover and a fake 20ish page introduction.  It will appear to be an awful spy novel written by R.C. Williams about a character named Jack Steele.  The book will open with a fake table of contents that doesn't work.  It will proceed to a fake title page, a fake intro in which R.C. Williams regales us with why he wrote this amazing book, and ten or so pages of story which is a confused, boring mess.  After that, I will post the real book for you to read.

The idea is that anyone seeing this on your Kindle won't see anything odd about the cover or title and will ignore it.  And if they do open the book out of curiosity, they will see 20 pages of worthless writing and give up before they find the real book hidden inside.

Now, I can't promise you that no one will be nosy enough to stick it out and keep reading, but it seems less likely and you could always tell them it's a digital mistake of some sort.  One word of caution though would be to always go back to the intro when you are done reading.

Hopefully, this will help.  Please let me know any thoughts or concerns you have!
Moreover, we can add a second layer of protection as well!  Read on...

Issue Two:  A Separate Account for Kindle

Many people don't know this, but you can set up separate accounts at Amazon.  All it takes is a new email address to create a second account.  That account can then sponsor its own Android device, if you like, or it can be used to read Kindle stories on Amazon's cloud - something most people don't even know is there.  In other words, you can use your normal account to buy normal Kindle stories anyone can see, and you can set up a second secret account for Kindle stories you'd rather no one knew you owned.

There are two ways to open this account that I am aware of: with a prepaid Amazon gift card or a credit card (prepaid or otherwise).

The Amazon gift card.  To use an Amazon gift card...

First, sign up for a free email address somewhere -- Yahoo, hotmail, etc.  Then go to Amazon and set up an account.  You only need to enter a name (any name will do) and the valid email address.  (You can actually test this now before buying the card -- set up the account and buy some "free" Kindle books to see how it works - every genre has free books.)

Next, go buy an Amazon gift card.  You can buy one at most retailers or grocery stores.  You can even pay cash for total secrecy.  When you have the card, go to the account management section and find "Apply a Gift Card to Your Account."  Click on that.  Then enter the 14/15 character gift card code from the back of the card.  Check "Apply to Your Balance."  This should add the money to the account and make those funds the default source of payment Amazon will drain. Now you can pay for books too.

I've done this in the past and it never asked me for a physical address (so long as I was only buying Kindle books or downloading music) and it never asked me for a credit card.  If it asks for an address, you can put a fake address into it because nothing will ever come to your house.  Pick a random local apartment building.  It shouldn't ask though.

It never asked me for a credit card either, but some people say Amazon has asked them for a credit card, others say it hasn't.  If it does, the answer is simple (let me offer a hat tip to Dee and her wonderful post from June 2015 (LINK) for this):  you can use a store-bought Visa as if it were your own card (watch for fees and things as different cards have different terms).  You can even put your real name and real address on that Visa because nothing will come to your house unless you order something physical.  Or use the same fake name you put on the account and a fake address.  Then enter the card.  Just make sure you don't try to buy more than is sitting in credit on the Amazon account at that moment or it will try to charge the card, which will decline if there's no money left.  You can then refill the Amazon account with Amazon gift cards.

When you have an account with credit on it, you can buy the books you want.  Then you have those delivered to "X's Amazon Cloud."  This will store them at Amazon and you can only access them through that account visiting the Amazon site.  They will not show up in your other account or on your Kindle.  This account is entirely separate from the others.  Even your searches won't cross over.  Just be sure you sign out of this account (best not to auto save the account sign-in either), because if you forget, someone searching your computer could see what you've been searching and buying in that account.  Although if you buy the books above and a bunch of free stuff, the purchases will all look like lousy spy stories and whatever else you download.

(Another hat tip:  Dee says you can install the cloud reader on a flash drive.  That might help prevent accidental discovery should you forget to sign out of your account!)

Again, I can't guarantee that either method is 100% perfect, but hopefully one or either or both will help give you some piece of mind!

Hopefully, this helps!

Thoughts? Questions?


GiftedMonster said...

I cannot help but draw a comparison between this and the secret world of sissification that some of your readers delve into.

After all, what could get their little clitties stiffer than secretly buying a book about what they crave whilst secretly dressed as a waifish cock-tease?

Lee said...

You go to great lengths for your readers. I hope it all works out for the best and your sales increase. I would be interested in the volume of sales and your thoughts. Thanks.

AnnMichelle said...

GiftedMonster, True, but I'm actually hoping to reduce the risk for them!

AnnMichelle said...

Thanks, Lee! I do try. I've always felt our little genre gets a lot of abuse, so I want to do right by everyone. :)

On the issue of the fake cover, someone has mentioned a possible catch with Amazon's rules, so I'm seeking Amazon's position on this. Hopefully, it's not a problem. If it is, I'll still find a way to do this, but I may end up needing to put out the fake cover versions at somewhere like LULU. We'll see. Hopefully, this is nothing.

AnnMichelle said...

UPDATE: Sadly, Amazon says that I can't have two versions of the same book out at once. So Issue One above won't work at Amazon...


I'm going to look into putting the crappy spy novel/fake front at Lulu. Then anyone who wanted it could buy it there and read it any number of places. I will work this out! :)

M.C. Questgend said...

Excellent article... I might add the third, which I will be posting on my blog and that is to purchase the book (electronic or in print) directly from the authors web site. I recently had an anonymous fan contact me wanting autographed copies and it gave me the idea of having a PayPal option that allowed readers to purchase secured eBooks and paperback copies. This way the transaction is generic and I don't have to change the cover.