Strict Anti-Spam Rules: Important for authors and publishers

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Scott
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Strict Anti-Spam Rules: Important for authors and publishers

Post by Scott » 03 Dec 2011, 00:02

TL;DR FOR AUTHORS
This website is used by hundreds of thousands of avid readers so it also attracts a lot of authors looking to promote their books. Our members consider it spam when an author comes on the site and endorses his or her own book. The only way to promote your book on this website is to start by submitting a review request. Our members are very interested in books recommended by the popular members of our trusted review team. If you are going to also actively participate in the community, which we encourage, please make sure to read through this whole post--not just this TL;DR--for the rules of posting.
If you are an author, publisher, webmaster or promoter, you will definitely want to read this whole page before posting at all in these forums. (If you are not an author, publisher, webmaster or promoter but rather are curious about the automatic filters and restrictions on new members, you can probably skip down to number 7.)

In order to make these forums most enjoyable for the members, we have some strict rules to circumvent spam and advertising. It is in your best interests as an author, publisher, webmaster or other promoter to understand these rules and to not violate them. This is because if you violate our rules or otherwise post inappropriate advertising, self-promotion or spam, we will blacklist your website and/or book. I can add a website or book to our blacklist in under a minute and then nobody at all will ever be able to post a link to that website or book again. You will notice links to online book stores--such as Amazon, iTunes and Smashwords--cannot be posted directly but require the use of special BBCode. This is because it makes it so in under a minute I can disable and permanently block any and all links for a certain book. Additionally, I report spammers to certain third-party databases meaning you would then be automatically flagged as a probable spammer on any other forums you join in the future as well. As you can see, trying to sneak some self-promotion, spam or advertising past us is not only a waste of your effort but actually will backfire on you.

Here are a few specific rules regarding what is and is not acceptable.

1.a If you are the author or publisher of a book, you are not allowed to start a topic about the book or post a link to a webpage about the book or a webpage that sells the book. Incidentally, we appreciate you wanting to use our forums to get the word out about your book, and we have a much better and more effective way for you to do that: You can get your book reviewed by one of our trusted reviewers and then that review will be put up in our high-traffic forums with a link to the place to buy it.

1.b Likewise, you are not allowed to link to or reference your own website. If you are the webmaster, owner, employee or representative of a website, blog or online service, you cannot post about it on these forums. The only way to use these forums to promote your website is by purchasing one of our advertising packages.

1.c As an extension of 1.a and 1.b, you cannot have a URL or website or book promotion in your signature, under the assumption it is your own website or book. If you notice someone has a URL or link or mention of a book in their signature, it was probably put their manually by me as part of a request for a book review or one of our advertising packages.

1.d If your book is reviewed, you may not post a reply on the review forum topic at all. This policy not only avoids unpleasant conflicts but also helps authors avoid inadvertently harming their own reputations. We believe it is generally culturally considered inappropriate for an author or publisher to post comments on a review of his or her own book--not only here by our members but also generally throughout the entire broader reading community. In other words, we believe if other readers see you committing the social faux pas of commenting on reviews of your own book, those readers will be less inclined to want to read your books. If you want to thank the reviewer for the review, do so by sharing the link to the review with other people and your fans; that's the biggest thank you a reviewer can get.

2. Automatic filters block new members from posting links or creating a member profile. At the time of this post 'new members' are those who have made less than 10 posts or been registered for less than 3 days). You may not attempt to circumvent the automatic link filters that stop new members from posting links. For instance, do not write website.com as website(dot)com or such. This will be found quickly and will cause the website in question to be blacklisted permanently. This mean nobody regardless of how many posts they have will ever be able to post a link to the website again on this forum because it will be automatically blocked. Additionally, doing such things as telling people to 'google your website' or search for a certain phrase will be treated the same as posting a link. It will be deleted and the promoted website and/or book will be blacklisted.

3. You may not manually attach a URL or link signature to the end of posts. In other words, sometimes people put their URL or link at the end of all their posts, not by using the signature field in the User Control Panel, but by actually writing it in on the posts. If you do this, it will be deleted and the URL will be blacklisted. Members can create a signature and enter a website to their profile through the User Control Panel after they have made 25 posts.

4. No irrelevant links or URLs in any posts. This goes with out saying but to be clear I am saying it. If you include a URL or link in a post that is not relevant to the discussion, it will be found quickly, it will be considered spam, it will be deleted and the website will be blacklisted.

5. No affiliate links.

6. As has been said, many features on the forum are restricted until a member reaches certain post count. And post counts are not incremented for posts made by new members in the off-topic section. As of the time of this post, you need to have a post count of 10 to post links or URLs and to modify your profile, and you need to have a post count of 25 to add a signature and to fill-in the website field of the profile. The other moderators and I are privy to the idea of inflating your post count with pointless points. Please understand that if you post a link, add a signature or such as soon as you gain the needed post count, the moderators and I will be suspicious and will review your previous posts to judge your intent. If we think you are simply intending to advertise and purposely inflated your post count to that end, we will delete the advertisement and will likely blacklist the site in question.

7. Other automatic restrictions based on post count: Please note, in addition to the automatics limitations already mentioned, new members--those with less than 10 posts--are also blocked from posting in the 'buy, sell and trade' section and are blocked from sending PMs. While you are still a new member, the anti-spam filter may automatically flag your post. It flags about one in three hundred posts, most of which are spam but many on the other hand are false positives. Unlike a PM however, a flagged post will not be blocked completely but rather held for moderation. We will review the post and approve or disapprove it quickly. Again, this automatic check is only performed for 'new members' and will not occur once you have made some more posts and been registered for a few days.

8. If you have less than 25 posts or have been registered less than 1 week, you may not make a post about a book with an Amazon sales rank worse than 100,000 in books. This is because we assume you are either the author, publisher or paid promoter of the book if you start saying good things about some low-selling or independent book, and the first rule in this list strictly prohibits anyone from ever posting about their own book.

9. Other information for new members: Please make sure to familiarize yourself with the Topic Creation Guidelines.

10. No duplicate accounts, deception, or intentional unfairness. Each person may only have one account at OnlineBookClub.org. If you have multiple email addresses and accidentally create duplicate accounts, simply inform a moderator and let them know which account want deactivated. Any attempt to deceive or attempt to circumvent the rules and regulations of the forums or our ability to moderate them (such as by creating duplicate to enter giveaways multiples times for just one example) is also prohibited at the discretion of the moderators and admins and can lead to you being banned from the website.

If you want to advertise on this site that's great. Please contact me for advertising options and rates.

Thanks!
Scott
Last edited by Scott on 20 Jul 2016, 19:35, edited 16 times in total.
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Post by StephenKingman » 03 Dec 2011, 07:15

^ Well said, Scott, I think with all the above features we are well able to prevent and control spammers and trolls. :D
You only live once.....so live!

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Fran
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Post by Fran » 03 Dec 2011, 08:32

Excellent Scott .... I think that's very clear & concise. Your work is much appreciated.
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A world is born again that never dies.
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Post by Kenn_Baker » 08 Jan 2012, 16:20

Scott,
I am a brand new member...um, I think 39 minutes old last time i saw it. I wanted to let you know, all of these filters work well. I was actually just starting a discussion and mentioned a website without having read this. Though it was a little frustrating, I know as a member i will appreciate it working for me.

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Post by BJMorgan » 22 Jan 2012, 13:39

So happy to see you take spamming by authors seriously. I'm a new author myself and of course trying to 'get the word' out that I have a book published - so many book forums get authors copy/pasting into every forum they can find. Counter-productive IMHO - those who shout the loudest have least to shout about ??

Anyway, thanks for accepting me as a member and I've taken advantage of your book review offer and uploaded a PDF for your reviewers to read. Crossing fingers you like it :D

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Post by themajorlives » 23 Jan 2012, 11:24

Hi, just tried to make my first post (a reply to a topic in the reviews of specific book section) and it came up with the 'do not post links etc' warning. This would be fine except my post doesn't contain any kind of URL or link. So I can't understand what happened. If my posts are being moderated due to being a new member, that's also fine, it's just there was no mention of this in the warning message. If you can shed any light on this it would be greatly appreciated.

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Scott
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Post by Scott » 25 Jan 2012, 09:46

Themajorlives, it is possible that you wrote something that was falsely detected as a URL. For instance, if you wrote com then that alone would likely be considered a link. If you want you can email the blocked post to me and I can figure out what is being flagged and if it is a false positive I can edit the automatic link detector accordingly. Thanks!
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid

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Post by pawpoint » 27 Jan 2012, 03:53

Scott,
Is my signature ok? I really enjoy the book club and love posting on it. I know that the sig is nofollow so is it ok to mention the URL that I come from?

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Post by Leonardo Noto » 01 Feb 2012, 17:04

I wish that I'd read this before I posted my introduction, because I think that I inadvertently am already on the "badlist." My apologies.

Leonardo Noto

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Post by Lincoln2012 » 16 Feb 2012, 15:55

I too, just read this list! I was "pm" ing someone and then all of a sudden I wasn't allowed to message them anymore. How can I get this undone? Thanks and apologies :-)

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Marg
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Post by Marg » 21 Feb 2012, 22:27

Now that I know the ground rules I'm anxious to get started with my first post. I, for one, appreciate the boundaries we are all asked to observe as it will make for a better discussion on the substance of books.
Margaret Kell Virany

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Post by Arbilisastar » 28 Feb 2012, 03:45

Hello my name is Paul Higgins and I am a new author and I just became a member...

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jeweling
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Post by jeweling » 10 Mar 2012, 03:50

gotcha,the profile page say if made 5 post than can set the profile page.
and I have made 5 post but the "posts" shows only zero

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Scott
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Post by Scott » 10 Mar 2012, 09:46

Posts in the off-topic section do not count towards post count for new members. This is clearly stated in the description of the off-topic section.
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid

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Post by caufee » 06 May 2012, 13:55

Would like to see posts listed by date. There are so many posts, but most of them are from last year or even older. How do we seek out the newest post people are reading and posting too?

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