It’s been awhile since we last spoke. Remember when we sued you for anti-trust violations? Wasn’t it fun meeting face-to-face in that courtroom, and learning that your opponent was intellectual, had done all of her homework, and was very likely going to WIN? And, wasn’t it a real kick on the day you learned that your motion to dismiss was denied, and that you were going to have to proceed with discovery?
I know it must have hurt just a teensy tiny bit when you decided to settle, and had to pay our attorneys $300K. We only sued because it was the right thing to do (and our competitors were too chicken to do so) and we chose to take not one dime from the settlement. Nope, not one penny.
Ah, good times…
Later, you changed your name from CreateSpace to Amazon KDP. That may have separated you from CreateSpace’s bad reputation for awhile but, as you know, a name change that doesn’t also include a change in business practices will only cause the bad comments to keep being posted online…but under the new name. Sure enough – the complaints just keep happening!
And, remember when you published that book for child molesters that taught them how to groom children? You at first defended your actions, and then only took it off the market after public outcry.
You’ve published and/or sold other questionable books over the years and you just keep doing it. Let’s not forget about the books on how to teach dogs how to fight. If one of those dogs ever attacks an adult or child, and seriously wounds or kills them, that blood is on YOUR hands. You also clearly don’t care about the lives of dogs who are raised to be tortured and, in some cases, killed.
But, my letter today isn’t about books that cause harm to people and animals. I’ve complained about that in the past (not that it did any good!). My letter today is to ask why you, Amazon, don’t screen manuscripts, and don’t even care when you put garbage books on the market, to the detriment of your book-buying customers?
An author contacted me this week, wanting us to publish her book. I opened up her file, and was pretty shocked to see that she used no quotation marks around dialogue. She was also missing numerous commas. There were spelling problems as well. It was such a jumbled mess (one of the worse manuscripts I’ve ever seen) that I thought there was something wrong with her file. So, I contacted her. She sent me another file. And, it had all the same problems.
I gently mentioned these issues, and asked if she was going to hire a professional editor. She didn’t even know there were any problems with it, which blew me out of the water. She said she’d prefer to make her own edits, and wanted me to guarantee that I’d publish her book when she was finished. My eyeballs rolled back in my head…
Remaining professional, and being completely honest, I responded by telling her that, if she had the knowledge to edit her own book, she’d have not made those mistakes during the writing process, and that she most certainly would have fixed any remaining errors when she was doing her final edits. I told her she needed a professional editor. Period.
And, that’s when she told me that her book was already for sale on Amazon – as an ebook and in print. I guess she assumed that, if Amazon was selling it, that I should, too. After all, if it’s good enough for Amazon, it should be good enough other companies, too?
I admit I almost peed myself laughing when I saw that!
As you know, Amazon, based on your past, you’ll clearly put pretty much anything on the market (and I’m not just talking about books) in your attempt to make a buck. Not only do you not seem interested in simply doing the right thing as, you know, human beings, but you don’t even appear to care about your own reputation. It’s like you’re just pushing forward, farther and farther, seeing how much you can get away with. It’s that “too big to fail” attitude, right?
So, Amazon, I looked up this particular author’s book on your site, specifically at the excerpt, just to be sure there wasn’t some odd glitch somewhere that inserted all of her errors before she sent her different files to me. NOPE! You actually put a book on the market so riddled with errors that it’s basically unreadable.
And, guess what else?
1. The book also has no real cover. It’s just a photo. No title. No author name. Nothing!
2. The book has no copyright page.
3. There is one 5-star review for the book – POSTED BY THE AUTHOR – USING HER OWN NAME!
So, you won’t let legitimate, honest people post reviews for so many products (including books!) yet you let the author give herself a 5-star review using the exact same name she uses in her book? WHAT THE HECK?!?!
Amazon, I have always advised authors to avoid publishing their books with you, and I will continue to do so. Putting their books under the same publishing umbrella as the author above can sully the rest of your authors’ reputations. How? Because some libraries and even bookstores, including Barnes and Noble, won’t buy/stock books published by Amazon.
I would ask you, Amazon, to start having respect for the written word, as well as respect for authors and, of course, your book-buying customers. But, based on your history, it’s doubtful you will ever do that. I can only hope and pray that, like other services (failures!) you’ve offered in the past, you will eventually give up on publishing books. The garbage books you have (and continue to) put on the market hurt readers – your customers. And, doing that only helps YOUR bottom line.
But, that’s what it’s all about, right Amazon? Filling your own pockets with no concern for anyone or anything else.
Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.
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Quote “Garbage” unquote Books are in the eye of the beholder ! Why should we, as readers and potential customers, let some blowhard, who is probably one of those “Christian” bookburners, let them decide what books to “BURN” in the virtual way ? ! ! ! I, for one, have had enough of these loudmouth, self-proscribed censors! I am TOTALLY against CENSORSHIP in all of its forms – and that’s what all this is about… The very same types who even killed their Savior, decried the most faithful friend of him, Judas Escariot, who sacrificed himself for his dream… and burned one their own at the stake… many times… are they the ones who I would trust to tell me what to read or watch?
Jeff Bezos – chiming in anonymously. LOL
All three of my books have reviews by the same person that are not legitimate reviews based on the actual content but based on her hate for me. She is a cousin of the woman I had been in a relationship with, which only ended when she passed away. That cousin did not like me from day one even though she could see how much we loved each other. I never understood why she hated me so when the rest of my love’s relatives liked me and were thrilled to see how happy she was.
Each review was intended to negatively affect sales of my books. Twice I wrote to Amazon, explaining my concerns and asking that they remove the cousin’s reviews. I told them that all the proof they need was to read all the other very positive reviews to know that what the cousin wrote was not based on the content and quality of my books. Each time Amazon responded that they would not remove the reviews of that cousin. Amazon has become so big and powerful that I guess they don’t feel a need to help authors like me.
Certainly agree that the vast majority of work published via Amazon and elsewhere is utter garbage. It may well be true, as has often been said, that everybody has a book in them. However, in 99% of the cases that is exactly where it should stay…in them. Don’t publish the damn thing! Hemingway, Fitzgerald & Steinbeck, etc….not to mention Joyce & Proust would stand no chance of being published these days. They’d be buried under the rubble.
Best of luck with your campaign.
Amazintg. Thanks for posting, Angela.
Thank the Lord above for you Angela! You are the bomb! True writers are losing out to the hacks and the hacks need to be called out. I couldn’t read a poorly written, poorly edited book, and certainly can’t imagine putting one out there for the world to see. I would die of embarrassment first. Again, thank you. There are reasons why I have followed you for so long, and this is but one of those reasons.