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.
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