With WritersWeekly’s ongoing coverage of numerous authors being cancelled without warning by Amazon KDP, this author wanted to share his experience, too.
I’m getting on in years and have been around the block a few times. Then, I came across Amazon KDP. Wonderful, I thought. A chance to get into print at the right price to tell my tall stories. I’d already self-published a couple of books, one with a very expensive vanity publisher that cost me my shirt, and nearly my marriage.
My advanced years put me at a distinct disadvantage with information technology, namely formatting and designing book covers. So, searching the net, I found a likely company that were “experts” at publishing on Amazon KDP. Or, so they told me. Soon, my two books were published on Amazon, and getting wonderful five-star reviews.
Then it happened. A bolt from the blue. I was busy Googling one of the novels when I found it had been pirated, and was available as a free PDF download from a German company.
I was mortified, and immediately emailed Amazon support, informing them that the novel had been pirated, and gave them all the details.
The support team thanked me for contacting them, and requested further details whilst stating the following:
“As a result, the book(s) listed above has been blocked from sale on Amazon. To avoid publishing delays, it is important that we receive a prompt response to our messages. If you still want to publish the book(s) listed above, review our previous message and address the requests we’ve outlined. If you’re having difficulty finding the message, check your spam or junk folder. As a reminder, all content submitted through KDP must comply with our terms and conditions, content guidelines, and copyright guidelines. Repeated submission of books that do not comply may negatively impact your account status. You may also lose access to optional KDP services.”
I promptly responded, explaining the situation, and confirmed that there was a copyright warning at the front of the novel, and a warning that my novel contained a small amount of strong language. Notwithstanding, the contents complied with the KDP terms and conditions. They had been checked, proof read, and edited by the KDP publishing specialists, and contained nothing untoward.
Then, lightning struck again! During the discourse with Amazon KDP, my novels remained for sale but the one that had been pirated on another website suddenly got a one-star rating on Amazon, which was recorded as a “review.” When I looked, there was no review, so I questioned it. I also asked why, on the KDP KENP read pages, none of my novels had recorded more than one page read on the calculator dashboard. It seemed to me that there was a fault with the algorithm but, as I’ve already said, I’m a dunce at that sort of thing, which is the very reason I requested an explanation.
I was then contacted by a reader, a verified purchaser, who had tried to leave a review, but could not as it had been taken down from sale again. I then checked on Amazon only to find that BOTH of my novels had been removed from their website.
After another polite message to the KDP support team to request details, I received the following response:
“Thanks for your email concerning the status of your account. Unfortunately, we need some more time to look into the matter. We apologize for the delay and for the inconvenience this may cause. We’ll be in touch within 5 business days. Thank you for your patience.”
I received the same response multiples of times, so I wrote to Amazon KDP telling them that I had not knowingly broken any rules set out in their terms and conditions – I was at a loss to know why my account had been terminated, and could they explain what I had done wrong.
“Hello, during a review, we’ve found that your account is related to a KDP account that we previously terminated. As stated in our Terms and Conditions, if we terminate an account, you are not allowed to establish a new KDP account. As a result, we are terminating this account effective immediately and you may not open any new KDP accounts. As part of the termination process:
- We will close your account
- You’re no longer eligible to receive any outstanding royalties
- You’ll no longer have access to your accounts
- All of your published titles will be removed from sale on Amazon”
This certainly doesn’t seem like a genuine mistake. Is someone playing the long game here? Could my novels suddenly reappear sometime in the future bearing another author’s name?
UPDATE RECEIVED FROM THE AUTHOR 3 DAYS LATER
Further to our conversation about being blocked from Amazon: My novels were reinstated on the Amazon platform this morning, much to my surprise! In confidence, I contacted (name removed) and he took it up with them. There was no explanation, only that they had done a content review before reinstating the account.
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