Amazon Takes Aim At Scammers But Hits Authors

publishing is already hard enough

David Gaughran

kuAmazon is an extremely innovative company – and usually quite responsive to self-publisher’s concerns – but sometimes it gets things very wrong too.

Today is one of those times.

I’ve received several reports from writers threatened with having books removed from sale, and heard even more worrying stories from others who had their titles actually removed from the Kindle Store without notice.

What were these authors guilty of? What crime did they commit for Amazon to adopt such heavy handed treatment? Something completely innocuous: the Table of Contents was at the rear of their books instead of at the front.

Yep, that’s it.

We’ll get to what might be the root cause of this crackdown in a moment, but Amazon is claiming that having a TOC in the end-matter instead of the front-matter is a breach of the (ever-changing, 100+ pages) Kindle Publishing Guidelines (PDF). Amazon says that rear TOCs result in…

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Author: rharrisonauthor

International man of mystery. Well not really, although I can mangle several languages and even read the occasional hieroglyphic. A computer scientist, an author and one of the very few people who has both an NIH grant and had a book contract. An ex- booktrope author and a photographer.

2 thoughts on “Amazon Takes Aim At Scammers But Hits Authors”

  1. I read your article to the end. For awhile, I felt so angry at Amazon, that I figured I would stop buying books from them. I’m a just a little less inclined to due to your concluding update. Since digital technology seems to be becoming out of control, I may just stick with buying used books in print. There are plenty of used books in my town, and plenty of used book sales, as well as a few used books stores.

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    1. It’s nasty for authors like me, who are trying their best to write decent books. The scammers suck the money out of the KU pool and turn off readers who become disheartened with the crude they run into. Of course, social media marketing – where there’s a real person you can know and give grief to – is one way around this. (this is a roundabout way of saying my books don’t do this kind of stuff.)

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