Amazon Takes Aim At Scammers But Hits Authors

Important for authors only.

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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About Cat-Gerlach

I am an author and a triple mum. I am living in Northern Germany with my family and my dog.

Posted on March 12, 2016, in misc. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Fabulous, very balanced and clear article, David! Sorry, you’re too popular for me to comment at your home site… this is the first I’ve seen of a reason why that makes a bit of sense (till now it was rumored to be just about “cheating” on getting the first pages read, which truly made no sense).
    On the other hand, as you point out, Amazon is doing a splendid imitation of a dishonest company themselves. Cracking down on R-ToCs but dragging feet about actual scams leads directly to the notion that the “scammers” are actually Amazon-employed, in an effort to reduce the payout without seeming to! Most other companies would be falling all over themselves to correct even the imputation of guilt here. But Amazon has always believed itself immune to Occam’s Razor.

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