My account was terminated this Thursday, found out yesterday. I sent a couple of emails, then came here and was horrified to find out situations worse than mine.
My books consisted of[b] my own[/b] articles I made into reports, two of [b]my own [/b]non-fiction series books, and one Fiction preview of an upcoming book. The only thing I could figure I did wrong was that I used website links in some of my non-fiction books. I did not have a lot of books listed, and I certainly did not make a lot of money to even mention. Odd though, that when I first started over a year ago, they took out [b]most [/b]of the PLR(Private Label Rights Books) I had on there and left [b]one[/b], which was strange.[b][/b] So, I do my own stuff, and now my account is closed. Question to everyone, especially those who have made a lot of money: Are you independent authors, or do you have a publisher?
I too have had my account terminated. It happened 16 days ago, and I finally only heard back from them 15 days later (by email) saying that they were still not going to reinstate my account because of repeated content violations of information "freely found on the web." They never did elaborate on what those content violations were. I had 11 original books written by me, that were all removed.
I understand them having to clean up the Amazon marketplace, because there were some unscrupulous authors uploading[b] hundreds[/b] of unoriginal books, and some that were poorly written. Plus, they were teaching others to do the same thing. I knew this would occur at some point.
The problem I have with Amazon KDP is that they are painting all authors with the same brush, and most authors never get to speak to anyone from Amazon who can help them sort it out. I sure wouldn't put all my eggs in one basket, and rely on Amazon for my income. One strike and you're out! They rule the marketplace, and are trying to keep their customers happy (which should occur), while treating their authors without respect or justice.
By the way, PLR stands for Private Label Rights. There is some very good PLR out there, and it is very useful for both online and offline businesses. Many reputable businesses rely on PLR, but know how to use it properly. I can understand it not being wanted in Amazon Kindle. Otherwise, you'll just end up with duplicates of everything all over. The problem is that how do you know that someone hasn't copied your work, and now Amazon KDP claims that YOUR work, which is original and written by you, is not the original??
If we just stand by and let them do this, they're going to continue to do it to more people. Fortunately, I don't rely on this income, but it was nice supplementary income. I will continue to call them, as I believe they owe me a decent explanation rather than just a form email that is signed, "Best Regards,"
Let's hope we can get things sorted out, and Amazon KDP gets their act together. If anyone says anything negative about this post, be careful. You could be next. I just hope you're not. But you could be....remember that.
Hi could you go through the steps @gothicscrybe how you were able to do this?
sorry guys in the middle of the night I suddenly thought not legal but label ha ha ha doh guess I am just too upset to think straight at the moment
I see that there is a new thread
Posted By: kdpadmin -- Dec 2, 2009 12:09 PM
went to support and notice that there isn't anything where we can get support for our unjustified account closures!
anyone know of any phone numbers we can ring in the UK?
I understand that they have to clean up their publishing but man why penalise accounts without any explination and without any warnings
wonder why publishers are treated with so much disrespect?
in answer to publishers or no publishers
no publisher is my answer but don't think this has any bearing on why our accounts are terminated without notice
7 years publishing! wow and your suddenly terminated too? but lucky you got reinstated I hope I am too.
I think at the bare minimum........... we should be told why accounts have been terminated
and get offered to pull ourselves the offending book or have them pull them and reinstate our accounts.
This was my problem with them too, that they NEVER sent me any type of warning and then just closed my account.
Remove the book in question until it can be changed/fixed, etc, sure...but close an entire account?
It wasn't until my account was re-instated that they told me what book of mine broke their rule and they won't sell it any longer.
No biggie. Sales were nice, but I won't sweat it. Had they just done that to begin with, with each of us, I don't think any of us would be here right now, complaining about their unprofessional business practices.
Here is their Content Guidelines as it applies to all of us affected by this:
Public Domain and Other Non-Exclusive Content
Some types of content, such as public domain content, may be free to use by anyone, or may be licensed for use by more than one party. We may choose not to sell a book if its content is undifferentiated or barely undifferentiated from one or more other books.
Okay...fair enough, but they are behaving as if this is some great crime, when it isn't. "Due to repeated violations, we are terminating your account."
A simple, "This content falls under the "insert whatever here" and must be removed until re-written and re-submitted for Amazon approval."
Now, while that may not sit well with some, ("what do you mean change my content? Now Amazon is going to dictate what I can write?" Some people just can't be pleased so yes, you will have those kinds too) as long as they offer a reason WHY content is being removed, as long as people know that they need to do something different with their work, I think most of us would. I would.
I just think there was a better way to handle this.
Some types of content, such as public domain content, may be free to use by anyone, or may be licensed for use by more than one party. We may choose not to sell a book if its content is undifferentiated or barely undifferentiated from one or more other books."
Okay, I'm confused now. I thought everyone who was posting about their accounts being terminated were submitting their own original works.
"Now, while that may not sit well with some, ("what do you mean change my content? Now Amazon is going to dictate what I can write?" Some people just can't be pleased so yes, you will have those kinds too) as long as they offer a reason WHY content is being removed, as long as people know that they need to do something different with their work, I think most of us would. I would."
I completely agree with your statement gothicscribe (above). Let us know what is wrong, and we'll fix it. Yes, they do have terms of service, but some of them are somewhat vague and open to interpretation.
Yes, we have been talking about original works. The problem with Amazon is that they are accusing authors of publishing work that is "freely available on the net," even though they are original works. Who's to say that someone hasn't copied your work, and then distributed it online, and now Amazon claims that your work is the duplicate?? Something to think about...
That's why I asked in the other thread if any of you had perhaps posted your work(s) on a writing site somewhere.
While they're very popular to use, for various reasons (for newbie writers to get feedback, or to build a fan base), anyone can copy them and later on, decide to pop them up somewhere as their own work.
That's one of the reasons I no longer post WIP for free reading anywhere. I have a site where I do post them, but it's my site, and each story's part is behind a pay wall. It's a tiny paywall, but present.
People who want to make money the 'lazy' way aren't going to spend out of their own pocket, but take freely available content.
This has happened to some authors with stories on Literotica recently.
you dont need to post anything for free, our stuff is stolen everyday and loaded up to various websites that distribute the work for free.
I have no doubt there are also people who then take your ebook and publish it under another name.
Not a very smart strategy by Amazon if that is what they are playing at.
Thank goodness they are not the only major ebook retailer.
If it's happening on Amazon, it's happening at the other distribution sites too.
While it's not necessary to post anything for free, many do. At least excerpts of new releases, in order to help drum up interest. Most small publishing press sites offer the first chapter of their titles for free reading as advertisement.
In a little over 5 years at this, I've only twice had instances of my work being stolen. Once, a title was available on a file sharing network. I contacted them, they removed it.
The other time, it was a content scraping web site that copy/pasted a chapter from a work in progress I was posting on my blog. I complained, it was removed.
Personally, I think the piracy rate is probably higher for traditionally published authors, due to higher ebook prices and the wait for an ebook version to be released.
I have to agree with all the assessments made here and have yet another angle...which kind of goes along the same lines.
I'm thinking about those who have had their accounts yanked that write non-fiction.
In the case of non-fiction, unless you have discovered a 10,000 year old mummy that the world has never before seen or heard about and you write something and publish it, there WILL be an almost 100% chance that there is something [i]already[/i] on the market similar (even amazingly so) to what 100 other non-fiction writers have published.
Find Aunt Suzy's pot roast recipe? Better hope it isn't similar to Jane Doe's recipe, because even if Aunt Suzy wrote hers back in 1932, if Jane Doe's is on the Internet first and it happens to be similar to Aunt Suzy's because Aunt Suzy may have shared it, passed it on, submitted it to some magazine in 1950 but Jane Doe's Great Aunt copied it from one place, had it given to her by a friend, whatever and passed it on to Jane Doe, Aunt Suzy's Granddaughter (or whoever decided to publish it in a cookbook) can't prove that Aunt Suzy's "came first" and then Aunt Suzy's whatever will have hers yanked and her account closed.
This leads me to believe that your statement of new reps just googling and then marking and terminating accounts of people who have anything similar - without benefit of a little research is right on.
In today's world, there is some information that you simply [b]can't[/b] copyright and therefore there is no way to make it not considered Public Domain (such as herbal lore. Google "herbs" and you'll find about a million sites that all have the same herbal information) - but who wrote and distributed the information first?
How can you copyright herbal lore? Recipes? Make-up tips? Sewing techniques?
It's things like this that are dizzying and maddening if you think about it, because if someone is using different Public Domain sites (like I said, this is strictly for non-fiction) for research, such as college students turning in essays, research papers, projects, etc then are they guilty of...what?
You simply can't copyright knowledge or prove which came first, the chicken or the egg and that unto itself can become a problem.
Is it right? I'm not here to judge...but before there was the Internet, there were books and libraries.
It's one big circle and, as i said...now anyone who writes non-fiction can be on the "radar."