KDP has notified me that one of my ebooks is available for free on the web. Problem is, I don't publish other than on Amazon, and I certainly am not stupid enough to give away material I have for sale.
Unfortunately Amazon did not give me the URL of the offending material, so how can I prove it is either a pirated copy or the search engine/content analysis is incorrect?
I have only one website, and I've scrutinized the files there and don't see anything like my book there. I don't recall ever offering a similar freebie, either.
Has anyone else had this problem and/or know of a solution - quick before Amazon removes one of my best-sellers?
Maybe it's the book reviews one(s)? I notice they're enrolled in KDP Select, yet the blurb for one of them says "Different versions of these book reviews appear in diverse locations on the Internet."
I know your collection of them is unique--but Amazon doesn't count that. If some of the reviews are still up somewhere online, then they can't be in the Kindle Select program.
Maybe Amazon would be content with your taking those titles out of the Select program (if those are the titles they're concerned about). You might also have to show that you are indeed the author of them--but since you are, you're certainly allowed to republish them if you didn't sign over any rights at the time they were published elsewhere.
Thanks, Jessica. Your response prompted me to reread the email more closely, and you're right, it does say:
[i]During a review of your catalog, we found that one or more of your titles contain content that is freely available on the web. [/i]
I had taken that, and the rest of the email to mean that it is my title with my name that they found available elsewhere on the net for free. This is confusing because they mention "copyright" and "public domain".
EDITING YOUR WRITING is the content in question. Undoubtedly the gist of the material is available in uncountable location on the Internet. There's nothing new to say about how best to edit written material. My advice, however, is not copy/paste (except from my original writing, perhaps).
Thanks, 1001nightspress, for giving me something else to wonder about, but it's not a review they say they've found. It's the epub on editing your own writing. We don't need to guess about that part, they tell you in the warning email exactly which book to unpublish.
However, if you know how to remove a title from the KDP Select program, I'm certain everybody would like to know that trick. When you enter it, I think you are bound for a three-month period.
For those who have not had to deal with this issue, this is the text of the email I received:
During a review of your catalog, we found that one or more of your titles contain content that is freely available on the web. Copyright is important to us – we want to make sure that no author or other copyright holder has their work claimed and sold by anyone else.
Editing Your Writing (ASIN:B0034KZ19S)
If, in fact, you have the sole publishing rights for the books listed above, please provide the URLs for all websites where you have previously published this or any other Kindle content. Please respond within five business days with the requested URLs so we can verify you have the sole publishing rights, or the books will be removed from sale in the Kindle Store. If the book(s) are in the public domain, please confirm this and include the information you used to make this determination.
If you have already unpublished the book(s) listed above, please reply with that information. We ask that you unpublish any other book that closely matches content that is freely available on the web for which you do not hold the sole publishing rights, or which is not in the public domain. If we discover any other titles you have submitted fail to comply with these conditions or do not meet our Content Guidelines in any other way, your account may be terminated.
You're welcome. This is happening a lot to writers who assemble guide books/how-tos, because much of the information in them can be found freely on the web. Amazon has search bots that pick up identical phrases or similar word patterns so they can make sure authors aren't "scraping" material off the web and trying to make a profit off it. You'll need to somehow prove that the material was yours, and that it wasn't gleaned from reading free material.
I am having this same issue as well, same exact form email with no real explanation. I wrote them to try to figure out what's going on, they sent me a rather impolite reply demanding the same information, and telling me to search the internet for my content.
The ONLY thing I could find was when I posted snippets of one of my books on a blog to help promote it, over a year ago.
The other three books they listed I have no idea why they said they could be found online for free. One of them has sold over 10,000 copies in the last 2 years and for all I know someone could of reviewed it and pasted content somewhere. Apparently I am somehow responsible for finding that?
Been publishing on KDP for over two years, I have made them over $30,000 in sales and now they are treating me rather poorly. sigh
Somehow I think if I was a well known author or going through a large publishing firm they would not be treating me like this.
Umm, it is a 8-page book? This translates to what amounts to a lengthy blog post or a short essay. So was it on a blog at some point in the past enabling others to copy it and paste elsewhere? Is the content available free online as KDP states?
Look Georgia, many of us write blog posts. I have numerous blogs, but couldn't imagine selling each post for $2.99 (or any amount). Perhaps you might consider compiling all posts into a book, but if you put that book into the KDP Select program, make darn sure the content is not available all over the net. Sheesh - just write a brand new blog post and sell it. Problem solved.
Thank you for sharing your experience, tony227 - commiserations. But what did you do about this when you couldn't find any duplicates?
I'm quite willing to "unpublish" (and republish, even if it means having a new ASIN for that title), but I certainly don't want to risk having my account terminated. I know this is all automated, but it still smarts because I've been a huge supporter of Amazon and Kindle through the years.
I'm a veteran journalist with an excellent reputation, one who has practiced authenticity and transparency before the terms applied to the World Wide Web. Indeed, I was on the Internet long before there [i]was[/i] a WWW.
As for the snippy remarks about length and blog posts, may I point out that KDP has no minimum length requirement for publications, which is how I usually refer to Kindle material. I only have them in the Kindle Store because Amazon closed the Amazon Docs program which published plain HTML documents of any length. Also, Amazon does have a minimum length spec for Kindle Singles, which I don't think my shorter pieces match.
I cannot change Amazon's practice of referring to all Kindle publications as "books" and treating them as such. Anyone interested in purchasing them can see their sizes in the details of the listings. Some even display a 'page length' now based on the word count, I think.
They're cracking down on "scraping". That's where someone takes info that is freely available all over the web, wikipedia, etc. and packages it into a book with their name on it.
For example, let's say someone does a book about the last 10 US aircraft carriers. Their book is essentially a list of the stats for each one. You can find that info on probably 100,000 webpages, easily. Unless they go on to write a page or two about each one, in their own words, it isn't substantially different than those other 100,000 websites. Amazon is cracking down on those sorts of "books".
I think your best bet is to take your book down. If you want to expand it with your own text, do that and then put it back up at a later time, have at it. But in the meantime, you're just distributing what anyone can get by typing your topic into google.
You charge almost 4 bucks for a three page ebook that tells us your opinion about another book. This seems to me like the heir apparent of former highwaymen and your strategy there is highly detrimental to this very young segment called "ebooks". Amazon is very much into customer's satisfaction and if you stick to this you are prone to get terminated because of so many complaints.
As far as I know, you can't unenroll yourself (except at the end of that 90 days). But you could ask Amazon to unenroll you--IF that were the title in question. If it's not, why bring it up...
It's times like this when a phone support line would be really great. It just seems like that would be more efficient than your sending emails that might get a response in a week, or from an auto-responder, or something. I'd think it would be easier and faster to clear it up by talking to someone directly.