Warning to Kindle ebook Publishers: This 'SmackDown' Starts Feb. 3rd

37 replies
Finally (trumpets blaring) Amazon is doing something to curb the large numbers of self-publishers (used loosely) who refuse to properly edit their Kindle e-books.

Your weak edited book will be stamped with a ... Warning Message
to your readers! Moo-ha-ha. (cue scary background music)

Maybe this will help thin out the saturated field of "wanna-be publishers", "posers" plus the "lazy quick buck speculators".

Here's the article.

I'd be interested in what you think.
  • Are they being too harsh?
  • Not harsh enough?
Or
  • Going about it the wrong way and should do ______________ instead?
#3rd #ebook #feb #kindle #publishers #starts #warning
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I had to chuckle when the author of the aritcle "mentions" he had complained of this problem ..and JUST a few days later Amazon made this announcement. More likely the change was in the wind and prompted his article.

    I think it's a great idea and Amazon is going about it the right way. They've been diligent in the past about ending practices that were hurting the Kindle image - use of PLR, for example.

    Those who pump out low quality books or hire cheap writers and slap the books on Kindle....will have to improve the quality of their products.

    Writers who take care and produce quality books won't be affected.
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    • Profile picture of the author MValmont
      Amazon already send e-mails to the writer when too many people made a complaint about the book quality.

      It won't change anything. Customers will still buy based on the reviews of the book!

      I see Books that sell like crazy even though they only have 2 or 3 stars rating.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        A book that is labeled "unavailable" isn't going to sell at all. I think Amazon has tried warnings and they don't work - now they are going to be blunt about it.
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      • Profile picture of the author essmeier
        I see Books that sell like crazy even though they only have 2 or 3 stars rating.

        And other books, like the dozen or so that I've written, don't sell at all despite four and five star reviews.

        So it goes...

        Charlie
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        • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
          What concerns me is opportunity this could now provide rivals to do harm to an author.

          Both here and on KBoards I've read instances where rivals have left damaging reviews, although thankfully, I've never experienced this myself. Could this now give rivals another means to inflict damage?
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          • Profile picture of the author ED1190
            Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

            What concerns me is opportunity this could now provide rivals to do harm to an author.

            Both here and on KBoards I've read instances where rivals have left damaging reviews, although thankfully, I've never experienced this myself. Could this now give rivals another means to inflict damage?
            Won't Amazon still ultimately check to see if it complies with their standards? Inflicting damage may not matter if your e-book is formatted correctly.
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        • Profile picture of the author MValmont
          Originally Posted by essmeier View Post

          I see Books that sell like crazy even though they only have 2 or 3 stars rating.

          And other books, like the dozen or so that I've written, don't sell at all despite four and five star reviews.

          So it goes...

          Charlie
          That's because your books are not optimized properly...

          PM me the links of your books and i'll tell you what's wrong
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  • Profile picture of the author Van Dam
    I absolutely agree with them. If you pay for an ebook, you deserve to get quality and something that isn't just copied and pasted without any proper formatting.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Now that the bar is being raised, whose next?

      It would be interesting to see if other players like Apple, Barnes and Noble, Google and others will move in the same direction.

      If a better customer and reader experience is the goal more publishers will have to - or risk suffering the consequences.
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      • Profile picture of the author discrat
        Good deal.

        Glad to see Amazon cleaning up this garbage. I don't do Kindle but it's pathetic some of the people I see calling themselves 'Authors'.

        They have no business !!

        And the stuff they pump out calling it E- books..just ridiculous.

        They are NOT E- books. Maybe just short Reports but NOT E-books


        - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author bluejeans
    Thanks for the share ... was wondering when the bar would be raised on Kindle, was inevitable really. It's never cool to buy an ebook full of typos.

    I smell a business opportunity ... "Will edit your Kindle ebook and format it to Amazon's new standards".
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  • Profile picture of the author MValmont
    It is actually a good thing because a lot of people will stop doing the Kindle business and only those that truly know what they are doing are going to stick around and they will make more money!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Let's see ... the customer can leave a review ... the customer can get a refund
    and still Amazon want to determine quality?

    It's the same call we have been hearing here for years. "Clean up the WSO from
    low quality products!" There is a seller, a customer satisfaction guarantee and
    a review process. It's always dangerous when "big brother" goes too far thinking
    it his duty to maintain high standards all to protect the consumer.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author MValmont
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      Let's see ... the customer can leave a review ... the customer can get a refund
      and still Amazon want to determine quality?

      It's the same call we have been hearing here for years. "Clean up the WSO from
      low quality products!" There is a seller, a customer satisfaction guarantee and
      a review process. It's always dangerous when "big brother" goes too far thinking
      it his duty to maintain high standards all to protect the consumer.

      -Ray Edwards
      Exactly my friend...


      On top of that, people don't realize that there is NO WAY, Amazon is going to check every single book before they publish it...

      Here is how it is going to work: If people complain too much about a book, Amazon will send the author a warning regarding the quality of the book ( which they already do). The only thing new here is that there will be a warning inside the book, ( which makes absolutely no sense to me).

      In the end, people will buy based on reviews, nothing changed and people that are scared of this are people that have no clue how Amazon works.

      And by the way, I agree that too many people publish garbage on Kindle. I'm just stating the facts here.
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      Let's see ... the customer can leave a review ... the customer can get a refund
      and still Amazon want to determine quality?

      It's the same call we have been hearing here for years. "Clean up the WSO from
      low quality products!" There is a seller, a customer satisfaction guarantee and
      a review process. It's always dangerous when "big brother" goes too far thinking
      it his duty to maintain high standards all to protect the consumer.
      This isn't a case of "Big Brother". Amazon is a publisher - it's a publisher's duty to maintain appropriate standards, especially when the reputation of the Kindle publishing platform rests on the quality and customer satisfaction of its publications. In fact, although the WF positions itself as an independent marketplace, it could probably take a few quality control lessons from Amazon.
      .
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
    Well, I guess Whitacre Publishing is going to close its doors...
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    If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Does this apply to free kindle ebooks too?
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    • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      Does this apply to free kindle ebooks too?
      They should apply it to the free ebooks. It would weed out the garbage there also. Amazon is built on trust. They should included free ebooks with the rest. Face it...who wants to spend money on a Kindle then download something they can't read !
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  • It's about time! I can't comprehend why this was allowed to go on for so long. It's not just the kindle store. All those digital libraries/marketplaces are just packed and saturated with garbage and have been for years. This is a pleasant development.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      The errors are reported by people who have either downloaded the title for free or paid for it
      The articles seems to indicate this new standard will apply to ALL books on Kindle - whether in a free period or as paid sales.

      I can't see this as anything except a positive move to protect the reputation of Kindle and it's authors. I would think all legitimate writers would be thrilled by this new policy.
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      • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
        I realize it could be a daunting task to check every book on their platform. But I imagine they'll do it like major corporations do drug testing of employees.
        • Check randomly.
        • If they notice problems arise or brought to their attention (i.e customer complaints).
        • Other potential signs based on past experience.
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        • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
          In the long run, it will add value & visibility to more serious authors if amazon does a clean up.

          But, what should be concerned about is the potential for false positives:

          Malicious reports

          Mistaken reports (some people don't know grammar or spelling, but still try to correct others)

          British people reporting american spellings as errors, and vice versa

          Some spell checking software not recognising certain words like character or place names, or technical terms

          Dialect within character's speech being reported as errors or as being grammatically incorrect.

          Computer code, math, chemical formulae, urls, ascii art, etc not being recognized by spell checkers or grammar checkers

          and so on
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            We're talking about Amazon here - not some fly by night site or service.

            From the articles I've read - they will encourage readers (and they know who is a buyer and who isn't) to report when they find errors and they will be checked out.

            In the beginning, only those using a Kindle device will be 'reporting' but that could change.

            I read a lot of books on my Kindle Paperwhite - with a proper setup (which Amazon usually figures out) would be no harder to report bad proofreading than it is now to rate the book by a number of stars when I finish it.

            I don't think it's that difficult for Amazon - and it's a really smart move.
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            Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

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            • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
              Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

              We're talking about Amazon here - not some fly by night site or service.

              From the articles I've read - they will encourage readers (and they know who is a buyer and who isn't) to report when they find errors and they will be checked out.

              In the beginning, only those using a Kindle device will be 'reporting' but that could change.

              I read a lot of books on my Kindle Paperwhite - with a proper setup (which Amazon usually figures out) would be no harder to report bad proofreading than it is now to rate the book by a number of stars when I finish it.

              I don't think it's that difficult for Amazon - and it's a really smart move.
              Even with amazon's resources
              , i find it hard to imagine that they are going to manually check and evaluate every suspected/reported error.
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              • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                Originally Posted by SunilTanna View Post

                Even with amazon's resources
                , i find it hard to imagine that they are going to manually check and evaluate every suspected/reported error.
                I would imagine that there would have to be some sort of threshold before certain actions are taken.

                Taking wildly extreme examples, if a book has 95+% 5-star reviews from verified buyers and 1-2 error reports, I'd tend to ignore the error reports. On the other hand, if both error reports and 1-star reviews from verified buyers made up 95% of the feedback, the book in question should be tagged and set for manual review.

                Similarly, manually reviewing a book with 1-2 downloads per year would be a waste of resources, while a book that garnered multiple complaints in spite of some level of sales should be looked at more closely.

                It wouldn't surprise me is Amazon borrowed from Google's manual review system.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    This is typical amazon. Like what a worthless company. Must be running low on space. They over stuff their servers. OK so now they are deleting books that do not sell and that should surprise no one. Believe it or not they called me up. Told me that if it did not sell they would delete it. All they care on is money. Frankly, quality is not their concern. Look at all the horrible ugly modern art in the art gallery that sells for thousands of dollars per piece. However, I do understand that they want to thin the herd and promote famous big name authors to make more money. Namely, the good old days are over.
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    • Profile picture of the author MValmont
      Originally Posted by seobro View Post

      This is typical amazon. Like what a worthless company. Must be running low on space. They over stuff their servers. OK so now they are deleting books that do not sell and that should surprise no one. Believe it or not they called me up. Told me that if it did not sell they would delete it. All they care on is money. Frankly, quality is not their concern. Look at all the horrible ugly modern art in the art gallery that sells for thousands of dollars per piece. However, I do understand that they want to thin the herd and promote famous big name authors to make more money. Namely, the good old days are over.
      This is exactly what I thought it would be.

      People are going crazy for no reason. If a book sell well and it has amazing reviews, I don't see how Amazon would just remove it because one guy decided that there was too many mistakes.

      Look, I have both short books and long books. Both fiction and non-fiction...People don't care how many pages your books has, especially with non-fiction. People want VALUE. A book with 700 pages and a PERFECT formatting doesn't mean it will help or entertain the customer more than a 60 pages book with a few mistakes but has tons of positive reviews.

      People want value, that's all they want. I would gladly buy a book that has only 5 pages and this book explains in details what I need to do to fix a certain problem...

      Lot's of people with 500 pages books actually think that THEY ARE amazing authors because their books has tons of pages and an excellent formatting, but in the end, the customers is not interested and they don't buy,
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      • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
        I noticed some people have the impression Amazon will stop selling certain ebooks (even if they're money-makers). That's not the case, they'll just be stamped with a Warning.

        But if a book is "unreadable" (not many of those make money) and removed I'm not sure why anyone would be annoyed by that, other than the "impatient/mistake-prone" publisher.

        They'll still have a chance to do it right and resubmit it. My guess is Amazon is trying to cut their refunds down to more manageable levels.
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  • Profile picture of the author DoubleOhDave
    I just don't understand how anyone publishes a badly edited and formatted book.

    Seriously - it costs like, $7 for Hemingway App for editing (I think it's free to use if you use it online)
    And if you don't feel confident in that, there are proofreaders on Fiverr who do a great job.
    And as for the formatting? Word .doc - save as Web Page filtered, open in Sigil, save as .epub file, use Calibre to convert to .mobi and publish!

    All free tools and not a big learning curve.

    If someone gets a lot of customer feedback that their spelling, grammar and formatting is awful, they just shouldn't be publishing cos all they are doing is trying to scam people (imho).
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I noticed some people have the impression Amazon will stop selling certain ebooks
      The warning in the box - on the site you linked to in the OP - says "this book is currently UNAVAILABLE"...

      That said, I doubt the worst of these books are best sellers. More like cleaning out the closet and getting rid of stuff no one wants...

      So, yes, I think they will stop selling certain books.

      If you recall, when Amazon first announced "no PLR" we had the same comments here - "how will they know?" - "they are saber rattling" - "just saying that to protect themselves but will do nothing"....

      What happened? Books that were PLR were shut down one after another.
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      Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

      My mind still thinks I'm 25.
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    • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
      Originally Posted by DoubleOhDave View Post

      I just don't understand how anyone publishes a badly edited and formatted book.

      Seriously - it costs like, $7 for Hemingway App for editing (I think it's free to use if you use it online)
      And if you don't feel confident in that, there are proofreaders on Fiverr who do a great job.
      And as for the formatting? Word .doc - save as Web Page filtered, open in Sigil, save as .epub file, use Calibre to convert to .mobi and publish!

      All free tools and not a big learning curve.

      If someone gets a lot of customer feedback that their spelling, grammar and formatting is awful, they just shouldn't be publishing cos all they are doing is trying to scam people (imho).
      I don't think they are necessarily 'trying to scam people'; rather they are buying some of the proliferation of dodgy programs telling them how to create books by the dozen, publish them on Amazon, sit back and start raking in the profits.

      Their writing, syntax and grammar skills are nonexistent, but they believe what they've been told: anyone can become a successful, published author on Amazon.

      These, I believe, are the books being weeded out by Amazon.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Dear spamazon user. Thank you for writing a review. All of us at spamazon greatly appreciate the time you took out of your busy schedule to share your user experience. Please remember to not give our POS BOOKS poor reviews. Otherwise, we will not sell any to SUCKERS, I mean consumers... so we might have to sue you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tony Dean
      Very interesting developements at Amazon. I understand why they don't crap writers on there to spoil the experience for the buyers of the Kindle Fire and other readers.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    The main thing that I got out regarding this recent development is that Amazon has put in place a self-policing mechanism for publishers.

    Put simply, Amazon is just simply going to take advantage of competing authors' tendency to gain a competitive advantage by keeping their competitors in check.

    Using this motivation, Amazon can benefit by having their community clean itself up.

    With that said, it definitely has to have a series of mechanisms in place to ensure that the Kindle marketplace doesn't degenerate to the level of Craigslist where competing ad posters routinely flag each other's ads.

    I'm sure they've thought this out.

    This is why I'm strongly convinced that publishers who produce properly-proofread and well-written books have nothing to worry about.
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