Kindle book news — new policy prevents publishers from serving customers

Sorry you haven’t heard from me for nearly a month. The reason is that a new policy at the Kindle Store is preventing me from fixing/improving books that I’ve already published, from publishing new books and new multi-book collection files, and from uploading new books for my Ebook of the Week and Kid’s Book of the Week subscriptions.

On Sept. 2, I received an email stating “We’re working on a policy and procedure change to fix a customer experience problem caused by multiple copies of public domain titles being uploaded by a multitude of publishers. For an example of this problem, do a search on “Pride and Prejudice” in the Kindle Store. The current situation is very confusing for customers as it makes it difficult to decide which “Pride and Prejudice” to choose. As a result, at this time we are not accepting additional public domain titles through DTP.”

Now whenever I try to upload a file, I get the message: “”Your book is currently under review by the Kindle Operations team as we are trying to improve the Kindle customer experience. Please check back in 5 business days to see if your book was published to the store. This will not affect any titles you are currently selling in the store, but uploading updates to existing titles will take longer to process”

Naturally, I emailed the Kindle publisher support team repeatedly, pointing out that this policy was misguided, that they are angering customers and alienating publishers. They are making no distinction between just another plain-vanilla version of a book that they already have many copies of, and books that while public domain they do not yet have, and books with value-added formatting (like links), and unique multi-book collections. I have received no reply. And after nearly a month — far more than 5 business days — all my new work has been in limbo. The fact that I have published over 3500 books for the Kindle — more than 1% of their total, means nothing.

In general, Kindle has great customer service — with immediate response; and terrible publisher support. If you are a customer and if low-cost public domain books and book collections are important to you, please contact Amazon Kindle customer service and let them know loudly that they should drop this new policy immediately and let publishers like me do the work that you want us to.

Richard Seltzer seltzer@samizdat.com



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