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Amazon self-published authors suspended ‘without sufficient explanation of wrongdoing’

In the US, self-published authors have claimed Amazon removed their ebooks from sale without sufficient explanation of wrongdoing, reports Yahoo Finance.

Amazon has reportedly been cracking down on authors who abuse the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program, which offers authors enrolment in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in exchange for exclusivity with Amazon. There have been reports of Kindle Unlimited authors, who are paid from a collective royalty fund based on how many ebook pages are read, engaging in ‘book stuffing’—faking the number of book pages read.

These methods include adding a ‘bonus content’ link at the start of a book, which takes the reader to the end. Such manipulations are grounds for the company to pull an author’s book from the Kindle store and terminate the author’s Kindle Direct Publishing account.

However, six authors who spoke to Yahoo Finance claim they’d done nothing wrong. Jason Cipriano, a self-published author who claims to have sold 143,000 copies of his novels through Kindle Direct Publishing, said he had yet to receive ‘a clear, detailed explanation from Amazon’ after his books were pulled from the Kindle Store and his publishing account suspended.

Similarly, Michael-Scott Earle, an author of over 45 novels, received an email from Amazon stating his Kindle Direct Publishing account was also involved in the ‘manipulation of KDP services including Kindle Unlimited’. ‘I imagine I make them probably about a half-million dollars a year which is nothing to them—it’s probably a rounding error to them,’ said Earle. ‘But could they have called me or maybe sent me an email? I’m not even worth someone reaching out to and saying, “Hey, Michael-Scott, we’re seeing this or that with your account. What’s going on?”’

Amazon declined to comment on the cases to Yahoo Finance, but said it ‘takes attempts to manipulate our services very seriously’.


Category: International news