WARNING MESSAGES FOR KINDLE E-BOOKS
I posted more about this a few days ago:
The only direct evidence we have gleaned from Amazon is on their KDP help pages:
This page appears to have updated in the past couple of days.
I and others had read this page carefully and thoroughly when we first noticed the updated KDP help page about a week ago.
But now there appears to be new information on the page:
“A moderate amount of Distracting or Destructive Issues can result in the book remaining available for sale, but with a temporary quality warning displayed on the detail page of the book on Amazon.com until corrections are made.”
There had been mention of Critical Issues previously, and there had been mention of possible removal of the book.
But there hadn’t been mention of Distracting or Destructive Issues. (I updated my post from a few days ago to reflect the new language.)
And there hadn’t been an explicit notice that a quality warning would be displayed on the book’s product page. (We had specifically searched for this language when the product page first updated.)
There has always been a KDP help page mentioning quality issues like formatting. But the page that had been there for years was much shorter and more vague. The current page is much more thorough, mentioning more specific details and consequences.
So it’s not so much a new KDP help page, as a greatly updated one. (Updated at least twice in recent days.)
If you read the recent KDP email newsletter, you will see specific mention that the KDP help pages have recently updated.
It’s not a public announcement from Amazon, describing new quality control practices and consequences, but finally we do have writing from Amazon clearly mentioning quality warnings displayed on product pages for Kindle e-books.
But it doesn’t answer all the questions that we have about this.
They do classify three kinds of issues:
- Critical Issues result in the removal of the book from sale (until corrections are made). Critical issues render the book incomplete or unusable.
- Destructive Issues (don’t you love the language?) “prevent the reader from understanding the author’s intended meaning.”
- Distracting Issues “briefly remove the reader from the author’s world.”
If Destructive or Distracting Issues are deemed “moderate,” the book will remain available for sale, but with a warning message displayed on the product page.
If they are “excessive,” the book will be removed from sale until corrections are made.
Now for the big questions:
- Exactly what is considered moderate, and what is considered excessive?
- Exactly what constitutes a Destructive Issue?
- Exactly what constitutes a Distracting Issue?
The KDP help page mentions a dozen possible issues, such as typos, formatting, duplicated text, problems with links, and even a vague Disappointing Content.
But it doesn’t come right out and say exactly when each of these issues will be deemed Critical, Destructive, or Distracting.
We hope that Amazon will be reasonable in assessing issues, deciding on a course of action, and considering an author’s possible explanation.
I have no reason to expect otherwise.
But it’s hard for writers, especially fiction writers, not to imagine several hypothetical scenarios gone wrong.
If there happen to be any issues with your book, you should receive an email from Amazon KDP, and you should have an opportunity to fix them. Hopefully, you’ll have an opportunity to respond with an explanation, if needed.
In the meantime, the best you can do is keep writing and keep marketing.
Write happy, be happy. 🙂
Copyright © 2016
Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
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