Amazon: An Open Letter to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP & CreateSpace)
Amazon: An Open Letter
Kindle Direct Publishing & CreateSpace
If you have encountered any issues with Amazon’s Kindle or KDP side of business, you might have realised that it is very difficult to get hold of a human. This is the story of what has happened to me as an author. I cannot get a proper reply, or my account reinstated. You can help me, to reach Amazon. Any support is appreciated. Thank you for watching and sharing this video.
Transcript of ‘Amazon: An Open Letter to Kindle Direct Publishing’
Hey, my name is Jo Roderick. There is a good chance you might have read some of my books. If not, well … right now, most of my books are unpublished because Amazon decided to terminate my account, and has refused to engage in civilised discussion.
“We will not discuss this matter any further or provide additional insight.”
These are the facts. You decide for yourself.
It took me years to publish my first book. On the first day of 2014, I hit the publish button on The Book of Life, and I’ve been writing ever since. For the last two years, I’ve been exclusive with Kindle Unlimited. For me, it made financial sense. It also allowed me to target all my focus on one market place.
Early in 2017, KDP did some major behind-the-scenes changes to their server software. This is when all the trouble began with my publishing account. Two of my bestselling books were flagged and unpublished for no actual reason.
Both times, I took to Twitter to resolve the issues with a real person because I couldn’t reach any one via e-mail. Each time, the book was back on the shelf within hours.
There is little human interaction, or administration. The bots have spoken, and they are unapologetic.
My profile began to bounce all over the place. I started getting automated warnings from KDP about ‘illegal’ behaviour, and that I was attempting to manipulate my rankings. If advertising is manipulating the rankings, then I am indeed guilty, but this is crazy talk!
I received these warnings several times, but no one would reply to my e-mails. I simply received more automated messages, followed by further canned threats.
Following all of this, more than 90% of my monthly earnings were deleted with each passing month. KDP only pays the author between 60 and 90 days after a confirmed book sale. Still, I could not get anyone to reply. In total, I’ve lost around 95% of three and a half months of my earnings. I’ve also been left with the burden of expensive advertising over as many months.
In aggravation, I took to Twitter again in an attempt to reach a real human being. I specifically requested dialogue with anyone other than a silly woman that kept sending me automated e-mails without ever reading a single word.
Surprise, surprise. The very same woman telephoned me. I wanted to pull the remainder of my hair out. She did absolutely nothing, and to date, has not replied to one of my e-mails. Naturally, I got additional warnings.
“Unfortunately, we need some more time to look into the matter. We are sorry for the delay and for any inconvenience it may cause you. We will be in touch within five business days.”
Need I say that I never did receive any replies? I began e-mailing Jeff Bezos directly. The Internet tells us that he reads his own e-mail, but to be honest, I doubt it. One of his staff finally replied with certain finality.
Then, my account was terminated. Directly after that, CreateSpace shutdown my account with them, and denied me access to accounting. My paperbacks were published with them long before I put the electronic books into the KDP program. This is an independent subsidiary as we are told. Apparently not.
“As a result, we removed your books from the Amazon store, and terminated your account and your Agreement effective immediately to protect our reader and publisher experience.”
We all know that I am a danger to society … and the publisher experience.
“Subject to the Member Agreement, you will receive any unpaid royalties you have earned.”
I can tell you that I did NOT receive all of the outstanding amounts.
“Additionally, as per our Member Agreement, you are not permitted to open new accounts; and if you do, you will not receive future royalty payments from them.”
After this experience, do I really want to create a new account? … and then …
“As stated on the termination message, you will receive any unpaid royalties you have earned prior the termination. Please disregard the previous email.”
Okay, so that is a little odd. This brings me to the crux of the matter … “PRIOR to termination.” Amazon is continuing to sell my paperbacks, and they will not be paying me the royalties.
If we assume that I am a criminal, and I’m in the wrong, KDP terminated our contract. That action revokes their right to continue to sell my intellectual copyright. I’m sure I don’t need a lawyer to figure that one out.
Here is a new listing for Six For Seven at £10 and some odd change. Legally, it cannot be sold as new at all because my contract was revoked months ago. Or how about a lovely used copy for $788?
We are not just talking about selling my books without consent; we are looking at the exorbitant prices. Let’s face it; I’m not quite dead enough to fetch these sort of prices. Perhaps in a couple of hundred years?
The book of life … anywhere from $20 … right up to $761! In England, £399!
The Aeonosphere … £142.
Format it Yourself … £110. A little hefty at $32 for a tatty paperback, which is about four times what it originally sold for new.
As you can see from the screenshots, a few of the books are being listed as second hand, but they aren’t. Trust me, I don’t sell nearly as many paperbacks as I’d wish.
The Bermuda Phoenix is a mere £141. Not too bad, not that I will ever see a cent of the royalties.
However, the most interesting one of all is Publish It Yourself! A modest $137. New, a whopping … $859! £399! Twelve hundred and seventy-five dollars!
Who knew my books would sell for such a ransom?
Then there are the noticeable upward spikes in my author rating. I have no Kindle versions published. How can I possibly go up in ranking when my account was terminated months ago?
Since I still have partial access to my accounts on the KDP side, here are some screenshots of the last few months.
So, even though my account was suspended and then finally terminated in Early August, there are still kindle page reads occurring.
Zooming in on the last 45 days, you can see the declining page reads, which technically should not be happening at all. They still continue at the time of recording.
Amazon, here is my request to you. Either engage in conversation with me, reopen my account, or stop please selling my books. You cannot have it both ways. This sort of behaviour is not acceptable, not to mention decidedly illegal.
Jeff Bezos, over to you. You won’t respond, and there is no hiding behind the Internet.
If you would like to help, please give this video a thumbs-up, and share it on so that others are aware of what has happened. Perhaps I’ll get my account reinstated.
Thank you for watching this video, and for all your support.
Click here to watch the video on YouTube. You might also want to watch, Amazon Reviews: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous or Kindle Your Fire.