Scary stuff in this article, Amazon self-published authors: Our books were banned for no reason. It appears that a handful of authors are having their books removed from the Amazon store for no apparent reason, according to the authors named in this article.
In recent weeks, Amazon (AMZN) has taken down e-books written by at least six self-published novelists who say they did nothing wrong and depend on the platform to make their living, those six novelists told Yahoo Finance.
The six authors published many of their books through Amazon’s online self-publishing platform Kindle Direct Publishing Select, and they expressed shock and frustration over losing their livelihoods without understanding why.
Amazon, for its part, has been cracking down on KDP Select authors who supposedly game the system in order to get paid more. But the authors Yahoo Finance spoke to insist they haven’t engaged in this kind of fraud, and that Amazon banned them without sufficient explanation of wrongdoing.
So what do you do if Amazon bans your books?
First off, don’t panic. Contact them and ask why. Hopefully you’ll get a reason. But for these authors they aren’t being given one except that they “violated the rules”. But the authors say they didn’t.
Of course, if you did do something that is causing the issue, it’s time to come clean and fix the problem. One author said she’s probably going to lose about half a million dollars.
Michael-Scott Earle, an author of over 45 pulp fiction, science fiction and fantasy novels for men, experienced a similar scenario play out. In mid-July, the Austin, Texas-based native was on the phone with his editor going over changes to the draft of his latest novel, when he received an email from Amazon stating his KDP 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,” says Earle, who says he has sold roughly 300,000 copies of his books. “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?’”