Amazon KGB Select

I have just given up on a very strange back and forth with Amazon. Yesterday they sent me this mail informing me that The Subtle Fiend (second book in The Green Woman series) has been removed from KDP Select.

 

 

Hello,

During a recent review of your books, we found that the title(s) listed below are enrolled in KDP Select but do not meet the KDP Select requirements. KDP Select Terms and Conditions require that publishers have exclusive rights to book content enrolled in KDP Select. As the following book(s) are available in another publisher’s catalog, it has been removed from KDP Select and is no longer eligible to earn a share of the KDP Select fund. This will not impact royalties earned prior to removal from the program.

The Subtle Fiend: The Green Woman #2 (ASIN:B00I481BVM)

Here is where the content of your book(s) was found:

The Green Woman (ASIN:B00VTSYFL2)

Once you’ve confirmed your book(s) is no longer available in another publisher’s catalog, you may re-enroll it into KDP Select. Please ensure you have exclusive rights to all books prior to enrolling in Select. Repeated violations of KDP Select Terms and Conditions may result in a loss of KDP Select benefits and/or other account level actions including termination.

 

Very surprised, and expecting to find that I had been pirated, I followed the link, only to find that this ‘other publisher’s catalog’ is in fact my own book, the omnibus edition of the whole Green Woman series, self-published by me, exclusively on Amazon.

I’ve tried twice to explain that they are barking up the wrong tree, there is no ‘other publisher’s catalog’, there is no ‘other publisher’, it’s me, all me, only me, and Amazon. There isn’t even a wrong tree to bark up. After the third similar message from them, I’m giving up. I don’t think it’s me being particularly dumb; I really cannot see what the problem is, but it has left me with the feeling that this is what it must be like in a totalitarian state, when the bit of paper from the government department containing completely erroneous information is more real than the truth. I don’t think I want to go there.

They can stuff their KDP Select, and if it wasn’t for the reviews, I’d unpublish the whole lot. Has anybody else had this kind of experience? How did you deal with it? I admit that receiving the same mechanical replies, time after time has given me a slimy, creepy feeling in the gut.

 

306px-Edgar_Degas_Waiting

 

 

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Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

57 thoughts on “Amazon KGB Select”

  1. I can’t ‘like’ this but I can want to strangle a few people! urgh. It is so stupid how things like that happen. Discouraging. But don’t let it do that to you, this is just stupidity, you can’t rise to it, as much as I would love to bash their heads together. I’m sorry you experienced this, I have heard of stuff like this before, you’re not alone, we must keep on, because as you say, it highlights you enough to make it worth your while. xo

    1. Getting the first mail was just, okay, this is Amazon getting the wrong end of the stick, but after three the same, the same, request to take the material down from this other site that doesn’t exist, I start to wonder, am I real, or are they?

      1. Totally agree with that being a very understandable feeling. Just know this. You ARE real and they ARE stupid dumb asses and you gotta keep going or they win and yes that blows but it’s the way of the world today, happens far too much (and they said technology would save us?) but don’t let that ruin your right to have your work out there for others to appreciate it – it’s absurd though, totally absurd.

  2. If you haven’t already, you might try a phone call. Amazon customer service reps are generally very helpful and understanding and they can sometimes pull off miracles. Yet more investment (time and energy) from you, but it should pull you out of the semi-automated e-mail response loop.

    1. They’ve probably already pulled The Subtle Fiend out of KDP, but since I don’t use the giveaway or countdown promotion ‘advantage’ it probably doesn’t make any difference. What’s worrying is that they might decide to find some other fantasy infringement and remove my books altogether. That might be all for the best. It will force me to find another publisher for them.

  3. This is why I no longer have any books enrolled exclusively with Amazon. It’s not worth the aggravation. I’ve heard too many horror stories from too many authors. KDP customer service is almost impossible to deal with if you do have a problem. I figure the less “stuff” you’re enrolled in, the less chance you’ll have of coming up on Amazon’s naughty list.

  4. Wow! How frustrating! I hope someone with more knowledge about this can help you. It does sound like they need to retire the Adam models. Perhaps an Eve series would be more helpful. 😉

  5. The problem is that there is no one person attending to subsequent mails. I hope you are not writing new emails everytime but sending the attached previous ones. The other way is to lodge your complaint on the website. Go to KDPselect and open ‘contact us’ and log your complaint on the feedback site. You could maybe include screenshots too.Hope it helps. Best to you.

    1. Sorry, I missed this comment, Judith. Yes, I could lodge complaints but I’m so weary of the whole self-publishing lark that I’m not sure it’s worth the extra energy. I don’t do the self-pub thing properly, don’t advertise, don’t promote, don’t keep banging on about books I’ve published, because there’s only so much time in the day and I want to spend it writing. If Amazon were to boot all of my books out of KDP it wouldn’t make any difference to sales, so why bother? This ‘incident’ is just another nail in the coffin. I’ll write the books, if somebody else does the publishing part.

      1. Well all the best to you. Do hope you find a good publisher who will do justice to your writing in terms of publishing and marketing and sales too. And certainly one that will keep the stress off. 🙂

  6. If the book (#2) is also in a box set or an omnibus edition, you can’t have it for sale anywhere in the store at the same time separately. This is the current problem of many box sets that have cropped up in the last few months where an author would have the book in a box set with other authors in KDP Select and that box set is under one copyright owner (the organizer) and also have the book itself for sale in their own author account whether or not it’s in KDP Select. So to them, #2 is no longer exclusive. In your case, I guess if the box set was in KDP Select and the individual books are not, then it’s against their terms. But who really knows? Amazon keeps changing their rules.

    1. They are all in KDP Select that’s what’s weird; the omnibus is a collection of three novels which are all in KDP Select, except, by some whim, the second one which has been removed. Maybe they’ll get round to pulling all of them, and I’ll be in the strange position of having no books in KDP Select because they are all published nowhere else.

      1. That is weird. I know people do it all the time, calling the additional material (that’s also available in KU separately) as “bonus material”

  7. Wish I had some advice. All I can say is, never give up. Maybe that’s just me, but I’d keep at it. You might eventually break through (and maybe, not reply to the email you receive, but find another good contact at Amazon KDP – or even start it as a “help ticket”). Sorry you had to go through this. Hope things change for you.

    1. I find the whole going it alone thing so soul-destroying anyway, I probably won’t bother to get any sense out of them. It’s just one obstacle among many. Blogging’s easier 🙂

      1. I’ll keep on writing. I’m just not going to self-publish any more novels. It isn’t worth the headache. I have a series with a new publisher who is starting to get moving with marketing, which is good. For the new books, I’m hoping to get an agent or a bigger publisher. We’ll see.

      2. You need a lot of stamina for self-publishing, a whole raft of promotional strategies, an impermeable skin, and an unshakeable conviction that your book is incredible. You also need cash to put up front because it all costs money (except the ego). I haven’t got any of those. I just want to write the damn books and let a publisher earn his/her share by doing the marketing.

      3. I can understand. I hear that they do a lot less marketing, though. Still in the author’s court. Though, I would think it’s still a bit easier and you might still have more resources.

      4. Authors are expected to promote their work, but even the big five/six expect that. Marketing is what the publisher does, or ought to. They have access to reviewers, newspapers, awards, and publicity that an individual author doesn’t. Whether they pull their weight is another matter though.

      1. No – he just believes that he should be feted. Too big a subject for on-line conversation but suffice to say that I was a literary agent and he was a writer who had early success (very early) and in my tenure was stubbornly of the opinion that he therefore didn’t have to cut his teeth on the run of the mill stuff. Match made in hell though I have just read the most fascinating article about Nan and Gay Talese which you might enjoy in an idle (!!) moment http://www.vanityfair.com/style/2017/03/nan-talese-publishing-career-marriage

    1. I have paper editions of the first two volumes of my self-published series, but never got round to doing the third volume. Too much hassle for too little result. I have queried scores of agencies over the last few years, almost a hundred now, but have had no luck. I don’t know the Seymour Agency. I’ll look them up. Thank you 🙂

  8. Power always ‘ reserves the right ‘ to do what it wants when it wants and how it wants. It would prefer to make itself look morally correct like a noble strong man.

    1. It’s part of a bigger problem. If you self-publish you are at the mercy of Amazon. Some people are good at it and use the system to their advantage. But they have to spend half their lives promoting their books. I can’t and won’t do that so when Amazon shunts me into a siding I just sit there. This might be a wake up call to do something with these books other than just watching them atrophy.

  9. Hi Jane,
    Sorry about your brick wall problem. I’m so used to being able to talk to people, that this kind of thing would do my head in. And clearly, other people feel as strongly about it.

    You could try publishing with Ingram Spark and buying your own ISBN’s. If you go with CreateSpace and take their ‘free’ ISBN, they effectively become your publishers and have exclusive rights to all the content you publish with them. The way round that is to buy your own ISBNs, and go to different platforms. I’m just starting out on the self-publish road – and I’ll probably be coming to you for advice – but I gather that Amazon source their hard copies from IS anyway. 🙂

    Don’t give up, though, cos your writing is brilliant. ((xx))

    1. Thanks Fran 🙂 I need all the encouragement I can get. Don’t look to me for advice though, in the sense that I haven’t been successful at self-publishing at all. I can certainly see how people do make a go of it, but it often has very little (if anything!) to do with the quality of their writing.

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