Amazon Takes Aim At Scammers But Hits Authors

#Amazon #publishing #tips: Building the Front Matter of Your Book for KDP–more specifically, where the Table of Contents belongs…

David Gaughran

kuAmazon is an extremely innovative company – and usually quite responsive to self-publisher’s concerns – but sometimes it gets things very wrong too.

Today is one of those times.

I’ve received several reports from writers threatened with having books removed from sale, and heard even more worrying stories from others who had their titles actually removed from the Kindle Store without notice.

What were these authors guilty of? What crime did they commit for Amazon to adopt such heavy handed treatment? Something completely innocuous: the Table of Contents was at the rear of their books instead of at the front.

Yep, that’s it.

We’ll get to what might be the root cause of this crackdown in a moment, but Amazon is claiming that having a TOC in the end-matter instead of the front-matter is a breach of the (ever-changing, 100+ pages) Kindle Publishing Guidelines (PDF). Amazon says that rear TOCs result in…

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6 thoughts on “Amazon Takes Aim At Scammers But Hits Authors

    • True, but since I would have no career at all without Amazon, I’m very grateful to them. I’ve read David Gaughran, and I’ve learned a ton of good stuff from him, but I’ve had my TOC at the front since I published my first book over two years ago, because Kindle’s guide told me that’s where it should be. Personally, it makes no sense to me to move it to the back, because even with it in the front, the preview is way more than adequate for all of my books, sometimes going as far as three full chapters.

      I realize the TOC thing isn’t the major issue here, and I hope that amazon handles the rest of this problem more efficiently, and more fairly. It IS scary to think your book could be taken down for ANY issue, without prior notice and a chance to rectify whatever the problem is.

      This has certainly turned into a nightmare, and I’m sure no one is happy with the way it has all come about. Certainly, it’s not to amazon’s advantage to lose sales, either, even though it’s a drop in the bucket to their overall profits. So I have hopes that they will find a way to resolve this issue more fairly and efficiently, and without causing nightmares for writers.


      • I do hope that’s what happens. Having been a traditionally published author as well as an indie, I know very well how publishers seem to consider authors not that important, which seems really stupid when you consider that we produce the product they sell. Just hope Amazon doesn’t take the same nonsensical viewpoint.


    • I agree, for sure, and I think reader education would help with this one. I mean, just look at those obvious cheap tricks. I certainly wouldn’t click on one of those. Not exactly subtle, are they? Hope this gets sorted soon.


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