There has been a lot of disturbing news recently about how Kindle is treating its authors.
Cases include books having their ranks stripped without warning, and even whole catalogues being removed. More disturbing is that Amazon appears to be denying their authors any redress – not to mention refusing there is a problem with their system. The only way to make this company face up to its obligation to uphold fair practices is to ensure Amazon cannot hide their poor-conduct. We must share these stories as far and as wide as we can.
Authors should be working together as a community rather than trying to sabotage each other or cheat the rankings. Sadly, there will always be those who do indulge in dishonest practices, but to be accused is not the same as being guilty. These authors deserve to be shown the evidence against them and given a chance to answer to it. If there is no evidence beyond what the algorithm vomits up, then should Amazon not be publicly apologising – if only for the sake of its own reputation – and working to improve their system? Based on the stock warnings, these cases appear to be the result of an overzealous, automated fraud prevention system that is clearly not working properly. These cases need to be dealt with carefully, individually, and by people rather than robots. The authors cannot be held responsible if their books have been targeted by scammers trying to boost their books by making others look guilty, This is the first thing that should be ruled out before punishment is dealt, especially when you consider that Amazon are jeopardising the livelihoods reputations of these authors.
Phoenix Sullivan is well-known in the indie community – I’ve known her myself since 2009 or 2010 and consider her a close friend. Aside from being exceptionally generous with her time and knowledge…