Yesterday, I reported that Amazon had blocked my title in the Kindle store, Free Books for Your Kindle, due to a formatting problem.
I am very pleased to report that the title has been restored.
The e-mail from Amazon this morning included:
“…I would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused by the removal of your title from the Kindle Store. Our quality assurance team responded to customer feedback regarding formatting questions associated with your book (i.e. presence of question marks instead of apostrophes throughout the book). As a result, the QA team saw that the best action was to remove the title from future sales in the Amazon store until the formatting issue is resolved.”
This means that my title, which had been in the Kindle store since March 2008, continues under the same name and the same ASIN. Why does that matter? Well, for one thing, the reviews are maintained. I really appreciate it every time someone writes a review of one of my titles, and I’m glad that what they wrote will still be available for other Amazon customers to read. It also means that product links in the Amazon forums and links from websites will take people to the current, active version.
The e-mail also said:
“My team is also working to find the best solution, going forward, to ensure that other publishers do not face the same types of challenges in re-publishing their titles.
Thank you, and again, my apologies…”
I think that what happened here was that people had complained to Amazon about a formatting issue. Someone confirmed the problem, and blocked the title.
In the future, what I would like to see Amazon do in that case is notify the publisher and give them a period of time to fix the problem. Alternatively, the title could be suspended until the correction is made and reviewed again by the quality assurance team, with a notification placed on the page:
“This title is temporarily unavailable while improvements are being made.”
That would present a positive point for the Amazon customer seeing it.
So, I do think Amazon acted precipitously initially, but has professionally corrected the error.
The upshot: people can buy the book the again, the continuity is maintained, and (presumably) other independents will not face the same situation.
Thank you to everybody who expressed concern…that really made me feel good.
I love my Kindle!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.