Strange Email From Amazon

Sorry, but I need to vent a little. An recent email from Amazon had this to say:

During a quality assurance review of your title, we have found the following issue(s): Typos have been found in your book. For example:

  • “blond hair off” should be “blonde hair off”
  • “teen-agers thought” should be “teenagers thought”

Please look for the same kind of errors throughout and make the necessary corrections to the title before republishing it.

Seriously? Of all the millions of books out there—many of which have never been edited—they find fault with blond instead of blonde? And teen-agers instead of teenagers?

First, editing styles and word-use changes over time. Second, who gives a crap? These are not errors, not compared to some of the stuff I’ve found in my other books. And when I think about some of the manuscripts I evaluated for iUniverse that are now selling on Amazon through KDP, I shudder at the bad grammar, incoherent sentence structure, and lack of punctuation.

So I have to wonder: Why The Sex Club? A book written by a seasoned journalist and edited by a professional? Did some readers complain because they didn’t like the title and content? And did that complaint trigger a “quality assurance review”? Is Amazon just going through the motions to make the complainers happy? For those of you not familiar with my work, the book is a PG mystery.

The upside is that Amazon didn’t necessarily require me to do anything. The email says “before republishing it.” Since I don’t plan to republish it, I think I’m okay to let it go.

But it’s kind of annoying, and it makes me wonder what the heck is going on. I think Amazon is right to conduct quality reviews, and I think it should refuse to publish some of the crap that it does. But its email to me makes no sense at all.

Anyone else had this experience?

2 Comments
  1. I have heard of this happening (from someone on Kindleboards), but in that case, I think it was justified. (The author in question ended her rant by saying she couldn’t afford an editor, and the mistakes listed in her letter were, well, painful.)

    I think this might happen when someone clicks the “Would you like to report poor quality or poor formatting in this book?” link under Feedback.

    I can only assume this must be an automated process. It seems if a human being had gone over that complaint, they would have seen it wasn’t valid. On the other hand, I have heard of authors getting complaints because they used British English spellings!

  2. Given the ability to highlight and comment within books, I know of a couple of readers that are friends of mine that take full advantage of that capability on their kindle, and then send those items to either the publisher, the author, or to amazon directly so they know where the mistakes are. Amazon then takes that and sends to the author as a “suggestion.” I have found some, but not enough to warrent raising a stink about (except one book, not yours, that was soooo bad I couldn’t finish reading it). I personally think that this will become part of your full integration with Amazon that you write about. Books in stores don’t necessarily have this issue, but get it in a digital format where people can complain, and that now becomes a form of business communication.

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