More Reasons for Indie Authors to Loathe Kindle


Yeah, like we needed a few more lately. But…well, what can you do? I mean we are dealing with Kindle here, it’s the Wal-Mart of e-book retailers. You know, I so don’t mean that in a good way! Nope, not at all. Here’s why.

So, at midnight last night…that’s around 11:59pm June 5th…”Heart”, “Child,” and “OBSESSION” were to come off the “Kindle Select Program” so I could restore them to all their sites. But…guess what!

Yeah, somehow “Heart” and “Child” are still enrolled! I clicked “Details” several times and several times it blatantly showed me that my term ENDED June 5th. Yet, they’re still registering as being “Kindle Select Exclusives”.

WHAT THE FUCK?

Before you ask; Yes, I did UNCHECK the box that is automatically checked for you when you sign up with this program. Yeah, man, if you don’t watch your Ps & Qs really closely these fuckers will automatically re-enroll you without notice. They say they’re doing you a favor! You know, so you don’t ‘forget’ or something.

I have sent three direct e-mails to Kindle in the last 24 hours as follows:
1-Stop pricing “The Heart of War” at a lousy $1.99! It isn’t available anywhere for that crappy price!
2-Remove that damn review that only rants about DRM as it has nothing to do with my book!
3-When the hell am I getting out of this goddamn “Select” program!

Let’s talk about #2 there for a minute since it’s the only one they’ve answered so far. Here’s my email to them:

Publisher Code: A2OTRBZAKM1S2E
Customer Name: Lisa Beth Darling
Subject: Abusive Review

Please fill in the following information:
ASIN or name of book: The Heart of War located at http://www.amazon.com/The-Heart-of-War-ebook/dp/B004DCB3CA/
Date and title of the review:WARNING to non-Kindle users: contains DRM, May 6, 2012

CONTENTS of REVIEW: “I actually can’t review this book because I can’t read it. I don’t own a Kindle or a smart phone and I refuse to read a whole book on my computer. I do own an e-Reader from another manufacturer, and usually I can use a program to convert the book to a format I can put on my e-Reader. Unfortunately, as seems to be happening more and more on Amazon (this has now happened 3 times in a row), this book has DRM, which blocks the conversion, ostensibly to prevent piracy, but I think it is more to convince frustrated people like me to purchase Kindles. Sad as it makes me because there are many books I can’t get anywhere else, this will be the last e-book I purchase on Amazon. I’m a legitimate purchaser – I don’t buy or steal books – and I shouldn’t be punished for something that doesn’t really prevent piracy in the first place.”

As you can clearly see, this review has *nothing* to do with my story and is only a rant against DRM and Kindle in general. I’ve asked several times for it to be removed yet it remains. Please remove this review from my book and confirm to me when this requested has been processed and completed.

Thank you.

Check out the crappy reply I got this morning…I’m LIVID!

Hello,

I’ve read the review on your book, “The Heart of War.” I understand your concerns, but the review doesn’t violate our posted guidelines. Since you’re the author, you can provide feedback about this review by voting or commenting on it. To vote, click the “Yes” or “No” buttons next to “Was this review helpful to you?” To comment, click the Comments link at the bottom of the review.

We try to encourage our customers to give their honest opinions on our products while staying within our guidelines. As a retailer we are interested in cultivating a diversity of opinion on our products. Part of that is allowing our customers to air their honest thoughts on items they have received. Here’s a link to our guidelines for reference:

http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines/

We appreciate your understanding. We hope to see you again soon.

Did I solve your problem?

If yes, please click here:http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-y?c=fagwycwb3468447433

If no, please click here:
http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-n?c=fagwycwb3468447433

Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.

Best Regards,

Mike M.

Add to THAT POS that it’s sent from a “no reply” email address and it is clear to see that the things I’ve been experiencing/feeling are justified. I’ve cruised several sites over the past few weeks to find great dissatisfaction with Kindle and it’s “policies”. Including their overly liberal “Return Policy”. I don’t blame the people complaining especially about the Select Program.

Let’s face it, the “Kindle Select Program” is AIMED at Indie Authors…can you really see Stephen King or James Patterson or any of them being ONLY available on Kindle for 3 months or more? Get real. How many big-time rock/music stars sell ONLY through Wal-Mart anymore? Did you say “none”? That’s about right and you know why because it was a big flop. The “bigger” you are the MORE places you’re available in…not less. So this is aimed at taking business away from places like Smashwords and designed to lure the Indie Author into something that looks good on the surface but is really a disaster waiting to happen. Sort of like being “Shanghaied” but in a more alluring manner…you know, like a Venus Fly Trap or something.

So, of course I clicked the No-You-Suck link in the email and sent off another one to them:
In response to: Customer Name: Lisa Beth Darling
Subject: Abusive Review

Please fill in the following information:
ASIN or name of book: The Heart of War located at http://www.amazon.com/The-Heart-of-War-ebook/dp/B004DCB3CA/
Date and title of the review:WARNING to non-Kindle users: contains DRM, May 6, 2012

Since you sent your reply from a “no-reply” email address…here’s my response to your latest email-
How can it possibly be within your guidelines when:

1-the “reviewer” admits they have NOT read the book
2-it has nothing to do with my book

I’m all in favor of customers ‘airing HONEST and INFORMED opinions’ but that’s not the case here. If they want to complain about your product and/or DRM in general they should complain directly to YOU and not be allowed to leave so-called “reviews” on any author’s page airing their grievances against your company. By continuing to allow such behavior you are effectively leaving your authors defenseless and open to any type of “review” that says nothing about anything. Why do you even bother adding a “Report Abuse” button?

I guess what you’re telling me is that I could go around your site all I want leaving nasty little remarks that have nothing to do with anything while giving “low star” ratings to books/products and that’s just fine with Amazon. It’s no wonder your company is rapidly gaining the reputation of not caring about the authors who sign up with you in the slightest.

I will be unpublishing this book with you today. If you offer no protection to your authors from wankers like that AND you’re going to continue selling my book for a price I did not agree to, I have no choice.

Thank you so much for your time and attention,
Lisa Beth Darling

I can’t stress this enough to Indie Authors out there; Think HARD before making your book available on Kindle! Yes, it’s the “Number One E-Book Retailer” and that’s great but you’re going to get lost in the shuffle and they won’t give a damn. You’re going to get ‘abused’ and they won’t give a damn. You’re going to have your book sold for LESS than you stated and they think that’s just fine…Price Match Guarantee and all that happy-crappy. EVEN WHEN your book is NOT ACTUALLY AVAILABLE for a “lower price” anywhere…they’ll put whatever damn price they want on it. You suck it up and smile, bitches. Oh yes, and unless you sell your book for $0.99 you cannot opt out of the “Kindle Lending Library”…you’re stuck with it!

Nook doesn’t do this. Smashwords doesn’t do this. All Romance Ebooks doesn’t do this. iBooks doesn’t do this. For some reason known only to those companies and of which Kindle is completely ignorant, these other companies respect their authors. They understand that without authors there are no books to sell to customers. To Nook and the others, the lowly author is at least as important the customer and that’s the way it should be.

To the wankers out there; You have my permission to FLOOD Kindle with your nasty reviews that have nothing to do with the books you state you didn’t even read. In fact, go ahead and apply that logic to ANY PRODUCT sold on Amazon.com. Go and say, find a waffle maker, then post about how much you HATE waffles and you WOULD NEVER USE this product because you wish they’d come up with a French toast maker instead. Give the product a 1 star review. Go for it. Do your nastiest dirtiest best. Kindle/Amazon won’t care and you’ll get a cheap thrill.

Of course though, no sorry, it won’t be at my expense as I’m unpublishing several books with them today for an extended period of time. How long? I dunno. I guess until Kindle gets it overblown head out of its abundant ass.

Sorry…but there’s always Nook, iBooks, Smashwords, All Romance E-Books, Diesel, Kobo…………

About lbdarling

Beware...the truth is spoken here. If you can't handle that...buh-bye.

Posted on 06/06/2012, in The Writer's Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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