It’s just like me to begin my blog with a sad story, but here is Adam, and here is his Amazon story from hell. You can share your horror story (or success story) below.
I’m Adam Young. For those of you who don’t know me, I was an independent author who wrote several romance novels and novel series. I had a few pen names, but mostly I went by my real name. My top-selling novel, and the novel I’d been working on for almost three years: If You Stay.
I published my first novel sometime in late 2015. It was my first completed novel, sloppy, and to my shame, unedited by anyone other than my older brother, Scott.
To my surprise, the book was a success from the moment I received an email from Kindle informing me my book was live. Within an hour, I’d already had three sales. From there, I was making up to twenty sales per day, on-top of twenty-thousand kindle reads. Whoo! I was beginning to make waves, not to mention, earning enough money to be able to fix my car, which sat inside of my garage collecting dust and looking sad.
One month later, another four books published (one’s that had been sitting in my desk for years) and lots of happy five-star ratings, I received an email from Kindle informing me that my pen name was too similar to another independent authors, and this, according to Kindle, makes for unhappy customers.
I wasn’t home at the time of the email. I wasn’t even in the same town where my computer lived. I was away, visiting an ill friend on the other side of the country and I had no access to the internet.
Five days later, I received another email from Kindle. I had just arrived home, was unpacking my bags when my phone chimed in my pocket. I now had internet again, and a nice welcome home email notification.
Amazon had closed my account.
Here is the email:
We have contacted you regarding multiple books you submitted for publication through your account. Since you have not made the necessary changes to your account, we are terminating your account and your Agreement effective immediately.
As part of the termination process, we will close your KDP account and the related CreateSpace account (if any) and remove the books you have uploaded through our channels from sale on Amazon. Note that you are no longer eligible to receive unpaid royalties for sales that occurred prior to this termination.
Additionally, as per our Terms and Conditions, you are not permitted to open any new KDP and/or CreateSpace accounts.
I had five days to change my pen name, but unfortunately for me, I was unaware I needed to. I did what anyone else would do, I sobbed. Then I emailed them back and explained my situation. They wouldn’t have it.
Not only had I lost my earnings of just over $2,000, money I needed, money I was counting on, but Amazon continued to sell my novels, and I didn’t receive a dime.
I guess the moral of the story here is: make sure you always have internet connection?
Where did Adam go next, and what happens if you’ve broken the rules, whether you’ve meant to, or not.
My favourite new cyber corner. Draft 2 Digital. While you may not receive the same customer base you did with Kindle, this is your next bet. D2D takes ten minutes to sign up, and even quicker to upload your book. They get you into many platforms (you can even sneak into Amazon’s backdoor) 😉 and they turn your manuscript into ebook format for you, including a content page.
Even if Amazon haven’t exiled you, like Adam here, D2D would still be worth looking into. They put your book onto iTunes, smash-words, and more. A word of warning to erotica writers, some of the platforms D2D deal with don’t except content of erotic nature, so be careful when submitting your novel, and make sure to read the guidelines of each platform before you publish.