If Your Book Gets Blocked or You Need to Prove Copyright to Amazon, Here’s a Thread to Help You

I know someone who got an Amazon KDP email telling her to put in a Table of Contents in one of her books.  She did.  The next thing she knew, she got an email telling her to prove copyright on a couple of her books.  I recall Mark Coker getting a “prove your copyright” email from Amazon a while back.

So this is a trend, and I don’t know if anyone reading this blog has gone through it.  If you have, please share your experience so we can learn what happened and what you did. 

Since it also helps to know you’re not alone, I found this thread off of Kindleboards where authors share their experiences.  I’m also bookmarking it for future reference for when it’s my turn.  I would say “if”, but I figure it’s really just a matter of time before my name is called.

Here’s the link to the thread if interested: http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,123319.0.html

14 Comments

  1. This just happened to me with Vampire Morsels and I had to provide links to all the places it was available. I won’t lie, I got a bit snippy, but after they got the mail they unblocked it right away so there was just the hassle of waiting (they mailed me on a Friday so I had to wait over the weekend)

    1. Did they take your book off Amazon or block your dashboard so you couldn’t change anything? The person who said it happened to her after the TOC update said her books were still for sale, but she couldn’t make any changes in her dashboard.

      I don’t blame you for getting snippy. I’d probably get the same way since I got snippy with them over the stolen books last year.

  2. Thanks for the link. 😀

    1. You’re welcome. 😀

  3. Why are they even questioning this? And I’m also wondering…was the book in which they required a table of contents fiction? Why would you even need a table of contents in fiction? I never use it, and it kind of annoys me to have to page through it on my Kindle. I’m wondering if they are targeting authors because someone, maybe a competitor, questioned the copyright.

    1. Yes, this was fiction. I have gotten three KDP Quality Report emails saying I needed to add a TOC. I think it’s stupid to have a TOC in fiction, but there are several authors out there who say it’s unprofessional not to have one. I suspect they are going around and targeting self-published authors who don’t have one. Anyone can submit a complaint to Amazon as a “reader” so how would we know whether it’s an actual reader or another author? I have yet to get a reader complain about the details in a book. It’s other writers who get their panties twisted in a knot over things that don’t matter.

      I’ve read a few traditionally published books without a TOC, so it’s not something every traditional publisher does, contrary to what those authors think. In my opinion, it’s a bunch of useless work that does nothing to enhance the book.

      I thought about the possibility that competitors are going around and questioning copyright to Amazon in hopes of getting books removed. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be the case. When I started publishing books, I never imagined how vindictive some writers are. I assumed that since we all love to write, we’d be supportive of each other. It’s really sad because we should be. There are enough readers out there to go around, and they read more than one book.

      Sorry to ramble.

  4. Thank you for the link.

    1. You’re welcome. Hopefully, you won’t need it.

  5. I had this happen to my ebook, and it was a heart stopping moment for me at the time. Here is a link to my blog post where I show the email in its entirety http://writeformation.blogspot.com/2012/06/amazon-is-at-it-again.html, the link to my response to Amazon http://writeformation.blogspot.com/2012/06/amazon-follow-up.html and finally a link to the response I received from Amazon http://writeformation.blogspot.com/2012/06/response-from-amazon.html. As you can see it was handled pretty promptly, and at no time was my book unavailable for purchase.

    1. Thanks for letting us know! I’m going to check out your links right away to see what happened.

      1. Just read through your posts. Can I post your comment with all the links in a new post so no one misses them? I’m afraid some people won’t scroll through the comments to learn from your experience.

        Also, it’s interesting that some think this might be a ploy to get Amazon to put books up only through them. I hadn’t considered that angle. If I get one of those emails, I’ll do like you did and list all my social media sites in addition to where the book is sold. I know I’ve given excerpts of my books over time on my blogs and linked them up at Facebook and Twitter and my website. Too many links can’t hurt. Thanks for sharing your story. it’s been a big help to me to get prepared.

        1. Ruth Ann, feel free to use my comment however you see fit. I figured giving them more than they asked for was better than the alternative.

          1. Thanks, Kim! I’ll make your comment into a post.

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