This is the copy the customers who bought Beautiful Disaster have reported getting from Amazon (you can read it on the thread I linked to above):
Hello from Amazon.com,
We want to let you know that the edition of Beautiful Disaster that you purchased is no longer available. You can order a new version that is now available here:
You can also request a refund on your original purchase by responding to this email. After the refund is issued, you will no longer be able to access this item.
The Kindle Team
Here’s what I gather from it, and if you take away something different or can shed more light on the thread, feel free. I read through the thread a couple of times to understand what is happening (but I’m human and might be missing something).
Okay, so from the email I quoted above, it sounds like the self-published version of Beautiful Disaster is no longer available to read. If I had bought this book when it was self-published, I would assume (from the way this email is worded) that I don’t have this on my Kindle anymore. It sounds like if I were to turn my Kindle on and search for it, the book would be gone. Since I didn’t buy Beautiful Disaster, I have no way of seeing whether or not this is true, but scrolling down the thread, it sounds like customers do still have access to the self-published version they bought.
So what I think is happening is that the average customer is thinking they have lost the self-published version and are being told the only way they will get the book back on their Kindle is to buy the new edition (provided by the publisher) at a higher price. This has caused some upset from some of the customers on the thread (I linked to above). I would be upset, too, if I bought a book at a low price and was told I needed to pay more to keep it on my Kindle. BUT, this is not the case. The people still have the original book.
I think Amazon is just letting people know a new version is available for purchase if they want it. However, they are leaving key items out. Not only do they fail to assure the customers that their book is still on the Kindle, but they aren’t telling the customers HOW they will get their refund and extra money to make up for the difference in cost for the new edition of this book. They are making her pay for their “generous” offer. The customers assume Amazon is paying for all of this (and I would, too, if I hadn’t read Jamie’s blog post). Some of those customers are saying they won’t buy any more of her books because they think they’re being ripped off in having to pay more for the same book in order to keep it on their Kindles. I can only imagine the emails she’s getting right now, and this isn’t even her fault. But how many customers will take the time to find out the truth?
I still don’t like this tactic that Amazon is using, and I still think we should let others know what is going on here. In my opinion, Jamie’s only crime (and it’s not even a “crime”) was giving her successful self-published book to a reputable publisher. Amazon should send another mass email letting her past customers know that the original version they bought will still be available on their Kindles so they haven’t lost the book. If Amazon wants to offer a refund and compensation to buy the new book or a credit if the customers opt to buy the new version, then fine. But Amazon should be the one to pay it. They’re the ones making the offer, not her. And I see no need to bother the customers over a version that has nothing wrong with it. Customers think they are getting ripped off, and this isn’t the case.
I feel horrible for Jamie and hope things work out in her favor. In my opinion, she should be refunded the money Amazon’s been taken from her.