You may have read about my travails due to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) no longer supporting third-party conversion software such as Calibre.
I learned about this issue after suddenly getting nasty reviews on Amazon about the formatting of my ebooks. It took numerous emails back and forth to KDP before the reason for the issue emerged.
My business partner Yael K. Miller spent considerable time researching how to create a well-formatted ebook using KDP’s own conversion software — KindleGen, which is the only conversion software now supported by KDP.
Then I undertook the time-consuming work to re-convert all my current 11 Kindle ebooks.
I continue to get nasty reviews on my Kindle ebook pages complaining about the formatting issues. This is because, even though the ebooks are now correct, people are reading older versions.
To combat this, I have done several things:
- Added my email address in the book product pages of the two most-affected ebooks and offered a free replacement.
- Officially requested that KDP notify all purchasers of these two books that there is now an updated version. (KDP states it takes four weeks to respond to this request, and it appears to me the answer will probably be no.)
- Added a comment on each book review I find complaining about the formatting. In the comment I offer my email address and a replacement copy (some people have taken me up on this offer).
Now to my request to Author Central:
I asked if an author can receive notification each time someone posts a new review on a book page of that author. This idea came to me when I realized it took several days before I noticed a new review yet again complaining of the html code.
It would be so nice if I got notification of each review. That way I could immediately deal with any formatting complaint reviews.
Of course the answer from Author Central was no.
The Author Central rep did agree to pass on this recommendation. But I would certainly not place odds on this author-friendly idea being implemented.
What would it take for Amazon to truly support authors on the site?
There needs to be an Amazon author ombudsman (remember that word from college days?). This person would be the contact point for author recommendations of how Amazon can more effectively help authors on the site.
And, of course, this assumes that the ombudsman would have the ability to actually have helpful changes implemented. (I do realize this is a rather big assumption.)
Oh, Amazon, you say you want to help authors, but sometimes it seems as if you don’t truly care. Please say you’ll help on this issue!
© 2013 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO MARKET YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON AND FACEBOOK and the cozy mystery CAST THE FIRST STONE.
She also has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com