Changes Coming to Amazon’s Kindle

Publishing to Amazon’s Kindle has been easy for anyone to do, and has flooded the market with self-published eBooks. They range from professionally well-done to amateurishly horrible. Amazon wants to solve the problem of substandard eBooks.

eNovel Authors at Work posted a great article about the changes and what they mean to the average indie author. To get yourself familiar with what’s happening, I suggest you read it. It may make life easier for you.

The changes come into effect in February and will affect indie authors, small publishers, online publishers, and boutique publishers. This does not affect traditional publishers who concentrate on print books. When there are errors in the book, such as spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, formatting issues, and just plain poor quality, the book will be flagged and taken offline. The author is then notified and asked to fix the problems before it can be published again. Even one complaint by a reader can result in a book being pulled. Thankfully, fixing the issues is easy, especially if it’s just a spelling or grammar mistake. In fact, Amazon will tell you exactly where the errors are. Sometimes, they’ll be foreign words. Fair enough, those don’t need to be changed. Before publishing, you can even use Kindle’s online proofer to find the mistakes. If there are no problems, publish away!

My worries are probably minor, but what if a book is constantly being tagged as poor quality because of technobabble, magic words, or unique names that the author has made up? I’d hope that wouldn’t be an issue.

On the positive side, this will force authors to make sure their books are good quality. It may discourage the lazy or unmotivated authors from publishing substandard books. They may try anyway, and get frustrated. I could see the number of books published this year decreasing because they’re prevented from publishing their error-riddled novels.

As always, I’m a wait and see kind of person. I’m interesting in seeing how this goes. What do you think? Do you agree with the new rules? Or do you have any worries? Let me know in the comments.

25 thoughts on “Changes Coming to Amazon’s Kindle”

  1. I think it’s a good idea to weed out the ones that need an excessive amount of editing. If a person purchases a book then finds it poorly edited it can be disappointing to the reader. What can they do? Complaining to Amazon is the only way to fix the problem. Hopefully Amazon will be able to get a handle on this daunting task. Good for authors too. Makes us all more diligent when editing our books.

      1. Agreed. My novel is steampunk with strong fantasy leanings. Most of my character and place names are unique, and the title even includes a fabricated, though logical and intuitive word. Hopefully these are somehow safe from Amazon’s editing bots.

  2. The onus is always on authors and their publishers (often, with Kindle, one and the same…) to offer best quality. What worries me, as you say, is the mindlessness of ‘bots’ or the risk of human mischief-making.

  3. Since I use a lot of wild fantasy names and some made-up languages, we’ll have to see, but the proofer never gave me too much trouble in the original version. It noted spellcheck issues but let me bulk-discard them (as in, all instances of This Name or That Weird Word) until I got down to actual errors, if any. So we’ll see.

  4. I’m cautiously optimistic about this because we definitely need some kind of system to help weed out the “day-publishers”, as I like to think of them (RIDDLED with errors…just RIDDLED). I’m a little concerned that it’ll be a pain-in-the-butt, though, if it ends up flagging things like slang or purposeful-errors. For instance, a character wakes up from a bar-room brawl and has had several teeth knocked out, so the author slurs his dialogue, purposely spelling words wrong to show that he’s having trouble pronouncing certain letters…if that was my book and it got flagged for spelling and grammatical errors and taken down I’d be pretty angry.

    1. I hope that if this does happen, and you go through the proofer, you can let the system know that these “mistakes” are not mistakes, but spelled that way on purpose. And hopefully, it remembers.

  5. On the surface it sounds like a good idea. We all want professional quality books, indie or not. I’ve read traditionally published books that had errors, I think they should be included. My bigger problem is, dialects. Look at Mark Twain. The language in his books are far from standard English. If a current writer is using a regional dialect, how will these changes affect them?

    1. Dialects can be a concern. Someone raised that question, especially when dealing with American vs British spelling. They said that won’t be a problem.

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