No warnings. No hints. Nothing.
Yesterday, I received this email from Amazon KDP Select.
Due to repeated violations of the KDP Select exclusivity requirement, the following books and the rest of your catalog will be removed from KDP Select within five days of receiving this message and you will be suspended from enrollment in KDP Select for a period of 12 months. Should you enroll books into KDP Select in the future, they will be subject to immediate removal from the program....
...You may reply to email@example.com if you have any questions regarding this email or believe this decision has been made in error.
Now, I've always been a champion of KDP. I'm a hybrid author who publishes traditionally and independently. I'm also prolific, which means I write more than any one publisher can handle. I also don't believe in placing all your literary eggs in one basket. That said, I began my own imprint. Bear Media, to handle the overflow. Normally I might go wide with my indie books, publishing them at Kobo, Nook, and other online platforms. But lately I've been enjoying the KDP Select platform a little more exclusively than usual, since my page reads were on the rise. I was also taking advantage of their Kindle Countdown Deals and Free days.
All seemed to be going swimmingly until this email showed up like a bullet to the brain. The email is in the wrong. No dispute about that. I was never warned about violating any exclusivity rule. From my understanding, real scammers get three warnings before the plug gets pulled. Then, a fellow author showed me this recent blog post by Adam Dreece: Amazon.com: A Vengeful, Simple God?
It was like being smacked upside the head, because the same exact thing happened to me, without warning. It was guilt before proving my innocence.
Now I've gone to bat for Amazon in the past. Check out this article from 2014 from The New York Times and check out this video from Fox News. But when I asked my publishing partners at Amazon Publishing, the traditional arm of Amazon, they said they can't help since KDP doesn't fall under their umbrella. I guess I have no choice but to take that as gospel.
How is it that I'm nixed from KDP Select for the next 12 months? Word up is that it could be the handy work of a jealous author, or former publisher, or just some total vengeful asshole. Or hell, it could be a glitch in the Amazon AI.Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but it's interesting to note that I'm coming off a very successful Book Bub Promo on March 20. On March 21, I received the email.
But one thing is for sure, I'm not APs or KDPs top author by any means, but I have done very well, hitting the overall Top Ten on a half dozen different occasions, plus the number 1 overall spot with The Remains and Everything Burns. Like I said, I've publicly gone to bat for Amazon Publishing. And I enjoy my relationship with them. I would expect them to assist me in clearing this matter up, as soon as possible. But thus far, it's pretty much been total radio silence. That's disconcerting.
Oh, and I also learned this: never store all your eggs in one basket. Go wide, hybrid author. Go wide with Amazon KDP, Kobo, Nook, etc. Or suffer the consequences.