An Author’s Outrage

IMG_0193Outrage.

Several Linked-in discussion groups and bloggers are outraged at Amazon for requiring the table of contents be located at the front of all their books.

Holy Mackerel, where else would you put it? The table of contents purpose is to give the reader an overview of the contents of a book.

Hummmm…turns out scammers are putting the table of contents at the back to get a large page count so they will be paid by Kindle at a per page rate through the Kindle reading platform.

Blog rantings and ravings at big bad Amazon are appearing.

What?

It costs nothing to fix if you are self-published, and if you aren’t, you shouldn’t care because you aren’t getting paid–your publisher is. Put it at the front where it belongs or just skip it.

Sounds like the same kind of people who complained when Amazon took down paid and associated reviews that plumped up the ratings. Authors were swapping reviews with each other under promises of five stars whether they read the books or not.

Screams and yells erupted when reviews were pulled. And yes, a large number of honest reviews got axed. Me included. The honest, paying once again because of scammers. Gee thanks.

Save us from those who are trying to scam everyone nowadays. It’s pervasive. I’m tired of receiving annoying phone calls from someone with an Indian accent claiming they are from “windows” and I need to fix the virus in my computer right now…and if I just open my computer, he will help me.

Right.

Not to mention the “IRS” calls, the bogus credit card offers, the email attacks… need I go on?

Now we have scammers stuffing junk, copied material from anywhere, putting on a cover and title and publishing it in order to reap the profits from KNF. And they are reaping large profits out of a set amount that is divided up by other authors. In other words, if the amount is, say fourteen million, that pie is divided out among the Kindle Unlimited qualifying authors who get less per page if the count is big. One blog did a screen shot of over thirty thousand in royalties for one month by a fifteen year old kid.

And authors are yelling at Amazon?

Bottom line is, dear authors, most likely you wouldn’t have a book published if it weren’t for Amazon, or have you forgotten what publishing was like ten years ago?

It’s a shame our free society gets punished by charlatans out to weasel a buck from the unsuspecting public who, in turn, point to the self publishers and accuse them of putting out shoddy books. It gives self-publishers a bad rap.

Then when Amazon tries to fix the problem, authors set up a hue and cry.

Is any one else getting tired of these scammers and ripoff artists? Or tired of ungrateful authors who don’t have a publisher grabbing out a large chunk of their royalties because they can now publish free through CreateSpace? Remember editors turning down tons of good manuscripts because of the flood of submissions they encountered every month in their inbox, never accepting do-agains.

Unfortunately, Amazon is the target because they have revolutionized the publishing industry by providing an alternative and cheap way to publish.

No longer do new writers have to jump through hoops of query letters, finding agents, and a system where only a small percentage of eager writers get to make it through a very subjective process.

All I have to say, as an author with nine books and counting, is thank you, Amazon.Bands of Mourning

I appreciate you trying to fix the problems that deceptive people create so that readers (me) can get a true picture of what they’re buying, and authors (me) receive a fair portion of the Kindle kitty.

See the books at right? Real stories. Most near four hundred pages with honest reviews. Unfortunately, not enough….but I didn’t pay for a one.

Once again, thank you Amazon, for making them possible and providing a way a modest income author can fulfill her dream.

And next week when I catch my breath, I hope to review Brandon Sanderson’s new book, The Bands of Mourning. Stay tuned.

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6 Comments

Filed under Amazon publishing, blog information, Book reviews, ebook marketing, ebook science fiction, Indie Publishing, Marketing and selling novels, science fiction, Self-publishing

6 responses to “An Author’s Outrage

  1. For all the Amazon complaints people have, I find myself wishing twenty times a day the access to self-publishing it provides had been available when I was a youngster and able to stay up all night writing to my heart’s content.

    Today’s whipper snappers have no idea how lucky they are.

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  2. I heard that one reason for having the TOC at the back is that we have limited “look inside” pages. All the front matter can eat up a lot of those pages, especially if there is a big TOC, and that means less of the actual book for the reader to get hooked on our stories. Otherwise, it doesn’t seem to matter much.

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  3. I heard that too. So if you have a reasonable size book (300-500 pages) then one percent can give you a nice taste of the book and include a TOC. Or just leave it out if it’s fiction. But if you have a 68 page book, then maybe a large TOC takes up too much room, but why would you have a large TOC for 68 pages?

    If you’re trying to get an overview of the book that’s what a TOC offers and offers a deeper “look inside.”

    Yeah I get the argument, but now we can’t put the table of contents in the back thanks to the scammers and cheaters who were putting it there in bogus paged books and reaping the reward.

    And the current Kindle Unlimited count has been a good program for me that I don’t want changed just because of some frauds.

    (steam coming out of nostrils.) Okay, I will step down from the soapbox and return to my regular program. 🙂

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  4. I don’t even like to go near the forums lately, because it’s all the same thing; someone stole my book, someone is pirating my title, customer service won’t call me, and why won’t anyone read my book? What a drag. Good post.

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    • Thanks Susan. I agree. Who said “pirating isn’t our problem, oblivion is?” I get that sometimes you just have to vent, but I do get tired of naysayers. And yes, writing can be stressful, but because of Kindle, Smashwords, and Lulu and all the tablet devices, we are getting our stories out.

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