Regular followers of this blog will know that I published my first Kindle e-book, One Day for Me – 8 Award-Winning Stories, two years ago. It’s a collection of short stories, all of which have either won or been placed in UK writing competitions.
A few weeks back I received an email about this book from Amazon. It told me that the book’s title contained ‘extra descriptive content ‘ which was not allowed. It said that this extra content could be ‘distracting or misleading to our customers’. I was given five days to change the title of the book or have it removed from the Kindle store.
Initially I was confused about was wrong with the title and queried it. Amazon replied that I must remove the words ‘Award-Winning’. My first reaction was to argue the point because I feel justified in using these words since all the stories have done well in competitions. But I decided it would be a David and Goliath contest and David would probably end up with all his books being removed from the Amazon store.
So, I complied and changed the title to One Day for Me – 8 Coffee Break Stories. Then I realised that I didn’t know how to change the cover image to reflect this new title. The cover was all my own work (following some wonderful advice from many of you about what worked and what didn’t) two years ago but since then I’ve forgotten how to get back in and edit it. I decided time was too precious to waste trying to sort it out so I’ve had a new cover created by Helen Measures on http://www.fiverr.com. It’s quite different from the first cover so I’m hoping that it will attract readers who dismissed the book first time around.
I post this as a warning to those of you thinking of publishing on Amazon KDP. Don’t put any spurious claims or words such as ‘free’ or ‘best’ in your title. If you do you may be asked to remove them.
#1 by susanjanejones on February 24, 2015 - 7:05 pm
They’re still award winning, Sally. Such nonsense, but they would always win. Good luck with the new one.
#2 by Sally Jenkins on February 24, 2015 - 7:21 pm
#3 by crimewritingsolutions on February 24, 2015 - 8:30 pm
Very Interesting Sally. Having just published my first through KDP I hope that I shouldn’t have the same problem as I’ve not won any awards yet but worth knowing about.
#4 by Sally Jenkins on February 25, 2015 - 6:02 pm
Congratulations on your first KDP publication, Kevin. It seems that there’s always something new to learn about this process!
#5 by Debbie Young on February 24, 2015 - 9:27 pm
Ooh, I like the new cover, Sally – it looks much more sophisticated and upmarket than the first one. Well done!
#6 by Sally Jenkins on February 25, 2015 - 6:03 pm
Thanks, Debbie. Glad you like it. It’s nice having the flexibility to change the cover (even if I was ‘forced’ into it).
#7 by Amanda Martin (writermummy) on February 25, 2015 - 7:50 am
Wow, I’m surprised Amazon has time to be worried about such petty things! If it’s any consolation I think the new cover is great and, yes, you might pull in new readers as a result.
#8 by Sally Jenkins on February 25, 2015 - 6:05 pm
Yes, Amanda, you would think that a giant like Amazon wouldn’t notice little old me – perhaps I’ve got a higher profile than I thought!
#9 by Patsy on February 25, 2015 - 9:41 am
I can understand them not wanting people to make claims which they consider could be misleading – but they should do that at the initial review stage not two years later.
#10 by Sally Jenkins on February 25, 2015 - 6:05 pm
#11 by blogaboutwriting on February 25, 2015 - 12:18 pm
Great new cover, Sally! I like it.
#12 by Sally Jenkins on February 25, 2015 - 6:05 pm
#13 by Julia on February 25, 2015 - 2:34 pm
I admire your calm and measured response to this situation. New cover looks grand.
#14 by Sally Jenkins on February 25, 2015 - 6:07 pm
I wasn’t calm when I had the first email, Julia. But then I realised there was no point ranting and raving.
#15 by Tracy Fells on February 25, 2015 - 3:34 pm
Thanks, Sally, wise warning. Odd, though that they took so long before disliking your title/
#16 by Sally Jenkins on February 25, 2015 - 6:08 pm
I did wonder whether they’ve done some sort of automated check across all publications, Tracy. Or maybe someone complained …
#17 by greenwritingroom.com on February 25, 2015 - 10:13 pm
This is very alarming. You are right though, these are not guys to pick a fight with. Thanks for the warning.
#18 by Sally Jenkins on February 26, 2015 - 1:50 pm
It’s a pleasure, Hilary.
#19 by Liz Young on February 26, 2015 - 6:07 pm
I hope this turns out to be a good thing – a new lease of life for your book – but why did Amazon wait 2 years to tell you?
#20 by Sally Jenkins on February 27, 2015 - 5:22 pm
No idea why it took so long, Liz.
#21 by Kate Hogan on April 12, 2015 - 4:15 pm
Hi Sally – thanks for info. The cover looks very posh and appealing. I’m considering changing the Title of my Kindle novel as it doesn’t sen to be doing very well at all. Are there any rules I need to be aware of if I’m changing the titl of my book? Thanks. Ay advice much appreciated. Best wishes KH
#22 by Sally Jenkins on April 12, 2015 - 5:24 pm
Thanks for dropping by, Kate. I think the only rules are – don’t make unsubstantiated claims in the title. You might also like to take a look at this blog post https://sallyjenkins.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/choosing-a-book-title-for-kdp/ . Good Luck!