What do you do when a review of your book appears on Amazon that is fake or abusive? Or when you find copies of your book being sold on Amazon that infringe on your copyright? Worried someone has pirated your book? Have a problem with your product listing? Third-party sellers set as the default setting to buy your book? You discover someone selling Advance Review Copies of your book as new?
You can communicate with Amazon directly, of course. And you should. Infringement of your copyright or trademarks should be reported to your publisher, too. But many authors have found Amazon to be unresponsive or unsatisfying in their response to their concerns.
The Authors Guild now offers to help resolve authors’ complaints with Amazon. They have opened a direct dialogue with Amazon and have been reporting these types of incidents to them on an informal basis for more than a year. They have learned which issues represent legitimate use cases and which do not, and they have been able to get some of these issues resolved.
By collecting and amplifying authors’ complaints, the Authors Guild is able to work on these issues on behalf of authors everywhere. When Authors Guild members believe they are being harmed as authors (not customers) by Amazon practices and policies, or online communication has not yielded a timely response, the Guild is your advocate.
Authors Guild members may now file complaints with Amazon directly with the Guild. While you should report your complaints to Amazon, members now can file complaints directly with the Guild. The Authors Guild will review all of the author complaints to determine whether they raise problems that Amazon can or should address. They may not be able to address every issue, but where there is clear violation in Amazon’s policies, they will work with Amazon to resolve them. Amazon has at least been willing to review policies that adversely affect authors with the Guild.
If you aren’t already a member of the Author’s Guild, now you have one more reason to join.
Six or seven years ago my advice to aspiring authors of nonfiction books was to build an audience platform by blogging. An example of how critical blogging could be to securing a publishing contract can be found in the case of Ann Marie Ackermann, author of Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee. After an initial assessment of her manuscript, I had recommended she start a historical true-crime blog, and she did. In fact, the editor of the ideal book series at Kent State University Press became a fan ofRead more…