There are several blog posts and social site posts are going around regarding the new Amazon method of screening badly formatted and edited eBooks.
This is what goodreader.com and thedigitalereader.com posted
According to their posts, Amazon will add a warning to the eBooks that they find badly edited or formatted:
"Starting February 3, 2016 Amazon will begin showing customers a warning message on the Kindle store detail pages of books that contain several validated quality issues. The warning message will be removed as soon as Amazon received an updated file from self-published authors or publishing companies.
I checked several Kindle and Amazon customer forum posts and my understanding about this issue is:
When Amazon receives complaint, they will investigate. If the reported problem is confirmed, Amazon will temporarily make the book unavailable and notify the publisher about the reported problem(s). The publisher must then respond, and if the problems have to do with significant formatting errors, the only response that will get the book re-listed is for the publisher to provide a corrected (updated) version of the book.
Found this supposed reply from KDP to an Amazon customer at The Digital Reader site
"Starting February 3, 2016 we will begin showing customers a warning message on the Amazon.com Kindle store detail pages of books that contain several validated quality issues. We will remove this message for a book as soon as we receive the fixed file from you and verify the corrections -- typically within 2 business days.
Customers could easily abuse this new reporting policy, please don't! Report legitimate problems.
Every book you could find at bookstores has a few minor issues with formatting and at least a few typographical errors. Reporting a few minor problems will result in having a book made unavailable for sale for days or weeks at a time can seriously hurt a publisher and author.
In my opinion, readers should complain if the problems are so serious that they truly interfere with their ability to read, enjoy or understand the book such as:
Readers have seven days to ask for a refund on any Kindle book they’ve purchased. If you report a book, you can’t be certain if Amazon will agree with your complaint. Even if they do agree and place the warning on the book, it is uncertain whether or not the publisher will release an updated version. If a Kindle book you’ve bought is simply unreadable your best bet is probably to return it for a full refund.
As an author and avid reader, I agree with this screening that aims to result in publishing high quality eBooks.
Sadly, I come across books, that although an editor is listed on the copyright page, are very badly edited. For an author, it is very hard to find a professional editor because there are so many wannabe editors flood the internet and social sites. Not every author is a genius with grammar (including me). The truth is, I should even use a good editor when I write blog posts.
Many authors and small publishers try to save money by formatting their books. Unfortunately, because the formatting rules are very complicated, they're not always successful producing aesthetically pleasing books. The manuscript might look good in MS word, but when it's converted to Mobi file, the bad formatting, no embedding and badly or not linked TOC problems come to surface.
Yes, having a book professionally formatted could be expensive. I found sites that charge up to $400 to format an eBook, a price which most authors cannot afford. If you need your book formatted or edited, my best advice is to shop around. Find the company that fits your price range, check out some books they formatted, or ask other authors to recommend someone.
My publishing company, Golden Box Books, offers very affordable prices and quality work.
~Erika M Szabo, YA fantasy and children's book author, Publishing Coach
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