The Big Amazon Lawsuit Self-Published Authors Need To Know About | Writer’s Relief

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Deadline: Thursday, February 22nd

Amazon has filed a lawsuit against a publishing company to stop a practice called “book stuffing,” which involves recycling passages from some books in order to create new books from them. The lawsuit also tackles the problem of using robots or “clickfarms” to artificially inflate numbers. Although the lawsuit is directed at a specific company, this Forbes article found by Writer’s Relief is a warning to self-published authors who may have used these practices.

… an Amazon subsidiary filed in federal court seeking to confirm an arbitration award against British book publisher Jake Dryan and his companies, relating to claims that the publisher’s companies abused Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), the Amazon self-publishing program. According to Amazon Digital Services LLC’s petition, Law360 reports, the self-publisher breached Amazon’s terms by using bots or “clickfarms” to inflate page views and manipulate their ranking. However, the petition also identified another practice in violation of Kindle’s terms: The act of “combining selections of works they had already published into purportedly new books.” It’s a much-hated move that’s called “book stuffing” by the self-publishing community. While book stuffing is a minor element in the arbitration case, Amazon’s win is the first indication of a legal precedent against the practice.

Learn more about the Amazon lawsuit here.

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26 Comments

  1. Marsanne Kunzer

    I am an author of a children’s book and I am realizing that their are poachers in very industry. My book was slashed in half and I called amazon/ create space (shut down) and Kindle requesting immediate removal I can’t believe the run around that I have received. long holds, hoops and log ins that have been impossible WHY CAN’T THEY UNPUBLISH? INSTEAD THEY are sending me through the hoops, I think they are stealing artis and their work and making money on all of us making it almost impossible to get your book off of Amazon. They so far have high jacked my book and after one hour of shuffling I can not get any help of getting my book off Amazon.

    Reply
    • Writer's Relief Staff

      Unfortunately, we are not lawyers and therefore cannot offer legal advice. We would recommend contacting a publishing or copyright lawyer with your situation.

      Reply
    • Anna

      I am in the exact same spot. Have been trying to have my book removed from Amazon for 3 years. I can’t even get into my account. There’s a new error message for every attempt. I contacted the attorney general 3 times. He did step in but it didn’t get my book out. They have locked me out of my account. Lately I contacted the ftc. We’ll see. This is more than frustrating.

      Reply
    • Freda day

      Yes it’s true and we all need to file another class action lawsuit!

      Reply
    • Eric Lawson

      Yes, they absolutely are. In 2018 and published a book with Createspace. I bought some and asked friends and family to buy some. I monitor the sales and while my friends family myself bought 50 copies Amazon did not report 31 of the 50 bucks bought. I’ve done this several times since then and I got the same runaround.
      At one point, out of the half dozen or more times I have contacted them, I got a very nice customer support person who listens to me, walked through the whole process and said I cannot believe that Amazon is doing this to you.

      You see the book I published, was an adult coloring book to honor my mother, who died from cancer. He was a and is a support, encouraging adult coloring book for any one with cancer, but specifically women with breast cancer. Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing literally completely stalled the book and did not report so many of the sales while I had access to it. Now I have absolutely no access to it but I see it on Google, Barnes & Noble‘s, Amazon, and many other places. I know that they are selling many of them, but I have no access to the book. It is a travesty beyond words.

      I have documented times I’ve contacted them including emails screenshots, and every piece of information I could get. I can prove this and have taken it to a lawyer and no lawyer will touch it when I see it is Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing. A couple lawyers saw the value and were interested and said that I have to find other authors who’ve had the same problem and then they will file a class action lawsuit but it Hass to be 50 other authors or maybe 100? Whatever the case there is redemption. They will pay for this travesty eventually. In the meantime, I am breaking my 58 your old back doing manual, labor, stocking shelves, whatever I can to make a living and barely surviving. All the while Amazon is profiting heinously from the hard work, and tears, it took me to create the coloring book. Please contact me maybe together, we can come out from under this cloud of deceptive, destructive, and horrible injustice.

      My name is Eric Lawson

      Reply
  2. Juanita L. Saldona

    Lots of luck with Amazon! But you can get your book off KINDLE with CreateSpace, now Kindle Direct. Write Kindle a certified letter addressed to the old address of CreateSpace. This is your right with the Digital Millennial Copyright Act. They will at least take it off Kindle.

    Don’t waste your time trying to deal with their outsourced reps. by phone or email. When I asked for the physical address of the Amazon office, someone from who knows where told me that they only had a PO Box. I said, “Are you trying to tell me that Amazon conducts business from a PO box in the post office lobby? No response. I had to find the address online myself.

    There needs to be a class action suit against them.

    Reply
    • Blog Editor

      We are not lawyers, so we cannot offer legal advice We recommend speaking to a lawyer who specializes in publishing.

      Reply
  3. Susie Quickened

    Amazon is stealing Author’s books. Amazon takes the Authors book as their own. They have zero contract or communication with Author. An Author can not take His book away from them. Fix this criminal activity.

    Reply
  4. Wayne Hoss

    It is TRUE! Amazon is selling books by the thousands and telling authors NONE of their books have sold. Read proof in this free book and join in A LAWSUIT
    There is a whole Chapter about crooked Publishers with PROOF

    https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/990583

    Reply
    • Mary

      Yes it is true

      Reply
  5. Ken Bemis

    I have two original books marketed on Amazon Kindle for more than eight years yet it appears not even one copy was purchased in all that time. I receive all the Kindle financial newsletters regularly over the years, but this makes me suspicious of covert transferring inside Amazon Kindle as the publisher may be redirecting any profits showing no book sales when possibly any number of Kindle books did in fact sell. Are there other authors suspicious of this possibility, is there a history of theft of sales at Kindle? I could not find anything directly related to this on search engines.

    Reply
    • Freda day

      Yes it’s true and we all need to file another class action lawsuit!

      Reply
      • Suzannie

        Yes we should do that because it is wrong what theiy are doing. I have so many emails trying to get my money.

        Reply
  6. Mary Dortch

    I am the author of children books. They are doing the same thing to me. Sending my royalty to another bank account, that don’t exist. I did not receive my royalty. I know I sold more books because I have 10 books on Amazon.

    Reply
    • Blog Editor

      We’re sorry to hear about that, Mary.

      Reply
      • Mary

        And they are still giving me the runaround

        Reply
        • Blog Editor

          Sorry to hear that!

          Reply
        • Mary Dortch

          I am so disgusted with KDP Publishing Company trying to get my money in my bank account 4 months.
          I am 73 years old I live on the fixed income. They have not put my money into my account they have put some in the bank but not all of it

          Reply
        • Mary

          They never did put all my money in my bank account I am so tired are these people giving me the runaround what should I do

          Reply
          • Blog Editor

            We are not lawyers, so we are not authorized to offer legal advice. We recommend speaking with a lawyer that specializes in publishing about your situation.

  7. Suzannie

    They are still giving me the runaround. They say that they are investigating. Hoping that I will forget about it. But I’m not, I worked hard for that money and also pay out a lot of money. Get the the job done like, llustration, the editing, and so on.

    Reply
  8. Judy Schwartz

    I am an author of three books and one CD on amazon for over ten year’s.
    I was with Create Space when I started, then amazon bought out create space
    I gave amazon an account number at that time, I know I have sold my books and
    severly Cd’s in the pass. To this day I have NEVER received any royalties from amazon. when I called one time a girl told me that they were putting my royalties
    on a charge card that is not MINE, but would not tell me any more information.
    I am so sick of amazon, I wish somebody would help us authors and soon.
    I own these books and the CD I know amazon is keeping my royalities and they know it. PLEASE HELP

    Reply
    • Blog Editor

      Hi Judy,

      We are not lawyers and thus cannot offer legal advice. We’d recommend speaking with an attorney who specializes in publishing.

      Reply
  9. Mary

    KDP publishing compane never did. Give me all my royalty from my books. They just lied and lied. I have it all in the email. Do you know of an attorney that would take this case

    Reply
    • Blog Editor

      Hi Mary,

      Unfortunately, we are unable to give referrals to any lawyers in the publishing industry.

      Reply
    • Diana

      Every comment I have read is true. I know for a fact that I have sold nine of my 10 books in different countries and certainly in the United States of America. My royalties are very very low and there are times I’ve sold books and still haven’t received royalties no sense in contacting Amazon because they give everyone the same runaround. I saw a site in the Middle East that had one of my books and it listed 28,938 sales. My book was there excerpts were there called Amazon right away and they said immediately they would investigate that was four years ago nothing has been done.

      Reply

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