Amazon Kindle Crackdown On Ebook Quality

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poor quality ebooks on kindle

Amazon Kindle warns readers of poor quality ebooks

Ebook authors and publishers who ignore quality issue warnings at the time of publishing, or later, on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) now face the reality that readers will be warned that their ebooks are sub-standard.

Hopefully, this move will lessen the number of Kindle scams that have no place in self-publishing.

A range of warning messages can now appear on an ebook’s sales page on the Kindle Store, highlighting very clearly that the ebook files have content issues.

In addition, quality concerns that have been raised by Kindle ebook buyers can also lead to an ebook sales page carrying a warning.

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing has a help page, Guide to Kindle Content Quality, which gives full details about all issues concerning ebook quality.

However, this short excerpt clearly states that there are two possible results from publishing sub-standard ebooks.

The combined impact on the reading experience of a book with excessive Distracting or Destructive Issues can lead to the book being removed from sale until the corrections are made. A moderate amount of Distracting or Destructive Issues can result in the book remaining available for sale, but with a temporary quality warning displayed on the detail page of the book on until corrections are made.

So the penalty for poor ebook quality is either ugly warning messages on the sales page, or removal of an ebook from sale and more nasty notices as per the examples below.

kindle poor quality ebook warning

kindle poor quality ebook review

kindle poor quality ebook review 2

Each and every one of these notices are of course an instant sales killer, and no author in their right mind would want them.

Not only do these warnings dissuade ebook buyers but also buyers of print books. If an ebook is riddled with errors, there is no doubt that the paperback will be equally as bad.


Poor quality ebooks should be highlighted

From my own viewpoint, I believe this crackdown by Amazon is well and truly overdue, and that it will be wholeheartedly welcomed by every hard working self-publishing author and will help reduce the number of Kindle scam publishers.

For too long, critics of self-publishing have used examples of the very worst self-publishing can offer, and then tarred all self-publishers with the same brush.

Amazon’s action then, in taking a strong position to remove the trash, is a huge and positive step forward.

If an author ignores the (quite lenient) KDP spellchecking system suggestions at the time of publication, then let them suffer the consequences.

Sadly though, this new warning program is only available on at present. One can only hope that Amazon will roll this feature out on all their Kindle Stores as quickly as possible.


How you can report a poor quality ebook

It is not a pleasant thing to have to do, but sometimes you may want to report an ebook that disappoints you because of poor formatting, abundant grammatical errors or lots of careless typos.

If you wish to do this, you need to go to the bottom of the book page to the feedback box.

ebook quality

Once you click the link, you can then complete a form with the details of the issues you have experienced. As ebooks can display in various ways on different devices, you should, in fairness, note your device in your submission.


More reading: Kindle Unlimited Has A Problem – It Can’t Count Words


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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

29 thoughts on “Amazon Kindle Crackdown On Ebook Quality

  • I got a “Kindle Quality Assurance” email — they wanted the phrase “Go check it out” spelled “Go cheque it out.” I explained I write in English, but I’m not British and “check” doesn’t have a “q”. Go figure. I hope they hire better help.

    • Well someone evidently has no idea that the British ‘cheque’ refers to the now archaic payment slip. Check, as in affirm/confirm/ensure, etc., is spelt check in every English variant.

      And, yes, spelt is a British-English variation of spelled.

      • You mean spelled is a variation on the original English.

      • I always find it hilarious when someone reviews my book and adds a list of typos they found which includes:

        colour vs color
        do’na vs don’t
        dair vs there
        eegit vs idiot
        windea vs window

        and for some reason they never catch

        bahookie vs bum
        clookie vs chicken

        they also fail to notice the big bold letters on the first page noting:

        “The author of this book is Scottish; This book is written in Scots English”

      • Cheques are not archaic volunteer with a charity shopping for old people and we get cheques all the time.

    • In UK English it only has a q if it’s in reference to money. That spell checker missed the context as well.

    • check doesn’t have a ‘q’ in British English in this context – check would be correct. A cheque is a bank document you can use to pay an amount of money.

  • Considering I once read a kindle book from a big name and big publisher in which two people “linked anus” instead of “linked arms,” and they couldn’t decide between kilometers and miles, changing every few pages, I really hope this does not simply target self published books like you seem to suggest. I would hope it targets ALL the rubbish, no matter where it comes from.

    • I see errors in almost all books now, Mcky. Books are rushed out so quickly and quality has definitely fallen.

      • And that includes best selling authors … and their editors.

    • This is the sort of thing that makes me feel that indies have a unique opportunity to build a reputation for having fantastic quality. When the “big boys” are treating publishing the way Wal-Mart treats knick-knacks, it creates a hole in the market that indies are uniquely equipped to fill.

    • Well said. Thank you, McKy.

  • Maybe all authors of any category of book should always aim for quality not quantity. Everyone would like to hit the ‘big time’ but churning out books every few books won’t achieve this.

  • I love the idea of this, but i hope it doesn’t backfire. When you write fiction, there are often words that are misspelled on purpose, to signify dialects. Same goes for grammar. And sometimes i make up a word to use for certain sounds like “Her crepe soles squitched across the floor”—I hope they can tell the difference.

  • What do you think of this idea?

    Imagine during the process to self-pub at Amazon, you upload your text and it runs something like Auto-Crit/Grammarly/ProWritingAid on it. If it scores above a certain threshold for issues, they yell at the user and refuse to accept it.

    Obviously, somebody might quibble over what gets flagged, but let’s pretend the tool is decent at finding gross errors most editors would agree upon.

    Would that be a helpful addition?

    • Considering that to date, no one, and I mean NO ONE has written a grammar checker that actually works on the English language, no, it won’t work.

      I own two of the better grammar checkers and push stuff through them constantly. And they fail, constantly.

  • So…if these error reports are based solely on readers (who may not have had better training than authors and editors th)….than who is to stop people from using this as a way to bully people?

  • I got a ‘quality’ flag for 6 typos. Six.
    I also got ‘missing content’ because one of those typos was the word ‘to’ missing.
    Think about that, a book with over 500 reviews, 80 percent of which are 5 star, a book which has been winning monetary awards from amazon because of its high sales (over 40K copies so far), got a flag for ‘missing content’ because of a typo.

    What I want to know is just who is reporting these typos? I got flagged on one book because someone didn’t know what a word meant. It was the right word, they just didn’t know what it meant, so they flagged it.

    I’m all for fixing typos. I tell my fans to send them to me, so I can fix them. Because no matter what you do, they will always slip through. Even paid editors can’t find them all it seems. But to flag a book for 6 typos? And then to take days to pull the flag down after I fixed them (it’s been three days now).

    I think Amazon has a few of it’s own issues that it should be addressing.

  • Hopefully syntax won’t be an issue. Stories are forms of creative writing. Sure there are the proper uses of syntax, like where commas go and such, but then there’s the example of, “Mary! Get back to your room!”, comma after the exclamation mark then close-parentheses sequence–to which I say is fine. It’s not a college paper after all.
    We live in strange times where creativity is slowly becoming a stricter production.

    • I have long been becoming more perturbed by the perpetuation of the idea that bad syntax, grammar, punctuation and unwarranted misspellings play any role in the creativity of a piece. Bad syntax or misspellings are fine when, for example, they are part of the dialogue, and whose goal is to show something about that character. It’s narration that shouldn’t contain them, yet, that is where I see it most. Creativity is really not becoming a stricter production; syntax, punctuation, and grammar etc. give communication the structure that it needs for the author to be understood by their readers. If your story is not only good, but also reads fluently, then your reader base will grow.

      Stories are not a form of creative writing. They ARE creative writing. Saying, “It’s not a college paper after all,” is like saying, “Who cares about my readers? They’re all stupid anyway.” They’re these ideas that are responsible for authors presently spending 10% of their time writing and 90% of their time pushing their ebook. Meanwhile, many polished authors’ works are buried beneath a heaving sea of sophomoric, unedited manuscripts that read only slightly better than an engrish translation of the ingredient list on a package of Twinkies.

      Good writing is fluid and understandable without effort, and your readers will thank you by giving you the money you want and deserve.

  • The feedback link is only on desktop site.

  • It’s the readers that are the reporters. if you have an eInk Kindle, particularly, it’s simplicity itself to highlight a word, phrase, etc., and report it as being erroneous. You can select any number of areas of errata–typo, punctuation mistake, grammar, even plot holes.

    I’ve made extensive use of it for older, backlisted books that were out of print, like the Perry Masons, which were brought into Kindle via scanning. Some of them are rife with quality errors–tons of scan mistakes, some with 3-4 mistakes per screen, making it miserable to read.

    Anyway, that’s who is reporting the errors. The reporting mechanism tells you that a Kindle Quality Specialist will look into it–but I don’t know how well that works. I know that one of the Perry masons that I reported, that was particularly egregious, had reviewer comments from over a year earlier about typos–so apparently, some publishers choose to ignore the reports, and for some mysterious reason, no KQN seems to be issued, and no warning to the buying public, either.

  • I read a lot of books on my Kindle, and the Kindle ipad app. I find it really distracting from the story when I find errors in the books.

    Thanks for putting together a guide on how to report the errors properly.

    I just saw the ‘quality issue’ alert for the first time on Amazon Canada today so it’s being used and I recently received an e-mail from Amazon stating a book I had purchased had an update available after being edited.

  • In the history of law, with so many latin maxims, and german principles, is difficult to have a grammar supervision for ebooks on law.

  • I write paranormal with a lot of Latin. I get spell check warnings all the time for Latin words this is going to be a night mare with Amazon’s track record with KDP non-support.

    • The spellchecker plays absolutely NO part in the quality Crackdown. You have to have readers complaining about mistakes, not some list of errata from the automated spellchecker. As this has been in place for two years now, if you haven’t been whacked yet, you probably shan’t be.


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