Amazon Cracks Down On Poor Kindle Ebook Quality With Warnings

Amazon Kindle Cracks Down On Ebook Quality

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 Amazon will warn readers that their Kindle ebook quality is 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. They highlight very clearly that the ebook files have content issues.

Also, quality concerns that Kindle ebook buyers raise can lead to an ebook sales page carrying a quality warning.

Amazon’s Kindle quality guide

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing has a help page, Guide to Kindle Content Quality. It 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.

The penalty for poor ebook quality is the possible addition of a warning message on a book’s sales page. A notice such as this will certainly stop book sales.

poor quality ebook warning

If the publisher doesn’t address the issues, KDP may remove the ebook from sale and add notices as per the examples below on the sales page.

under review

review 2

Of course, each of these notices will stop sales in an instant, 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 the ebook version is full of errors, there is no doubt that the paperback will be equally as bad.


Amazon highlights poor-quality ebooks

I think this crackdown by Amazon is well and truly overdue.

Most hard-working self-publishing authors will wholeheartedly welcome the initiative. It can only help reduce the number of Kindle scam publishers.

Critics of self-publishing have used examples of the very worst self-publishing can offer. It 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.

Some authors ignore the quite lenient KDP spellchecking system suggestions at the time of publication.

But now, there are consequences for not fixing the issues.

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.

It could be because of poor formatting issues, grammatical errors, or lots of careless typos.

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

report an ebook

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.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

Avatar for Derek Haines

34 thoughts on “Amazon Cracks Down On Poor Kindle Ebook Quality With Warnings

  • Avatar for Hitch
    July 22, 2018 at 1:30 am

    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.

  • Avatar for copyeditor
    June 29, 2018 at 3:50 am

    The feedback link is only on desktop site.

  • Avatar for Fate
    June 4, 2018 at 3:03 am

    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.

    • Avatar for Wraith
      March 29, 2019 at 10:59 am

      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.

  • Avatar for John
    April 11, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    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.

  • Avatar for Csm
    March 30, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    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?

    • Avatar for Graham Cameron
      December 26, 2020 at 3:53 pm

      Yes. I think it is more common than you think. Invariably through envy or maybe just nastiness. If you write something that is interesting you will have your critics no matter what. Jealousy is rife when it comes to creative writing.

      Graham Cameron

  • Avatar for KL Forslund
    March 22, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    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?

    • Avatar for John
      April 11, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      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.


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