Amazon In Legal Storm With Authors


Everyone’s favourite tax dodgers have been at it again it seems. Amazon have become embroiled in shady disputes with several customers of late.

Amazon’s Kindle Publishing service, which allows authors and publishers to print books on demand and sell via the Amazon marketplace has been caught refusing to pay royalties to their authors.

Having been approached by a few victims, The Raccoon took a look into one such account to see just what Amazon were upe to.

It seems this author had previously had an account closed by Amazon. The email they received upon closure of their account stated they would not be permitted to open another account. However, this author did create a new Amazon account and ended up selling over 1000 books in the lead up to Christmas. The royalties earned on said books totalled approximately £2500. However, Amazon sent out an email saying they had closed the author’s account and all royalties earned would be forfeited.

Now, as you can imagine e, this author was furious and very worried. £2500 is a lot to lose for anyone. The more 
frustrating thing was the response from Amazon themselves. They refused to enter into further discussion regarding the rights and wrongs of it.

Here at Writer’s Block we are very concerned about just who has pocketed the £2500 amazon made from those book sales. We tried to find out, without much success. Amazon refused to discuss it.

Here’s our logical breakdown of this situation:

• Amazon KDP is a third-party publishing house, much like a traditional publishing house
• An author writes a book, Amazon are merely the printers of said book
• Sales of the book go to the publishers (Amazon) minus an agree royalty-rate, which goes to the author
• In this situation, amazon have kept the royalties

Now, imagine if, for example JK Rowling had written her Harry Potter books and her publishers had decided, for whatever reason, she shouldn’t receive the royalties. Those publishers would be breaking the law. This is no different with Amazon. Unless, of course, KDP authors are willingly signing contracts which says Amazon can take money off them for any reason; that’s a scandal Amazon just don’t need right now.

To make matters worse, this author asked Amazon which closed account was linked to them, but Amazon refused to say – due to Data Protection!

So, in conclusion, Amazon can close your publishing account for whatever reason they like, not tell you the reason, not provide details AND with-hold all your earnings.

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