This is the most terrifying sight a self-publisher on Amazon can wake up to, and I just woke up to it. My account has been closed, and I can't access my bookshelf, my orders, anything.
Ironically, this month of November was turning into my most successful month for ages. As of yesterday I'd sold 32 books already in just 7 days (comparing amazingly well to October's total of just 60 books in a month, I was up from 2 a day to 5 a day). That has now stopped dead, which is dreadful news and a real gut punch.
The problem seems to be one book and one book alone: 2020s Pop Star Colouring Book.
The bulk of this book started life as "Pop Star Colouring Book", the second of the colouring books I produced at the end of 2021, following the 1970s book and before the 1990s. As the year rolled on I've ended up making about 15 such books, which have sold pretty well. By far the best seller is the Eurovision book, of which there are two volumes.
Then in July 2022, the Kindle Content Review team blocked this book (whose full listing title was: Pop Star Colouring Book: Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, 24 top artists to color (Pop Star Colouring Books)/ B09HG6HR73) saying that "Metadata that violates our guidelines may include... Unauthorized references to a trademarked brand, term, or phrases...Unauthorized usage of a trademarked art, image, logo or monogram"
I appealed, but they wouldn't unblock the book. So I let it lie. Then, in October, I thought I would try and repackage the content from that book, add new images, and publish a new book called 2020s Pop Star Colouring Book.
We found that you have uploaded material through your account for which you do not have the necessary rights.
As a result, we are upholding our previous decision to terminate your KDP account and remove all your titles from Amazon.
Me: I try getting an agent, every few years or so. It used to be fun collecting rejection letters. Now rejection emails are a lot less satisfying. To be honest, I remain mystified as to how anyone gets an agent, and I've been a published writer and artist (in comic books and magazines) for over thirty years!
Trevor: maybe it takes a quality product? I think I remember that you had an issue with plagiarism? Agents only get paid when they sell a book. If you produce a book that they can’t sell, of course they won’t represent you. Why should they?
Me: Ha ha. The colouring books (of which you speak) are a different matter. My graphic novels are nothing to do with those. But thanks for taking the opportunity for an unwarranted back-handed insult. They always brighten up an afternoon.
Trevor: oh. That wasn’t meant to be backhanded. It was flat out insult. Sorry. Once a person engages in plagiarism, I have zero respect for anything they create. Everything is tainted.
(Kev F's graphic novels)
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy
Midsummer Nights Dream Team - Amazon - Etsy
Eurovision Colouring Vol 1 - Amazon - Lulu £10.94 - Etsy £6.99
Eurovision Colouring Vol 2 - Amazon £15.32 - Lulu £10.72 - Etsy £6.99