Amazon: Fix This

At the end of September, I uploaded the files for the October issue of the Bards and Sages Quarterly. I have been publishing this magazine through Amazon and other vendors for well over a decade and have used the same process for over a decade. The print version of the issue went live without an issue, but the ebook version did not.

I sent an email to Amazon KDP customer service to get information on what was causing the delay. This is the reply I received:

Hello,

Thanks for your message regarding the following book(s):

The Bards and Sages Quarterly (October 2021)
Gomel, Elana (AUTHOR); Vasicek, Joe (AUTHOR); Madden, Anna (AUTHOR); LaForce, Ali (AUTHOR); Streeter, P.G. (AUTHOR); Moid Khan, Ziaul (AUTHOR); Lindenberger, Cody (AUTHOR); Goldeberg, Matthew (AUTHOR); Bowen, Kelly (AUTHOR)-44895263

We’ve reviewed your book(s) and are upholding our previous decision. The book(s) impairs customers’ ability to make good buying decisions because of the following:
• Similarity of the contributor name to another author

To have your book(s) reconsidered for publication, reply to this message with confirmation of how your book(s) is sufficiently differentiated or how you plan to differentiate your work from the other known work.

If you are the known author or authorized to publish their work(s), provide documentation and/or verification.

Acceptable documentation/verification may include:
• A signed copy of the agreement between the author and the previous publisher
• A successful claim of the Amazon Author Central page for the known author using the same KDP account where the book(s) is being published

If you are not the known author, then you will need to confirm that your book is sufficiently differentiated from the known author.

Sufficient differentiation may include one or more of the following:
• Your work is in a different category/genre than the known author
• You are using your real/legal name and including a middle name or initial
• The book description clearly indicates that the work is from an author other than the known author
• The cover design of your book is significantly different than the work(s) of the known author

For more details about KDPs eBook metadata guidelines, visit Help:
https://kdp.amazon.com/help/topic/G201097560

If you have questions or believe you’ve received this email in error, reply to this message.

Thanks for your cooperation,
Amazon KDP

Grace
Amazon Content Review Team

I replied back asking them to clarify as I have no record of what “previous decision” they are upholding. Nor do they specify WHICH author name they are questioning. If they specified an author, I would send them a copy of the contract or have the author contact them directly. Meanwhile, the print version, which has the IDENTICAL METADATA, was already live.

I complained about this on Twitter, and @AmazonHelp actually replied. So I followed their directions and sent them the information on the 7th. On the same day, I got the following reply:

Hello,

This is Jauan, from Amazon’s Social Media team. Thanks for reaching out today.

I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble getting your book published.

I relayed your information to the team trained to handle this scenario. You should hear back from them in the next 1-2 business days.

We hope to see you again soon.

Best regards,
Jauan P.
Amazon.com

After that? Crickets…until I opened my email this morning.

Hello,

During our review, we found that the following book(s) may cause a misleading customer experience because the title and/or author listed in the book details closely matches another known work and/or author. The similarity between your work and the other work/author could impair a customers’ ability to make good buying decisions.

The Bards and Sages Quarterly (October 2021)
Joe Vasicek (AUTHOR); Anna Madden (AUTHOR); Ali LaForce (AUTHOR); P.G. Streeter (AUTHOR); Ziaul Moid Khan (AUTHOR); Cody Lindenberger (AUTHOR); Matthew Goldeberg (AUTHOR); Kelly Bowen (AUTHOR); Elana Gomel (AUTHOR)
PRI-G7NTB0ZAE8S

Items that can cause a misleading customer experience include:
• Similarity of the contributor name to another author
• Similarity of the title to a previously published book
• Similarity of the cover to a previously published book

To publish the book(s), review Amazon for works with similar title and/or author information and follow one or both of the options below:

Option 1: Similar Book Title
If your book title is similar to another known work, then you will need to confirm that your book is sufficiently differentiated from the known work.

Sufficient differentiation may include one or more of the following:
• Your work is in a different category/genre than the known work
• The book cover design of your book is significantly different than the known work
• The main title is a short phrase or common term
• The book subtitle and/or description is significantly different than the known work

Reply to this message with confirmation of how your book(s) is sufficiently differentiated or how you plan to differentiate your work from the other known work.

Option 2: Similar Author Name
If you are the known author or authorized to publish their work(s), reply to this email and provide us with further documentation and/or verification.

Acceptable documentation/verification may include:
• A signed copy of the agreement between the author and the previous publisher
• A successful claim of the Amazon Author Central page for the known author using the same KDP account where the book(s) is being published

If you are not the known author, then you will need to confirm that your book is sufficiently differentiated from the known author.

Sufficient differentiation may include one or more of the following:
• Your work is in a different category/genre than the known author
• You are using your real/legal name and including a middle name or initial
• The book description clearly indicates that the work is from an author other than the known author
• The cover design of your book is significantly different than the work(s) of the known author

Reply to this message to verify that you are the known author or to confirm how your author name is sufficiently differentiated or how you plan to differentiate your work from the other known author.

For more details about KDPs Paperback metadata guidelines, visit Help:
https://kdp.amazon.com/help/topic/G201953870

If you have questions or believe you’ve received this email in error, reply to this message.

Thanks for your cooperation,
Amazon KDP

Daniel
Amazon Content Review Team

So here I am today, preparing to send them copies of ALL THE FRIGGIN CONTRACTS for the authors and cover artist so that the algorithms can be satisfied, because it is painfully obvious no human being is involved in any of this.

Authors/Publishers: This is why you never go exclusive with Amazon. Ever. We’re lucky that we have plenty of other retail outlets that are actually capable of listing our books without Amazon’s constant B.S. If we were Amazon exclusive, we’d be dead in the water.

Hey, now would be a good time to support us in this nonsense with Amazon by buying a copy from one of their competitors. https://books2read.com/u/bwak2Z