Monday, November 24, 2014

Caution, Rant: spammy spammers spamming stupid “Children’s Books” in their KDP listing title.


Every once in a while, I’ve just got to rant.  Maybe you know the feeling?

Today’s rant is about that growing breed of Kindle kids’ ebooks that have almost more title than actual book.  I’m sure you know the ones:  the cover of the book has maybe a five-word title, but the title of the book as shown on its Amazon listing is a mile long, like this:

Children books : MARGARET AND THE DONUT: (Explore the Galaxy kids book exclusive collection) (Super-Duper eBook)Sleep & Playtime Books(Short Story) (Bedtime ... Books for Babby & Toddler Readers #15) [Kindle Edition]

You think I’m joking?

  Here’s an actual example I just found a minute ago.  It’s $1, so you’re really getting a stupendous value, what with all those words in the title and all.


I’ll be honest with you:  I don’t even know how this happens.  Okay, I know how it happens, but I don’t know why KDP doesn’t crack down on it.  Okay, I know why KDP doesn't’ crack down on it.  Who do you think is keeping 70 cents of every sales dollar from Children books : MARGARET AND THE DONUT: (Explore the Galaxy kids book exclusive collection) (Super-Duper eBook)Sleep & Playtime Books(Short Story) (Bedtime ... Books for Babby & Toddler Readers #15) [Kindle Edition]?

But it still strikes me as totally not fair that these spammy spammers are spamming the system.

When you set up a new book in KDP, the instructions say very clearly to type in the title EXACTLY AS IT APPEARS ON THE COVER OF THE BOOK. 


You and I and every non-spammy writer out there are probably very careful about this step.  Certain other people I could name (but haven’t) – not so much.

It may be that KDP checks books when they’re first submitted.  These “authors” are probably careful to type in the exact title the FIRST TIME they set up their book.  Once it’s approved, I guess they go back in and change it to whatever they want… and apparently, nobody cares.

Kindle’s metadata guidelines say that the title as entered in KDP should “only contain the actual title of your book as it appears on your book's cover and would appear on the spine of your book.”  And the KDP Terms of Service include a clause indicating that authors agree to comply with the requirements of the metadata guidelines.

So theoretically, KDP could (and should) shut this down.  But they don’t, probably because of the aforementioned 70 cents, times however many hundreds of thousands of spammy ebooks per day.  Kindle only stands to benefit… and legitimate writers only stand to lose.

I honestly have no idea why these people aren’t caught and left to rot in some kind of Kindle prison.  If not beheaded, utterly.  There, I said it.  Off with their heads!

Still, it’s a little bit worth it for the humour value in imagining what the world would be like if real, famous children’s authors had done this?  We’d have “classics” with titles like…

Plus, just imagine bumping into one of these Kindle Children’s-book Gold Rush authors at a party and asking her what she’s written lately.  You’ll be free to go and grab some drinks and snacks and socialize… while she’s left in the corner all evening, just rattling off the name of her most recent book.

Do you have a KDP pet peeve?  Or would you like to share mine?  Let me know in the Comments!


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