Let me start this post off with the best news - after 8 full days, my account on Amazon has been fully restored. However, for the last 3 days, I've fought an entirely separate battle where Amazon attempted to not pay me after allowing my books back.
My personal fight has not yet ended, as I will not back down, and I have every intention of getting this process fixed, and thankfully, now I have a contact to continue to fight.
Before I get started, I wanted to say thank you for your voices during all of this. You see, it was social media that got an Executive to call me, not my emails and phone calls. It was everyone banding together - in some instances, for someone you don't even know.
A Christmas Gift?
Christmas night, I was checking my email when I saw it, a different subject line from KDP not attached to any case number.
I will not lie. I screamed. I screamed at the top of my lungs and nearly jumped into the air. I was back. My career had come back after 17 total people on the content review team telling me no. What's more - I was answered by an American and not a bot. (I have since confirmed the content review team is overseas so I am not being rude).
I thanked them so quickly and rushed to the next step. I quick search on Amazon did indeed show all my titles.
Being overjoyed, I immediately went to check and see if they truly paid back my royalties as well. Imagine my surprise, when I saw this.
I politely emailed asking if there was a mistake.
Meanwhile, I had two friends buy books - 1 bought ebooks, 1 bought audio. I waited three hours and checked. It hadn't triggered the account reopening in full. I'd already emailed, and I didn't want to piss the nice people off so I waited.
Next day I got this email.
Four three more days I would explain, send my screenshot and get this exact same email back, sometimes from the nice Luis, sometimes from someone else. Each time, I checked my dashboard.
Stressed, I went to Twitter again and tried tweeting about possible stolen royalties.
I also noticed a glaring issue. The book that got me banned had reviews...reviews from January 2021. Had the backend crossed their wires and the content really appeared misleading? I thought so, but wouldn't know until I could speak to someone.
Today, while on a work call, a strange number called. My jaw dropped when I saw the "voice to text" of the voicemail. Which I was also able to confirm with an email check moments later.
I emailed back (notice they still don't give you a way to get to them?) and got a call within a few short minutes.
Tony was wonderful. He assured me nothing was taken from me, and even agreed that there was no suspicious content, but that he has no access to the content team notes. He told me I was back in full and I confirmed with a quick check into my dashboard - I was also surprised to see I somehow made sales three of the days I was totally missing.
What did I learn from the call?
To everyone who has sent messages, left comments, and shared their stories. Thank you. This has been nothing short of the week from hell. I am not backing down. I have this man's direct phone number because he used a phone registered with CallerID. I will be following up. I will be consulting law professionals on the best next steps for us all.
12/30/2021 02:47:09 am
I have been following your account of the horrendous treatment you've been subjected to and I am relieved and overjoyed that your account has been reinstated. What a way to spend the festive season smh.
1/1/2022 11:20:25 am
Thanks for commenting!
Matthew W Quinn
12/30/2021 02:24:19 pm
Good to see this has been (mostly) worked out. Thank you for keeping us posted.
1/1/2022 11:21:05 am
Thank you for all your support! It's my hope we can get these jerks to stop messing with future authors - I also am on the chopping block anytime I publish according to the reinstatement email, so I'm hoping to save myself some future hell as well.
12/30/2021 02:29:59 pm
I have been a silent follower of your story and I can't say how happy I am to hear that you got your account back!
1/1/2022 11:21:53 am
Thank you so much for your support!
12/30/2021 06:32:28 pm
Congrats on getting everything back up and running. I went through a similar ordeal a few years back, and it look the same effort to get it all back. I really wish I wasn’t so beholden to the KENP system, but it’s 75+% of my income. Good luck to you.
1/1/2022 11:22:58 am
I'm so glad to hear you succeed though! My week has brought me so many stories of authors who did not and it guts me. KU was about 70-75% of mine as well, so we'll see how this goes! If it doesn't violate anything (I have to check) I'm going to try to share my career wide after the first release in March.
Selina H Foster
1/1/2022 07:24:52 pm
Hugs and congrats on getting your situation mostly fixed! I had an issue with Amazon stealing from me and had to fight about it as well. Mine was a much smaller issue, but still a clear case of money being kept that belonged to me, that they had no intention of communicating about. I hope your experience gets them to change some of their communication policies. Happy New Year!
1/6/2022 09:41:36 am
I am so incredibly sorry to hear about this! Did you get your situation resolved? I'm hoping so!
1/2/2022 11:15:35 pm
Your account of what happened totally pissed me off and as a result I bought 2 of your books. The Freaking Nerve of them.
1/6/2022 09:42:01 am
oh my goodness, that is too kind of you. I hope you enjoy them <3
1/3/2022 11:01:33 pm
Reading your accounts of dealing with Amazon is giving me just a little bit of hope. Until tonight, I thought it was just me going through this! KDP terminated my account in late November, and I have been contacting them over and over with no success. They keep sending me back to content review who keeps sending scripted denials. (The same ones you got!) I will keep trying, but if you have any nugget of wisdom to share on how to get their attention, I would be grateful! Unfortunately I do not have a big social media presence for my business because it is child-oriented and I just did everything on the Amazon platform. But I just created a twitter account for the first time in my life and tweeted at them fwiw. They are withholding thousands of earned dollars from me as well!
1/4/2022 02:58:55 am
Could give us your twitter handle so more people can retweet you?
1/4/2022 04:05:41 pm
Sure, thanks!!! It's @ErinNiHuffman. Like I said though...I just set it up yesterday! I am way behind the curveball on social media presence apparently. But you and the other KDP authors I have recently found have given me encouragement to throw all the social media spaghetti I can at the wall and see what sticks. I'm seriously losing my patience, having tried to get through to somebody at KDP since Thanksgiving!! Just when I find somebody I think will help, all roads lead back to Content Review and you know what that means.
1/6/2022 09:42:42 am
I'm so sorry, they were added to a blog post but I forgot to respond to you! My twitter is @lexiostrow. I've been reinstated, but I am trying to blast noise on accounts who haven't and you can find them there as well.
1/6/2022 09:40:32 am
So sorry! The handles are not added to this post, but they are in another. @amazonkdp @amazonpub @jeffbezos.
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