Amazon Error Message Online Debate

When I first read about customers facing quality issues, I looked at it from the book-311434_1280consumer point of view. More than once I bought a book and couldn’t read it. I put it down never to pick it up again, and all I could think was what a waste of money. The bright-idea light bulb never went off to send feedback or ask for my money back.

As a writer, I notice and trip over almost all the mistakes Amazon is addressing. Although I put effort into avoiding making them myself, I’m only human and still learning. I lean heavily upon my publishers to catch mistakes.

To me it’s always been a team effort working on any project. Writers, editors and artists working as one to create a clean and properly formatted book.

Yet consumers are still complaining and rightly so if their purchase is lacking

So what do you think about Amazon doing what they are doing?

Here’s some links on CFQI’s (customers facing quality issues) if you want to learn more:


42 responses to “Amazon Error Message Online Debate

  1. I think it’s a good thing. Self-publishing will never lose its stigma unless all those who do self-pub hold themselves to the highest standards and produce quality work that has been professionally edited. Like you, I trip over typos and such when reading, and it lessens the enjoyment I get from reading the story. It goes back to the old adage: If you’re going to do something, do it well. Quality counts.

  2. Didn’t know they were doing this. Thanks for the heads-up.

  3. I think it’s a great idea. I know a lot of people view the policy in terms of indie books, but I’ve read my share of traditionally published books with errors. It’s a great way to remind editors and authors alike to focus on the details.

  4. I think it will make Indie publishing even more professional. And I agree with dpdenman about errors in traditionally published books. Humans make mistakes, but they should do everything possible to minimize those when publishing books for sale.

  5. QC is a great way to lose the negative reflection of self-published books as being subpar. Another thing Amazon should consider doing is making it easier to create promotional discount codes with expiry dates for ebooks and CreateSpace like Smashwords. You have to do it manually and remember to return your book to the original price. But I did find a way to do it through the CreateSpace estore but no expiry date either. Will look more into it later.

  6. I first read about this a couple of days ago. As a reader, I hate coming across error after error
    An error here or there is fine, but at a point it becomes too much and is aggravating. As a writer, I know errors happen. Even after having an editor and publisher go through your book mistakes can still be left in there by accident. It happens.

  7. I don’t know much about this issue, but it’s probably a step in the right direction. However, I worry that the freedom Amazon offered writers is being taken away, bit by bit.

  8. I’m sure books across the board will be flagged, as mistakes happen in traditionally published books, too. However, some genres rely heavily on made-up words. Will Amazon flag those as misspellings?

  9. I agree with Lori, I think it will have erase the stigma that use be the main opinion of self-publishing, although it has come a long it, there is still a shadow over it.

    I don’t understand the mindset that allows someone to put work without their best effort (quality). It boggles the mind, especially if you are wanting this to be your livelihood,
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  10. Yeah, I agree with most of your commenters, and your feelings, Anna, that it will be a good thing for all of us. I bought a book written by a friend, and not only were there a lot of mistakes but the formatting was so poorly done, that paragraphs and chapter headings, etc, were all over the place! I was embarrassed for her, and I did wonder how it had ever “made it onto Amazon,” so as a business, they do have the responsibility to do some quality control.

  11. I see mistakes in traditionally-published books all the time…wonder if Amazon will do something when customers report those, too?! But yeah, there’s a LOT of crap out there. A lot of good self-published books, too. Someone needs to draw the line and I guess it’ll be Amazon?


  12. The issue with the house cleaning they’ve undertaken is that it lacks consistency. People are making judgement calls, so they will of course be subjective. I’m just glad not to be publishing anything in the midst of this mess, but it will calm down. That much I know.

  13. Quality is important and as long as all books regardless of how they were published are treated the same I appreciate Amazon’s efforts.

  14. If my name is on the book, I certainly want to present the best story with no errors or formatting issues. When I self-pub on amazon, I load up the ms and then if they think they find an error, they let me know right away and want them fixed. I don’t know if this new push is different from that or not. Interesting discussion here.

  15. OregonMike98 (Michael Melville)

    I think overall it’s a good thing and better for the indie image. However, I think some readers, especially ones who are already suspicious of indie authors and their books are quicker to complain about editing errors in Indie books. At the same time those readers are not as quick about making the same complaints when it comes to traditionally published books when those have editing issues. I understand readability being affected by editing errors but that is almost arbitrary sometimes.

    That being said I reviewed a book last year that had fifteen 3-star reviews all which complained about editing errors of one form or another and how they could not even finish the book. The same book though had seventy-five 5-star reviews and none of those complained about editing errors at all. So, like I said it’s often arbitrary. Unless it’s something MAJOR I think most people skip right over and don’t even notice them. One has to wonder how big of a deal some of these editing errors really are. If a misplaced comma or rare grammatical error is really going to prevent someone from enjoying or finishing a book, I’d argue they were looking for reasons to not like the book from the start. If errors like that bothered me I never would have finished at least 2 dozen traditionally published books over the years.

    • I’m not sure if they didn’t see the mistakes or didn’t care. Either way, I guess we’ll see how far Amazon takes this. It should be interesting.

      • OregonMike98 (Michael Melville)

        Yea it will be. One thing I am hoping about is that amazon makes sure they check the editions for each book. I had 2 horrible editors on early editions of my first novel which caused me to get equally horrible reviews complaining about grammar and editing. The final edition fixed all that but those reviews are still there. Which makes me sad.

  16. I always make sure that I preview my stuff on Amazon and that it’s error free with them. I want to put my best product out there. I do wonder how this is going to turn out for them, though.

    • Questions arise. Once the feedback comes in from the customer, who checks it out? Human or computer? And how quickly will it be dealt with once the corrections are complete?

      I don’t mind correcting my errors. In fact, I more than willing. It’s the impact on possible readers that worries me. πŸ™‚

  17. I hadn’t heard about this, so I checked out the links. It seems as if they are going after formatting errors rather than bad editing — and I consider bad editing a pretty big problem. A misplaced comma, no big deal. A left out word or repeated sentence … eh, that happens even in traditionally published books.

    But I recently saw reviews for a self-published book that complained about characters’ names changing repeatedly throughout. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, If you can’t keep track of your own characters names, you have no business publishing your book yet.

    The part that really made me want to bang my head on the nearest hard object was that one of the reviews said: “Good story. Poor editing. A character named X was called Y for parts of the book. ~ 4 stars.” Four stars?!?! The lower the standard readers set, the lower the quality is going to sink.

  18. I’ve picked up quite a few books with blatant spelling and grammar mistakes. Poor formatting also diminishes the reading experience. I agree with this.

  19. Well…this is why God invented the “preview book feature,” but I do understand the desire for quality. Self published authors need to take their work seriously if they expect to be taken seriously. It’s just a fact.

  20. jennifer@badbirdreads

    I think this is a great thing. It will really help.

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