KDP low-content books are simply killing the game slowly for the indie industry.
Yes, sweeping statement.
I also know this is going to piss off many people.
Guess I am happy with the number of friends I do have
Yes, there are a few proper publishers in this genre, so my beef is not with you. And apologies if you think you are above board as well.
But the danger signs are there to see. So why do I propose KDP low-content books are the enemy of indie publishers?
In general, these low-content books are easy to produce. They take little effort and involve duplicated interiors with a cover. Types of books include logbooks, notebooks, and journals. The danger of this practice is that publishers tend to mass duplicate the same books over and over, just with a different cover. Other practices include using a copyright material as their own. In general, this is against Amazon’s terms of creating a great customer experience. And although they are clamping down on the practice, it will become an issue for all publishers.
Did not think I can still write a full paragraph.
And if none of that made sense, my bad.
But the main issue is simple. If one part of the Apple is rotten, then normally the whole apple gets thrown away.
Let me try to explain.
KDP low-content is marketed as easy money
I still remember way back when the first “guru” suggested low-content books.
I found myself watching the video and seeing the possibility.
Making money for an hour or two’s effort.
Luckily, in that season of my life, I was busy working as a digital marketing manager. Stopped the whole writing thing. Stopped the whole publishing thing. But still, it made sense.
So, I was watching the new spectator sport from the sideline. And as with most new ideas, many “Gurus” appeared. All singing the same tune. Just upload low content. Over and over. Money will stream in. And of course, it did.
Over and over.
Bam a few sales.
Quantity over quality.
What could go wrong?
Amazon took notice of the low-content craze
Slowly I guess buyers started to complain. They bought the same notebook more than once, even if it was “published” with another cover and description.
And the one golden rule of publishing on KDP is this.
Amazon is ruthless when your product has a negative experience for its customers.
Yup, it is their customers.
With so many new players pretty much spamming the system with low-content and let’s be honest low-quality books something had to give.
And Amazon in its ruthless jungle nature complied.
They started nuking accounts.
Added more rules.
Yet, the gurus keep on pushing and more and more “publishers” enter this market.
But surely Ben, Amazon has it under control…what’s your beef then bro?
My beef is the rotten apple.
My beef is that with one bad spot the knife slowly cuts away. And that knife then starts to cut other areas.
Eventually, it will impact all Indie writers and publishers. And if you follow many of the author groups this has already happened. Six-figure authors who got their accounts terminated.
Of course, you can’t only blame KDP low-content for everything. But if indies scam, spam and create bad quality in the system there will be negative repercussions for everyone.
Remember, KDP opened the publishing world for all of us. Yes, not everyone makes a living from their writing (this author included and yes I have been away for quite a few years) but the fact that I can call myself an “Author” is a testament to what KDP has done for us.
Just as they “easily” as they opened the world they can shut that down.
All because of a rotten apple.
At what stage will they decide to add a quality gatekeeper to the mix?
At what stage will they decide only through accredited “publishing” houses do they allow new work?
I hate to play futurist, but this in my opinion is exactly where the game is heading.
Going full circle. No more unsolicited manuscripts. Agents will become a thing again.
Taking out the indie revolution.
And the sad result.
All the spammers will simply go away. Finding a new system. A new way to make an easy buck. Leaving those who really wanted to see their words in print on the outer rims.
Listen I would love to be wrong about the KDP low-content “problem”
Yes, I have been wrong many times in my life.
And perhaps I am calling the sky is falling on nothing.
And yes, there are reputable publishers in the genre. Highest quality stuff. But when something is sold as easy. The vultures circle and they tend to leave only the bones.
So what can we do about it?
We can collectively call out BS when we see it. We can call out the bad KDP low-content books and publishers.
We can become part of their groups and call it out.
We can urge quality low-content publishers to also voice their concerns.
We can call out this practice of easy money gurus with their courses. Add comments on their YouTube accounts. Try to warn.
And yes, it seems futile.
And yes, it is a massive heap of shit that we must try and rise above.
But if we don’t everything might be taken away from us.