Why do you think that Amazon is removing digital titles from their platform?


  • Premium Member

    @Sekki The FCC get the majority of their complaints from the same group of roughly 100 people who make complaints about everything from people showing too much skin on TV to "harsh" language (I saw this somewhere over 10 years ago, so I don't know how much said group has changed). Most of them actually complained when Janet Jackson had her wardrobe malfunction on stage during the superbowl that one year. Outside of that group of people, most people didn't care. The same can probably be said for getting things/people removed from the internet enmass without any real controversy to whip people into a frenzy.

    I don't agree much with Jordan Peterson as I feel he's biased about how he interprets data, but there are people out there who obsess over something to the point you can classify it as a mental illness, and if they can justify it with with "but think of the children!" or "it's offensive to (group X/me)" then they tend to be able to get away with it for a long time.

    My person guess is that the reasoning is an ugly storm of all the above reason as to why this is happening. Something like a group of people have found a way to report some books they don't like to get them banned. "The Algorithm" learns that those books are bad and makes a correlation between the removed books and the random ones that are getting taken out for no reason. Amazon's "manual review" team is either just too lazy to properly investigate, or are so understaffed that no one has time to properly review these things and they just get ignored. Finally, because no one corrects the machine learning, "The Algorithm" continues to make bad judgement calls.


  • Premium Member

    I'm generally a lurker around here but have been following the light novel de-listing saga on and off since it started. I'm surprised that a number of you believe this is due to the concerted efforts of a group or pressure from a high status person as the issue of Amazon de-listing Kindle books/manga (presumably for racy/questionable content) has been happening for years and has hit media aimed at men and women alike.

    My best guess is that some of the more fanservicey titles got flagged a few times by regular shoppers and then manually reviewed. Since they're listed as young adult books, it's likely certain images were considered inappropriate for that age range. Once one novel was de-listed, it makes sense that the system would automatically flag other associated titles (by publisher, series, author etc) for review and more books would end up being de-listed for the same issue.


  • Premium Member

    @raddevlin That would make more sense if Amazon's KDP team would just come out and say your ebooks were removed because of this or that issue. It's that they're coming back and basically telling publishers "Your books violate our terms of service and are being removed. Also because of the terms of service, we aren't obligated to tell you the reason why they were removed so you can fix the problem". It's that they appear to be completely unwilling to work with any of the affected vendors on this issue that's pushing people to think it's a fully automated process that's causing this. And a fully automated delisting process is abusable by third parties even if they're only say kicking off a chain reaction process by flagging one novel in a given series.


  • Premium Member

    @jpwong Automated workflows are definitely involved in the process but I don't think a product would be completely removed without a review - that would be massively open to abuse and you'd see way, way more of this kind of stuff if that were the case. Current conjecture here is that certain images in the books caused the de-listing so I would expect the books were ultimately reviewed by a person (they were likely checked by AI first but artwork can be pretty hard for an AI to categorise correctly).

    Amazon's inflexibility towards self-publishers is well known and in my opinion their lack of productive feedback is not because of an automated process (because it's very easy for an automated workflow to generate an email with one or more generic reasons why a book has been removed) but because they don't care and don't want to waste staff time on disputes. Amazon are in an overwhelming position of power when it comes to book sales and can absolutely get away with treating authors and publishers in this manner.


  • Premium Member

    Seems like they're willing to spend the time playing whack a mole with the listings though. With no concrete information about what they need to fix, JNC at least is just re-ordering the ebook and resubmitting the product to see if that works.


  • Premium Member

    I'm watching the congressional hearings (Bezos is on the stand). An anecdote about a e-book publisher-seller (textbooks in this case) was just relayed. The publisher had their tiles de-listed, and over 500 communications (over several months) were unanswered...at the same time amazon ramped up their own sales/marketing of e-textbooks. (chilling) Now we have this JNC scenario (and other LNs) I'm not saying that amazon is about to start translating/licensing LN's or whatever- but....


  • Premium Member

    @Jon-Mitchell
    Oh Ggle Translator....


  • Premium Member

    @lighthawk96
    I was thinking more about how much cut they (amazon) take vs. when we buy from Kobo or Bookwalker...the text about JNC in every volume (and how to buy direct by joining) how MUCH INFLUENCE amazon has on the ebook marketplace overall


  • Premium Member

    @Jon-Mitchell Amazon made that major push into anime a few years ago but seems to have backed away. They still get some licenses but it doesn't feel like it's many.

    My wild guess is they're happy to get 30% for zero risk and near zero effort by letting JNC, Yen etc. negotiate and pay for licensing, manage translators and editors etc. since it's a niche market and doesn't win them any prestige points / bragging rights like films and mainstream dramas do.

    $100 college textbooks are a much larger market, and it's one where they can (illegally) use sales data from competitors to cherry-pick the most profitable subjects.


  • Premium Member

    @HarmlessDave said in Why do you think that Amazon is removing digital titles from their platform?:

    $100 college textbooks are a much larger market, and it's one where they can (illegally) use sales data from competitors to cherry-pick the most profitable subjects

    It's ridiculous how expensive college textbooks are in the US, the versions using SI units that are in use in the rest of the English speaking world are usually far cheaper.


  • Premium Member

    @sniper_samurai
    Even in the USA we use SI units in the sciences. A chemistry textbook is still expensive and a std reference book (such as the CRC chemistry reference guide could cost “a pretty penny “)


  • Premium Member

    @Jon-Mitchell said in Why do you think that Amazon is removing digital titles from their platform?:

    @sniper_samurai
    Even in the USA we use SI units in the sciences. A chemistry textbook is still expensive and a std reference book (such as the CRC chemistry reference guide could cost “a pretty penny “)

    When I was in college doing mechanical engineering the Fluid Mechanics book I was using cost €89, the US version was in imperial and cost $300.


  • Premium Member

    @sniper_samurai said in Why do you think that Amazon is removing digital titles from their platform?:

    @Jon-Mitchell said in Why do you think that Amazon is removing digital titles from their platform?:

    @sniper_samurai
    Even in the USA we use SI units in the sciences. A chemistry textbook is still expensive and a std reference book (such as the CRC chemistry reference guide could cost “a pretty penny “)

    When I was in college doing mechanical engineering the Fluid Mechanics book I was using cost €89, the US version was in imperial and cost $300.

    I’ve heard some physicists say “engineering isn’t science!” I happen to disagree, but the College of LA&S vs. College of Engineering, we’re entirely different “things” at the University I attended. Torque was measured in Newton meters, not foot pounds. (I was a science major, not an aspiring engineer)


  • Premium Member

    I know I also got OT in the other thread. But how about we come back to speculating why Amazon did remove them and not how much textbooks cost?


  • Premium Member

    so, based on the success of moving the illustrations to the end of the file (so they don't show up in previews) and a couple of titles apparently having issues of LN being mistaken for a Manga and visa versa...I think we can draw a couple of speculative conclusions (as to the why titles taken down)

    • complaints about 'racy' illustrations viewable in previews (age appropriate etc.)
    • complaints about tags/descriptions/category not matching (BS in my opinion)
    • something about international standards/regulations (i.e. LDM in Germany)
      I'm hoping that this is all history now

  • Premium Member

    Yeah I bet the illustrations in the front was confusing/offending some odd folks. On the plus side it gave me the kick in the pants to join JNC as a premium member and start shifting my pre-orders over to here instead. Bonus JNC gets more of money and amazon less!


  • Premium Member

    @mwbworld

    Literally everything about buying direct from J novel club is better.

    • volumes are cheaper
    • come with bonus features (short stories, high res illustrations)
    • DRM free

    And of course as you mentioned I’m sure it’s more profitable on a per volume basis.


Log in to reply