Borne from Black – A Poem

Met with a flurry of luxuriant emerald green foliage,

Shining brilliantly in the escaped,

Seemingly out-of-place, rays of sunlight,

I could only marvel at how

Inconspicuous the black as soot dirt looked…

Noticing such a rich hue of colour

Born from and sustained by the black,

I could not doubt the infinite presence

Of something above me,

Choreographing the wild, crude dance of chlorophyll…

Kindle’s Content Quality Control – Pros and Cons

So, I have a bone to pick with Kindle Direct Publishing. It was recently highlighted here that Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has guidelines about quality control of self-published books. Of course this is a great thing! After all, is it not the duty of the author to deliver the best possible book to the reader? Of course it is.

Pros of KDP’s Quality Control

I think it is obvious that the best product should be presented by an author. The reader deserves this. In addition, it will go a long way in legitimising self-published books compared to their traditionally published counterparts if they are held to the same standards of quality during the publishing process.

Unfortunately many criticisms have been made about the large amount of self-published books of extremely poor quality which go simply undeterred into the hands of readers.

Now, it would be hypocritical of me to preach on about this matter when I am guilty of publishing poor quality content. I published my first books six years ago. There were three of them. They have since been unpublished. Why? Well, because they were of a dismally poor standard. Standards which I am ashamed to hold to my name – as they still are associated with me on the net.

But, I have unpublished those works. I do not believe that it is fair to sell a sub-standard product to readers. This is in line with KDP is trying to do with their Kindle Content Quality controls. Unfortunately, there are cons to this.

Cons of KDP’s Quality Control

My criticism will not speak directly to the effort to improve quality of self-published books. There should be no criticism to this effort. Rather, I shall criticise the processes by which this effort is made.

There is a clear guide on the KDP website which details what constitutes errors in quality. Here are some snapshots of them.

Guide to Kindle Content Quality 1
Guide to Kindle Content Quality 2

First of all, look at the second picture. I have circled two typos. Real rich Amazon. Real rich. The irony on this one is cruel. Preaching no typos by using typos. Intentional? Who knows.

Now for the con. I have recently mistakenly published my novel with about nine typos. Minor, but still jarring to the reader. I corrected these and notified Amazon of these. I notified them because I wanted to reaffirm exactly what they preach – quality books for readers. So, I reached out to them to provide my readers with the updated novel. At the time I had only made about 15 sales. Guess what. They refused. Sounds like they don’t want my readers to get the polished product but are willing to collect criticism for my works by the readers who will get the book with typos.

Cruel. Crueller than the irony inflicted by the typos on the Kindle Content Quality guide.

I shall leave it at that. A reader deserves the best quality read but Amazon practices double standards. Much like other double standards that they have been accused of by authors.

There, I have said it.

P.S. I hope this post has no typos. That would be another cruel irony; but perhaps one that the reader of this deserves.