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They definitely have been sending warnings out about this. I got notified about three very old books - and I complied immediately. It doesn't pay to try to buck the system with Amazon. Just do what they ask .. most times you'll be OK.
 

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If you have any words (free, KU, kindle, best seller, etc) that have nothing to do with the CONTENT of your book, you're on borrowed time. Best to remove them and not have the books yanked (even temporarily).

I also know several people whose books were removed from sale until they fixed the keywords.
 

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Kathelm said:
This baffles me. Why not just delete the keywords?
I once took the wrong advice and put kindle unlimited in my keywords; Amazon wrote to tell me to remove it. Then they went through all my other books, which all had kindle unlimited among the keywords, and asked me to go through and remove them all. It did not take any of my books down, although it would have had I ignored them. Perhaps this is what happened? I also had free in my permafree book for six months without query.

I have a friend who tends to imagine a scenario and convince herself it is fact. Perhaps this blogger is of a similar disposition.
 

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Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' said:
Suppose I had a blurb that said something like:

Mindy was a free-spirit who liked to kindle the flames of controversy.
That could well depend on the efficiency or otherwise of the software used to scour the words. Facebook turned down my ad for my six book series about Bloody Mary (Queen Mary I of England) because they think I am advertising alcohol. I am still waiting for a reply.

As to the words free and kindle unlimited and others, I have seen so-called sales training courses which tell you to use those words. Thank goodness they were free.
 

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We miss you, Harvey Chute.
 

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Patty Jansen said:
As to Amazon being ruthless, NO they're not. They're just a big company with a lot of automation.
Shiftless, senseless, pitiless...
 

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They sent me a warning and I'm glad they did. It gave me a chance to update all  my keywords for 19 books which took some time. I found an old short story with 'free' as a keyword from when it was permafree and thought that might be the only offending one.

I didn't bother to check my 6 translations and they pulled one because it had 'Português kindle'. I changed it and took out the word 'kindle'. It was back up the next day.
 

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Doglover said:
Facebook turned down my ad for my six book series about Bloody Mary (Queen Mary I of England) because they think I am advertising alcohol. I am still waiting for a reply.
Really? Sorry, it probably isn't a laughing matter to you, but this made me chuckle in a head-shaking disbelief sort of way.
 

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Sam Kates said:
Really? Sorry, it probably isn't a laughing matter to you, but this made me chuckle in a head-shaking disbelief sort of way.
Don't worry, Sam, you are not alone. Many on the Facebook ad group think it hilarious as well. I have been able to change the copy to read 'the Brutal reign of Queen Mary I' but it doesn't quite have the same ring to it. I am planning a video ad at the end of the month and I really wanted to use the nickname. If they bothered to read the copy they would see it is not about vodka and tomato juice with a dash of Worcester sauce!
 

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Doglover said:
Don't worry, Sam, you are not alone. Many on the Facebook ad group think it hilarious as well. I have been able to change the copy to read 'the Brutal reign of Queen Mary I' but it doesn't quite have the same ring to it. I am planning a video ad at the end of the month and I really wanted to use the nickname. If they bothered to read the copy they would see it is not about vodka and tomato juice with a dash of Worcester sauce!
And perhaps a drop or two of Tabasco.

What a crazy world this can be. :)
 
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If it did happen, then good. It is high time Amazon enforce its own policies. Keywords should only be for the actual content of your book. Unless your book is how to become a bestseller, bestseller should not be in the keywords.

Amazon search is completely broken. And it is broken because A. everyone just does what the heck they want regardless of the TOS and B. to date Amazon has allowed everyone to do just whatever they want without consequences.

And the problem is that this isn't just a books issue. It is about trying to find ANYTHING on Amazon. The entire store is becoming impossible to use unless you have a manufacturer product number to search with. Amazon used to be my first place to go to find stuff for the office. I used to be able to get replacement florescent bulbs, emergency back-up batteries, replacement parts for tools, and all sorts of stuff for our workplace easily. Now it just takes too long to find anything so I just go to Grainger or MSCDirect or another vendor.

As a customer I love Amazon, so I desperately hope they are taking action to clean their house.
 

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Sam Kates said:
And perhaps a drop or two of Tabasco.

What a crazy world this can be. :)
Well, I don't drink so I only know the basics. I am sure I am going to use bloody Mary together with the chalice and some brain dead dipstick is going to be quite sure it is advertising alcohol! We shall see.
 

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CarlaBaku said:
I wonder if they'll start enforcing their title-stuffing policies at some point.
I really hope they do. It is a huge bugbear of mine. I know I am losing out on search visibility to subtitle stuffed books, that quite clearly do not have the subtitle on the book covers, or even on their title pages. This is supposedly a big no-no, but in moments of despair, I often start thinking "if you can't beat them join them..." I have resisted the temptation so far!
 

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Patty Jansen said:
Did they? Where does this sort of data even come from?
Not sure where the author got it from, but I had noticed that the number of kindle books on Amazon had passed the 4 million point recently. Today it has fallen to 3.95 million, so somewhere in the region of 10k have been removed I think.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Amazon search is completely broken. [...] The entire store is becoming impossible to use unless you have a manufacturer product number to search with.
That is just hyperbolic nonsense! I do hundreds of searches a year, for all sorts of things, and have no trouble finding what I want along with suggestions for possible substitutes, which I sometimes buy instead.

Amazon is great. Imperfect, yes, but still very easy to use.

Edited. PM me if you have any questions. --Betsy/KB Mod
 

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Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' said:
Suppose I had a blurb that said something like:

Mindy was a free-spirit who liked to kindle the flames of controversy.
That means you are screwed, Amazon can not ignore these keywords?
 

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Roberto El Duque said:
Not sure where the author got it from, but I had noticed that the number of kindle books on Amazon had passed the 4 million point recently. Today it has fallen to 3.95 million, so somewhere in the region of 10k have been removed I think.
Where can you see the total number of kindle books available?
 

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Quiss said:
Hah! Who else just ran to their bookshelf to make sure they didn't have that word on their permafrees? ;D
Me. And I did remove Free from the subtitle. They've been pretty strict about it not being in the keyword list for a long time, though. This is one of the reasons I posted this thread. Once upon a time, Amazon was okay with just about any keywords that increased traffic. And in my case, free is true because it's a permafree that's been free for years.
 
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