Why Amazon Kindle (KDP) is the actual worst

If Amazon Kindle wasn’t the easiest-to-use book reading platform, and if I hadn’t already spent thousands of dollars on their platform, and if I hadn’t made most of my royalties from listing my books on their platform, I would leave them in a heartbeat — and I still may do so, even in spite of all of that!

Here’s why.

Amazon cancelled my KDP account

I’m not being melodramatic — here’s a screenshot of what I see when I log in:

Screenshot shows Kindle direct publishing screen reading "This account has been closed. If you believe your account was closed in error, please Contact us"

Now, they tell me that this is because I have 2 accounts with them using the same email address (possible) and that when I log in with my 1 email address and my 1 password, I am logging into the “wrong one” (nonsensical).

Why it matters that Amazon KDP won’t let me log into my account

I haven’t received any royalties since May, when previously I had been receiving a tiny trickle each month into my bank account.

Coincidence?

I THINK NOT.

The full story because I need to vent about how much Amazon Kindle/KDP has ruined my year

This all started because one day in May, I opened my Kindle app on my phone and all the books I’d ever read or downloaded were gone.

It was a blank slate.

So I phoned Amazon, and they transferred me to the Kindle team, who said, well obviously this is because you have 2 accounts with the same details (email address, name, whatever, unclear).

So logically, I said, okay well let’s just have 1 account, please? So that I can read books on my phone and enjoy my life?

They said, well it’s a bit tricky but no problem, we can merge your 2 accounts while you’re here on the phone.

Once they did that, suddenly I could see books in my Kindle app again.

Yay, right?

No.

Because in June, my publisher needed to upload a new cover file for book 2, Fire Warriors on the Mountain. And when they tried to log in to my author platform to do that, we had to reset the password together so they could log in. Which we did.

Cover image for Fire Warriors on the Mountain by TJ Withers-Ryan, 2022

But when they logged in, the 2 books I have published — poured blood, sweat, and many tears into publishing — had DISAPPEARED.

Instead, there was an old draft file for a book that I had helped an author self-publish using an account with my OLD EMAIL ADDRESS, about a decade ago.

Very clearly, the wrong account.

So then I tried to log in to find out WTF was happening.

When I try to log in, it does this weird screen showing me 2 accounts with the same email address, so I click on one of them and log in — and I see the wrong account too — the old one with that draft file!

So I contact Amazon KDP’s tech support using their online form — because they don’t even HAVE a customer service phone helpline. Because they don’t want to take care of authors or publishers, apparently. You know, the people who create content for their platform.

The only phone number I have is the Amazon Kindle helpline (+1-888-280-4331) that doesn’t deal with KDP only customer enquiries and if you want to reset your KDP password, they can do that. I’ve phoned them a few times now and found them utterly useless, since they just wasted hours of my time on the phone (calling the USA from Australia — NOT CHEAP) before giving up and telling me to use the online contact us form to contact the KDP tech support team.

So I’m emailing the Amazon KDP tech support team back and forth every second day, trying to get access to my account so my publisher can upload the new file.

But the tech support people keep misunderstanding the problem and emailing back useless things like –

  1. “oh you want to call us? okay just log in and click on contact us” WHEN I CAN’T LOG IN.
  2. “oh you can’t log in? here’s a link to reset your password” WHEN I’VE ALREADY DONE THAT 20 TIMES and it doesn’t change anything because the 1 email address and 1 password still leads to the wrong account.
  3. “oh your account has been closed? you just need to log in to the right account — here’s a link to reset your password to that account” SEE ABOVE.

After MONTHS of emailing the same exchanges back and forth, a “Supervisor/Team Leader” steps in and closes the wrong account.

Great, right?

Nope.

Because now when I log in using my 1 email address and 1 password, I don’t get to the right account — I just reach a page that says “This account has been closed.” (See screenshot.)

Screenshot shows Kindle direct publishing screen reading "This account has been closed. If you believe your account was closed in error, please Contact us"

Naturally, I was flummoxed.

I tried clicking on the line that says “If you believe your account was closed in error, please Contact us”

No response to my multiple attempts filling in that form.

Now, ever since then, none of us can log into my account.

I also haven’t received any royalties since May, when previously I had been receiving a tiny trickle each month into my bank account.

Coincidence?

I THINK NOT.

So Amazon KDP.

You’ve failed me completely and utterly.

WHERE IS MY ACCOUNT?

WHERE ARE MY ROYALTIES?

GIVE ME ACCESS TO MY BOOKS!!!

Sincerely —

An author going through a genuine mental health breakdown that is partially caused by your company.

(C) TJ Withers, 2022. Blow it up, people. Share this story everywhere. Jeff Bezos is rich enough to do better — no excuses. Tell the world — Amazon KDP needs to bring back their phone helplines and start actually helping its authors.

Kindle direct publishing logo next to the words "Help, Sign out" and a happy face next to a sad face

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