A Note on ARCs

A week and a half ago, I got a vague email from Amazon informing me that I’d violated policy and that I needed to stop, otherwise they’d suspend my account. I have no idea what I might’ve done, and neither the Seller Performance Team nor Kindle Direct Publishing have bothered to provide me with further information—even though I’ve sent multiple inquiries.

The only thing I’ve been doing differently lately is almost weekly takeovers and giveaways in Facebook groups. As far as I’m aware, Amazon policy still allows for authors to give away copies of our books, so I’m not sure how this would be a violation. It’s the only thing I can think of, though.

I know that many authors and reviewers have been receiving emails like this. Some have had reviews deleted and others have had their accounts suspended—usually with no notice or explanation. Amazon has been trying to combat scammers for quite some time, but many legitimate authors and reviewers have been caught in the crossfire.

Lately I’ve been using Kindle docs to send ebook files to my giveaway winners. This is the same delivery method I was planning to use to send advanced review copies (ARCs) of A Disturbing Prospect. Again, as far as I know, this is perfectly within Amazon’s TOS, but as many authors and reviewers are reporting, no one really knows why Amazon is targeting some folks.

Because of this situation, I’ve decided not to give away ARCs of A Disturbing Prospect. Doing so would result in multiple copies delivered via Kindle docs, and I’m concerned that—although it’s a completely normal and legitimate practice—it would flag Amazon and potentially cause my account to be suspended.

Writing is my livelihood, and even though Amazon is just one retailer, I very much want to maintain a positive relationship with them (and every other retailer I work with).

I know a lot of my readers were looking forward to the early copies, and I apologize for the inconvenience. A Disturbing Prospect will be available via all retailers on January 29th. If you’d like, you can purchase a copy and then review if you so choose. Join my email list to be notified as soon as it’s available!

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Elizabeth Barone

Elizabeth Barone is an American novelist who writes contemporary romance and suspense starring strong belles who chose a different path. Her debut novel Sade on the Wall was a quarterfinalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She is the author of the South of Forever series and several other books. When not writing, Elizabeth is very busy getting her latest fix of Yankee Candle, spicy Doritos chips, or whatever TV show she’s currently binging. Elizabeth lives in northwestern Connecticut with her husband, a feisty little cat, and too many books.

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