Amazon is an extremely innovative company – and can be quite responsive to self-publisher’s concerns – but sometimes it gets things very wrong too. Today is one of those times.
I’ve received several reports from writers threatened with having books removed from sale, and heard even more worrying stories from others who had their titles actually removed from the Kindle Store without notice.
What were these authors guilty of? What crime did they commit for Amazon to adopt such heavy handed treatment? Something completely innocuous: the Table of Contents was at the rear of their books instead of at the front. Yep, that’s it. Read More…
Jessica Mitford took on the American funeral industry, the California Department of Corrections, and the Ku Klux Klan, but it was her 1970 exposé of The Famous Writers School which led to Time calling her “The Queen of the Muckrakers.” And if a courageous editor hadn’t reversed his decision to kill her story, it might never have happened.
Mitford had been aware of The Famous Writers School’s existence for some time. Anyone who was a frequent reader of newspapers, books or magazines would have seen its ever-present advertisements, inviting aspiring writers to cut out and apply for the free aptitude test. While Mitford was suspicious, she didn’t have anything concrete until her lawyer husband took on a new client.
Bob Treuhaft was approached by a 72-year old widow, living on Social Security, who had cleaned out her bank account to make a down-payment to The Famous Writers School. On the same day Mitford heard the widow’s sorry tale from her husband, she received a book in the mail for review: Writing Rackets by Robert Byrne, which also mentioned the school. Read More…