Amazon Publishing vs. Felony Hyphens

The stupid is strong over at Amazon Central these days. UK Amazon-published author Graeme Reynolds had his book removed from Amazon because a reader – ONE READER – complained that the text had too many hyphens. Did you catch that? Too. Many. Hyphens. Mind you, the book has been out for eighteen months and enjoys consistently positive reviews.

But for the witless blather of one person, Amazon is blackmailing their author into altering his book into something grammatically incorrect.

Have I been sucked into an alternate universe where a major retailer accepts the complaints of a single anonymous reader – who could very well belong to the Fatally Stupid – and not even contact the author to discuss the issue before removing his book?

More importantly, is Amazon in possession of a brain and working knowledge of English? Their actions suggest hopeless ignorance.

This should give Amazon DIY authors pause before allowing this brainless behemoth to “publish” their books. Think a real publishers would pull such a stunt? Hell no. Real publishers possess firing brain cells (contrary to popular belief) and have to work smart because it’s how they keep the lights on and Rescue Beagles in designer doggeh chewies. If a problem arises, they discuss it with the author.

Amazon’s overreaching cranial-rectal inversion shows just how little control Amazon authors have, and they could find their books removed from sale over the complaints of a single reader, or some other bantha fodder.

And what’s worse is Amazon doesn’t care. Not. One. Whit.

The upside is that the book has been returned to Amazon’s site, which is wonderful news. However, that it happened at all is criminal. I’m sure the outrage proved to attract Amazon’s attention and allow someone with a functioning cerebellum to intercede on the author’s behalf.

5 Responses to Amazon Publishing vs. Felony Hyphens

  1. John Allan says:

    Well, I suppose, short of sifting through a random selection of pages in support of her pedantry, he/she must have actually read the book.

  2. Dwayne A. Bearup says:

    While we’re on the subject of errors, in the second sentence of your fifth paragraph, “publishers” should be singular….
    🙂 Now, I demand that you remove this article from the internet this instant.

  3. Priscilla Turner says:

    This episode would be incredible to me if I did not as a beta-reader observe all the time the modern phenomenon of a painful dearth of hyphens even in the oldest-established (!) compound expressions. Sometimes serious nonsense is the effect, or at the very least I am tripped up and have to read it twice. AFAIK, this is a consequence of people’s not reading much old stuff, and relying on word-processors that were created by programmers who never read anything but code. To give him his due, if you run a piece of text past Bill Gates, he will sometimes suggest a bit of hyphenation. But he will fail to react to the some of the most extreme cases. That’s to say nothing of something like “oak tree”, which has been one word, not even hyphenated, for ever so long.

    There are subtleties which are often missed: for instance, I would write “Yours is a well-written book” but “Your book is well written.”

  4. Thanks for your thoughts, Priscilla. Frankly, I place a lot of blame on public education. Back in the Early Jurassic Era, English teachers pounded grammar and composition into our heads. We would have been eaten alive if we didn’t know the proper use of “to whom.” Nowadays, the teachers can’t even spell. There were many times when I had to tell my kids’ teachers they incorrectly marked something wrong. I remember one English teacher blowing off a week to watch Bowling For Columbine. I nearly stoked out.

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