How to Report Kindle Formatting Errors

While I believe one of the advantages of the Kindle platform is the ability of independent and self-published authors to level the playing field against the big publishing houses – become published in the first place, gain new audiences, adapt quickly to change among others – it can also have some disadvantages. I certainly have found lots of independent, self-published authors I have enjoyed; there are, however, some things that really shouldn’t be published at all.

While also I have this opinion with some of the things from offerings of the “name brand” authors and publishers, most of that opinion is because the genre is not for me. That’s true with everyone, and not what I’m talking about in this post.

I’m talking about what should be the simple things: proper formatting, correct spelling, the right context of the word (there vs. their, its vs. it’s). A little proofing should be expected! I don’t know about you, but when I am reading something I usually get very absorbed in it and can lose all track of time. If there are misspelled words – whether it is in a book I’m reading for pleasure or a document I am reviewing at work – I immediately lose my concentration. Completely. It’s even worse if there are syntax or word context errors.

Why does that happen – doesn’t Amazon proof material before it is published in the Kindle format? The short answer is no.

A couple of errors can be forgiven. A lot of errors drive me up the wall, and I want my money back. While Amazon has a very generous Kindle return policy, I am typically unable to take advantage of it as I usually buy several books and they gather electronic dust in my eBook to be read list – in most cases, the return policy has expired.

By the way, bloggers like me should be exempt from everything I am picking on in this post!

It’s not that I am against the independent author – I’m not – I would like to think they would like to know of the errors, also. After all, if you get upset and hate something you probably won’t buy follow-on offerings from them (or write bad reviews and others won’t buy their offerings). I also like to think if they knew there was an issue (and they should check the formatting on a Kindle prior to publishing), they will immediately correct it; Amazon’s self-publishing platform allows on-the-fly changes, with revised editions being able to literally replicate through the Kindle storefront in less than 12 hours (try that with paper copies).

Let me give you an example: I read an independent book not too long ago and really enjoyed the plot, characters, etc. but the author started distracting me with spelling errors as well as errors in the formatting. I made a point to mention it in my online review of the book. I’ve also purchased eBooks from Amazon that were so bad I just stopped and deleted the book – in that case, I wish I had a way to report the bad formatting to Amazon so the book could be taken down from the marketplace and others wouldn’t be burned, too.

By now, many of you are hoping I will have this post reach its dramatic conclusion – I will – and tell you how to report bad formatting of a Kindle edition. Here is how you do it.

  • Go to the book’s Kindle page. Pick any book (I will wait)..
  • Scroll down about 90% of the way down, right near the bottom of the page. You will see a boxed-in area called “Report an issue” with three options. With these options, you can click to:
    • Report the content as inappropriate
    • Report the book if you believe it violates a copyright
    • Report poor quality or formatting in the book

You would want to click the third option to report errors. If you do, be prepared to categorize what type(s) of errors you are seeing:

  • Poor formatting
  • Typos
  • Low Quality images or tables
  • Other specific issues.

Once you click one of the above four options, Amazon will request the location of the issue (i.e., location / page number of the error in the Kindle version) as well as a dialogue box where you can type in what you believe is incorrect.

Hope that helps!




One Response

  1. Michael,

    I appreciate your article concerning errors in formatting and proofreading errors. Although you are correct in how to ask for help through Amazon to have the errors corrected, I have found that as I read, on my kindle, each error I come across, I add a highlight and add a comment, to what I believe the author had intended to write.
    As your article suggested, there appears to always be the odd error, but if the errors are too many, then I try to contact the author sending the report that can be generated, if you have purchased the copy of book. It’s my way of giving back to the authors, without making a permanent statement that may be difficult for the author to remove, as well as often I seem to pick up errors, even a team of proofreading experts miss.

    The report formatting errors facility is where I report the incorrect Author’s name, as far as alphabetical sort order, when the books are downloaded to a device. This is frustrating when you have a number of books from the same author, only to find some are filed under family name and some under first name, or even middle initial. I wonder if sometimes this incorrect filing may cause some author’s works not to be read and fully appreciated.

    I appreciate your daily email, and have been collecting ebooks for the last 10 years. My collection, of over 50 thousand books, spans 12 kindle devices, sorted by alphabetically by author’s names. Hence my frustration with the incorrect name sorting. Each book I read, I review, again to give back for the many hours of pleasure, as well as my way of keeping track of which books I have read.

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