Either that or I accidentally ran into an author with a rod up their ass. Either way, to say I am non-plussed would be an understatement. I got a ambiguously worded email this morning after finishing Satan’s Affair. This is a Kindle Vella that I’ve been working on since November 2021, and Actually, earlier than that. I started the book in a legal pad, and it stayed in that legal pad for at least a year because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. It didn’t fit anything I was currently writing or had currently published. So, it sat. And it sat for a long time.
While I was deciding what to do with it, Kindle Vella appeared. So, I dug out that notepad and input the story onto my computer. I then published it via Kindle Vella, where it sometimes gets read and sometimes doesn’t.
Now, I looked at this book yesterday and decided it was done. All the main plot points were completed. So, I added a final paragraph to an existing episode and republished it.
All of a sudden, I am inundated with Amazon emails stating that I ripped off another author because the title is the same. It took two emails for Amazon to kinda, sorta tell me that. Keep in mind that I had no idea the other book existed until I looked it up this morning. I take these complaints very seriously.
So, I sent an email stating that X author and my name are not the same. Neither are the covers or the premise. Nevermind the fact that the book is a KINDLE and my story is a KINDLE VELLA.
BUT BUT BUT it might be confusing to readers!
That’s an impossible metric. At no point can any author stay up to date with every book that’s every been published and its title. And Uh oh, this book was published on November 4, 2022. My first episode was published on November 1, 2021. Who ripped off who? The best-case scenario is that this author and myself were both working on these books at the same time. Now, I wouldn’t normally get upset about this. This type of shit happens all the time. I don’t think much about it unless I see a lot more similarities.
But to get your panties in a wad because someone else’s title is similar to yours is asinine. Get your panties in a wad if the premise, plot and characters are the fucking same. Other than that, keep working on your shit.
But for Kindle Vella authors, you may want to double-check your titles to make sure there’s nothing else published on Amazon with your title. It’s a quick search. Then, make your Kindle Vella title unique. I’d recommend going with long-tail titles.
If you were going to call it – Love on a boat, I’d go ahead and expand that to Love on a Cherry Red Boat in the Atlantic. If you were going to call it the Tomato Wars, I’d take a 1960s approach and call it – the Red Atomic Tomatoes of Doom.
God forbid anyone else get caught up in this BS.
As for my situation, I’ve retitled my Kindle Vella – Cort Witherspoon’s Lost Inheritance.
Because I really don’t give a fuck. The story is finished, and probably had I not finished it, I wouldn’t be dealing with this problem. My first thought was to just delete it. It’s not that popular. It’s not like I get 100 episodes read a month. It did get more popular in October, but that’s probably because of Halloween. It’s really not a Halloween story. Unfortunately, I could not delete it, so I opted to change the title. As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather let one go than lose the other 50+ books I’ve published, but Amazon didn’t give me that option, so I was forced to continue to deal with it. In the end, one Kindle Vella that makes $5 a month isn’t a hill to make a stand on. My tiny vampire from outer space books do a lot better, and when it comes right down to it, I’ll take a hit on a false accusation to keep those other books in circulation. I make my money off those tiny bitey books, and it's not income I can live without. Amazon is notorious for deleting entire author accounts for the hell of it. I was trying to avoid that scenario. As it stands, it looks like all they wanted was a title change. Let’s hope that’s all they wanted. If you want to avoid this same scenario, I’d recommend that you use very verbose titles for your kindle vellas to the point of being almost rediculous.