Thursday, January 8, 2015

Me against Amazon and Twilight the keyword ! [from 11 / 13 / 13]

Wanna hear a funny story ?

I wrote a little book -- like in one month, just for fun, called "The House of the Midnight Sun." 

Kind of Twilight fan fiction (from Edgar's perspective)  -- or satire.  A tiny bit funny.

Starring Stephanie Meier instead of Bella.  She ends up being the bad guy.

But... really takes on a life of its own, stops caring about all that.


I got an email from Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing people, saying:

"During a quality assurance review of your catalog, we found that the search keywords for the following book(s) are misleading to our customers:
The House of the Midnight Sun (ID: B00D476Q1S) - contains search keyword(s):twilight
Search keywords that are not accurate descriptors of your book’s central storyline or are 
completely unrelated to its content may be misleading to our customers and are unacceptable.
 Misleading search keywords, such as reference to other authors or titles, result in 
confusion for customers as to why your work is included in search results.  

We ask that you remove all misleading keywords, including but not limited to those above, 
for all of your catalog’s affected books and re-submit the books for publishing within 
5 business days. If your books have not been corrected by that time, they will be removed 
from sale in the Kindle Store."
It's like "It's not misleading. That's the whole point. It's connected. It's Fan Fiction."

And Stephanie Meyer can't copyright a keyword.  Satire's protected under Das 1st Amendment.

And besides: only like five people have read that book of mine (not including my own mother--she hasn't).
(p.s. I don't think it's her lawyers meddling against me.  Is it possible some fan bought it, thinking it to be Midnight Sun?  Then, they deserve it.)  Probably just a few people clicking "NO" after  "Was this helpful?

Anyhow... Here's the email I wrote back to them [trying to be nice]:

"Hi !
My name is Joe Hunt, author of The House of the Midnight Sun, ID # B00D476Q1S.
I got an email saying I have a misleading keyword -- that I would like to appeal.
Remember, Stephanie Meyer was going to write Twilight from Edward's perspective, and call it "Midnight Sun" ? 
So, that's kind of what I did.  I wrote a book from _Edgar_ 's perspective.  The female character is actually named Stephanie Meyer instead of Bella.
So it's FAN  FICTION  or RPF  [Real Person Fiction--but not really].  It's SATIRE.  It's supposed to be funny.  But, actually kind of serious.  I think it's pretty well-written.  Takes on a life of its own.  Becomes its own story.
And I titled it "House of the Midnight Sun"--like "House of the Rising Sun."  (The song.)
So, I really do want that word "twilight" in there.  It plays off of her books, but then takes on a life of its own.  So I don't want to delete it.  Please.  I like it in the keywords.  It fits.  It's not misleading.  Totally connected.
Have you read my book ?
But: Satire is okay, right ?  Covered by copyright.  Imitation, the sincerest form of flattery.
Stephanie Meyer can't copyright the word "Twilight," can she ?
Anyhow...I'm trying to ask you nicely.  Hopefully, this can be worked out.
I'm asking you nicely.  Okay / Sincerely !
Joe Hunt"

Anyhow !  Watch this thing blow up in my face. 


Update: Hey, p.s. I won ! Justice is served.

Or...I just nicely explained. They looked over it a little deeper, and realize: it's fine.

It's really harmless. Not really a satire, making fun of Twilight, but...goes off in its own direction, to tell some other crazy story.

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