So you have just received that dreaded e-mail from Amazon that your book cover has been removed from Amazon on possible copyright infringements on the cover. You’re in a panic because they're telling you that if you can’t provide the licensing then they are threatening to remove all your books from the amazon store. Take a deep breath, don’t panic, it can sometimes take a few days but you will get your book listed again. This is Amazon’s way of ensuring you have the rights for the image you are using.
Here is what they require:
“ A signed contract or signed written statement from the photographer or other copyright holder granting you the right to use the image(s) or A licence from a stock image website (Including image reference number(s) and account information confirming that you licenced the image(s) or provide confirmation that the cover image is in the public domain, including dates of publication and website links to confirm.”
Have you used a graphic designer?
If you have used a graphic designer for the creation of your book cover you can supply amazon with the invoice or receipt from your designer. I can also supply my authors with a written statement which is signed to give them, where the stock images have been purchased along with the stock reference number (please see example below).
You will also be required to ask your graphic designer to send you the licence agreement from the source, depending on which stock site they have used depends on what will be required, see example below.
Have you created the design yourself?
If you have opted for a self design then the only evidence you need to provide for Amazon is the licence agreement which is from the source, or if you have used an image which is public domain you will be required to provide the date it was published along with links to confirm that the image is of public domain and that you have the rights to use the image within your design.
Provided all of the above? Still getting a standardised approach from Amazon? Many authors who are e-mailing direct to Amazon to rectify this issue are getting a standardised response asking for the same things even though they have provided such licences. All you need to do is request that this issue be escalated to a supervisor. Amazon are using bots and AI to converse with you and documents are getting missed and not necessarily being checked to the best standards, by asking for a supervisor this will be escalated to a live person who will be able to review the documents you have sent, advise if you require anything else and also lift the hold on your book.
Wingfield Design's Top Tip
Another top tip is that in your copyright page of your book, list the designer that created your cover and you can list where the images were sourced. This information can be given directly from your designer, if your designer is unable to provide this then this should create alarm bells in the service they are offering.
This can be a very stressful situation but rest assured that this will be resolved providing you or your designer holds all the correct licence agreements. It can be daunting having your cover come up against copyright infringements and you may feel a bit lost when providing the correct information for them to still get back to you that you have not provided the correct documentation, but don’t give up. This is not because of anything you have done at all or your designer, Amazon selects books by random to ensure all the requirements are in place.
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