Update on Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki and His Amazon Account

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki’s Amazon author page is live again and his books are for sale there, however, he reports that the royalties in his account have not yet been restored.

This development occurred after Jason Sanford had launched a “Fundraiser for Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki” at GoFundMe. Sanford says:

The GoFundMe has raised $3,926 of its $5,000 goal as of this writing. Sanford gave this summary of events at the time it was launched:

Amazon recently shut down the publishing account of Nigerian author and editor Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki for supposed violations of their terms and conditions. Amazon refused to say what exactly the violations were and also insisted they would keep the over $2,000 in royalties from the sales of Ekpeki’s books, including The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction anthology.

The money lost through this meant Ekpeki was unable to pay a number of authors for publishing their work, and was also out his costs for both this anthology and the upcoming Bridging Worlds non-fiction anthology, which could/will no longer be released through Amazon..

Once funding is achieved, Ekpeki will release both the Kindle edition of the Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction anthology and the entire Bridging Worlds anthology for free download. The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction is the first ever year’s best anthology focusing on African speculative fiction and contains works from 29 Black and African writers of speculative fiction from both Africa and the diaspora.

2 thoughts on “Update on Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki and His Amazon Account

  1. We’ve been hearing more and more stories like this lately. The common factor is that Amazon’s decisions are opaque and in many cases nonsensical. And that it’s impossible for the ordinary person to get through to a human being with the ability to do anything about it.

    But this is where Amazon was always going, from the very start. It was utterly predictable that once they were the only serious player in a particular field–whether that be e-book sales or online sales in general–then we’d start hearing stories about people getting screwed over and locked out. “Hey, we’re shutting down your account and keeping your money. Tough luck.” “We’ve decided your product is immoral so we’re going to prevent anyone from being able to find it.”

    It was utterly predictable…and yet time after time in the last decade when I’ve put that case to people about why Amazon should be a last resort for buying things, and why authors should never put all their eggs in the Amazon basket, I’ve been told that the chance of short-term convenience and profit was worth the risk of destroying a more robust economic landscape. Everyone keeps making their own narrow, individual decisions, but collectively they result in the bleak realities that just keep coming.

    You never want to turn on someone who has just been screwed over by Amazon and say “I told you so” in the middle of their chaos and disaster. And yet we collectively have created this monster by putting the short-term over the long-term. (Not meaning to discount the intentionally evil and malicious business model that Amazon has had from day one. But we’re the ones who enabled it to succeed.)

    I never wanted to be right on this one. But here we are.

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