Via the ACT-I-VATE blog, George O’Connor, artist on BALL-PEEN HAMMER, a recent GN from First Second, reveals a dispute with Amazon whereby they refused to list the book he had illustrated onhis author page, but also removed some books he had already put there.
Recently, I had written to Amazon to have a series of books where I was listed as illustrator added to my page. Upon review, they decided not only were these (totally unrelated) books not worthy of being added but, in addition, they removed my new graphic novel Ball-Peen Hammer and two other books that were already up on my page. The criteria for deletion they listed to me were: my name must be featured on cover (my name was on the cover of all the books in question) and I must have contributed a significant portion to the final book. Essentially, Amazon has decided, that as a cartoonist, I merely contribute a few pictures to the final work. We’re only illustrators, it’s the author who gets all the credit. I wrote them a very polite, yet angry letter (copied below), and also told the good folks at Roaring Brook and First Second. Let’s see where this goes. A terrible precedent for graphic novelists.
“Author Central and Author Pages only support contributors who have authored or co-authored a major portion of a work and whose name is also featured on the title’s cover”
My name is featured on the cover of all the titles that you have flagged for rejection/deletion on my Amazon Author page, and I am surprised that you would endeavor to make assumptions about the level to which I contributed to the works in question without an individual examination of the creative process behind each book.
On the graphic novel Ball-Peen Hammer, currently featured on my page but now flagged for deletion (in response to my unrelated inquiry), I find it borderline offensive to be under-credited in this way. Comics are a synthesis of word and pictures, both sides working together equally to tell a story. If this is currently Amazon’s standard practice to judge graphic novels by, I recommend a reexamination of those practices.
I hope to hear back soon. I’ve also contacted my publishers on the matter.
It should be noted that the Amazon BALL-PEEN HAMMER page currently lists O’Connor as an author, but this is not the only instance of this kind we’ve heard about. Amazon really needs to get with the times on this.