Hey! What happened to my tags?

A Guest Post
by Aron Joice

I ‘m not sure about anyone else out there, but I find it challenging to keep up with Amazon and all its policy changes. Isn’t Amazon a store? Do brick and mortar retail outlets change their policies as often as Amazon? If so, I think their vendors would consider alternative outlets. We as Indie authors don’t have many options. Of course we can upload our books to Smashwords, B&N, Kobo (you can do this independently of Smashwords btw) and ilovebooks, however Amazon is still the meat and potatoes of the eBook distribution world.

Since Amazon changed my category to non-fiction (hello sorceresses are fictional), and didn’t say a thing, I often check my sales page. A few days back as I scrolled down the page to check the current details, I noticed the absence of my little bubbles. Oh where did they go? Not a one in sight. My tags are gone, how could they do this to me? I liked those tags, mini maps to roads linking to my genre. Poof, up in smoke and not even a mention from the big A. Okay, I suppose as a little Indie I should be keeping up with all of this somewhere, but where? I don’t mean IU, heck if it wasn’t for IU we’d all be out in the cold (bows and kudos EM). So I decided to write KDP and hear what they had to say and was surprised to receive a rapid-fire response.


While tags appear on most items, you may not currently see them on the detail pages for Kindle books. Tags for Kindle book detail pages should be fully restored very soon.

From time to time, we test both new and existing features on our website to determine which characteristics or services drive customer purchases and satisfaction. During these test periods, certain aspects of our website will appear differently to various customers, or to the same customer on different computers or browsers.

We’re continually fine-tuning our presentation to provide our customers with the greatest value, selection, and information for their online purchasing decisions.

I hope this helps. Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

First, what does most items mean? Why would Amazon need to restore them at all, who understands their tags better than the author? I can only imagine what Amazon will come up with next. Tags are there to help our readers sort out the intended purchase. Am I missing something? At times I’m not the brightest bulb on the planet, but this makes no sense at all.

Rumor has it that the removal of tags would even out the playing field between traditionally published authors and Indie authors. Far be it from me to question such an absurd remark, but was the playing field ever even?

So, we sit back and wait. Yes, Amazon is the biggest game around; however there is a new player coming to town and its name is Wundr eBook platform. Maybe, just maybe, things will start to change. It is a remarkable journey; we are making history. Someday way down the road we can tell our grandchildren, “I was there when it happened.”

In the meantime please give me my tags back Amazon and stop messing around with a good thing.

Aron Joice is a published songwriter and an Indie author of The Lost Children of Managrail series. The Rising, book one in the Ya Fantasy, is currently available, and book two Vanished is soon to be released. Her novella The Land of Beautiful follows close on the heels of Vanished. An adult historical fiction is also in the works. Aron is passionate about the arts and rescuing animals. You can learn more about Aron on her blog, FB Fanpage, and her Amazon Author Central page.

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32 thoughts on “Hey! What happened to my tags?”

  1. Aron,

    That’s amazing, thanks for sharing. I didn’t even think of looking at mine. I know changed my categories on me like they did to you.

    1. Hi Jim,
      I just don’t see the point.The only thing it accomplishes is burying everyone. Hey! Maybe that IS the point LOL. When they changed my categories, like a good little do-bee, I wrote, and guess what? Never a reply on that one.

    1. Way down at the bottom of your sales page there were little white boxes or bubbles. You could create tags(words) to describe your books contents. For instance, I write YA fantasy, my tags were magic, action & adventure, fantasy etc. This helped define your work to readers and you could link to similar works. Oddly enough on your edit page at KDP the tags box is still present.

    1. Oooh! I just received an email a few days ago regarding this new eBook platform. They are in Canada. It is suggested they may be able to give Amazon a run for their money. I am waiting for more details with the unveiling. I’m sure as soon as more information is available it will be posted. Could be exciting! Stay tuned.

  2. Um.

    Amazon has been talking about deprecating tags for the better part of a year now. Unless they have changed their minds, tags were being phased out throughout 2012, and are probably gone for good now.

    So this is old news.

    As for Amazon changing policies, it is Amazon’s ability to flex and change, to adapt and tweak what they’re doing that’s a good part of why they have been so successful.

    In fact, I would go as far as to say that NO retailer is likely to be extremely successful in online commerce unless they can match or exceed Amazon’s adaptability. Companies which remain rigid, which refuse to change their policies when better ideas come along (or even just to try out new ideas!) are unlikely to ever be able to compete well in this market.

    That means changes. Rapid ones. Yes. That’s business in the 21st century. 😉

    1. Change usually is good. Amazon has certainly accomplished a great deal. Any company should be flexible and adapt as you say. This post isn’t about competition; we all know competition breeds good business. Amazon does change and flexes its muscles sometimes at the cost of others. Yes, they can and will do this as they choose. Someday they may be the horse and buggy replaced by a very fast and shiny new car. I may be a tat slow, but it is nice to know when the change is coming, not speculate.

      Thank you for your feedback.

      1. Really, I suspect in this case it’s more a matter of writers getting what they asked for. With thousands of writers teaming up to game the tag system, it rapidly became useless. So Amazon removed it.

        Tags are still in place for print books because most indies don’t release print versions, so it hasn’t been gamed as heavily. That actually makes me wonder a little… If you have a print and ebook version, and your print version has tags, do those tags get associated with the Kindle version too? Would be interesting to experiment with this. 😉

        1. I agree with you about gaming the system. Pity that some,well many, felt this was necessary. I have a print version and I believe the tags are gone. I will check it again.

    1. LOL Sorry Rich, “paella?” I’m happy to hear there is a bulb out there dimmer than I am. I know what you mean by ambivalent, but I still think for the most part they helped. ‘Paella?” Now I’m hungry.

  3. Hmmm… I found their response very interesting indeed, leaving me wondering if they include reviews in that policy? I was shocked to see on someone’s new Kindle Touch over Christmas, that none of my books showed any of my reviews; inviting my friend to be the first to make a comment. Now, my own computer at home shows them, a friend in the States can see them, but when I checked my page from someone else’s computer recently, again, no reviews show at all. I emailed, and got a response from someone whom English is not their first language, and was told to use their chat feature to fix the issue real time. I did. Apparently, they couldn’t; saying they’ve forwarded my query to the appropriate department. They said 24 – 48 hours for a response. It’s been longer. We’ll see what they say.

  4. Now you see what I mean? That is really bizarre, and what reasonable explanation can one give? I heard there were format problems with the Kindle fire, but I’m afraid I defer technical issues to those with the brain power–Kat where are you? I’m sure we’d all be interested to know the outcome of your dilemma.

    P.S. Don’t hold your breath on the 24-48 hours. We don’t want to say good-bye.

    1. Lol, no I won’t, but I am a dingo with a baby in my mouth when it comes to these things. The annoying thing was, that every really famous book I checked on that Touch had their reviews showing. It wasn’t just the e-reader; after checking someone else’s actual computer, I was really surprised to see that it also said there were no reviews. I’ll keep you informed.

      1. Okay, now my sides are splitting, a dingo eh? I usually say I am a pit bull with a very meaty bone. Yes do let us know. I’m off to see if I still have tags on my print version.

  5. Yes! I noticed this a few weeks ago and googled again tonight to see if any leads have come up. Thanks for the post!

    I miss my tags. My sales are doing alright without them, but the trend is that they’re still taking a hit. 🙁 I wouldn’t even care if they wiped them all clean and everyone had to retag or something, but I miss them!

    1. You are welcome, and thank you for your comment. I miss my tags too! Maybe Amazon will determine those little ole tags do drive sales and they will return them. We’ll just have to wait and see,

  6. Yup My tags have gone also! I feel as though we have no say what-so-ever with them….and without everyones e- books, they wouldn’t be able to have a Kindle store, so how come we are tossed around, like we are inside a spin dryer!

  7. Good morning Maggie, I’m sorry I missed you last night. One of the points that I was trying to make was Amazon is a retail store and we are their vendors. They have the right to make any change they wish, but as a business courtesy, the should at least do a blanket email to let the vendors know of the upcoming changes and when to expect them. We are in business together, keyword here(together). Indies helped create a buzz and stirred the pot as oppose to the pot simmering.

  8. Hi Aron, and thanks for the great write-up.

    Am I reading this right? In their response to you, they made allusions to possibly bringing the tags back, but you’re not optimistic that will happen?

    Thanks again,


    1. Hi Don and thank you. I’m glad the post was well received. I think they are doing the old shuffle off to Buffalo. As far as I’m concerned they really didn’t answer the question; truthfully, I don’t think we’ll be seeing them again. The intention to bring them back would have been clear, which it is not.

  9. Thanks so much for bringing this latest shock to our attention. Tags are important little road-signs for readers who are searching for specific genres. That Amazon continues to manipulate and change whatever they like, at their whim, is always related to what is best for that company.

    I have been hoping for a long time that a competitor will appear and overtake this mega-giant! Keep us posted on any sightings of that shiny new car (Wundr eBook platform.)

    Amazon has succeeded in pulling most Indies into using CreateSpace for printed books. My first edition was printed in Michigan, shipped to me, and every time Amazon sends me a request for more, I pay the shipping fees to them, which knocks out any profit margin.So I’ve been preparing myself to use CreateSpace.

    1. Marcia, if I hear anything at all I will definitely pass it on to everyone. I am planning on following up to see what happened at the presentation. I use CreateSpace and the shipping takes a decent bite out of the profit, however I think it is important to have print copies available. One of the members in a LinkedIn group mentioned Colour House. I believe they are in Michigan, and there is more flexibility and better pricing. Worth a look see.

  10. Yep, my tags are gone too. I liked tags. I know that when I changed tags Amazon’s bots would tweet about my book as a “newly released romanctic/suspense” etc. So, I changed them from time to time. But, some authors were gaming them too. On my UK product page several authors has tagged their names as tags and agreed with the tags too. So, I had ten or twelve authors names being used as tags on my work. That was very strange.
    In terms of the new company-Wundr, I don’t know anything about them but I am attending a seminar on Feb 8th in Vancouver where they’re going to announce what they’re up to. I’ll blog about my findings and Aron, if you have any info on them I’d love to hear it, either here or you can email me [email protected]
    Great article, timing is perfect for something like this.

  11. First Amazon deleted positive reviews that in its estimation–and its estimation only–were fraudulent (many, many authors had 5-star reviews removed that they had nothing to do with) and allowed clearly illegitimate reviews to remain, but now they are removing the tags which help readers find books.

    What else can Amazon do to kill off the indepenedent author network?

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