This week the bookosphere saw something of a teapot-storm when a
formerly indie author—now signed with a Big 5 publisher—got an odd
notice from Amazon. It said her readers had been asked to delete their
old versions of her book and get the new Big 5 version—at the author’s
It sounded like some nasty author-bullying to me—until somebody on a
writing forum said the first version might have used pop song lyrics
without getting proper permission.
That could definitely get a publisher's panties in a bunch. Using lyrics
from a song written in the past century or so can be a very expensive
proposition, so most publishers won’t accept a book that quotes lyrics.
Note: I read later on the Passive Voice
that there had simply been a misunderstanding and customers who bought
the original book had been sent a nice "never-mind" note.