What Went Wrong?
Last night, I started making notes on the next couple of entries in the new Road to Publication series I’ve been doing. It dawned on me then that we talk a great deal about the process of writing, editing, formatting, etc., but we don’t talk a great deal about things that can go wrong with the process. Specifically, things that can go wrong once you upload your files to online marketplaces or distributors. I know there are those among us who have horror stories. I have my own. That is what I’m interested in.
In the comments, I’d like you to answer the following questions:
- What went wrong in the publication process? (Needs to be specific and it needs to be something you experienced. Please, no second-hand tales.)
- How did you discover there was a problem?
- What steps did you take to find a resolution to the problem?
- How long did it take and were you able to come to a satisfactory resolution?
For example, here is one of my tales of woe. Early on, I wrote a book titled Wedding Bell Blues (I blame Sarah. It is all her fault.) This was in the early days of indie publishing so it wasn’t beneficial to limit to only one marketplace. Using one of the aggregators–probably Smashwords back then–I released WBB into the wild. One of the sales channels was Kobo. I made decent sales through them on this title and wasn’t ready to pull it from there.
Then Kobo decided it needed to make sure its customers weren’t being exposed to erotic titles or covers that ventured into erotica. A number of titles in many romance sub-genres were pulled, including WBB. Why? Supposedly our covers violated their new terms of service. Except mine did not. There wasn’t a nipple or hoo-hah or anything in-between to be seen on the cover. It was tame even by Harlequin standards.
Worried, not wanting to lose the sales, I tried contacting Kobo. Oops, that didn’t work. So I tried again. Calls were made and messages left. Emails sent. No response. Not even a canned one. Smashwords was no help because, well, Smashwords. I tried changing to cover. No go. Because the original cover had been deemed smutty, Kobo locked out the book.
Other authors were finding the same thing. After several weeks of trying to get someone, anyone to respond to my queries, I gave up. I pulled not only WBB fro Kobo but my other titles as well. Why? Because I couldn’t trust them any longer. If they weren’t concerned enough about me, as a customer and as a vendor, to answer my inquiries, why should I help put money in their pocket?
I lost hours of writing time trying to find a resolution and there was not a satisfactory one because Kobo made it clear they could care less about me as a vendor on their site. I haven’t looked back since pulling my titles.
So what is your story?