I keep reminding myself that today is Tuesday. After all, Dave blogged yesterday. He has Mondays. Today’s my day, ergo it’s Tuesday. But it sure doesn’t feel like it. Any morning that starts with an email from Amazon telling you there’s something wrong with your book and you need to fix it get the blood pumping and not in a good way. That’s especially true when it has to do with a pre-order you currently have available. And that, my friends, is why my post today is so late.
It started simply enough. An email from KDP support came in about an hour before I got up this morning. I discovered it when I rolled over and grabbed for my phone and there it was, displayed on my entry screen. Yes, my first though was “What the hell?” followed pretty quickly by “Shit! I have to fix whatever it is NOW!”
Except the description of the problem wasn’t easily figured out. Just that there was something about the cover that didn’t match the product description. Oh, and here are the steps to fix it. Cool. But what’s the frigging problem?
Before coffee, I couldn’t see anything wrong. The title was right. It was the right image. The series name was right. So what the hell was it?
After coffee, I started weaving my way through the help section for KDP. Finally found the right combination of “tell us about your problem” and getting pre-selected links that might be of help to the “call us” button. But wait, I’m on Central Standard Time. That means I have to wait two more hours before I can call since Amazon is on Pacific Time–even though their call centers aren’t in Seattle.
Okay, I’ve got stuff to do. I can continue the edits on the novel. Essential since Mac and Myrtle the Evil Muse got together and figured out a really “good” way to torture me. I wrote about it yesterday on my blog.
Except. . . I couldn’t shake the worry that whatever this problem was meant Amazon would pull the title from pre-sale.
Finally, it’s late enough I can call. Except you don’t really call. You tell them you want to call and then you give them your phone number and wait for them to call you. Oh, and you have no idea how long that will take because all they tell you is that your call will be answered by the next available agent.
More trying to figure out what might be wrong. Will Amazon pull my book before I can talk to them about it? Trying not to panic but still. . . .
Fortunately for what little sanity I still possess, it didn’t take more than a minute or two for the call to go through. Unfortunately, he couldn’t answer my question. Please give him certain info and he will look into it and call me back in no more than 15 or 20 minutes. I did, not feeling very hopeful. We’ve all had those sorts of calls with vendors and repairmen and who knows who else over the years. They promise to call back with an answer to your question and you never hear from them again.
Surprises do still happen. The rep called back within the timeline he gave. Except he couldn’t help me. Because the email came from someone else, he needs to refer it over to them. But have no fear, he is emailing them as we speak and he is confident they will get back to me soonest. Was there anything else he could do to help me?
I thanked him. Remembered I didn’t want to throw my phone across the room because I haven’t budgeted for a replacement and started stewing again. I pulled up the product page Amazon. I pulled up the KDP description page. I pulled up all my cover files. I threw everything up on the 36″ monitor and started comparing.
Even then, it took three passes to figure out what might be the problem. The title is correct and is consistent between the pages and on the image. The series name is the same. But there, look, Amanda! You found it!
The cover image lists Jaguar Rising as the third installment in the series. Technically, it is. The two earlier titles are shorter entries and are best viewed as prequels of a sort. But this is the first full-length novel in the new series/story arc. Could it be that simple?
(And it taught me a lesson to make sure fonts don’t fade into the background on thumbnails)
I found another cover image, this one with just the series name listed, and I’ve uploaded it. I’m waiting to see how long it takes for that to go through the approval process. Now to see how long it takes for Amazon to get back to me with a clarification on their problem report.
I pray I fixed whatever they caught because I’ll be damned if I see anything else that meets their rather nebulous description.
I’m also praying this isn’t an indication there’s going to be trouble going forward with the book. (And this is not an attack on Amazon other than on their email being too vague about what the problem was. I should have been more careful about the cover I uploaded. I should have caught this problem before I put the pre-order up. Amazon is perfectly within its rights to tell me I screwed up because I did.)
So, my friends, learn from me. Don’t upload anything before the morning coffee kicks in. Find and bookmark the page that lets you have KDP call you. And document everything.
Now I need to get back to work. Until later!
Hope it goes right.
How would they find a series number “mistake” in a cover? I can see it in a description, since those are text. Are they OCRing all the covers? With all the fonts around, that seems unlikely.
I suppose that means “Book 0” and “Book -1” are right out as numbers for prequels.
I’m sure you’re all sick of me saying this, but please consider putting the book number in the FRONT. The usual format is >title< (>series;< – book X). If the title and/or series is even somewhat lengthy, one cannot see the book number on a Kindle. Flipping it – >title< (book X – >series;<) – easily solves that problem.
Ooops. Got the greater and less than signs backwards.
“STAR WARS Episode IV: A New Hope”
Followed by V, VI, I, II, III, VII, VIII, and IX…
Kindle did recently make a change on the customer side where they now group series “for you” in your account. This has resulted in my having two entirely different groups(?) for some of my books. Did they think I was so stupid I couldn’t put the books together if I wanted to? And worse they broke up all my D. E. Stevenson into multiple groups and didn’t even get all the groupings correct. Which is all a way of saying maybe it is the problem with your book. But how nuts if so.
*pat on shoulder* There, their, they’re. It’ll be okay. Probably.
I Love/Hate Amazon.
There’s nothing wrong with Amazon that can’t be fixed with Mach twelve helicopters.
I have to list the Familiars-in-print as a different series from Familiars e-books. Since the print editions are two-in-one, I can’t number them the same as the e-books, so it was easier just to make a second series.