Tuesday, October 13, 2009

another bump in the road

For writers considering selling their backlist through AMAZON KINDLE, here's another new wrinkle. Or two. A MOBI file of my book Pale Immortal was uploaded to Amazon's digital text platform on Saturday. Got this notice:

"Your book is currently under review by the KINDLE OPERATIONS TEAM as we are trying to improve the Kindle customer experience. Please check back in 5 business days to see if your book was published to the store. This will not affect any titles you are currently selling in the store, but uploading updates to existing titles will take longer to process."

Kindle blogs are reporting that going live can take 5 - 21 days (or much longer). Another new twist: Writers are receiving requests of documentation -- proof that the material is indeed yours, and that rights have reverted. And yep, this can take another 5 - 21 days (or longer). And since most of the process relies on an automated system, chances of your book never going live have greatly increased with these new rules.

I understand both issues. Readers began complaining about poorly formatted books. People were also glutting Amazon with copy after shitty copy of public domain titles, and Amazon is trying to put a stop to it. I can also understand having to prove that the material your selling IS yours, but I know how messed up Amazon is, and I can't imagine this will end well. I can't even convince them that Theresa Weir and Anne Frasier are the same person in order to combine my profiles. Their method of proof is to contact a publisher I worked for 20 years ago and ask if my current email really belongs to Anne Frasier. 20 years ago... let's see. Yeah, I was writing with a typewriter and making copies with carbon paper.

And when did I start working on this backlist project? February. Proof of a massive time suck, but I've put too much into it, and I want to see it through.


  1. And the kicker? Some a**hole torrent site will pirate a copy of your hard work and give it away to thousands, and they won't ask you to verify you are the author because they care less.

  2. Michele: excellent, excellent point. all of my frasier books are on torrent sites.

  3. Hi Anne :)
    Thank you for this post.
    Can you self-publish your backlist as ebooks?
    All the best,

  4. I hope you get things sorted out soon.

  5. If you want to relax, may I suggest the Boston Marathon? No wait. A triathlon.

  6. rk, that's what i'm trying to do, but not having much luck! a lot of wheel spinning going on!

    thank you, edith! i hope so too!

    jason, not.getting.that. ;)

  7. good luck with that! I have been hearing alot of negative stuff about Amazon in other areas besides this and well, let's just say that I am not dealing with them on a consumer level. Hopefully you get it all sorted out.
    BTW, just got back from the library with some of your older work I did not read. I just love the real thing...digital age or not! ;)

    Take care

  8. JA Konrath recently blogged about his kindle sales levels, this may be of interest to you as some of these books are self published.

  9. julie, yes, i'm kind of wishing i'd never taken the kindle path, and yet it's still the best storefront for authors, especially if they are reissuing their backlist.

    just got the request for documentation, but it's all so vague and the only proof of reversion is a letter from penguin. i sent it to amazon, but not feeling hopeful, especially since the letter is addressed to weir not frasier.

    anon, i've been following Joe's kindle sales with great interest. and even though he's had fantastic sales, i don't think other writers will have anything close to the same results.