Wednesday, 21 November 2018

A Month From Hell!

Hi Guys,

As usual, it's been a while since I last posted. But once more I have an excuse - sort of! Or maybe just an apology!

Anyway, I thought this time I'd tell you about some of what's been happening in my life this past month, which sort of explains why I haven't been posting. I've been too busy pulling my hair out!

Anyway, this month began for me when I finally got Roar done and put it up on Amazon as a Kindle Edition. And as always when I got to that stage, I was overwhelmed with happiness. Writing is fun. But that last part of editing, formatting and publishing is a true nightmare for me, as I'm sure it is for most authors. But enough of that complaining. The important thing is that I got Roar out on the 7th of October and spent a couple of days relaxing.

Then my poor cat Tabby (Yes a tabby cat - and yes I'm terrible at names!) went missing, and I took my eyes off things for a while. She turned up nearly a week later with a dislocated hip and I won't even begin to tell you how much she loved my taking her to the doctor. The good news is that my stitches were self dissolving!

But while I was busy worrying about Tabby, I wasn't checking on the progress of my new book. So the first I knew that there was a problem was when my sister rang me up to tell me it was missing. And strangely, that's actually an accurate description of what had happened. It was no longer on my author page, and when I searched on Amazon's search bar it told me that no results were found.

Naturally, thinking that some varmint had stolen my book I sent a desperate email to Amazon and got the usual form letter - we'll get back to you in three days - back. As it happened, the book returned by itself a few days later (like my cat!). Obviously it had just wandered off somewhere. So relieved it was back, I sort of forgot about things and went back to dealing with my cat and my injuries.

Then a week later it vanished again. And this time it wasn't gone for just a few days. It was missing for nine or ten. I can tell you there were multiple frantic emails to Amazon after that, multiple replies - mostly more form letters - and a lot more hair pulling as I sat there thinking that the book had violated some of Amazon's TOS and they had simply withdrawn it. A thought that was supported when I discovered that I could actually find my book by searching not through Amazon but rather Google - and when I did the book page simply said Roar was unavailable for sale. The only thing I couldn't understand was why Amazon had withdrawn the book.

Anyway Roar finally came back, no explanation given, and I crossed my fingers that it was going to stay. So imagine my lack of surprise when three or four days later it vanished again - and this time it took half a dozen of its friends with it!

After that - you guessed it - more frantic emails, more requests for information about what had happened, and more silence in return.

The good news is that it finally came back, and most of its friends showed up as well. (Currently one is still missing - Banshee Hunt which is now only available as a paperback, but I've sent off another email!)

The bad news is that Roar is no longer being promoted as a new release. The authors among you will understand this. Amazon gives new books when they're first released a month when it keeps getting flashed in reader's faces as a new release they might be interested in. Unfortunately that month is up and the book is now just another of the old releases no longer being pushed. Never mind that for half of that month Roar was never available to be bought, or even seen. As I said in one of my emails - worst new release ever!

I've since found out that my troubles weren't unique. And I would guess that some of you reading this post have enjoyed a similar experience. Lots of books have been vanishing from Amazon for a while now. They clearly need better fences!

Anyway, as always I've tried to learn from my experience, and this time I think I've discovered a valuable lesson which I will now happily share with you in the hopes that it will help. 

Cut your hair short - it's harder to pull out that way!!!

Cheers, Greg.