Saturday, August 4, 2018

Creeping through Amazon's Publication Maze

My novel The Single Eye is now up for presale on Amazon.  Goodie.  Am I celebrating?  Am I giddy with joy and relief?  No, and no.  My gut is in knots and I still feel about to cry because of all the confusion and mystery.  

Nobody told me that publishing your ebook on the 'Zon would be such a Byzantine process, or feel so much like creeping through a maze looking out for the Minotaur.

The website seems devoted to telling you what you can do, but you have to fight through the underbrush of unhelpful Help pages before you get to where you can actually do it.

The customer service people get back to you pretty fast by email, but, well . . . when I asked how I could discount the price during the presale period, why did the Amazon email help desk person ("Siri," if you'll believe that) tell me to run a Kindle Countdown Deal?  Of course I discovered I'm not eligible for that, not till I publish.

So not only was my price higher than I wanted for this period, but my book was listed with an ASIN, instead of the ISBN I put down for it.

Stressful as the experience is, the solutions I'm getting from fellow writers and the ones I'm blndering onto myself are working better than what I'm hearing out of Amazon customer service.  The strain of it has me looking around nervously for Horrible Things to jump on me around the next corner, but I guess I'm making progress.

So I stumbled onto the fact that if I go into the right publication details page in my Bookshelf, I can "revise" my list price.  Nobody who visits the Amazon book page will know it's special, but I can let my tribe (sorry, writer marketing jargon) know it's a good deal.

And I saw that the form had somehow stripped the hyphens out of my ISBN.  That may be why Amazon didn't list it along with their ASIN, which, I learn, they give to every ebook they sell.  I resubmitted the form, with the hyphens in, and hope the sales numbers will accrue to the right number.

I wish I felt better about this.  There seems to be so much to get wrong, from sheer inexperience.  I'll survive, sure.  But for tonight, I just needed to vent.

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