Thought it was time for an update on the roller-coaster that is indie publishing.
After my recent share, detailing how thrilled I was with the on-going success of The Prince’s Man, with rankings like these:
on a regular basis, I was clearly setting myself up for a big fall.
And yes, it came – in the shape of a major falling out between Draft2Digital, the aggregator I’d used to format and upload the ebook to its various outlets, and Amazon.
We have not been given the details, but last week, Amazon removed ALL titles uploaded through D2D.
What a disaster! Over 95% of my sales come from Amazon, and whilst they assured D2D that customers subsequently uploading their ebooks themselves through KDP, would probably be able to recover their book’s reviews, there were no guarantees, and no possibility of transferring the book’s current ranking.
So, I dutifully uploaded PM through my KDP account (I published Desprite Measures myself, so I already had the account set up – one small comfort) and it duly came out – as a totally new book, with no rankings, no reviews and a new ASIN. In other words, right back at the bottom of the heap.
After all those months of careful prep for the initial launch, which resulted in its Hot New Releases rankings in that first month, followed by 6 months of pushing and building, my successful novel has sunk without trace due to circumstances utterly beyond my control.
Probably if this had not been my first book, and I’d had more time, I would not have used D2D, but until this happened I was perfectly happy with their service.
I won’t be using them to upload to Amazon again, even once they’ve sorted their differences, I’m sorry to say.
The saga continues:
I contacted Amazon about the missing reviews, thinking it would be simple because they were all still there, showing bright and clear for the paperback version, which was not affected. They happily agreed to link the ebook to the paperback – and the reviews all promptly vanished from either version!
Oh yes, they said – it will take up to 5 days for them to re-appear.
They were there before – why did they vanish, and what, in a computerised age, takes 5 days to appear?
After 5 days and no show, I contacted them again – apparently I needed to allow up to 48 hours for the two versions to be linked. Well I’d checked – the linking happened within 2 hours of the email I had from them – and that’s when the reviews disappeared.
Now, even allowing for the 48 hours, plus 5 days, that would have taken me to tomorrow, the 13th. Why, then, did the Amazon rep say she’s contact me again on the 19th? And when I queried the timeline, the next rep (you never, ever get the same one) said I would be contacted on the 16th as arranged.
Confused, to say the least.
The good news is that within 10 minutes of that last email, the reviews all popped up again (co-incidence?).
The bad? Prince’s Man has not only lost all momentum and dropped like a stone in the ratings game, Amazon tell me it is not possible to restore the book’s original ASIN – its identifying number. The means that EVERY LINK on EVERY ADVERT on EVERY PAGE where it has EVER been featured, is now redundant, and only clicks to a blank page.
I’ve started replacing links with the ones here, on my own site, but we are talking MONTHS worth of work totally down the drain, and now more hours and hours to salvage what I can, particularly of all the passive advertising I’ve done, wherever it’s featured on a website long-term.
So please, if you notice the cover on a website anywhere, please click it and see what happens. If it goes to a blank page, I’d appreciate a heads up, thank you very much.