Prince’s Man falls victim to D2D/Amazon clash

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:
Amazon top 100 1st Dec 13 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.

Why?

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.

Huh?

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.

Sigh.

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.

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12 comments

  1. Oh no, Deborah! I’m so sorry – what a heartache!!! I’m in a promo push for book 3 of my Daughters of Lilith series right now, and I’ve been working 12+ hours a day for 3 weeks on this – I can only imagine what you’ve done these past MONTHS that’s been disrupted. Good luck, and if I see the cover anywhere, I will click to test that the link is working. You sound remarkably composed coming out of this. If I were you I’d have pulled out all my hair by now.

    1. Lol, thanks Jenn. My hair seems to have survived, though I’m not so sure about my nails!
      I saw your new cover – another awesome one – congrats. I have Thrall lined up in my TBR list, but that’s slow going as I’m buried up to my armpits in the first draft of Prince’s Son. Not to mention trying to sort out this mess…
      Thanks for your support 🙂

  2. Omg Deb, that is horrible! I can only imagine your agro, I would be sick. I”m glad you at least finally got your reviews back. I have had plenty of frustration waiting and waiting for responses when I encountered problems with something on amazon and it is annoying that there is never anyone to speak to, I don’t know how you even got to speak to someone.

    1. I’ve always contacted KDP by email, and they usually come back within 12 hours, often sooner. Biggest issue is that you can’t get a dialogue going with one person – different rep every time, even if you reply to the email they sent you.
      Frustrating 😦

      1. Yes, I have experienced all of that but what happened to you was so awful with D2D. We are at everyone else’s mercy in this publishing world. Amazon is so built upon its own system that you are always best to load your books directly to them in their own mobi format to avoid future confrontations. Good luck! 🙂

      2. Yes, I’d planned on doing that, but didn’t want to move PM because doing so would lose the reviews. In fact, as I’ve now discovered, because there was the paperback edition to link to, they were retained. Without the paperback though, they might have been permanently lost. It’s happened to others, and I didn’t want to risk it.
        Won’t be doing that again…

      3. So glad you didn’t lose reviews! You see, it is important to create paperbacks! 🙂 So many say it’s not worth it because ebooks sell way more than them but not everyone likes ereaders.

      4. I would hate not to have physical copies to hand, I just hadn’t anticipated this particular use of the paperback! So very glad I’d published it, losing that many reviews would be an even bigger pain in the a*** than this has already been 😉

      5. We are grateful for tender mercies! 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I
    will be waiting for your next write ups thank you once again.

    1. Thanks for dropping by. I’m hoping my experiences can help others avoid similar problems.

  4. […] context, the book I promoted, THE PRINCE’S MAN, has been somewhat in the doldrums since the D2D/Amazon disaster, when it crashed from selling around 10 copies a day, to about 5 a week. So, ta da, on the first […]

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