First Monday of the New Year and it looks like 2021 is desperately trying to hold on. But never fear, I am beating it about the head and shoulders–metaphorically at least–with a determination to make 2022 a better year all around.
Amazon leads the way. Last week, I made the decision to delay Fire Striker by two weeks to give me a bit more time to polish the final edits. I knew I was taking a risk because I had already moved the release date back once. According to Amazon’s ToS, they allow one delay up to 30-days for pre-orders and then they can remove your ability to do pre-orders for a year. But, instead of being a dick about it, they delayed the release per my request. I did, however, get a confusing email from them talking about potential penalties and the need to send them the ASIN for the pre-order. It made no sense, but I responded today and will follow up. However, for the time being at least, not only is Fire Striker still available but so are the other pre-orders already scheduled for this year.
I say for the time being because Amazon–probably through its ‘bots–has been causing a lot of consternation for another author. Over the holiday, the ‘zon took down all Kindle books released by author Ruby Dixon. According to Ms. Dixon, their explanation was that the books were “misleading”. Now, this is anything but helpful. How are they misleading? What led to that decision? That sort of thing.
I will give it to Ms. Dixon. Instead of beating her chest and screaming about the indignities and evilness of Amazon, she is acting like a pro. She has contacted them but, being the holiday, got nowhere, so she is going to get back on it today. She hasn’t called for her fans to boycott, etc. She is trying to find out what happened and fix the problem. My guess? The bots went crawling, found one or more of her books on a pirate site and, since they are bots and not capable figuring out she has nothing to do with those sites, pulled her books. It’s happened before and will again until Amazon quits relying solely on technology for such things. It needs humans confirming what the bots find and applying at least a modicum of brainpower to what should be done.
Now, there are other possibilities. She could be in violation of the ToS in other ways. The one that comes to mind is padding her page count. No, I’m not accusing her of it. But at least one author who went ballistic when Amazon removed their books from the Kindle storefront turned out to be doing just that. It’s a manipulation of the KU system and unfair to the authors who play by the rules.
Another possibility is that the bots caught the print version of one of her books having different material than the e-book did. Mind you, the print version very clearly says it includes exclusive material. But these are bots we’re talking about and not particularly smart ones. Again, I don’t know this is what happened but it is something I can see.
If you are a C. S. Lewis fan, I highly recommend watching The Most Reluctant Convert. I’d seen the stage play before and enjoyed it. The movie, filmed on location, was excellent. You can stream it also, which actually makes it cheaper than going to the theater to see it if there are more than two of you wanting to watch.
Now it’s time for me to get back to work. Let’s all hope 2022 is a better year.