Normally, I try not to air the laundry in public. But I’ve just spent too much time and raised my blood pressure too high trying to deal with Amazon. There is a known issue to their countdown timer for pre-orders. The authors out there know what I’m talking about. We have to have our final manuscripts uploaded by a certain time in order to meet our end of our contract with KDP. Screw it up and we can lose the right to offer pre-orders for a year. That deadline is 3 days before publication. Now, Amazon runs this on GMT, so that has to be taken into account as well. Never before have I had an issue with it.
Until this morning.
Fortunately, I checked the timer today. I hadn’t over the weekend because I was dealing with family stuff–pretty much family emergency stuff. Everyone’s all right but shit happens an it did. But that’s another story.
So you can imagine my reaction to find out I had to have the manuscript in a good 12 or more hours before I planned. Nope, that wasn’t going to happen. I am still waiting on final adjustments to the cover and have to apply the last edits and then format the mss. Like a good little writer, I contacted KDP. I knew there’d been a mistake of some sort. I figured they could fix it.
Nope. I was told in no uncertain terms that this is a known issue and to simply plan on uploading a full 24 hours sooner than their ToS says we should. That’s all well and good going forward but it doesn’t do me one bit of good right now. When I explained that, they said I could postpone the release. I didn’t want to. If I had the full time, everything would be okay.
Sorry, Ms. Green, we can’t do anything. We know about the issue but so sad, too bad.
I went back and forth with the CSR who did the same with their supervisor. Long story short, while I have to think about this book and those who have pre-ordered it on Amazon, I also have to think about the books coming down the pike. I can’t afford to have Amazon remove anything from pre-order nor can I afford to have Amazon remove my pre-order privileges. Both could and probably would happen if I simply failed to upload anything at the ordained time or if I uploaded something that wasn’t ready for primetime.
I doubled-down. I wanted a concrete answer. If I delayed the book by a couple of days–I sure as hell wanted to make sure there was enough lead time built in–would my pre-order status be impacted? The best I got was “it shouldn’t, contact us if you see a problem”. Not a lot of help but I have that in writing along with the “we can lift the suspension” in writing. Well, in screen caps. So we will see.
In the meantime, Jaguar Bound will come out in one week. I hate delaying it again. I’m furious with Amazon and, to be honest, with my self for not checking the timer before this morning. Much as I appreciate everything Amazon has done for indies and small presses, it is at times like this that I am once again reminded that they need a strong competitor.