Friday, 9 November 2018

Amazon CreateSpace Joining KDP is a Bit of a Mess

Talk about arse and elbow.

I've just had the most excruciating experience with Amazon.

They've decided to lump CreateSpace in with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), but their administrative system really hasn't caught up.

Earlier this year, Netherworld handed back the rights to Lucid. After six years, they no longer felt it was viable to keep it in print. I put a glossy new cover on it and decided to take a shot at self-publishing so that it would still be available.

Anyone who's ever been through the process of typesetting and formatting a novel for self-publication will understand how much time and attention it takes. That's what made this so upsetting.

I submitted it for publication as both an ebook and paperback. The first format has always been published through Amazon KDP. The second format was traditionally published through CreateSpace, but is now also undertaken by KDP.

You get a little pop-up saying items are usually published within around 72 hours unless there's an issue. So, you sit back patiently and wait for notification that your title has passed the review stage and is now available for purchase.

Only, this time, I received a query asking me to prove my rights to the book, as it had previously been published with Amazon by Netherworld Books.

No problem. I tried to forward them a copy of the e-mail in which the publisher transferred the rights. Only, the address they told me to send it to bounced.

When I e-mailed them to mention this, I received no response.

Going back through the e-mails, I tried sending it to the person who originally sent me the request, and then, I think, through the online messaging system. I'm not quite sure what I did, but eventually I got notification that the Kindle version had gone live on 3rd November.

Going live means being published and made available for sale. This would not have happened unless Amazon received my rights notification and accepted that I held the rights to this work.

Yet, while the ebook was out in the world, the paperback still said In Review five days after I'd submitted it.

I contacted Amazon and got a kind reply saying, 'Don't worry, we're looking into it.'

Famous last words.

Today, nine days after submitting my paperback for publication, I got a lengthy e-mail saying I haven't complied by submitting proof of rights ownership and therefor my book has been blocked from Amazon!

Yet the ebook is still live.

So, they accept that I own the ebook but not the paperback?

Joining CreateSpace and KDP was supposed to make this process streamlined. Instead, it's just confused the paperwork. All that hard work to prepare my paperback for publication, and it's just been deleted.

Fuming isn't even a start to it.

Amazon do well, earning money out of authors, but they really don't treat them as people. It's a world full of automated messages. When something goes wrong, you're lucky if you get a response, and even luckier if you get a response from someone who can actually solve a problem.

Not impressed at all. 

[UPDATE: Yeash. Within an hour of sending me yet another 'you don't hold the rights' automated e-mail, I get one saying 'congratulations, your paperback has been published'.]

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