Sunday Update – February 26, 2017

S. J. Pajonas February 26, 2017
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I’m sorry I haven’t been as present around the blog as I usually am. This week was hellish for me, and though I wanted to come here and post something fun and positive during the week, I just couldn’t do it. You see, I have a new book out tomorrow (blog post tomorrow about it!) and per usual, I had a fight with Amazon over it. It was almost enough to make me give up this whole shindig.

In the past 3 years and 5 months, I’ve been an author, I’ve published 10 books and 5 short stories. Every Single Release, there’s been a problem with Amazon. I can’t help but think, it must be me, right? Other authors don’t have these kinds of problems. In fact, I hear from authors all the time, “I’ve never had a problem with Amazon. I wonder why you do?” Uh-huh. I WONDER WHY TOO! Because it’s dehumanizing and demoralizing the way they treat me, and I’ve had enough of it. I could go through and catalog all my problems for you (they had issues with my series name, my subtitles, they linked up the wrong books, they published my book and said it was “unavailable” [TWICE], etc etc) but just thinking about everything I’ve been through makes me want to bang my head against the table. Sigh.

What I really hate is that they don’t listen. This past week when they determined that I needed to take my subtitles “A Miso Cozy Mystery” off all my cozy mystery books or they would shut down my KDP account, I tried to talk to them about it. I was following all the rules. I wasn’t keyword stuffing. “Miso Cozy” is a play on “Me so cozy” which I thought was obvious but probably not to some customer service person in India. It was on the cover (stipulated by THEIR rules). Nope. They didn’t care. “We’re sorry, but we can’t provide further information at this time,” is the reply I got basically saying, “Don’t bother emailing us again because we don’t care.” I had to spend time going through and deleting it out and republishing.

That took up three days of my time, then this weekend, they linked up the paperback of the third book in my series to the first book’s ebook version, therefore screwing over any idea I had of having reviews up before release day. I cried yesterday, and I don’t cry often over this stuff. I usually take a deep breath and move on. But this was it. I’d reached my limit.

That’s not to say that I haven’t had problems at other vendors. I had problems two years ago with Apple denying my short stories over and over, but once I fixed those problems, I never had another one. I had problems getting paid from Kobo. I had problems with Google Play because they didn’t let me know I hadn’t filled in a form to get paid. I had problems with Barnes & Noble too in which they messed up my entire series and I had to switch to Draft2Digital to get it fixed. But those have all been one-off problems. Amazon is a problem with EVERY SINGLE BOOK, and then to top it off, I had a disastrous time in KU too.

Sorry, I didn’t mean for this Sunday Update to be a rant, but it did take up enough of my week. Besides dealing with Amazon, I also got other things ready for my book launch, worked on wrangling my newsletter problems, walked outside three times because it was SO NICE OUT, went to the chiropractor, and edited Hikoboshi 1. So it was really busy! Today, I’ll be editing more of Hikoboshi 1, working out a timeline for that story because I keep getting lost on what’s happening, and working on teaser images for THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE OPENS A TEA SHOP.

So much to do. So little time.

What else happened this week?

I got out in the fresh air, saw turtles all lined up on a log, and enjoyed walking to and from school to get the kids.

Having lunch outside in the sun is THE BEST.

When dealing with Amazon, many drinks are needed. If I need a new kidney, I’m blaming them.

And I hit my expected word count for Hikoboshi 1. I knew this book needed some details going into revisions so I set my goals to hit 85k for it. Just before entering the third act of the book, I met the goal! Everything from here on out is gravy. 🙂

This week on the blog: the publication of THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE OPENS A TEA SHOP and hopefully a teaser image for it!

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  • It’s so frustrating you always run into those issues with amazon. I just keep thinking you have Mei her bad luck (or maybe the other way around). It’s ridiculous how every time they manage to mess something up. And it’s even more frustrating when they don’t listen and you can’t even talk with them about it and just get a standard answer.

    I am almost finished with the third daydreamer book and I hope to finish it this evening and then have a review for you tomorrow. This book reminds de again of why I love your books so much, I really enjoyed it a lot. The characters are so realistic and I had fun figuring out this mystery. And now I am sad I have to wait again fro your next release.

    We had some warmer days too this week and I opened the windows and now this weekend we have colder weather again, it’s so weird. I so so excited about your new sci-fi series! I hope this week will be a good one.

    • I totally do have Mei’s bad luck! Or more accurately, she has mine. I gave it to her so I would have someone to commiserate with. Lol. All of our warm spring-like days are now gone and it’s back to being cold, but that’s okay. It was nice to get a little break during February, which is typically a really horrible month for weather in this part of the country!

      I’m glad my issues with Amazon are now over and I’m just moving on. I expect it to happen again though!

  • I’m sorry you’ve had so much trouble with Amazon :-/ I didn’t realize they regulated things so strictly, especially since I’ve seen a lot of awful crap in regards to titles and blurbs. I’ve definitely seen some legit keyword stuffing, and yours does not sound like keyword stuffing at all. At least you got to see some cute turtles? Hopefully this week will be better and you won’t have any more Amazon issues.

    • It would seem that they’re finally cracking down on keyword stuffing in the title and subtitle fields. They’re also cracking down on things like best seller claims on book covers too. They love to wield the ban-hammer.

      And we all had Amazon issues this week when their AMS cloud servers went down. But it’s behind me now and I’m moving on! I have more books to write! 🙂