So. This is a blog post that no author ever wants to have to write, but unfortunately, sometimes things happen in our author world that is beyond our control. And this just happens to be one of those times. And more often than not, it involves the hand that feeds most of us . . . Amazon.
The upshot is this – the pre-order for Sultry & Sinful will release tomorrow and everyone who has ordered it to date from Amazon will get the WRONG file. Yep, you heard that right. You may be asking, “Well, how does this happen?” and I’m going to tell you how:
When a box set or an anthology is set up up, often the person who is running the set will put a placeholder file in place on Amazon. The reason why this is done is that we can’t make a pre-order live without a file and traditionally pre-orders are available three (3) months prior to a book being released.
This is standard practice for lots of box sets and multi-author books. I know it may seem weird to the outside world, but there’s lots of reasons why the final file isn’t ready until closer to release date. Authors are still trying to get their stories edited and formatted. Sometimes authors have to drop out last minute. Having a final file ready to go three months out is rare. There are so many things that can change before release date.
But again, uploading a placeholder file is common practice.
The thing is this. Lately, Amazon has been questioning box set owners (and individual authors as well) about their validity to publish a book especially if it includes the work of someone else. And when that happens, the box set owner is left scrambling trying to email Amazon all the contracts, emails, correspondence, etc. to show that they do indeed have the right to publish what they say they are going to publish. The problem is that Amazon has been waiting until the last minute to do this. This is problematic due to Amazon’s own rules about pre-orders, which is that the final file must be in place and locked down three (3) days prior to the book’s release date.
In our case, the final file was uploaded a week prior to release date and Amazon didn’t question the box set owner until four (4) days prior to our release date (which is tomorrow). By the time our box set owner got all the documents together, she got locked out of the release window and the file couldn’t be updated.
We are not the first group to have this happen to us. And we won’t be the last either. And it sucks, believe me. Every author in Sultry & Sinful has already lined up their fans, promos, parties, etc. hinging on this file.
And now we’re likely to get slammed with bad reviews because the file they are going to get at midnight tonight is not what they paid for. And there isn’t a thing us authors can do about it.
If you’re one of my fans reading this then I would like to say I’m sorry. Amazon will fix the problem, you WILL get the right file, but it might take twenty-four (24) hours or more for the right one to appear. It’s not fair and I completely understand the frustration. Right now, you have nine (9) authors who are desperately trying not to freak out. By the way, it’s not working – we’re all freaking out.
This is my personal appeal for you to have patience. We are doing everything in our power to get the problem rectified. If you have personally pre-ordered the book and are disappointed, email me firstname.lastname@example.org or PM me on Facebook and I will personally send you a free gift in the way of apology.
Again, I’m sorry that this has happened and I would move mountains to get this sorted before it gets to you, but my hands are tied right now.
If you did pre-order Sultry & Sinful, thank you for supporting us and for standing behind indie authors. I know it’s not a lot, but we really do appreciate everything you do for us. Sometimes bad things happen. We will get through it.