Saturday, April 10, 2010

This Week's Been A Doozy and It Isn't Even Over!

As if writing, promoting and keeping up with what's what and who's who on all the loops isn't enough, often times things crop up that annoy the living hell of you. This week has revealed a couple of those "croppers."

First: The contracts for books I wrote in 2003, 4, 5, lapsed and the rights reverted back to me. I reworked those books, queried, re-edited and contracted with a new publisher. New cover, a much more well-written book minus the head hopping and passive voice I knew nothing about back then--plus some other issues I've since learned to avoid.

So I notice that my old books, although no longer available, are showing on Amazon. I write them a nice letter, tell them that that version is no longer available and ask them to remove the old editions. What do I get back?A polite refusal. Seems they can't remove anything because that would make it impossible for sellers to offer "used" copies of that book via their marketplace.

What does that mean for me? People are still selling my old book. Amazon is making profits off of something no longer available or contracted, and so are the people who decide to find a sucker to spend twice the original price. Of course, I get no share of the pie, but I'm supposed to understand all that. Hey, what do I know...I only wrote the dang books why shouldn't every one continue to profit but me?

Second: Then today...the icing on the cake. I'm perusing books released by one of my publishers on Amazon, looking for something new and unusual to review on my site. I scroll down on one to check the length and discover that the publisher is shown as Createsource. Well, I know that can't be right. CS is a self-publishing site. I check more books and find the same listing... but, only on print books. So, I send an email to the loop and ask what's going on. I'm kindly told to take my concerns off loop. Clearly, the CEO doesn't want to discuss this, but her assistant was most helpful and assured me that the topic is "under discussion." Shouldn't this have been discussed with those who signed the contract? Why the big secret if there's nothing wrong, and why not discuss this on the author's loop? Isn't that a place for official business?

No offense to other people self-pubbed, I didn't come this far, work this hard, and jump through hoops, loops and suffer editing to have my book shown as self-pubbed on Amazon. Maybe I'm missing an important point, but that's because I was left out of the loop. The least I was owed was the option to decide, but I wasn't even given that courtesy. I'm chewing nails and waiting to see what's next. What happened to being upfront and honest? I'm very quickly becoming disillusioned with some aspects of this business.


Phyllis Campbell said...

Ginger, I agree with you on both accounts. First - Amazon needs to know what they're doing is wrong!! If people who own our books want to resell them - go to ebay. Sheesh! Too bad we dan't sue. (grrr...)

As for the publisher - OMG! Yes, you have every right to be upset. If authors wanted to self publish, we can do that without a publisher. It almost sounds to me like the publisher is taking the easy way out. Well...publisher will soon learn she's going to lose a LOT of good authors because of her bad decision.


Jannine said...

I hear you, Ginger, especially on the second count. I wasn't aware of this until you brought it to light. I'm certainly not happy about not being told how my book was being sold.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ginger,
Join the clan, as you know I have had similar troubles with Amazon, who after many requests refused to remove any of my older editions of books,(3) even though the publisher in one case has gone out of business, and all rights ahve reverted back to me and like you, I did more work on these novels, and have had them released by a different publisher, only to have all the "├Âld" books still up on Amazon. And what really gets to me is they often advertise that they have multiple copies, and I am talking new books here, so where the hell did they get all the copies from? I sure didn't get Royalties for that many copies?



Angela Kay Austin said...

Ginger, the self-publishing thing is a really big concern. How are they connected with your book, and why won't they talk to you? Why the cloak and dagger?

Amazon, even though I don't agree, I understand their point it's like eBay sellers offering used versions. Unfortunately, I don't think any industry has managed to keep up with techhnology.


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