Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dream Horse

This is a day to talk about problems.   We'll deal with Amazon first.  Their problem is it takes quite long for anything to go live. I forgive them.  They have a help department that actually responds.

Barnes & Noble.  They have a big honking problem over there.  Anything you upload goes live very fast, YAY!  If you have a problem with anything--forget it.  There is no help to be had anywhere.  If you email, I think their "support" is in Mumbai.  You will get an answer from someone with a foreign name and the answer is a form welcome letter.  I found a phone number. Simone knew nothing.  She gave me an email address.  It was dead.  I went to the site and found another email.  It's been about 5 days and they haven't gotten back to me.

What's this huge issue?  The first book I epubbed was Impossible Charlie at Smashwords.  That was a year ago.  When Smashwords started their premium distribution thing, what did I know.  I said ok.  After all B&N was closed to independent publishers and you can't get to Apple without a Mac.  Good deal. 

Soon I began to notice that Summer Horse was way outselling it.  I thought maybe having the word Horse in the title would tell readers this was about a horse, while Impossible Charlie could be about a chipmunk.  I renamed it The So Impossible Horse.  Time passed.  B&N began PubIt.  I noticed things I published there but not Smashwords were selling incredibly well.  I unpublished several books from Smashwords in order to control them more efficiently at B&N.

One element B&N has in their favor is that you are allowed 2000 characters to describe your work but only 400 at Smash.  Well that stinks and I think it affects the sales. 

Summer Horse is doing great at B&N (nothing at Amazon--I'm not understanding that whole thing).  I realized about 2 weeks ago "Where's Charlie?"  I had unpublished it at Smash but it was still listed at B&N and shouldn't have been.  That's when I started trying to get someone to pay some attention to me and get The So Impossible Horse unpublished at B&N so I could republish it through my account.  Right now if anyone buys it, there's no conduit for me to be paid since the Smashwords connection was severed.

There is no one at B&N apparently.  I finally wrote to Smashwords and Mark Coker said Smash would eventually have longer descriptions, but sorry as he was to see me go (I still have books there, just not epub or mobi versions) he would try to get B&N to unpublish.

Hasn't happened yet.  So over the last 2 days, I did another pass thru Charlie, which for B&N is now called Dream Horse.  I also added a lot of neat photos as illustrations and uploaded that this morning.  I'm sorry to have 2 virtually identical books there and will go back to the description to DH and say it replaces SIH but can't think of another way to get Charlie live and under my control at B&N.

This is terribly unprofessional of them--even though I love their customers to pieces.  They started PubIt with absolutely no conception that any of us would have questions or problems with the service.  It took Lee Goldberg almost 2 months for his novel to go live and he couldn't get any response either.  So I'm not the only one who has experienced trouble.

No comments: