“Given the Circumstances” is Whispersynced! And the Amazon BS I’m dealing with on that…

Buy the book for $4.99, and get the audio for $1.99. Pretty sweet deal! As soon as you buy the ebook, come back to the product page and you’ll see the $1.99 offer.

Which, I’m semi-ambivalent about. I know, I should be standard issue promotional rah rah so excited etc., but a $1.99 audiobook sale, vs. a $14.95 audiobook sale, is a big diff.

That said – I get a $3.75-ish royalty on a full price audiobook, minus Authors Republic’s cut, and who knows I guess $0.50 on the Whispersync purchase. But… if a new reader buys the ebook at $4.99, that’s $3.50 in royalties on that + .50 for the audiobook, so it balances out, or close. Or better. Math class is hard; that’s why I write books, silly.

Also, I have the sneaking suspicion that Audible best seller lists are based on Whispersync availability and not just straight up sales or credits used, so yeah, “visibility” for the book and for me is good.

I’ve been fighting with Amazon, trying to get them to push out the revised version of GTC The Ebook, which now has about double the chapters of the original. This makes for more appealing chapter lengths for both ebook and audiobook. And it allows the many many thousands of people who’ve already bought the book to Whispersync to the differently-chaptered audiobook.

And of course, it’s been a huge bureaucratic clusterfuck. 

Amazon’s first response was a form letter of course, saying that they would push out a revised version to existing owners, if and only if I’d corrected “errors,” not if I’d rewritten the book or changed back matter or whatever. Yes, I had said in my request that it was to get it Whispersync matched, which of course, since I got a form letter, wasn’t addressed.

Now get a load of this. They want me to call out the errors as follows:

In order for us to determine the more appropriate way to notify the customers, please reply with few specific examples of the corrections made (mentioning the location or Chapters where the changes were made) for this version of your book. The more details you provide, the better we will be able to accurately categorize and message your update for end customers.

For example:
Location 129**
Error: Her mother have tol me
Correction: Her mother has told me.

RIGHT. Because the first thing I do when I correct my Word document is race to the Kindle version, track down its location, and transcribe that. No, I just fucking fix the book and resubmit it and forget where the error was because it’s gone so who cares.

Also, if your original book had the sentence, “Her mother have tol me,” not as dialect or some other deliberate device, you should probably not be publishing books without a serious edit first.

So then I write back and say, basically, no read the email, this is all about getting your beloved Whispersync to work, not about “errors.”

So, now, The Deal Is…

First, we’ll review the changes to make sure the readability issues have been corrected, and then we’ll take one of these three actions:

Corrections to distracting errors. If we find only minor corrections,  we won’t notify customers by e-mail, but we’ll activate their ability to update the content through the “Manage Your Content and Devices” page on Amazon.com.

Corrections to destructive or critical errors. If we find major corrections, we’ll alert the customers who already own your book via email. These customers have the option to use the “Manage Your Content and Devices” page on Amazon.com to receive your book updates.

Corrections to critical errors needed. If we find more major corrections are needed, we will temporarily remove your book from sale. We’ll notify you of the issues we found so you can fix them. Once the improvements are made, just let us know and we’ll email customers just like we do for major corrections.

We’ll notify you of the review results by the end of the day on THURSDAY, JULY 28.

I mean, there is nobody who can go “off binder”and understand that THIS IS ABOUT FUCKING WHISPERSYNC, NOT SOME ERRORS, and act on it. No, we’re still in some bureaucrat bullshit about the “errors.” It’s not a fucking error!

But all the support people have is a binder that lists previously approved processes for previously discovered issues… And if your issue doesn’t fit the process, they’ll force it. Because that is much easier than asking your supervisor or pushing the issue up the line.

Also, to be fair, autonomy is discouraged in support centers – it slows up the line and takes down the Almighty Metric of Cases “Solved.” And Amazon is all about metrics. Read this and you’ll see that it’s the fucking Hunger Games in there.

So… I could be missing out on hundreds if not thousands of dollars because nobody is actually addressing this issue, like it’s never happened in the history of everything ever.

I. Hate. Amazon.

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