Monday, March 26, 2012

I am Alive?

I haven't gone a week without some sort of blathering blog post in nearly five years. Five years.

I missed blogging, slightly, but I've been busy--I wish I was busy writing the great American (horror) novel, but I haven't.

My grandfather passed away on my birthday. He was 97, so it wasn't exactly unexpected, but all the same... death is always sad. We had to adjust spring break travel plans and come home a day early from our little trip to Omaha (zoo, water park...) My mother-in-law stayed with us for three days (breathe...) I got a new job (guidance counselor at the same school) And my Amazon KDP account was blocked.

Ouch.

I'd had a few books for sale under pseudonyms which were compiled of material from my years as an English teacher. Evidently, these were considered "freely available on the internet". Amazon warned me once and blocked a book. Three days later, my account was shut down. I've received nothing but form replies to my queries.Form replies never answer very specific questions.

Me? Bewildered. Sad. Frustrated. Maybe I was a little too ambitious, but I really didn't think anything I was doing violated the TOS. Of course that TOS is slightly ambiguous in parts. I would have unpublished all of my books and started from scratch had I enough foresight, but alas... I didn't.

Amazon, here's a plea from me to future independent authors: Please complete a more thorough review of books before allowing them to be published (you suggest 24-48 hours, but most books are up within 12). Every book you took issue with had been for sale for weeks (if not months) before I had any indication I'd stepped over a line (a line I continued to step over with no warning).

What do I do now? Find a publisher for my books?

And keep writing. Keep writing.

Roadblocks are just roadblocks. There's more than one way to Omaha.

14 comments:

Deborah Walker said...

Sorry for your loss, Aaron.

And sorry for this Amazon business too. I'm sure you'll manage it, but I expect it's tedious getting it sorted.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Sorry to hear about your grandfather, Aaron. That's a good run (97), but as you noted a loss is a loss and sad nonetheless.

That's a pretty shabby way for Amazon to treat writers publishing through their service. I hope you can talk to a 'live voice' there one day...

Aaron Polson said...

Deborah - I feel a bit like Icarus. But better melted wings than never flying, I suppose.

Alan - Thanks. I'm not sure any "live voices" still exist.

K.C. Shaw said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather. And the Amazon thing is just crazy. That really sucks. I don't know what to suggest.

Aaron Polson said...

K.C. - Thanks, and Amazon... I feel like they're doing some major housecleaning right now. Things got a tad out of hand (scores of folks uploading PLR and PD content), and now they're trying to rein it in. We'll see what happens.

Diana said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather.

As for Amazon, if they're going to use robots to answer emails then they should teach those robots to read. :)

Cate Gardner said...

Sorry to hear about your grandfather, Aaron.

And boo to Amazon

Aaron Polson said...

Diana - I just received a robo-response (same as I've received before) to a question. Did the robot answer the question? Heck no.

Cate - Thanks, and yes. At least to customer service.

S. Williams said...

Sorry about your granddad, that is a good run though.
As for Amazon you’re better of dealing with their automations because their “live” people are sadly even less help.

Jarmara Falconer said...

Sorry about your grandfather, though 97 is a great age to get to, I bet he had a few tales to tell. My grandfather only lived to 26 so I never knew him. I sorry to hear Amazon blocked your books.

I wish you lots of luck for the future, Aaron

Jarmara Falconer said...

Hi Aaron, I hope you don't mind but I've just tagged you for the Lucky Seven Meme. You have to go to page 77 of your Work in Progress and select line 7 and copy out the next 7 lines of sentences, or paragraphs then find seven more people to tagged. It's a great way to promote your book or WIP.

Hope you can join in.
PS. sorry if you have already been tagged.

Daniel W. Powell said...

Sheesh, Aaron! So sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather (and happy belated birthday! I've been out of the loop for two weeks as well).

Why, specifically, did Amazon nuke your KDP account? It's not permissible to publish with a pseudonym? I hope they make everything right by you soon...

Aaron Polson said...

S. - "live" people! How quaint...

Jarmara - I need a good meme right now.

Daniel - They deemed some of my content "freely available" on the web. They've been in heavy duty crackdown mode since a glut of PLR books have hit the system in the last few years. Here's a hint: don't dare publish anything with writing advice. Just don't. (Unless you're John Locke, of course. Unless...)

brady-golden.com said...

What's PLR?