I’ve been shamefully addicted to my email inbox lately. Three months ago, I never checked the damn thing. Once I scored a foreign translation agent and a book-to-film agent, that all changed. Not much goes on in my inbox in the afternoon (get your head out of the gutter. Yes, you), because my agents are all in the United Kingdom. This makes mornings suddenly very exciting for me. I get up, kiss my cowboy and the kids, and open my laptop to see what new present might be waiting.
A week ago, the waiting surprise was not a good one. Amazon wrote to notify not that they would be taking my book off sale, but that it was already unavailable. The worst part? They only gave a vague reason why: Beautiful Disaster is causing some Kindle devices to crash.
I had a million questions. All would take 2-3 days for Amazon KDP to answer. What devices? What part of my book was causing them to crash? How could that be after a year of being published? Who had reported this, and was Amazon verifying these reports were correct? What did I need to correct in order for this not to reoccur? I did the only thing I knew to do. I re-uploaded the same file. Sixteen hours later, it passed the conversion and review process, and was once again available for sale. Longest sixteen hours of my writing career. When Beautiful Disaster was back online, I was disheartened to see it had dropped ten spots in the rankings. I had waited a year for that spot 19! To my great relief, it only took two days to regain my rank. A few hours after I hit number 19 again, I got another email from Amazon. The same email. They had removed Beautiful Disaster from the site. I was livid. They still hadn’t answered my questions from the last time they’d removed it. I called formatters and emailed Amazon employees. I contacted other authors who I thought might have contacts at Amazon and emailed their contacts. Finally, thanks to Tina Reber, I got hold of Jeff Bezos’s email address, and emailed him directly.
My editor, Jim Thomsen directed me to formatter Stephen Penner, who helped me to reformat Beautiful Disaster with Mobi Pocket Creator. A few hours later, Jim Bezos’ executive relations director replied to my email and told me exactly what was wrong with my file. I still don’t know how this happened, other than maybe my MacBook (I used to use a PC) could be to blame. At any rate, Mr. Penner’s suggestion worked.
For everyone that helped me get Beautiful Disaster back online: Jessica Park, Tina Reber, Jim Thomsen, Denise Grover Swank, and Brian Mitchell: Thank you! You made me feel not quite so helpless during a very confusing time.
This week has been marginally better. Apart from weird goings on at home (things breaking, kids fighting, no writing getting done at ALL) the career front has been a nice surprise. Beautiful Disaster recovered its Amazon ranking to #19, and going strong, and is now #2 on the Indie best seller list, as well as #68 and #19 on USA TODAY’S and the NEW YORK TIMES best seller lists, respectively.
Another milestone is news that ShareTermPapers.com, my least favorite sharing site has banned eBooks sharing. Jennifer Armentrout wrote a great blog about eBook sharing here: http://jenniferarmentrout.blogspot.com/2012/05/piracy-wtfery.html
Also, more good news. I woke up to the best Google Alert to date: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118054521 BEAUTIFUL DISASTER was mentioned in a Variety article about eBooks and Hollywood. Many of you have asked if BEAUTIFUL DISASTER will be made into a movie. The answer is: I hope so! I do have a film agent, Ms. Rebecca Watson of Valerie Hoskins Associates (sound familiar? They are of EL James and Fifty Shades of Grey mega-deal fame). She is, in a word, a total spit fire and that hope could very well be a reality. I hope. Fingers crossed. I’ll let you know the second I know if BEAUTIFUL DISASTER has been optioned.
Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!