Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Author verification

Coffee in the Denver skyline mug, "Razor Face" by Elton John on iTunes. Need I say it? iTunes hit again. I am full of wroth, and the object of my ire? (Yes, Bill, haven't mentioned the book-with-the-ever-plummeting-sales-ranking in, oh, at least a day. Time to resurrect it.)

I was very excited to find my book on Amazon even though it isn't due out till November. I was even more excited to discover I could create an author page and start a blog there. Sensibly, you have to be verified as the actual author of a book, you can't just link to a book and start posting away. I requested verification and provided all the necessary info for Amazon to contact my editor/publisher. I got back an automatic email:

"We have received your verification request for AmazonConnect. We will e-mail your selected verifier for confirmation of the following title:
Book Title: "A Beginner's Guide to Kiln-Formed Glass: * Fused * Slumped * Cast" "

Then I waited. No verification. I called the publisher and they haven't received anything. I wrote to Amazon to find out how I could have the email resent. I got back an automatic response from them thanking me for my interest in Amazon connect and telling me someone would get back to me in 7-10 BUSINESS DAYS.

I fumed, I puttered, I figured it out on my own and had the email resent to three different people--one of them me so I could see if the mail was getting through. Nothing. Zip, zilch, nada. So I wrote them again this morning and I am so annoyed that it is now an OPEN letter to Amazon connect:

"Dear Amazon Connect,
WHEN DOES THIS ACTUALLY HAPPEN??? I have requested the author verification be sent FOUR times to THREE different people to make sure it wasn't a mail failure. So far NO ONE but me has received email from you! This is a VERY poor service--and the worst customer service I have ever seen from Amazon. When I submitted a request for help last week I got an automatic reply that someone would get back to me in 7-10 BUSINESS DAYS! That is an extremely poor level of service. Why are you expanding into this space if you don't have the resources to support it? Or doesn't it matter because we're just the authors, not the paying customers? I am also a paying customer at Amazon--and a very good one--and I cannot tell you how soured on Amazon I am by the experience of trying to get my book verified by you!

I got back:
"Thank you for your interest in Amazon Connect. Due to the high volume of emails we are receiving, you can expect a response to your email within 7-10 business days.


Your Friends at Amazon Connect"

With friends like that...


Bill Paley said...

I'll tell you what I think about that in 10 - 14 business days.

Amazon used to have a service in which you listed various favorite authors, and whenever a new book was released by that author, you'd receive an email to your chosen address. Then, suddenly, without warning or reason, it stopped. You can still go on Amazon, and list your favorite authors, but it does nothing at all anymore, and letters of inquiry are ignored.

Brenda Griffith said...

I remember those! The "Amazon Alerts". I wrote to Amazon and asked why I wasn't getting notified way back when when the system broke and got some lame response then too. But at least I got a real person trying to be helpful. This you-will-hear-from-a-real-person-in- 7-10-days thing is just hooey.