Arrrgghhh! At times this publishing stuff can be a bit of a challenge to the patience, let me tell you!
The book A LIFE SOLD is published via Print On Demand (POD), through the world’s largest POD printer, LightningSource. This means that I do not have to pay for copies to be printed up-front. When someone orders a copy it is printed and bound to order, and despatched.
LightningSource (LS) supply POD books to Amazon and many other online retailers. They provide a direct feed of book info to retailers, who can choose to hold a small supply of books, or simply use LS to fulfill orders as they are received. Amazon prefers to hold a supply of books in stock.
So, all was going well. The book had appeared on Amazom.com, and I ordered quite a few copies to send out to some of the people who I wished to thank for their part in my journey. Orders were going out, books were being shipped, and yesterday I even received emails from two people who have already received their copy.
However, Amazon had done something slightly odd with the listing. When I filled in the book details with LightningSource, I had credited Moe and Kris as my editors. In the Amazon listing, which draws its info from LS, it looked like all three of us were co-authors. “Just change the listing at LightningSource,” Moe suggested, “and remove us as editors.” It seemed like the easiest solution.
However, I have now discovered to my cost that to alter the book data, LS marks the book temporarily as unavailable to print. This happens only for a few hours, until the data is changed, then the book is back as available.
However, this interruption causes Amazon to mark the book as “temporarily unavailable”, or even as “out of stock”! Surely Amazon’s listing returns to full availability as soon as LS updates their feed. Apparently not!
The book has now been listed for several days as “usually delivered in 3 to 5 weeks”, with an additional “so you won’t receive this order until after Christmas” if you do try to order it.
I rang LS to see what their suggestion was. It can take Amazon anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks to update the feed. I emailed Amazon several times, and received various responses – “We’ve sold out of that title!”, “We’re waiting for new stock.”, “It’s an automated system.” etc etc.
I even tried to ring Amazon this morning – that can be a challenge in itself. I finally got through to a help rep – he would have to transfer me to the Seller Support Department…. no luck – they are closed today because it’s a public holiday – Happy Thanksgiving!
I’m hoping to get this resolved before the end of the week, or early next week at the latest. You should still be able to get the book well before Christmas. I have already placed more orders on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and expect these to be sent out as soon as the book comes back online as available.
In the meantime, ere are the links for the book on Amazon sites around the world:-
Happy Thanksgiving to all.