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Amazon and the Case of the Missing Entries
Posted by Barbara Leavy on Feb 23 2011, 7:31 PM

It was hard to get rid of that sense of stigma, despite newspaper articles that proclaimed self-publishing was on the rise and getting more acceptable.  And when the book was listed, with image, on Amazon.com, it nestled happily (well, I was happy) among my other books and near my Author's Page.  The times they were a-changing, and anyway, I had noteworthy credentials, five books listed on Amazon.

Then one day as I was idly looking at my Amazon listing, I discovered something that elated me.  Below my five books were about three pages of other books, with images, in which it was clear I was quoted, cited, or had exerted some influence.  Any lingering concern about establishing my authority as a critic and scholar were dispelled.  I was scheduled to leave on a two week trip and departed with a lighter step.

When I came back, I decided to look at this list more closely.  Did I know most of these books?  Which aspects of my previous work had influenced them. To more dismay I discovered THE LIST WAS GONE.  Where was it?

From that point there commenced a series of e-mails with some anonymous service person connected with Author Central on Amazon.  Please put back the list, I pleaded.  I have just published a new book with a sefl-publishing division of Amazon and you will benefit from the increased sales I may get because of the list.  I heard that the matter would be looked into. A few days went by and I repeated the plea and got the same response.  I called Amazon's customer service phone.  There was no way to call Author Central.  My e-mails became stronger and the response changed.  Regret that Author Central could not always satisfy its authors was the content of the reply.

You don't understand, I persisted.  I never asked for that list.  You gave it to me.  Why did you take it away?  The same seemingly automatic response, we are sorry we cannot always give authors what they want (or some such wording).  I became convinced I was trying to communicate with a robot sitting somewhere in a dark room full of spinning wheels, computer printouts, and programs generating boiler plate responses.  I gave up.  The listing was never restored.

BUT . . . if you go to Amazon.co.uk (Great Britain), there it is!  At least it was yesterday. When I finish this posting, I am going to check again.

Don't ask!  I don't know!

 

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