No, no I’m not pulling my book from them. Future books will still be there. It costs me nothing but my sanity which I hardly have any of and wasn’t using anyhow.
Still, it is bloody obnoxious. And if Amazon didn’t make up 60% of book sales in, the US for sure, possibly the world, I might consider not using them. Still, won’t pull stuff, I’d simply at the point it wasn’t financially idiotic I’d stop putting new stuff there.
What’s so obnoxious? Well, the afore ranted .mobi and its idiotic handling of ToC data, how the Amazon builders for it don’t even follow Amazon’s own instructions for how to ensure there’s a ToC. The fact they insist on using stupid .mobi instead of ePub … you know, like every other freaking eBook system out there (sans a few of the first Sony eReaders, but they hardly count for anything. Who uses even the new ones?). There’s the lunatic ways they sort and rank where a single sale counts more if the book is priced higher, or a single five star review doesn’t count as much as two one star reviews and so on.
The newest reason to go find a solid surface and beat my head against it repeatedly? The sales reports. According to those I’ve sold 2x more copies than the royalties reports show. What does this mean to those who’ve never looked at the KDP interface? Just this, there’s one report screen that shows units sold counts divided by free promo units sold, units sold, units returned, and so on. According to this I’ve sold X in the US and Y in Spain. Other countries I’ve, sadly, only sold promo units. Now, there’s a place below that to click where you will be shown a royalties report (again divided by country). According to this I’ve got no royalties for Spain and my royalties in the US are ½X. I’d be pissed, but I’ll worry about being pissed after it’s had time to sort itself out, because you know, this being the age of computers and the internet and instant count updates Amazon is still stuck in teh 1960s and can take awhile to actually update these things. By hours or days or weeks.
Why? Because, as I’ve said before, they’re the fucking WalMart of the damned internet. They think they’re big enough to get away with anything they want, or just are so big they don’t think they need to give a damn. Trouble is, I think it’s this attitude that is helping Nook and iBooks sales to be on a very sharp climb. I don’t know how long it’ll be before they’re making Amazon nervous, but I hope when they do they won’t be doing it the way the Big Publishers got nervous about indie publishing and eBooks and decide to get stupider. Oh well, we can only pray.
There. Venting over.
In further news I’m maybe ⅓ to ½ finished with the next book in my secret project. Shan is supposed to eventually be editing the first book. It will be published under pseudonym, as I’ve said, for numerous reasons. Bonus points if you figure it out, and since I’ve got good reason to use the pseudonym I’m not announcing what it is right off. Call it an experiment. I want to see what the reactions are and how it does on its own BEFORE my real name is ever in anyway associated with it. The point I’m making is that will leave me free for a little while to work on the next Universal Nexus story.
I’m working on several, from a very special point of view, but the one I’m expecting to wrap up next is Jasmine’s story.
Jasmine is one of the parents in the large and diverse family Georgia (of Stolen Time fame) grew up in. She is from the Vorton galaxy, one of the three galaxies that make up the Universal Nexus setting. The story (or it even might become a series, I’m not sure – I don’t usually know this stuff till I get there) tells of her adventures growing up during the Dichidian Expansion, a nasty piece of Vortonian history wherein a terribly vicious, remorseless, violent race of lizardmen unite under one powerful and depraved leader who they follow through a more than two century campaign to control the galaxy. It is a bit more of a classic Epic Space Opera with the big bad being a huge, dangerous organised power (think like the Empire in Star Wars, only imagine if Palpatine were a savage prick who didn’t acknowledge the sentience of anything but his own species and considered all others either food, pets, vermin, or a combination thereof) with the small but valiant forces of The Good Guys standing proudly and desperately against this (Minas Tirith in LotR would be an apt analogy, I think … only imagine that all free peoples of a galaxy that are left are either there or at least sending their able bodied there to fight).
Sound pretty bad assed? It’s a wretch to write, honestly, but it seems a really good story and one I look forward to seeing all of. On a related note one of Shannon’s major projects is also centred on the Dichidian expansion, and a character who has a part in Stolen Time, one Herr Professor Viktor Blue who shows up much later than the setting of Jasmine’s story. It gives a lot of insight into some of the things that Stolen Time says about he and torture, he and nightmares, and it goes into a little bit about some of this.
Anyway, that’s what you can look forward to.