So, a thing happened. I can't remember if I talked about it here or over at The Writing Spectacle, but this is the gist of it... Earlier this month, I got a letter from Amazon. It talked about illegitimate page reads and how they weren't paying for those or some such nonsense. I read it, thought it was a general letter to authors in the KU program, and filed it in the Archives. Then I dilly-dallied checking out my September numbers until a few days ago. Imagine my surprise, when the report showed a big fat zero in the place where it should've shown money for my page reads.
Then I remembered the letter.
I went into the Archives and pulled the letter out. I guess it wasn't for everyone after all. At the bottom, it said if I had any questions to reply to the letter, so I did. I got an auto-gram stating it could take up to 5 days to research my case. This morning, I got a new letter telling me basically nothing. It did assure me that my account is still in good standing, but reaffirming the fact that illegitimate page reads were not going to get paid for. But not actually saying my page reads were illegitimate or what have you.
Basically what I took from the reply was that those page reads I had in September are gone and I have no recourse to get my big whopping $3.79 from Amazon. Sort of a 'so sorry, Charlie, but you're screwed. Thanks for playing and we appreciate your business.' kind of thing.
Except now I don't feel like I can trust Amazon to give me a definite accounting of what I'm getting paid. I mean, it's always been a case of trust. Authors have to trust all of their sales outlets to give them the right numbers and then to put the right amounts into their bank accounts. We have to trust the booksellers to not screw us royally. And I can do that. I have done it for over 6 years now. Except now I can't.
Amazon wants me to continue to trust them, but they don't trust that my sales are real sales. As if I somehow got someone to make up page reads somehow and risked my account in order to bilk the big 'Zon out of less than $4. I'm the chick who found a pricey cell phone at the lake and then did my damndest to find the owner, including waiting around at a safe location for someone to come pick up the thing. I'm the gal at the Walmart who stops the dude whose dollar just fell out of his pocket. I couldn't have been in on it. And since I wasn't in on it, they have got to be somehow thinking there's a Robin Hood character randomly faking page reads so the little guys like me can have pennies out of the big KU pool. I can't parse it any other way.
And they want me to remain exclusive with them throughout all this. Except if I can't trust them to report the right page reads to me, how can I trust them to report actual sales? How can I trust that tomorrow they won't tell me my book sales are illegitimate and they aren't paying for those either? =o\
I've been a good little author. I was on the frontlines defending Amazon when anyone would say anything negative about them. And they thumbed their nose at me.
Now, taking my books off Amazon would be stupid. They're still the biggest fish in town and cancelling my books on there would be like cutting off nose because I ran afoul of a skunk. Still need my nose, even if sometimes it encounters something that stinks. But I am taking my books out of KU. I can't see any other way around the lack of trust there.
Unfortunately, a whole bunch of my books just re-upped for a 90 day stint. If you're a subscriber, and you still want to read my books through KU, you'd better get cracking.
I managed to get Ugly and the Beast out just as it was renewing. And Cinder Ugly a day before it went. Sleeping Ugly should be out on the 1st. That's one series. As for the rest of them, they fall out eventually.
I had hoped to do some kind of sale thing, but right now, I'm too meh. I need to start thinking about going wide with all of these, which means changing back matter, etc.
It sucks. Truly. And you might think 'All this over $3.79???', but what if it was $379? Or $3790? Put it another way... What if it was $4 from me and $4 from you and $4 from every author in the KU program? Why are we even in this thing if they can do this to any of us with no reason, no explanation, or anything?
They kicked me, who's no bigger than a guppy in the grand scheme of publishing. I wonder how many other guppies they kicked this month.
So, I'm out of it. As soon as I can be out of it. It was good while it lasted. Time to dust off my Draft to Digital account and see if I can't pick my sales up off the floor. A MODEL CURSE will be the first series to launch there. I'll let you know about that and about the other series and singles as they become available widely.
By the way, don't look for me to do NaNoWriMo this year. Maybe it'll be a NaNoEdMo if I can get my head out of my as... armpit long enough to get back to work on Untitled Fantasy, but there will be no new words.