All’s well that ends well?

Looks like calling Amazon’s customer service atrocious and sending them a link to yesterday’s blog post did the trick. Last night I got an email — that seemed to be from an actual person! — that Oregon, Elsewise had been approved, and my documentation for my publishing rights was sufficient. I even got an apology for the “inconveniences.”

It’s interesting, though, that I had to start getting nasty before anyone with more than two peas for brains (or possibly anyone at all?) took a look at my case and realized how I was being sent in circles for nothing.

Lessons to take away from this rather nerve-wracking experience:

  • Whoever or whatever is on the other end of emails from the Amazon Content Review Team does not answer questions, so it is futile to ask them. Answering questions is beyond the scope of the Artificial Non-Intelligences (or ANIs for short).
  • Being tactful and diplomatic is unnecessary when dealing with ANIs, and may even be detrimental.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try again. ANIs will keep spouting blocks of text back at you in accordance with certain keywords found either in your email or the documentation you sent as proof of authorship.
  • If your case concerns a collection of short stories with a different title than any of the stories in the collection, you’re up sh*t creek to start with, and should escalate as soon as possible. ANIs have a fixation with the book title, and are incapable of understanding the difference between book title and story title.
  • Trying to address the illogical demands of the ANIs will only lead to grief. I’m not quite sure what it was in yesterday’s email that triggered an end of the runaround, but the threat of bad publicity probably doesn’t hurt. “Atrocious” or some other negative adjective in connection with “Amazon service” may also help in getting out of the vicious circle of contradictory demands in the varying text blocks.

I hope the next time something like this happens to me, I’ll remember to take my own advice!

Oh, and in the midst of all this kerfuffle, I actually sold 2 copies of Oregon, Elsewise — probably more than all of last year. 🙂

6 thoughts on “All’s well that ends well?”

  1. Congrats! Been there, done that. Indeed, doing it right now! I call them “Bad Alexa” (cf. Bad Janet from The Good Place), though I might borrow your “ANI”… except I might also re-label it Artificial Non-Understanding System…. 🙂 🙂

    1. Yeah, it’s amazing to me how Amazon can improve their author service on a whole bunch of levels — and then, at the same time, send it into the absolute pits on another. The content review seems to be a big problem at the moment. Sigh.

  2. Congrats! I followed your story with interest after having fellow writers share equally horrific tales and I really hope Amazon will improve their system. Your key takeaways are invaluable and I want to say thank you for sharing your experiences. You have given this writer hope and I’m sure helped many others going through similar frustrations.

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