This is just a little bitty rant tirade story of a discouraged woman. (I hesitate to rehash my bad luck on Friday the 13th, but I’m feeling daring. So here goes …)

Last year, after thinking about it for a long while, I finally self-published a book. It was an easy decision for me. I had a three book series that had gone out of print at my original publisher and I didn’t see any reason not to self-publish. I’m very happy I did. I highly recommend it. (Seriously, even after you read this little tale of woe, I wouldn’t have wanted to do anything different with this series.)

But … (isn’t there always a but?) I really can’t seem to catch a break. *sigh*

The books were originally written as erotic suspense. They were basically my first attempt at writing erotic romance and I was still learning the craft of telling a sexually explicit love story. What I discovered is that they weren’t the right kind of story for erotic romance readers, but were too explicit for main stream contemporary romance readers. I rewrote them and toned down the sex and amped up the suspense.

In 2011 when I released BLIND HER WITH BLISS and DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE, I had my artist design sexy covers for them. Though they weren’t erotica, they were still on the “hot” side of romance. When they didn’t sell, I stepped back and reassessed. I had the covers redesigned, changed the titles (the ones they currently have) to reflect the suspense element and edited even more sex out of the books.

I was really pleased with the changes and set out marketing. In the fall of 2011 the third book CHEAT HER WITH CHARM was released, but still I couldn’t help people find my books. A sale in December popped the sales a little, but still not what I was hoping. I decided to offer the first book free in February. The downloads were going well, when Amazon decided to throw my book out of romantic suspense and contemporary romance into the erotic category. And the downloads came to a screeching halt. Readers that downloaded the book thinking it was erotic romance were very disappointed. It took me over a week to get Amazon to correct the problem. By the time Amazon had it back in the right categories the momentum had been lost and the number of downloads never did rebound.

Mid-April I made the mistake of taking it off free. Thinking sales would continue as they had, the sales went completely downhill.

I decided to make it free again at the beginning of June. But in Amazon’s infinite wisdom they price matched the wrong book. It took a week to get that straightened out. But now I have BLIND HER WITH BLISS free at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Sony and Diesel, but Amazon won’t price match. As a matter of fact they have now decided this book … that isn’t erotic romance … is too explicit to list in general searches by Amazon readers.

Try searching it. It’s gone.

Yes, my direct links work. But you can’t go to Amazon and search “Nina Pierce” and have it show up in my list of books. You can’t find it by searching the title. And now I am fighting with Amazon to convince them that the book is not explicit and should be listed and searchable.

I’m ringing my hands. What I’ve learned is that when this is all said and done I’m leaving it. No more messing with prices. No more trying to price match. Just sit back and let things percolate and let Amazon lose sight of me. In the meantime … anyone have any suggestions?

0 Responses to Nina’s Unhappy Amazon Adventure

  • Nina, I’m with you. Until it is easier to change prices mine will get one and stay there. It is too hard to get Amazon to agree to anything.

    • Jill – I had to experiment. But I think I’ve found the price point that works. Seriously, when this gets settled … I’m done!

  • I’m not a writer so I don’t have any experience with your publishing/sales issues with Amazon or any place else, but when I get annoyed I get stubborn about it & try to contact the company at issue any way I can by phone to speak to a live person & ask who can help, ask for a manager, even send an email to some one high up to tell them about my problem experience. Here’s Jeff Bezos email jeff@amazon.com.(got that off the Amazon site). If you are experiencing this problem, other authors are too. And point out not only are you loosing sales, but Amazon is impacting their commission too.

    • Diane – In this day and age it’s getting harder and harder to talk to a real person, but you’re right when I can find the number I try really hard to call. There’s nothing like having someone on the other end who wants to help.

      And thank you so much for the email addie. I think I’m going to try a couple of other email paths before going directly to the top. But you’re right, I suspect other authors are having the same kind of problem. *sigh*

  • Nina,I’m so sorry. I hate that instead of making it easier they make it a challenge and just make people want to walk away. they don’t respect us enough to help us from what it seems. I truly am sorry for everything.

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