It is release day for a short story collection I’ve put together. However, the Amazon version of my book is MIA. I submitted it Sunday, thinking it was plenty of time to make the release, but it’s still “In Review.” I could postpone the release date, but then Amazon could end up rejecting the book for any multitude of real or fabricated reasons, and I’ll have wasted more time.

I uploaded to Smashwords yesterday, and it took exactly four minutes for the book to be available in their library. (Although for some reason, I do seem to have the literary equivalent of a “green thumb” when it comes to getting through their sometimes frustrating autovetter process.)

This scenario is one of the reasons behind having an Erotic Authors Guild´╗┐. Now, Amazon doesn’t care about erotic authors individually… a whole Guild of them, probably not all that much more. But, we do have the opportunity to educate others about the pros and cons of the different book publishing sites.

The Guild’s focus should not be “let’s boycott Amazon.” As a director, my personal stance and opinions are going to differ from other directors. Plus, it’s not in the interest of our authors as a whole at this time. But it is important that we educate one another, and those around us, about alternatives that are available.

Thus far this year, I’ve had a book pulled from the Amazon shelf for an entire week, because a known book pirate maliciously lied and claimed ownership of the cover art. A clueless Amazon representative even told me at one point that I needed to “reimburse” the pirate for my use of the cover art. In the same fiasco, they even suspended my ENTIRE Amazon bibliography for nearly a full day, forcing me to e-mail them a statement that I “agree not to post material which violates their polices” (which I had not done in the first place.) Next, I made a price change to another book, and that simple adjustment also took several days to go through. And now, a release deadline which was partially sabotaged by their process.

This is clearly not how a merchant should be treating its customers. I urge extreme caution to anyone who would write books for a living, and tie their livelihood to putting all of their eggs into such a basket. If we were treated like this by any other service provider in our lives–our cable provider, our physician, our auto mechanic, etc.–we’d likely discontinue use of their services on the spot.

So, I am going forward with the release of my book “Crossroads” on Smashwords. If Amazon removes its collective head from its posterior and gets the book up, fine. I’ll provide the link. If not, fine as well. Either way, I’ll still encourage my readers to support Smashwords which actually cares about its members.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/465076

If you haven’t checked out Smashwords, I highly recommend it. Besides the obvious attraction that they’re not Amazon, they have a decent interface and you can use Paypal. If there is a “learning curve” with actually getting the downloaded books onto your e-reader, I will be happy to help.

Thanks all, and happy reading…