New Blood Edition, New Website
After a process much delayed by vicissitudes in this author’s life, his new website is up and running. And in his not-so-humble opinion, it’s a beaut.
Kudos go to the designer, Cas Fick of Cas Fick Designs, for her creative flair – and Job-worthy patience in finishing this job, which began in September and was placed on hold for several months due to events that prevented my completion of a Second Edition of Blood on Their Hands. The website address is: www.bobrinkwriter.net. You may notice the similarity to the old website’s handle, which ended in .com. Ms. Fick uses the relatively new Wix website creation system, which purportedly is less complicated that the WordPress system of the previous site – though I find most things on the computer to be maddeningly complex. Check it out.
One cause of delay was work on my next book, a work of creative nonfiction centering on heavy-duty crime. It entailed analysis of thousands of documents, and I’m in the final stages of revisions to the manuscript. A film producer/entertainment consultant in Texas plans to shop it to other producers in the dim hope that it will not end up on the sizable piles of rejected submissions.
A writer herself, hailing from British Columbia, Canada, Fick is drawn to science fiction and fantasy, and is in the midst of completing a sci-fi thriller. These days, that’s a special challenge, what with technological developments once considered magical thinking now nearing reality (as if
self-driving cars weren’t fantastical, flying cars purportedly are
on the near horizon). Here is the link to her own website: https://www.cmfick.com/ .
The launching of my new website was timed to coincide with the debut of the Second Edition of Blood on Their Hands. That process turned out to be arduous – far more difficult and time-consuming than I anticipated. The new cover, which I love and hope you, dear reader, do too, was designed by an outfit called 100 Covers, which also exhibited patience in thrice making revisions I requested upon the sound advice of authors in a Facebook forum. I acted on a half-off offer made in collaboration with stellar book marketer Sandra Beckwith. I also paid formatting firm Word-2-Kindle to prepare the book interior for publication by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
Trouble began immediately after I submitted the two parts to KDP. I had correctly answered a question on the submission form as to the date of the original edition, and that date appeared with the Second Edition on the book page on Amazon. Phone calls and emails to five KDP agents generated the advice to republish the book with a new ISBN. I’d paid $110 for that ISBN, and wasn’t about to pay for Amazon’s mistake. Finally, a KDP manager named Dylan came to the rescue, and had the error fixed in short order.
Next, the Second Edition vanished from the book page, with only the original edition showing. I pointed out in an email to KDP that the publisher had agreed to terminate our contract last fall, and publication ceased Oct. 20, 2021. An agent named Eric said the reason was an advertising campaign for the original edition. I blamed KDP for the screw-up, but Ms. Beckwith pointed out that only the publisher could be republishing that edition. KDP advised me to file a notice of copyright infringement, which I did after receiving no reply to five phone and email messages to the publisher asking for confirmation that she did not republish the book.
After that, the original edition disappeared from the book page. But so did all 45 customer reviews and the two editorial reviews that the book had received. Reviews are the lifeblood of authors, or online sellers of any other merchandise. I phoned KDP customer service, and was told that issue was the purview of KDP’s Community section. It doesn’t provide phone support, so I sent an email. The
reply was automated advice to read the guidelines on reviews – which, I figured, were not germane to the issue.
I drafted a full-page letter indicating I strongly suspected the reason that the reviews vanished. I’d decided to read the guidelines, and discovered that reviews would be deleted “if we unlink two titles that were incorrectly linked,” in which case the reviews would appear only on “the detail page of the book for which they were first posted.” Aha! The key phrase was “two titles.” This was one title, two editions. KDP unlinked the two editions, thinking they were incorrectly linked, and sent the reviews packing. Another policy statement said reviews of earlier versions of updated books would not be removed from the updated, or new, edition. In the letter, I referenced these provisions in the guidelines.
What was the response to this email? “I understand that you are requesting to remove review.” Further, “we read the review and did not find that it qualifies for removal …” It was a totally irrelevant response, in no way germane to the issue, and I can only conclude that the agent either never read my letter or mixed it up with one from another author.
Exasperated, I copied my letter and the agent’s response in an email to my old friend Dylan, who’d fixed the Second Edition’s publication date. He replied the next day, apologizing and promising to investigate.
I await breathlessly.