Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mid-Week Update: Covergate

A cautionary tale about book covers and Amazon:
I know summers are slow, so I haven't been surprised to see sales slowing. In fact, throughout July, I counted my blessings. Considering everything, I had a stellar month. But over the last few days, sales really slowed. I cringed and threw myself into the writing. We all have ups and downs. I know to expect them. I repeated the well-worn mantra: Writing is a long-haul game.

Yesterday I guess I felt masochistic. I did something I haven't done in a long time: browsed through Amazon's genre bestsellers lists to see how far I'd fallen. That's when I saw that my book cover had disappeared entirely. I'm now the proud author of "Image not available." 

To add to the bucket o' suck, I don't know how long this has been going on. The cover shows up on my product page and on my editing details page just fine. It's also the same image I've used since I first uploaded back in January. My thumbnail conforms to every Amazon requirement. It's the same image I've been using for seven months with no problems. Several books around mine on these same lists also do not have covers. Some are through major publishers and I know they are supposed to have covers. Authors, you might want to check and make sure this isn't happening to you. 

I fired off the appropriate emails. I started a thread on Kindle Boards in case anyone else was having a similar problem. I went to bed with twin sensations of "That sucks" and "That explains a lot." Then I had some weird dream about turning into a fish. (Some of you were fish too.) I was the only fish who knew about the slowly creeping algae coming to kill us all. My warnings were met with a trip to fish church, to repent my false fishly ways. 

Fish church must be very cathartic, because I woke up feeling great. It struck me that people have been buying my book without a cover. Who does that? Not me. But it's been happening with some regularity. Why I'm not ranked in the millions is a mystery to me. I also realized the whole thing was out of my control. Amazon is a massive corporation that makes mistakes both large and small. So I got caught this time. Not my fault. Worse things have happened to friends of mine. 

The irony is: I finally have a new set of covers for the whole series that I really love. They're super sexy and perfect for the edgy direction I'm taking the second editions. So I guess the whole thing is fate with a weird dream thrown in. Oh, and really, you should all check to make sure your covers haven't disappeared.

As far as writing goals, stellar progress on the third Gifts book. A little progress on Blake House. I worked on it one day since my last post. Then I wrote approx. 2,000 words on Gifts Book 3. There are lots of exciting developments in the marketing and release department, but it's a bit massive to get into right now. I'm desperate to do a cover reveal, but that, too, is a separate post. I hope everyone is having a productive week. I feel really fortunate today to belong to such a talented and upbeat group of writers.