Amazon’s Big Problem with Kindle Print Books. Are You Affected?

Still Twitchy After All This Time!

What used to be a streamlined process of publishing a print book with Createspace, has become somewhat of a debacle with Kindle Print Publishing.

Many people, going back as far as the start of 2017, long before the merger, found that their print editions would stall right at the Online Previewer stage. The process would hang until an error popped up, offering no clue as to the problem.

I have just experienced that SAME error with a client book. It uploads fine, passes the auto checks for fonts, pagination, and so on, right up until the previewer is to kick on. Then it just hangs for a good ten minutes before offering an error page (below).

Generic error message from Hell!

Multiple calls to Kindle result in first being connected to India, then to tech support who promise to evaluate the issue and get back to you within 48 hours. They will call you, the customer service rep assures you. However, 48 hours later, no call, no fix, no nothing!

Now I know that Amazon is huge, publishing represents 3 percent of their revenue, but honestly, that is not my problem. I fulfill my part, process files as specified, and have done my due diligence in testing a variety of solutions. 

It is now a week and a half later and the problem persists, despite multiple upload attempts, the creation of another book file to test that possibility, altered formats, and still the same problem. I have spoken to their customer and tech support at least six times, and right now I am ready to throttle someone. My client has a big promotion ready and the uploaded, edited files are crucial. 

An Internet search suggests a myriad of possibilities. Everything from PDF output format, annotations, file size as potential issues. These are being attempted as I type this. 

What is apparent, however, is that Amazon, and Kindle, in particular, do not care about my issue, even if it is across a spectrum of users. They are big and we are little, and unless we wish to retain an attorney and publicly sue them, we are, essentially, at their mercy.

Which brings in Plan D. Convert files to Lightning Source, and take my business there. What was once convenience at Amazon, has now become an itch that cannot be scratched. 

Now I know that there are other venues offering print POD publishing. Most of those have their limitations. The big two were Amazon and Lightning Source. In the future, no doubt, as the viability of the self-publishing market continues to grow, I have no doubt there will be other companies involved. 

Have you had a problem with YOUR book getting published on Kindle Print? Let me know. 

~William

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