You may recall last week I was struggling to get a clean copy of Beauty & the Beast: A Modern Fairy Tale uploaded to Amazon.com. I kept getting an error message that read simply, “We could not process your file. Please try again.”
You may also recall I contacted Kindle Direct Publishing’s tech support and got largely informationless responses and vague assurances that they were looking into it.
Saturday, I received the following response from KDP tech support, following up from their last response a week before:
I wanted to let you know that I’m still researching the uploading issue. It’s taking longer than usual to resolve this, and I’m very sorry about the delay. I’ll be in touch with you again with an update as soon as possible.
Thanks for your continued patience.”
So after a week, they couldn’t tell me anything. I replied, asking if they could tell me anything at all about what was going on. Twenty-four hours later (KDP’s usual response time), I received the following message form a different tech:
Hope this email finds you well.
We’re currently experiencing an uploading issue where the book titles are not being uploaded correctly. Our engineers are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Uploaded data may be unavailable until the issue is resolved.
We will be in touch with you again with an update as soon as possible.
We’re sorry for any inconvenience this has caused, and appreciate your patience and understanding.
I hope this helps. Thanks for using Amazon KDP.”
So they are experiencing a problem with uploads. Okay. I knew that. And I’m pleased to hear their engineers are working on solving it.
But the response doesn’t really help. It just tells me what I already knew.
Ever the optimist, I decided to try to upload the book again before writing this blog. For the first time, it successfully converted my MS Word file to Kindle content! I fired up the previewer. Everything looked good!
Not wanting to jinx anything, I clicked on “Save & Publish” as quickly as I could get my mouse lined up. Woo-hoo!
However . . .
Your bookshelf usually gives you a message like “publishing.” But this time it was different. The status of the book is “In Review.” When I clicked on the “What’s this?” link, I got the following message:
“Your book is currently under review by the Kindle Operations team as we are trying to improve the Kindle customer experience. The Kindle Store requires approximately 12 hours for English and 48 hours for other languages to make your content available for purchase. This will not affect any titles you are currently selling in the store, but uploading updates to existing titles will take longer to process.”
Needless to say, that’s never happened before.
I was a little concerned, so I tried clicking on the book to make sure it was still on sale in the Kindle store. But the title was completely greyed out. I couldn’t do anything with it. I checked the checkbox to try to work with it to “See title in Kindle Store.” Same thing. No options were available.
So I opened a new browser window and called up Amazon’s main page. I searched for Beauty & the Beast: A Modern Fairy Tale, and it did come up. I clicked on it, and it appears to still be for sale. So, as far as I can see, Amazon did not take it off sale while they review the update, which is good.
Last week, I updated “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale” twice for the giveaway I was running. Neither time did this “In Review” result occur. So I can’t tell if this is a new policy by Amazon that went into effect this week, or if it just has to do with the ongoing upload issue that Beauty & the Beast is caught up in.
At any rate, I’ll update this space as the situation develops. If you’re publishing with KDP right now, I’d be interested to hear if you have had any sort of similar experiences. Leave a comment below.
And finally I will reiterate a couple of things I’ve written before on this subject. First, KDP’s customer service and tech support people are extremely polite. No one has been able to satisfactorily help me, but they have all been very friendly, very nice, and regretful of not being able to solve the problem on the spot. Amazon deserves kudos for its customer/vendor interactions.
Second, KDP needs a more responsive way to work with its tech support. A tech hotline or chat service would improve the help they can offer when something goes wrong. Waiting a day, a week, or more to get an answer isn’t fast enough, especially when you are launching a new title and you have promos built around it to boost sales. Here’s hoping they get whatever this issue is resolved soon and they improve their interface with authors.