Dear Mr. Bezos,
Well, on occasion the Mountain travels to Mohammed. As a publishing coach and micro-publisher who has enthusiastically steered hundreds of workshop attendees and clients to Amazon CreateSpace and kdp Amazon, this is one of those occasions.
I travel to Mohammed to say that I am woefully disheartened and disappointed over recent ‘Glitches’ and ‘technical problems’ [your terms] that Amazon has experienced that has affected the bottom line of many small businesses.
These ‘Glitches’ over the past two months include (a) the disappearance of ‘Buy Now’ from Amazon Product Pages, (b) the sales reporting screens freeze on thousands of authors pages the first of September; (c) September Monthly reports, which are contracted to reach authors by 15 September not being available until 17 September EOB (d) the UK sales column disappearing entirely from thousands of author screens; (e) the crash last week of the Kickstarter platform, which Amazon supports; (f) the technical problems that – this morning – prevented ‘Free Day’ books to not switch to gift-mode. The background of these problems are more fully discussed on http://kindlegate.webstarts.com/about.html of which I am the administrator.
These are significant issues that would concern any participant in a business relationship; especially when they add up. And when I read through the contract I entered into with Amazon, I understood that I had certain obligations – and that you had certain obligations. In extending Amazon’s contract to authors you explicitly extended a offer that I/we could trust your ability to perform in a top drawer fashion in America’s Top 100.
Now I understand, from headlines in The Seattle Times, that your business relationship problems spill to Amazon vendors and sellers; and (from other sources) even to the UK, Germany, and India governments. This is distressing.
And distressing also has been the experience of watching one IndieAuthor after another find their way to the kdp Community Board deluding themselves that is where answers to their lost business lay. With a thirty year in news media and community relations I can tell you I’ve never been associated with a business entity that would wait until 43,000 complaint-hits were lodged before responding to the chorus of disenfranchised. But, that is what Amazon did. Waited.
I’m going presume that your didn’t originally set out to generate the bad will that you now garner with your seeming “Screw You” attitude toward Amazon micro-authors; Amazon vendors and sellers; the Better Business Bureau; and the governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, and India.
Only a foolish business-person would not pull their business investment away from you, once their trust is compromised. And your silence – whether based on shyness or haughtiness – does not serve you well at this point. I plugged into the kdp Amazon complaint board when it had 22,000 hits and authors were clamoring for an explanation of plummeting sales contrasted to soaring analytics on social media and marketing platforms.
The proof of Amazon’s effectiveness in handling its business relationships is in the pudding. Explanations – delivered late and falling short – have not quelled Sunday headlines, tech news gloom forecasting, or a shrinking-partners base.
In short, you’ve fallen short of a clean business relationship – with me – and with thousands of others. I am disappointed in you for that. Only ‘The Future’ knows what is in store for Amazon (next earnings quarter, and beyond) my prognostication would fall quite short – I’m sure.
You could have done better in handling your woes – of that too, I am sure.