Monday, November 24, 2008

Hiccups in the Create Space process

All roads lead to Amazon ... and some of them seem to have rucks and potholes. Now and then, a work gang hauls out the jackhammers and digs them up --

FORTUNES OF WAR is about halfway to ... and stalled, dead in the water, pending an actual living human being at fixing a problem in the automatic system. And of course, it would have to happen at the weekend!

One of the (few) shortcomings of Create Space is that they don't work weekends. They try to get back to your emails with an answer inside of 24 hours, but in fact, it can take 48 ... which means, if you have a problem late-ish on Thursday, you can wait till the following Monday to get an acknowledgment of it, much less get it fixed.

This is where FORTUNES OF WAR is at this point: suspended in limbo, about halfway between the prep work to set up the book, and that halcyon day when, having received and approved the proof, you can click on the "Go!" button, and start the remaining 14-day process of getting the book into the, engine.

The hiccup seems to have occurred in the shopping cart routine -- the whole thing is automatic; might be Java, I don't have much idea of the system them use, and there are so many these days, it could be virtually anything.

You clicked on 'check out,' and 'confirm order' ... and the system seemed to hang; it cycled and cycled for a loooong time (maybe 20 minutes) and then the whole computer gridlocked. You rebooted the system, and had a look at your email account: phew! There's the order confirmation ... good golly, it went through anyway!

Or did it? Because now you try to do the upgrade to the Pro Package for your next book (which is AQUAMARINE -- therefore this one also is stuck in the same limbo!) and -- whoopsie, what's this? There's FORTUNES OF WAR, still in the shopping cart.

So you try to adjust the cart to delete the proof you already ordered (not wanting to drop another A$42 for a second copy) -- you get an error page; gridlock. So you groan and accept the $42 rabbit-chop and try to check out ... you get an error page stating, "this order has already been processed."

So, you can't check out, can't adjust the cart. Right. Next: you contact Customer Support with a report of the whole thing, including order numbers and the entire sheebang. And, uh, wait.

Monday morning, downunder is still Sunday in the States, on account of the dateline situation. What concerns me right now is, Create Space didn't send an autoresponder "ping" with a "ticket number" issued for the original message ... which makes me wonder if we made contact with Customer Support at all, three days ago. We have to wait another day before querying.

So, this Monday morning you find Keegan performing hair-tearing-out activities and bashing skull against nearest wall.

The downside to this is -- it's making THE LORDS OF HARBENDANE late. Till this whole thing is solved, no new book can be processed through CreateSpace: they won't release a new book to without sending you a proof (the aforementioned A$42 process -- including postage obviously).

So, the earliest we could be "clearing" HARBENDANE for would be something like December 12 -- after which takes around 14 more days to bring the book alive in its engine and shopping pages.

Means THE LORDS OF HARBENDANE will "go live" at ... after Christmas.

This is not good news, and it's not what was promised to readers who've been waiting for the book. We apologise profusely, and/but what we can do about it is beyond me.

The novel WILL be available as an ebook in plenty of time for Christmas.

The copy will be online about five days after the ebook is released.

The release will have to wait until 2009, which drives you bonkers, but ... what can you do? Apologies all around, folks. The unforeseen has a nasty habit of happening -- and it just did.

Better news, and amusing stuff tomorrow.


No comments:

Post a Comment