A canned reply is all that Amazon brass is handing the literary community on why thousands of high-performing authors book-sales dashboards have frozen. In the past month over 22,000 Amazon.com eBook authors have scrambled to the giant online retailer’s kdp Amazon Community Board to complain to the global Goliath about the appearance of lost book sales.
Visit Are Your Sales Figures Updating Normally Now? for details. https://kdp.amazon.com/community/forum.jspa?forumID=7 for more.
“My sales figures screen has frozen,” has become a common complaint among thousands of independent authors who have flocked to Amazon’s book distribution platform in search of an explanation of sudden, and dramatic, lost revenue.
The most recent glitch in sales reporting seems to have begun on 14 September. On that date, Tasha Harrison [no relationship to A.V. Harrison Publishing] posted this message, which has received 22,843 viewings:
When the reports glitch happened 2 weeks ago, my sales figures froze for several days. Before this, my novel Package Deal (which I uploaded to Amazon back in February) had grown steadily to sell about 5 copies a day.
Since my sales figures started updating again, I’ve only been selling about 1.5 copies a day. I emailed KDP about the problem who apologised for the glitch and said they were still working to fix things. Then I emailed again yesterday, asking when, roughly, could I expect to see my figures return to normal, and they replied saying everything was now fixed and my sales figures were already back to normal.
… is anyone else experiencing a similar problem?
Ms. Harrison’s query out to colleague authors started an avalanche of sympathy messages and an outpouring of the retelling of similar experiences from the IndieAuthor community.
Usually authors keep their royalty figures under their hat and take it on the chin if book sales plummet. In this case, authors are screaming for an explanation, and the silence from Amazon has been tomb-like. I like that comparison, as I write about the after-life.
I contacted kdp Amazon yesterday asking for an explanation of why my sales dashboard had frozen, but my Amazon Rank was climbing. Actually, I did receive a response to my query from kdp Amazon rather quickly. The Amazon representative responded that there was no problem – everything checked out. Although immediately after my query, my Author Ranking dropped 21,000 points!
I have been in contact with several author friends who have experienced their own inexplicable drop in sales. One California high-performing author who contacted me has been selling twenty-five books a day over the past year. This author’s sales have dropped to ten books a day since 14 September. Another author, from Australia, reports that she usually sells thirty copies a month of her leading book, but that her book-sales dashboard indicates only two book sales this month. In both cases, that’s quite a drop. Especially in the case of these two well know authors, whose marketing experience is extensive. But a read-through of the kdp Amazon Community board on this topic is wildly illuminating on past-sales in the pre-14 September golden days.
Ms. Hill offered these personal statistics in her curiosity over her own frozen US book-sales dashboard:
Yes, my US sales (usually over 200 a month, has been frozen for four days – since I ran a KDP freebie last Friday) ~ I usually sell 60 – 90 books in the UK, but this month I’ve sold 8 (eight).
I have a last weekend news release which has enjoyed 802 hits in TWO days, but has resulted in no sales. Visit http://www.prlog.org/11999016-seventh-haunted-house-located-by-seattle-author-this-one-in-the-wallingford-district.html for details. My Facebook fan weekly total-reach for the past TWO days has been 572, although that reach has resulted in no sales. I use Twitter extensively and my TweetReach hits 7,984 Tweeters with an ‘impressions’ range of 109,000 but, according to kdp Amazon, there have been no sales to record on my US dashboard.
It’s a paranormal phenomenon!
About the Reviewer: Emily Hill
Emily Hill is owner of A.V. Harrison Publishing - a coaching service for Traditionally Published and Self-Published authors on the topics of trends in publishing and getting to market. She is also the author of a number of independently published titles including a series of ghost stories in the series 'The Ghost Chaser's Daughter'. Writing ghost stories is her passion. . . Bwahahaha! Come see her. . . on Halloween!