Plucky Grandmother Loses Battle with Amazon, Wins with BookBaby. Apple's Trying Hard to Be Helpful

10 Oct

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy - The subject of controversy. You wouldn't think an angel could cause this much fuss. The Angel occurs the night before a nuclear holocaust wipes out our world. It features an extraterrestrial visitor who comes to Earth on a mission to save her planet and a sixteen-year-old tech genius who has the skills to save our world. It's won four national awards, including the Gold Medal in the IPPYs and the Visionary Fiction category in the Indie Excellence Awards. It is available on Amazon in print and Kindle formats, though not in the KDP program any more.

If you wonder what I’m talking about in the title, check out yesterday’s post.  My eBooks are on Amazon’s KDP program, which means you have to distribute your eBooks exclusively through Amazon. This gives you the right to give away your books as a promotion for 5 days out of the 90 day enrollment period.

One of my books inadvertently was left on Apple’s iBookstore when I signed up for KDP. I didn’t know about it. Amazon found the book for sale on line and told me I had 10 days to get if off the iBookstore or get kicked out of the KDP program. (This was about ten days ago.) I found out that, my secondary distributor, had pulled it off the iBookstore site six months ago.

For some reason, my book, The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy, stayed for sale on the iBookstore.

Why? I don’t know. Apple doesn’t know. They’re working on it. But! I have a KDP promotion scheduled THIS WEEKEND, October 12, 13, and 14. I’ve advertised it. I’ve promoted it. I want to go through with it.

I wrote Amazon and explained all this, asking for a few days for Apple to figure out the problem and let me do this weekend’s KDP program with one less worry. I sent Amazon records from BookBaby indicating they had pulled the title from the iBookstore. I sent copies of my emails to Apple & their response. I got down on my hands and knees and begged. This is Amazon’s response, taken from their email earlier today:

Hello Sandy,

When you choose KDP Select for a book, you’re committing to make the digital format of that book available exclusively through KDP.

Publishing your content in multiple parts or a varied format on another site is not acceptable. All content made exclusive to Amazon in KDP Select must remain for sale on our site only. However, you may choose to make up to 10% of your book available on other sites as a sample.

During the period of your book’s enrollment in KDP Select, you cannot distribute your book digitally anywhere else, including on your website, blogs, etc. However, you can continue to distribute your book in physical format, or in any format other than digital.

Be sure to look at the KDP Select Terms & Conditions here:

If you have additional questions about KDP Select, check out our Help pages:

I hope this helps. Thanks for publishing with Amazon KDP.


Michael G.
Kindle Direct Publishing

It doesn’t matter to Amazon that you’ve done your best to comply with their rules and thought you had. You can be petitioning God for help for all they care. It doesn’t matter if you need a few more days, or if your mom died. It doesn’t matter that you’ve been a loyal Amazon customer since the company was founded. Amazon says they’re committed to providing the best customer service ever. Not for suppliers. Read the letter again.

In contrast, look at Apple’s response to my pleas:

Dear Sandy,

Laura here from the iTunes Store. Your request was escalated to me for further assistance.

I have escalated the issue to our engineers with a thorough description and included the image of removal. I hope to hear from them in 2 to 3 days. As soon as I hear from them I will contact you with an update.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.


iTunes Store/Mac App Store Senior Advisor

Their estimated date of being able to fix the problem is too late for my promotion this weekend. But isn’t that cool? Which company is truly committed to customer service? Really makes me want to buy an Apple iPad or one of the new, small tablets they’re putting out.

Dump the jungle, go with the sweet fruit.

Sandy Nathan, the Plucky Grandmother

Sandy Nathan, Award-winning Author

Sandy Nathan is the winner of twenty-two national awards for her writing. She’s won in categories from memoir, to visionary fiction, to children’s nonfiction. And more.

Sandy’s  books are: (Click link to the left for more information on each book. All links below go to Kindle sale pages.)
Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground (paperback. Kindle coming)
Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love (paperback. Kindle coming)
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy
Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could

Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice


4 Responses to “Plucky Grandmother Loses Battle with Amazon, Wins with BookBaby. Apple's Trying Hard to Be Helpful”

  1. Laren Bright October 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    This has consistently been my experience with Apple. Whether it’s my computer, iPad or iPhone, they have always gone out of their way to make sure I left the store or the communication happy. That’s not to say they can’t be Machiavellian about some things. But customer service and tech support are consistently topnotch. Good luck with the promo.

  2. Jodine Turner October 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Oh dear Sandy. It’s things like this that make me writer-marketing neurotic.
    Personally, even though my mind says all things happen for a reason and will turn out all right…my body screams “+*&###*…..Argghhh”!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Sandy Nathan's YOUR SHELF LIFE » Plucky Grandmother Fights Amazon and Loses. And then Wins, Maybe - October 11, 2012

    […] of you who’ve following my Plucky Grandmother series, here and here, will know that I’d scheduled promotional days where two of my Kindle books will be offered […]