Monitoring the various Amazon sites to make sure my book is showing up all right has been a fascinating experience. Before this, I’d assumed that all Amazon sites drew their information from a central database. Not so. They seem to operate as independent entities. Reviews, tags, availability, and book information can vary from one Amazon site to the next.
My book’s information first showed up at Amazon.com, which makes sense. It also showed up quickly at Amazon.co.uk, but with “Unknown Imprint” listed as the publisher. So apparently all of a book’s metadata isn’t pushed out at the same time, or perhaps each Amazon site obtains the publisher information from a different source.
At Amazon.ca, the book also appeared with ”Unknown Imprint” as the publisher, and the listing initially said something like, “Sign up if you want to be notified when this item becomes available.” As of yesterday, Norn Publishing is the publisher and the site is now accepting pre-orders. [Note: this post was originally published in January 2010, on another of my blogs]
I had set the publication date at LSI to February 1, 2010. Usually bookstores ignore that date and sell LSI books as soon as they become available for printing, but I guess Amazon.ca does things differently. Amazon.fr apparently does, too.
As far as the Kindle version goes, I uploaded it to Amazon’s DTP platform last week. A few days later Amazon asked me to confirm that I own the digital rights. I sent them the information they requested, and now it’s a waiting game again. So hopefully the Kindle version will be available soon.
I’m glad Amazon is being careful about rights. It wasn’t always, and that allowed people to sell books in the Kindle store when they didn’t own the digital rights. Just last week someone reported on one of the publishing groups that she’d found one of her books for sale in the Kindle store under another publishing company’s name. She informed Amazon and they took it down, but the worrisome part was that the Kindle book seemed to have been created from the source files for her book. So how did the other publisher get its hands on her source files?
She contacted the other publisher and it said that the same thing had happened to its books and may have something to do with Amazon’s Search Inside feature. If you want your book in the Search Inside program, you have to provide Amazon with a PDF file of your book, usually the same PDF file you provided to the printer. I guess the other publisher was trying to imply that somehow there was a mix-up at Amazon and the book ended up in the Kindle store. But the whole thing sounds fishy to me. Even if Amazon did make a mistake, why would the book end up in the Kindle store under another publisher’s name?