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Discussion Starter #102
WasAnn said:
While that is certainly true, the sad fact is that a lot of us aren't big enough names to get the same kind of diligence from Zon. Many of us will get an "everything is fine" email and no matter how much we stomp and ask to speak to the manager, we will get put on the bottom of the pile while those who have some pull are taken care of.

So, if one of those that can get serious attention from KDP would let those of us who get nothing more than a pat on the head know what they find out, it would be a kindness.
I understand the sentiment but I disagree. I know the author that pushed and pushed and got someone to admit something was wrong. Their books are very good, but they're a rising star, not quite on Amazon's radar. The only thing that mattered was that they persevered where I (and others) had given up. You and Amazon have a business relationship, and if you operate in good faith with them then you can demand the same from them. It doesn't matter if you sold one book two years ago or if you're selling hundreds a day.

Don't count yourself short.
 

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WasAnn said:
While that is certainly true, the sad fact is that a lot of us aren't big enough names to get the same kind of diligence from Zon. Many of us will get an "everything is fine" email and no matter how much we stomp and ask to speak to the manager, we will get put on the bottom of the pile while those who have some pull are taken care of.

So, if one of those that can get serious attention from KDP would let those of us who get nothing more than a pat on the head know what they find out, it would be a kindness.
If enough authors contact them, they'll have to look into it. I'm planning on sending a detailed email as soon as I'm at my computer (currently traveling). A lot of Kboards authors are big authors. I'm someone no one has heard of and I've nabbed one of the top 50 All Star bonuses for the last few months.
 

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I emailed them yesterday about books stuck in review for several days now, and they said they are aware of issues but will take five days to get back to me (they've already been in review for three days, so this totally sucks, they'd be earning cash right now, it's a niche that's blowing up).
 

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My bet is some engineer, in a good faith effort to automate and expedite the upload approval process, accidentally tinkered with something that affected page reads. As a result, there is probably manual review, approval, and tallying of pages. Just a wild guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #106
It's also worth mentioning that September's money will be the last we get until AFTER the holiday season. For some of us, pages lost are Christmas presents that can't be afforded.
 

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I only have one title of note and it's been moving up the charts basically since the beginning of September, so I can't tell what "normal" page reads should look like. Maybe they should be even better, for all I know. That's what is disturbing about this... I don't know that I should email them, because my page reads look reasonably solid, but if this is affecting so many people it's hard to feel confident...
 

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Moist_Tissue said:
My bet is some engineer, in a good faith effort to automate and expedite the upload approval process, accidentally tinkered with something that affected page reads. As a result, there is probably manual review, approval, and tallying of pages. Just a wild guess.
It could also be, as Rinelle said, that they're trying to implement a system that really does keep track of pages-read incrementally, not just at the end. Maybe they broke or clogged up the reporting while tinkering with it? If a new tracking system requires changes to each ebook's coding, that might explain why the problem seems to be affecting new releases in particular: new releases have the new coding, but older books are still being reported in the old way. (All total guesses on my part, of course.)

Rinelle Grey said:
My biggest problem is how do I know for sure that I'm having an issue? I'm still seeing some page reads. Not as much as my last release, but it was the last in a serial, this is the first in a related one. And it's been 6 months since then. I just really can't tell for sure. It's very frustrating!
See, this is why this problem is so serious, IMO. We need to be able to trust the reporting system. Everyone understands (or should understand) that glitches happen, but Amazon's vendors have to be able to trust that, in the end, they will be paid for every digital product sold. Since digital commerce is functionally invisible, trust is key. Problems like this break trust. Now every single KU author is looking at their pages-read and wondering. Terrible. :(
 

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I don't know if this is related, but there's some wonkiness in the Amazon wish list area, for me at least.  It hasn't added anything for at least 24 hours, even when it says it's been added (or re-added). 
 

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Becca Fanning said:
It's also worth mentioning that September's money will be the last we get until AFTER the holiday season. For some of us, pages lost are Christmas presents that can't be afforded.
Yeah, and for some of us, it's food that won't be on the table, but, prawn.

I've spent the morning going through my statements since May, and as far as I can tell, my issue is with Book Report. They're off on some things, but not enough for me to have panicked.

I truly have no idea if my page reads are messed up or if it's just that my niche market isn't interested in my stuff any more. Normally, a new release would bring all the previous books back up, but it didn't happen this time. The last of those I'd released was in late May, so I probably lost momentum.

In August, I had a new novel out (different pen name), which made for a decent month considering everything else. September was sucky. I had eight sales and five returns. I've only had five returns over the last five years!

Anyway, I'm just going to keep plugging away and try to meet my goals for this month. Whatever is going on, I hope it works out soon, because this sort of thing, without any explanation from Amazon, is crazy.
 

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Moist_Tissue said:
My bet is some engineer, in a good faith effort to automate and expedite the upload approval process, accidentally tinkered with something that affected page reads. As a result, there is probably manual review, approval, and tallying of pages. Just a wild guess.
This is why there should be quality control testing BEFORE the "update" is released and live.
Somebody (or maybe a group) didn't do a thorough job.

My husband works in quality control (not for Amazon) and is crazy good at finding issues and he always catches errors when Engineering does "small" fixes. You would be surprised at how often "small fixes" create large problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #112
I just called into Amazon (866-216-1072) and went to an operator. I told the person that I was a KDP Author and needed to speak to someone in their KDP tech support department. I was quickly transferred and spoke to a nice gentleman who asked me for some of my ASINs.

I gave him two or three egregious offenders (though not any dates, just the ASINs). He asked me if I knew that I only got page reads for borrows and not sales. I confirmed that I understood that. He put me on hold for a minute or two then came back and said that there is an ongoing problem on the pages appearing in the reports and that he would have to transfer my information to another department so they could go over it.

HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART: They are only checking ASINs that they are made aware of via phone. I had sent them several ASINs via email and they sent me back the boilerplate everything is fine email. Only when I called in and gave them ASINs did they agree to check them. I confirmed that they will only check the ASINs I give them, so I gave them the last 20 books I published.

Emails might not be enough: you should call in.
 

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Becca Fanning said:
Emails might not be enough: you should call in.
Not everyone lives in the US. Calling Amazon might not be an option for many international prawns, who firstly don't have historical data to "know" something is wrong with reads, and secondly (because they are prawns) can't afford a horrifically expensive call to Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
AliceW said:
Not everyone lives in the US. Calling Amazon might not be an option for many international prawns, who firstly don't have historical data to "know" something is wrong with reads, and secondly (because they are prawns) can't afford a horrifically expensive call to Amazon.
I know sometimes KDP will authorize your account for direct phone support. An author under those circumstances might be able to request a phone call from them? I don't know otherwise, sorry. :(
 

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FOR ANYONE UNSURE:

Go into your authorcentral account and find a few books that look like the book that might be problematic (as many as you can; even just 1 similar book would be fine). If they're of a similar kenpc length and genre, that's ideal, but get what you can. Then go compare those books in your bookreport (or whatever you use to track this data) and grab their ranks off authorcentral to make sure they're equivalent. I took days 4, 5, and 6 of four books and compared them to days 4, 5, and 6 of a book I believe has issues. I found the book ranked similarly (within 30 slots), had an almost identical kenpc, and was on the same pen as two of the books, but had 50% fewer pages read. That trend continued for the book's lifespan, never improving to the point where it would be reasonable to assume anything but a glitch.

This issue seems to only be effecting people that launched after September 5th, so if your backlist titles look normal, that's fine.
 

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Piggybacking on Becca's post ^^^

I just called in and finally got transferred to the KDP office. The man I spoke with assured me that Amazon is aware of the problem and has received a lot of Emails and calls this week about it. He actually said it has been "elevated far above my position, to our highest team."

That, folks, leads me to believe this is a big, big deal and has been identifies as a major problem by Amazon. He assured me my complaint would be escalated to that team and I should be called or Emailed by them without a form response.

I'll update here when/if that happens.

Glad other (bigger) authors wrote about it here. I was just assuming my pagereads dropped off. I'm a noob. But, then again, it doesn't make sense that I went from an avg. of about 700 pages per day to goose eggs.
 

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More back and forth emails with Amazon. First assurances that there are no problems, and now...

An email stating that their technical team is looking into it.

Ugg :(

 

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AliceW said:
Not everyone lives in the US. Calling Amazon might not be an option for many international prawns, who firstly don't have historical data to "know" something is wrong with reads, and secondly (because they are prawns) can't afford a horrifically expensive call to Amazon.
Yep - that pretty much describes me. :(
 

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Sam Kates said:
Yep - that pretty much describes me. :(
Seriously, you guys never heard of Skype? I dropped $20 in my account in early 2015, called the US tax office (spent about 40 minutes listening to some daft recorded info while being on hold), and ring a relative in Europe every month and talk for about 30 minutes, and the money still hasn't run out. These are all people who don't have Skype. It just produces a local phone call on your behalf.
 

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I published a novella on Sept 26 and minus a few buys from relatives, it's been dead in the water. As my first published work, I had chalked it up to not having a dedicated following yet. However, with it being in KU, I had expected some borrows and reads at the very least. I've only received one page view outside of my husband reading a few pages to see if they would show up, and it seems they did. I've noticed my ranking going up and down, so now I'm wondering if my page reads aren't showing up either. Either way, I hope this is resolved soon. I can't tell if anything is wrong with my reports because I have no prior releases to compare it to.
 
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