Normally, I write posts sharing our experiences to help YOU. Today we are asking for your help. Read from the bottom up this series of contacts to Amazon Author Support, Publishers Weekly, and ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award) “Admin”/Support. We are totally getting the runaround.

Someone, anyone: how do you get your author support issues addressed with Amazon?

Waiting anxiously for your I deas . . . AND WE WILL PULL THIS BLOG DOWN IF AND WHEN AMAZON/ABNA FIXES THE PROBLEM.

Eric

***************

8/21/14:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We will investigate this request
shortly and get back to you with an update within 3 days.

Thank you,

The Amazon Author Central Team

P.S. You received this message because Amazon.com received
the following message:

***************

Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:45:31 +0000
From: Pamela Fagan Hutchins
To: “int-ac-general_amz@amazon.com” <int-ac-general_amz@amazon.com>
Subject: Other

Topic: Other

Question/Feedback:

This is getting BEYOND frustrating. At your express instruction, I tried to handle resolution of my issue through ABNA customer service, first on August 13, then on August 15, to abna-admin@amazon.com. I have not even received confirmation they received my two emails, much less acknowledgement of an issue or RESOLUTION. What the heck do I do about this??? PLEASE ESCALATE THIS TO A MANAGER. I started contacting you on August 3rd. I have made six contacts and gotten nowhere. Things you have told me to do that did not work:

1. get the review from PW (they gave me a reference number and sent me back to Amazon)
2. get this resolved through the ABNA support

PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME TO DO EITHER OF THOSE THINGS AGAIN. SOMEBODY JUST OWN THIS AND GET IT DONE, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.

The entire string is copied in below.

***************

From: Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Subject: Re: Quarter-finalist: Where’s the Publisher’s Weekly Review?
Date: August 15, 2014 at 9:58:43 AM CDT
To: Self
Cc: ABNA-admin@amazon.com, Eric Hutchins <eric@skipjackpublishing.com>

Hello, maybe you need more information, because its been 48 hours and I have not received a reply or even acknowledgement of my contact to you, so hopefully this additional information will help. I have been corresponding with Kindle customer service because no one could locate the Publishers Weekly review for my ABNA 2014 Quarter-finalist book, Finding Harmony. I have been in touch with PW at the Kindle CS request, which is how I obtained the reference number below for the review of Finding Harmony that PW says they sent to ABNA. Kindle CS directed me then to contact you (ABNA Customer Service) with this information.

I am seeking access to the review, and, given the apparent difficulty in finding it, to find out why no can seem to find it and what that meant for my book in the ABNA contest, if anything.

For your convenience, I will now copy the entire string of correspondence on this issue below my original email to ABNA Customer Service, including email with Kindle CS and with PW. Obviously, you should read from the bottom up.

Please help me. Please.

Thank you very much,
Pamela

***************

On Aug 13, 2014, at 10:26 AM, Pamela Fagan Hutchins wrote:

Hello. My novel Finding Harmony was a 2014 ABNA Quarter-finalist. Where can I view the Publishers Weekly review of it? PW said that it was sent to Amazon with reference number YFQNJ4SF.

Thank you,
Pamela

***************

From: “Amazon.com Author Central Team” <ac-no-reply@amazon.com>
Subject: Your Amazon.com Inquiry
Date: August 13, 2014 at 4:29:58 AM CDT
To: Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Reply-To: “ac-no-reply+A1MCT6Z67M54YJ@amazon.com” <ac-no-reply+A1MCT6Z67M54YJ@amazon.com>

Author Central Amazon
Your Account Amazon.com
Message From Customer Service
Hello Pamela,

I’ve reviewed our previous correspondence with you, and I’m very sorry your concerns weren’t addressed and about the incorrect information you received.

I understand that you’ve multiple questions regarding the issue with the 2014 ABNA Contest. In this case, I request you to contact the ABNA administrative team at the below given email address as they would only be able to address all your concerns and provide accurate information:

ABNA-admin@amazon.com

I realize at this point of time asking you to contact again would be disappointing, however, please understand that ABNA has its own dedicated customer service team who would be able to provide appropriate resolution.

Thanks you for your continuous patience and understanding in this matter.

General information about the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, including a timeline and rules, is available here:

http://www.amazon.com/abna

If you still have questions or would like to contact us about any other matter, you can reach us by phone or email through this link:

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us

I’m sorry I couldn’t provide more assistance. We hope to see you again soon.

Best regards,
Preethi H
Amazon.com

***************

Original Message
Pamela Fagan Hutchins has sent the following contact-us request.

Topic: Update information about a book – Other

Question/Feedback:

Dear Sir/Madame

I am writing with regards to the 2014 ABNA Contest entry Finding Harmony by me, Pamela Fagan Hutchins, which made it to the quarter-finals. I am highly concerned that the issue that I am trying to have addressed through repeated contacts with your staff members (see string below) is not getting the level of attention warranted due to the serious nature of the problem. I respectfully request that this message be passed to a supervisor for review before another unhelpful and inconclusive response is sent to me.

In order to understand the full scope of the matter please first read through the entire string of messages that I have attached below.

Then consider this: I understand that it is a privilege (a huge one) for authors to be able to enter their books into the Amazon ABNA Contest and I am grateful for that opportunity. However, once all of the entry criteria have been met and the book entry is accepted, it is Amazon’s responsibility to ensure that all of the qualified entries receive the same fair opportunity to be evaluated, and selected to advance if worthy. This contest provides an unparalleled opportunity for authors. Books that receive the Publishers Weekly reviews, and then have those reviews made available to the public through the high profile visibility of the contest, get enormous exposure that is incredibly valuable, and that Amazon has committed to providing in the ABNA contest. In addition, books that advance beyond the quarter-finals of this contest gain additional positive exposure that results in sales and rankings unheard of for most authors. I have no doubt that your statistics bear this out.

I need answers to these questions:

#1 Was a review done on Finding Harmony by a Publishers Weekly Editor, as promised for all books which reached the Quarter-finals of the 2014 ABNA Contest? Below, PW says one was done and sent to Amazon. They provided an identifying number (below) to help you confirm and locate their review.

#2 Were the reviews performed by Publishers Weekly part of the evaluation process used by Amazon to select the books which moved on to the next round in the contest past quarter-finals?

#3 Where can people see the review by Publishers Weekly for Finding Harmony? If it is not up know, where will it be posted once Amazon locates it with the identifying information provided by PW?

#4 Why are Amazon representatives unable to locate this review after repeated requests, and why are they pushing it back on me, the author, when it was something Amazon committed to have done in the ABNA contest?

#5 If the answer to #2 above is YES, is it possible that those responsible for selecting the books which advanced beyond the quarter-final round NEVER SAW the Publishers Weekly review for Finding Harmony and therefore were not able to properly evaluate and consider Finding Harmony, in this contest?

#6 What can Amazon do to rectify this situation?

Because of the apparent breakdown in communication between Publishers Weekly and Amazon with regards to the book Finding Harmony, there is no doubt that opportunities for sales of this book have been lost. It will not be possible to enter this book in the contest in 2015. It will not be possible to announce the release of the Publishers Weekly review DURING the contest as should have been the case or for that announcement to gain the exposure created by that opportunity, because the contest is long since over, and the publicity of it diminished.

As to #6, I respectfully request that not only does Amazon find and send me the review done by Publishers Weekly, but also provide the book with the exposure that has been lost by this error. Two possible suggestions that would be of no cost to Amazon would be:

1. Make Finding Harmony a Kindle Daily Deal Book. (Please note that Finding Harmony currently has 100 reviews with a 4.9 Star average. It is an outstanding book, worthy of consideration on its on merits, at any time.)

2. Include Finding Harmony as one of the books you recommend to all of your customers by email in the periodic genre specific emails that Amazon sends to its book buying customers.

Let me reiterate that I request that this situation be escalated to a supervisor, and that I humbly ask for help in making this situation right.

Thank you very much,

Pamela Fagan Hutchins

***************

From: “Amazon.com Author Central Team” <ac-no-reply@amazon.com>

Subject: Your Amazon.com Inquiry

Date: August 12, 2014 at 12:29:40 PM CDT

To: Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Author Central Amazon

Your Account Amazon.com

Message From Customer Service

Hello Pamela,

Thank you for contacting Amazon.com Author Central Team.

Firstly, I apologies for the inconvenience caused by this situation.

Thank you very much to writing back with the reference of the reviewer (publisher weekly) and as well from the publisher.

We’ll be glad to add the editorial review on the book page. However, we at Author Central do not have the exact text of the review (from publisher weekly) to update. Please write back to us with the exact text of the review from the publisher weekly.

If we can be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact us again. You can reach us by phone or email through this link:

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us

I appreciate your patience, understandings and continues support with these regards.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best regards,

Ghouse. G

***************

‘Pamela Fagan Hutchins’ has sent the following contact-us request.

Topic: Update information about a book – Other

Question/Feedback:

In response to my email query last week (below) about my book Finding Harmony which reached the ABNA 2014 Quarter-finals, I am now sending the information I obtained from Publisher’s Weekly at your request. Please read up from the bottom of the string:

***************

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Re: Review for Finding Harmony by Pamela Fagan Hutchins

From: ***@publishersweekly.com

Date: Mon, August 11, 2014 1:26 pm

To: Eric at SkipJack Publishing <eric@skipjackpublishing.com>

Eric

PW definitely submitted this review to Amazon

The reference number was YFQJN4SF

I suggest to connect them with this information

Reviews Director

Publishers Weekly

***************

From: Eric at SkipJack Publishing <eric@skipjackpublishing.com>

Date: Monday, August 4, 2014 5:27 PM

To: ***@publishersweekly.com

Subject: Review for Finding Harmony by Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Hello,

I am writing to you on behalf of the author, with regards to a review of the book Finding Harmony by Pamela Fagan Hutchins. This book was one of the finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards Contest in 2014 and as such was to receive a review by Publishers Weekly. To date we have not been able to locate that review. I wrote to Amazon regarding this matter and they indicated their surprise in being unable to find the review either and suggested that we write to you directly.

Thank You for your assistance.

Eric Hutchins

http://SkipJackPublishing.com/

***************

Author Central Amazon

Your Account Amazon.com

Message From Customer Service

Hello Pamela,

I understand that you are concerned about the Publishers Weekly Review that your book “Finding Harmony” earned.

To help you immediately with this issue, I checked the official website of ‘Publishers Weekly’ website, however, I regret to inform you that I was unable to find the review, which your book has earned.

Given the situation, I request you to contact ‘Publishers Weekly’ and I’m sure they will be able to provide you with the content of the review which you’ve earned. You can find a complete list of Publishers Weekly’s editorial contacts in the below link:

http://reviews.publishersweekly.com/pw/corp/contactus.html

Once you are able to content of the review which your book has earned, I request you to write to us from the below link with the content of the review and we will be glad to update the same for your book on your behalf.

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us

Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to seeing you soon again.

Best regards,

Beaulin

***************

Original Message

Pamela Fagan Hutchins has sent the following contact-us request.

Topic: Other

Question/Feedback:

I am trying to locate the Publishers Weekly Review that my Book Finding Harmony earned as being a part of the ABNA contest. The book made it to the point where it was to receive a review but I have been unable to locate this review. Thank You for your help.

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4 Responses to WTF: Amazon, ABNA, & PW Passing the Buck?

  1. Kate Wrath says:

    Wow, I am so sorry this is happening to you. It looks pretty fishy to me. I mean, I think you may be right. If they can’t find your review now, then how did they have it to evaluate during the contest? Someone definitely needs to own this and take care of it for you!

    Sharing.

    • Eric says:

      Yeah, that’s the problem. It looks fishy, and then they make it impossible to trust by evading answers and solutions. We need to trust them.

  2. It looks like Amazon lost the review from PW. I find it hard to believe that any of what they promised actually took place.

  3. Eric says:

    Us either. But we pledge to pull this post down if they’ll make it right.

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