Review – Amazon’s KDP Help Desk

Let’s face it, we like to joke and yes, mostly complain, about all the many customer service jobs that have gone overseas, mainly to India. They aren’t helpful. We can’t understand their accents. All they do is repeat verbatim what we’ve already read on the initial Help Screen of whatever company we are dealing with. This leaves us angry and frustrated and vowing never to do business with those people ever again!

This review is no such thing!

A couple months ago I decided to move a couple of my paperbacks from CreateSpace to Kindle Direct Publishing. There’s been rumor that CreateSpace is on the way out and, though nothing firm has yet to be released, it may not be a terrible idea to make the switch sooner rather than later. It’s all the same company, Amazon, and the directions appeared easy enough, so off I went.

The first title made the transition with no problems whatsoever. I waited a couple days to make sure all was well before setting out to move the second title. That’s when a roadblock smacked me in the face. I got the error message that the ISBN-13 number I was trying to use was already assigned to by another title. What the what? I looked back through everything and couldn’t see where this was happening. Desperate, I sent a message to KDP’s Help and crossed my fingers.

Archana got back to me a couple days later. He (or she) told me I needed to remove the ISBN-13 from a previously created version of the book in question. After that was done, I should be able to delete that version and move on with putting the ISBN to the new one. Off I went, following directions, finding the error and happily deleting, then waiting the needed 72 hours before trying again.

And … it didn’t work.

The same error message was still there. I wrote back to KDP to let them know it still wasn’t working.

Someone named Karthikeyan replied to my message and said she (or he) would look further into the matter and get back to me and could I send screen shots of what I was seeing so they could be passed on to the IT guys. I did, crossed my fingers, and waited.

A couple days passed when I heard back from the next person to handle my difficult case, Nithinesh. Nithinesh let me know their tech support people had restored three other versions of the title that I’d apparently created in error and that they also needed deleting. This in mind, I logged into KDP yet again, found the titles and deleted those as well. After another 72 hours, I tried to move the new version and lo … it still didn’t work. Ugh!

I’d pretty much given up on this whole process. I then heard back from Nithinesh who asked if I’d had any luck. I told him (or her) that I had not. It still refused to accept the ISBN-13. He said he’d have a look at it and get back to me. I waited. A couple days later, Nithinesh let me know that it looked like I’d only deleted the errant titles but had NOT removed the ISBN-13s first. Okay, my error in misreading the directions. She (or he) said they’d ask the IT Team to restore the old ones again (if possible) and that this time, to be sure I deleted the ISBNs before going all delete crazy. (My wording there.)

On Tuesday, word arrived from my fourth KDP Helpful Assistant, Siyam. Siyam informed me that they had restored the other versions again and reposted my directions. He (or she) also said to not delete the others entirely until AFTER I’d been able to convert (or not) the ISBN-13 to the latest paperback version. Good thinking there, Siyam!

I’ve gone in and deleted the ISBN-13s from the three older version. ((What puzzles me is why was I allowed to create these three others version at all? Shouldn’t I have gotten an error message when foolishly attempting to create this thing a second time? Let alone a third!))  This morning I took the next step and entered the ISBN-13 for the version I want used. And LO!!!! IT WORKED! The process when through smooth as buttah!

I am SO grateful to Siyam, Nithinesh, Karthikeyan, Archana, and all the KDP IT people who helped get me through this issue. Super, super happy and yes, very surprised that this story has a happy ending. Thanks KDP Help Desk … you’ve gotten a great big gold star from me!

FIVE STAR RAVEN RATING!

What Are The Barnesville Chronicles?

By some freakish twist of fate, my workplace declared a snow day on Friday. ((Only the second time a closing has taken place there ahead of a storm in the past forty years as verified \ remembered by my father)) This allowed me some unexpected extra time to work on writing.

Over the past couple weeks, the next book in The Barnesville Chronicles has been giving me some fits. I thought I was done with the first draft. Turns out, I was only half done. While working on the mess I created, it occurred to me maybe there was some clarification that needed to take place about these Chronicles.

What are the Barnesville Chronicles? Simply put, they are stories (mostly novels – there’s one short story that meets the requirements) that share the common setting of a small town in central New York State called Barnesville. In the broader sense, any location set in fictional Oneekah County is and will be a part of the Chronicles. Owen, the capital of Oneekah County in which Barnesville is located, boasts a population of less than 20,000. That should tell you a lot about the other towns and villages it presides over.

These are small town tales surrounded by acres upon acres of farmlands and forests. It’s rural and quiet. Families are tight. Nothing much is going on and life can get pretty monotonous. Everyone knows their neighbors, or do they? You think you know the man who owns the local feed store? Think again. You can trust the funeral director who’s tended to your families death needs for decades, right? Maybe not so much. What about the town librarian? Certainly she’s a good egg with nothing to hide. Not so fast.

Despite having a population of less than 2000, the influences of Barnesville and its secret witches’ coven stretch far and wide from as far back as the late 1700s to present day. The current members pride themselves on their good intentions, but this has not always been the case. Over the centuries, some have gone astray and used their powers and knowledge for more selfish and evil purposes. Therein lies the start of the layering of secrets from one town to the next.

There are ideas percolating, very few of which have been written down.  Secrets of the Scarecrow Moon, a murder-mystery, begins the series in so far as filling in readers on the founding of Barnesville and its coven back in 1790. However, it also takes place in present day. The Witch’s Backbone Part 1: The Curse is set in 1980. Another tale will take place in the mid-1990s. Some weird happenings went down around 1900. The Prohibition Era may well show up for another storyline.

Currently the Barnesville Chronicles include three titles, Secrets of the Scarecrow Moon, That’s What Shadows Are Made Of, and the two-part series, The Witch’s Backbone. Ultimately, I hope to expand on that with each new title set in a different town within the county, bringing the grand total to twelve. Whether that actually happens or not is anyone’s guess, but I’m going to give it a shot.

Finally, each story in the Chronicles will be written as independent, stand-alone tales. You don’t have to read any title in order to understand the events of another. It might be more interesting, but it will be completely unnecessary with the exception of a title that bares more than one part (ie. The Witch’s Backbone). I’ve no intention of writing them in chronological order so there’s not reason for them to be read that way beyond a reader wanting to do so. Of course, knowing that order will only be fully disclosed when the final book is released years and years from now.

Now you know about The Barnesville Chronicles and I really should get back to that bone I have to pick with a certain witch in Part 2 of The Witch’s Backbone – The Murder.

 

One Week Away!

There’s no mistake about it, someone murdered the village funeral director. One person even steps forward to take the blame, but what was done to the body would be impossible for them to have done unless they had help. Soon others become suspect as the true nature of the victim steps out of the darkness to reveal a not-so-amiable member of the small town in Upstate New York. But whose hatred ran so deep as to bludgeon the man and stuff him into a coffin to die?

Was it his son who wants nothing more than to bring the family business out of the 19th century? Was it his wife or maybe the owner of the funeral home across town who is struggling to make ends meet? Or was it the deed of a malevolent shadow figure seen lurking outside the funeral home the morning Dan’s body was found? Lies, confessions, and long-held secrets mix with the fine art of witchcraft, as the local police and a nearby coven of witches both struggle to bring a killer to justice. But how do you capture a murderer who seems to be made of shadows that fades into obscurity every time the light of truth draws near?

A drawing for a free copy of “That’s What Shadows Are Made Of” happens one week from today! There’s still time to enter for a chance to win ONE OF THREE copies that I will sign and ship to you FREE! Just provide your real name, an active email account, and then verify that account when you receive the verification notice and you’re good to go!

 

The Shadows Are Revealed

In 2013 my first paranormal mystery, “Blood of the Scarecrow”, was released. Due to circumstances beyond my control, it went out of print a mere six months later. Since then, I have been working on not just finding a new publisher for “…Scarecrow”, but writing and completing two other novels.

Although it’s a stand alone novel, the first of those, “That’s What Shadows Are Made Of” also continues a subplot, introduces new characters, keeps a lot of the old ones, and of course, brings us face to face with more dark, murderous, and paranormal nastiness. I like to call it “…Scarecrow”‘s companion book for want of better terminology.

With that, I am pleased to announce that “That’s What Shadows Are Made Of” is now AVAILABLE! through Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Europe, as well as the Create Space eStore. Due to some formatting snags, it’s not yet available on Kindle, but hopefully those are soon remedied. MAY even be remedied as I type this.

BUY “THAT’S WHAT SHADOWS ARE MADE OF” HERE!

Additionally, that which WAS “Blood Of The Scarecrow” is undergoing edits, rewrites, new content, cover changes, and will be re-released within the next six months under the new title of “Secrets Of The Scarecrow Moon”

Thank you all for your patience and continued support in my efforts to write and share my stories with you.