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!

Welcome To Yonkers, NY. Kill or be killed.

Review – “Tortures of the Damned” by Hunter Shea

What was once an easy walk or drive across town has turned into a nightmare for the Padilla family and their forward thinking neighbors, Buck and Elizabeth Clarke. Yonkers has a problem, a big, big problem. New York City as a whole is in trouble. The entire state, it seems, may have fallen under the same fate. So, too, America. Maybe the whole world! Thanks to Buck they have all survived, but after two weeks in his underground bunker, they are all getting antsy. With tempers starting to run high and supplies running low, they want out. All communications and electrical devices are down. They have no way of knowing what’s out there, but it’s better to die free than locked up in what is looking to become one very large mausoleum.

Welcome to the Apocalypse as envisioned by author Hunter Shea. It isn’t pretty, but it’s a real page turner. I started reading this 400+ page novel on Monday. I finished the following Saturday afternoon. I haven’t read a book that fast in years.

From the moment we emerge from the protection of the bomb shelter until the very end, Shea bombards us with one danger, one decomposed body, one feral, crazed animal and the occasional psycho human at a time or en masse, after another. It quickly becomes clear there is no law. The police and military are blatantly missing. It’s every man, woman and child for themselves. Kill or be killed is the new order of the day.

After reading Shea’s “Island of the Forbidden”, I knew I’d found an amazing story teller. And for as much as I enjoyed my time ghost hunting on Ormsby Island, the time I spent in Yonkers avoiding being killed while reading “Tortures of the Damned” was even more intense and satisfying. He has definitely improved on his craft from one book to the next. He offers just enough description to give you a feel for what’s going on while also allowing your own imagination to fill in the more gory details. That isn’t to say Shea doesn’t provide a healthy dose of the graphic. He does.

At the end I was left with some lingering questions. I’m hoping this all means there will be a follow up to “Tortures of the Damned”, because I really, really want to know more. If, however, there is no more, then I am woefully disappointed on a few key points.

I look forward to reading other Hunter Shea novels. Check out this title and all his other works HERE!