If I had a shiny gun,
I could have a world of fun
Speeding bullets through the brains
Of the folk who give me pains;
Or had I some poison gas,
I could make the moments pass
Bumping off a number of
People whom I do not love.
But I have no lethal weapon —
Thus does Fate our pleasure step on!
So they still are quick and well
Who should be, by rights, in hell.
“We are researching the issue.”
It’s been a week, now, since my Amazon Royalties for US sales have been LATE. Today, I received another email that said they are “Still researching” it. I really don’t understand that. I received all my other royalties from other countries, but the U.S. royalty amount for this month is the largest. It is, in fact the largest royalty I’ve ever earned (due to my bestseller, Rain Falls). But do I get to enjoy that after waiting two months for it? No. I get to write plaintive emails to Amazon. Plaintive emails that become snarky, and then, finally (today) downright belligerent. I even used the word FUCK.
I have filed an official complaint with The Better Business Bureau. Each day I send them another email, letting them know I still have not received my money. I mean, what’s so hard about it? It was posted on my sales dashboard for two months. I have direct deposit. Seems to me, they ought to refer to my sales information, and then click that mouse button and put it in my goddamn account. Ferfucksake. That’s a lot of money to be counting on, and then have missing.
While I’m at it, let me just make a few more suggestions to Amazon:
1. Start paying your authors through Paypal so we don’t have to deal with the crap banks put us through.
One of those things is the inability to insert the bank routing and account numbers in the assigned boxes, when your bank just happens to be somewhere other than the United States. Non-U.S. authors have to get their royalty checks mailed. So they wait the two months, the check is mailed, and then they have to wait another two weeks for the check to arrive. Then they sometimes have to wait a month for their bank to clear it. Kate’s last check is now a month late. Hasn’t even made it through the mail yet.
I would use a New Zealand bank for my direct deposit if I could, but until I can have my royalties direct deposited here, I will have to maintain Wells Fargo, which I HATE. It’s near-impossible to get a new bank, when you’re an American living in another country. I was told I could do that before I moved and had planned to open a credit union account, but then was told I couldn’t because I didn’t live there continually anymore. So i have to keep two spreadsheets–one with the USD amounts, and one with the NZD amounts. It makes handling my money a nightmare. I have, in fact, stopped keeping track. I just spend what i spend and hope I don’t make mistakes. Math and me just don’t get along.
2. Stop treating Lesbian Fiction as a sub-sub-category. When we upload our books and choose categories, all we are given is Fiction>Lesbian.
If we want to categorize it more accurately, we are limited in choices. Like we can then choose Fiction>Romance, if it is a romance, but then, what if it is many other things? Mainstream authors have more choices than that. I don’t like being squeezed into one category. My books aren’t that one-dimensional, and I’m sure there are other lesbian authors who feel the same way.
3. Stop allowing customers to buy books, read them, and then get a full refund.
It’s like stealing from the author. I understand that sometimes a reader can be disappointed with a book–I’m in fact one of those picky readers who is disappointed about 90% of the time. But i would never dream of asking for my money back. That’s what the samples and peeks are for. I don’t buy books I haven’t thoroughly checked out. But getting your money back? If it were allowed across the board, I’d want a refund on religion, my parents, my luck, many vehicles, friendships, romances, clothes, electrical items…the list goes on. The only time a refund is warranted is if the item is literally BROKEN, or isn’t at all what’s advertised– but that’s a gray area with literature, isn’t it? Because it’s all subjective.
First of all, don’t buy a book in a genre you don’t like in the first place, and if you do, be prepared to go through a few you don’t care for before you find an author you like… We wouldn’t be allowed to do that if we bought a book at a brick and mortar store. Have you ever heard of anyone going into Barnes and Noble with a the book in hand, saying “I’d like to get my money back on this book. I didn’t care for it.” the employees would laugh you out of the store. There would have to be something wrong with the book like it’s printed upside down, or there’s the carcass of a church mouse pressed between its pages. Ferfucksake, in person and ONLINE, you get to read the blurb, see the cover, read the reviews and even peek inside and read sometimes as much as you care to before making the decision. If you then decide you didn’t like it so much– tough. That’s the way it is. You made a poor choice. Rarely, is a book brilliant and enjoyable for the first half, and then suddenly turns to shit as soon as you get past that point. You get a pretty accurate idea of the author’s style and skills (or lack thereof) just by reading a little of it.
But most of all….(back to the main point) Don’t allow late royalties to happen. It’s too important, Amazon. It’s our paycheck.
Since i can’t really send anyone to break Amazon’s thumbs, I’m sort of stuck. In suckville.
I would say, at this point, Okay, rant over. But I don’t think it is.