“My sales figures screen has frozen,” has become a common complaint among thousands of independent authors who have flocked to Amazon’s book distribution platform in search of an explanation of sudden, and dramatic, lost revenue.
According to Emily Hill, owner of A.V. Harrison Publishing, “The most recent glitch in sales reporting seems to have begun on 14 September.”
On that date, Tasha Harrison posted this message, which has received 22,635 viewings:
“When the reports glitch happened 2 weeks ago, my sales figures froze for several days. Before this, my novel Package Deal (which I uploaded to Amazon back in February) had grown steadily to sell about 5 copies a day.
Since my sales figures started updating again, I've only been selling about 1.5 copies a day. I emailed KDP about the problem who apologised for the glitch and said they were still working to fix things. Then I emailed again yesterday, asking when, roughly, could I expect to see my figures return to normal, and they replied saying everything was now fixed and my sales figures were already back to normal.
… is anyone else experiencing a similar problem?”
Ms. Harrison’s query out to colleague authors started an avalanche of sympathy messages and an outpouring of the retelling of similar experiences from the IndieAuthor community.
“Usually authors keep their royalty figures under their hat and take it on the chin if book sales plummet. In this case, authors are screaming for an explanation, and the silence from Amazon has been tomb-like,” observed Emily Hill, who writes about the after-life.
Ms. Hill contacted kdp Amazon yesterday asking for an explanation of why her sales dashboard had frozen, but her Amazon Rank was climbing. “I did receive a response to my query from kdp Amazon rather quickly. The Amazon representative responded that there was no problem – everything checked out. Although immediately after my query, my Author Ranking dropped 21,000 points,“ she added.
Ms. Hill has had been in contact with several authors whom she knows personally who have experienced an inexplicable drop in sales. One California high-performing author who contacted Ms. Hill has sold twenty-five books a day over the past year. This prolific author’s sales have dropped to ten books a day since 14 September. An author from Australia reports to A.V. Harrison Publishing that she usually sells thirty copies a month of her leading book, but that her book-sales dashboard indicates only two book sales this month. “In both cases, that’s quite a drop. Especially in the case of these two well know authors, whose marketing experience is extensive.”
Ms. Hill offered these personal statistics in her curiosity over her own frozen US book-sales dashboard:
“ Yes, my US sales (usually over 200 a month, has been frozen for four days - since I ran a KDP freebie last Friday) ~ I usually sell 60 - 90 books in the UK, but this month I've sold 8 (eight).
Although my weekend news release has enjoyed 802 hits in TWO days, it has resulted in no sales. Visit http://www.prlog.org/
“It’s a paranormal phenomenon,”