You know that expression, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry? This is the story of how amazon.ca thought my book Past Presence was a pair of ladies’ shorts.
I’m not unfamiliar with things going catastrophically wrong. There was the time I booked a venue for my wedding reception, paid a pretty hefty deposit, only for them to declare bankruptcy and lock their doors a few weeks later. There was the time I bought return plane tickets from Guatemala for a month earlier than our departure, and found out the day before we were set to fly home. And then there was the time Amazon listed my debut as casual fashion. Check it out:
My release date was rapidly approaching and when my Canadian readers went to search for my book, they were directed to choose a colour and size instead. I can’t tell you how many friends and family members ‘helpfully’ messaged me to let me know about the problem while I ground my teeth down to nubs.
When I contacted Amazon in person some time in February or March about it, after multiple ‘incorrect product information’ reports had no effect, they first told me my publisher had uploaded the wrong info. I highly doubt this could be the case, because lol, really? Then they said it was an IT problem but it would be fixed within a few days. Time ticked by. My launch date of April 1 came, and still, ladies’ shorts. What else could I do?
Although the delivery date was set for early June, they actually arrived a couple weeks ago, and let me say, these are definitely a pair of Athletic Linen Cozy Oversize Lounge Capri Pants Shorts and not a novel about a woman who uses her ability to see past lives to solve present-day murders in a seaside town. They also smell like a tire fire.
Best six dollars I ever spent? I mean, it wasn’t the worst six dollars I’ve ever spent. That would probably be on the venti vanilla latte I dropped directly outside Starbucks that one time and ruined my wool coat.
About three weeks (THREE WEEKS!) after my launch, the issue was finally resolved, and the linen shorts were no more. Or maybe they do still exist somewhere in the Amazon ecosphere, causing havoc with some other poor author’s listing, getting passed from writer to writer like the author version of the murderous spirit from It Follows. What did I get out of it? A bunch of lost sales… and a great story.
(The actual book is here, if you want to check it out! If you’re looking for the shorts, I can’t help you, lol)