An Open Letter To:

Mr. Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO

Dear Mr. Bezos, 

I am a writer with several novels for sale on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Several issues have been reported over the last while about alleged sales inaccuracies, "stuttering" book rankings and inaccessible web reports on the Amazon KDP web site. I have experienced those same problems myself. 

I went onto the Amazon KDP community forums to get information and see hundreds of posts from other writers. I gave up reading after a half dozen pages because of the vitriol and invectives being flung around. Authors are frustrated because they are getting contradictory, vague and generic responses from your support teams. There is no information out there describing what the issue(s) are, their cause or how long it will take to fix them. 

I don't make my primary income from my book sales, but many authors do. When there are issues with royalty payments (real or perceived) it directly affects the income they use to feed their families, pay the heating bill, etc. The poor state of the global economy at the moment does not help either. 

Amazon is a phenomenal platform for independent authors to utilize, dare I say the best in the world. I doubt there are many writers out there who expect you to be perfect 100% of the time. With the complex infrastructure Amazon maintains globally, things will occasionally go wrong. We understand that and know you make your best effort to keep systems operational / accurate. Those of us who live in the real world know "stuff happens" on occasion. All I request is that you keep us in the loop. A simple one paragraph statement letting us know what is going on and roughly when we can expect a resolution. That will end the speculation along with the dramatic posts on KDP and reassure people simultaneously.  

Could you have someone on your KDP team post some sort of update to answer the above concerns with solid information please? I don't think it’s too much to ask to keep your suppliers up to date.  


SJ Parkinson

As of today, I am a author.

My first novel was just uploaded to Amazon Kindle and after many years of effort toward that goal, I can barely believe the day is actually upon me. I have had the draft manuscript on my tablet for a couple of days now and it feels surreal to see my words on the screen. I forgot who said it originally, but it certainly applies. It has taken me ten years to become an overnight success.

In no way can I claim sole credit for this journey. I owe a debt to several people for getting me this far: Keith C. Blackmore for his guidance and assistance. The Red Adept Publishing team took my childish scribblings and turned them into something intelligible. Christine DeMaio-Rice for taking my vague cover art concepts and turning them into stunning reality. Jason G. Anderson has been doing all of my book conversions for Kindle, CreateSpace and Smashwords. My girlfriend Joanne has pushed, prodded and encouraged me tirelessly since reading the early drafts.

Thank you all. 

A paperback version is coming in a month or so. Stay tuned for that.

It was a hard decision for me to give up diving for a year so I could focus on writing. Now that I have a book actually for sale, I think I made the right one. I will have another book out by the end of the summer (Predation) and have two more novels on the go. My next goal is to make enough through writing to be able to write full time. That might take another ten years of effort, but I cannot think of a more noble goal.  The Legionnaire: Mask of the Pharaoh is now available on Amazon for purchase.

Today is a very good day.