Ever wondered how much work goes in to building up a business? I mean, from the very first idea right through the first two or three years of its existence, not just the actual paperwork and launch. Believe me, I can tell you from experience that it is a lot and, even after six months on the go, we are still handling paperwork and set-up requirements from regulators, internal revenue, banks and other institutions. This work is necessary, a requirement we have to fulfill, but it all adds to the whole, the amount of time a person or group needs to devote to their dream, to their future.
For us it is not just a case of putting a book together and selling it. We have the editorial work, the writing itself, the formatting, printing, marketing and so much more. We have conversations with potential authors, with sellers, with suppliers and, of course, all the institutions which regulate business and finance. It is an ongoing procedure which seems to have no end, and one which we have devoted ourselves to for more hours in the day than you would believe exist.
Our products are there: three titles have already been published, all properly registered and offered for sale. They are even on Amazon, an automatic update from the ISBN lists which they scan, being the site which claims to be able to provide any book which has been published and is available. But even that isn’t enough, as far as Amazon is concerned. Mistakes creep in – just the misspelling of an author’s name can be more than a simple annoyance – and have to be corrected. There is no facility to upload a cover image on Amazon, which is a major set back. When mistakes are corrected they don’t necessarily appear on the site, despite a written acknowledgment that the corrections have been received and dealt with.
Will Amazon take action to correct this massive error, this unwanted slap against our small publishing house? It remains to be seen. A written complaint has been sent, the books are most definitely available to anyone who wishes to purchase them, but we have learned from experience that the promises Amazon makes to correct errors don’t hold water.
Amazon, though, even if they are the biggest Internet supplier of printed works, even if they do have the largest market share in the bookselling world, will not beat us down. All of our books are available and can be ordered direct which, I might add, does our company far more good than when someone orders through any other source.
- Viktoria Michaelis.