I was literally in the middle of writing a post that shared the results of my very successful book launch for The Kindle Publish Launch Formula. In fact, I had approximately 350 words completed which included the general outline that I was then going to go back to and fill in.
To do this I had to log into to my KDP account to take a look at my current results.
Like an abrupt smack in the face, I saw that all my reviews were gone.
Instead of 10 beautiful full stars. I saw a link that said, “be the first to review this book”. How can that be?
My stomach dropped to the floor and I did what I always do when I encounter an obstacle. I found my wife and explained what happened.
Visibly annoyed, I made it clear to her that I needed to be brought to a better place before attempting to address this concern.
She effectively did this by saying “Mike, obviously, there is some misunderstanding or error somewhere. When did you become a guy who panics before obtaining more information?”
That is why I married her. She called me out and kept me honest.
I pride myself on being able to view everything as an experiment. If I don’t like the results I simply adjust the actions until desired results are achieved.
So why was I acting out of character?
As I reflect on this experience I realize that I was particularly emotional about this because of the topic it was concerning; reviews.
Within the very book that this was happening to, I implore writers to ensure that they obtain reviews in an honest and ethical way.
Now all of a sudden I went from 10 reviews to 0 in a matter of minutes.
I couldn’t help but feel dirty.
What had I done wrong?
Had the KDP rules changed?
Did I reach out to people and offer them a free copy in exchange for an honest review? Yes. It was always and still is my understanding that was acceptable. Prior to my launch, I asked supporters to leave an honest review but to state that they received a free copy to enable providing an honest review.
If it isn’t clear, the theme of that last chapter was honest.
I stand by this. I only ask people who I know are going, to be honest, and then I strongly implore honesty.
These people have provided less than stellar reviews for my previous books.
Now, unfortunately, I can’t tell you this story has a good ending. In fact, it doesn’t really have an ending at all.
All I can tell you is that I have since reached out to KDP support on two separate occasions and at the time of me writing this post I have not heard back yet.
There is a moral to this story, though.
Right now I have two choices. I could choose to be stressed out and anxious over this.
Or, I could focus my attention on resolving this issue and when in a period of waiting for Amazon’s response I can focus on other ways to be productive.
So on that note, I’m going to work on my self-publishing course that supplements that the book. A blog post and some course work completed.
Not a bad panic mode to be in.