My Book Is Outside The Environment

Amazon’s been having some issues with their Kindle publisher’s platform, more specifically, their Author Central pages, where some books are in a sort of un-editable limbo. This won’t affect 99% of pretty much anybody, but having them deal with the issue, or rather, not so much deal with the issue has put me in mind of a certain Clarke and Dawe sketch

Author: “This issue with this book I’m having…”

Amazon: “You mean the one where you can’t change any of the details in Author Central? That’s not very typical, I’d like to make that quite clear.”

Author: “How isn’t it typical?”

Amazon: “Well, there’s a lot of these books being published all the time, and very seldom does anything like this happen. We don’t want people thinking our platform is unreliable and broken.”

Author: “Was it reliable on this occasion?”

Amazon: “I was more talking about the other occasions.”

Author: “The occasions where it works.”

Amazon: “Yes. The ones where it works.”

Author: “But why didn’t it work on this occasion?

Amazon: “Well, we’ve been trying new code, and the code broke the site.”

Author: “Is that unusual?”

Amazon: “Oh yeah. Pushing code to a live site without warning causing issues? Chance in a million!”

Author: “So the accusations that you’re breaking your site without regard for authors and publishers are ludicrous.”

Amazon: “Oh, absolutely ludicrous. This is a very reliable publishing platform.”

Author: “So what happened on this occasion?”

Amazon: “Well, it didn’t work on this occasion, by all means – but it’s very unusual.”

Author: “What are you doing to prevent further issues?”

Amazon: “We have very strict standards as to how code is implemented on our site.”

Author: “What kind of standards?”

Amazon: “Well, it has to be computer code, for starters. No Morse code, for instance. That’s right out. No smoke signals. No pigeon post. We’re very stringent.”

Author: “So when will this issue be fixed?”

Amazon: “One to two days at most. Four days. Maybe a week. Or two. In the meantime, your book has been towed outside the environment.”