It is Spring...the trees are filled with bright green leaves, birds are singing, the grass is now a healthy green once again, and flowers are blooming. Everywhere you look, the world is quickly coming alive after a long, cold winter here in the north. It seems like everything is happening at lightning speed...except when it comes to my dealings with Fiberead and ACX.
Fiberead is the translation and publication service I used to have my first two novels translated into simplified and traditional Chinese. Both books have finally been translated (in fact, the translation was done months ago) and approved for sale in Taiwan, but not in China; they are still going through the "censorship" review that all publications are subjected to in China.
My latest enquiry resulted in a puzzling email response from the leader of the translation team: The censor of the publishing houses have tightened this year. Some books related religion or Mohammedanism have been stopped publishing. Fiberead and I are trying our best to push the project. Please do have some faith on our project, and they will be good.
Although I have been conducting business in China since 1997, and I am aware of the censorship requirements, I find the response odd. Neither of my books have anything to do with religion or "Mohammedanism", so what's up with the delay? Frustrating, to say the least.
Last Monday, May 14th, my second audiobook was finished, approved and submitted to ACX for their final quality control checks. My first book went through this approval process in six calendar days, yet my second book has not even been reviewed as of this writing. After four email requests, I finally received ACX's (Amazon's) canned response today:
I apologize for the delay in response. We've recently experienced an increase in volume and have been working to address each inquiry in the order it was received. Thank you for your patience!
I can see that you approved your audiobook on 5/14 and is currently pending review by QA. As it stated in the email you received after you approved, once it passes, we will let you know and begin distributing it on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. The whole process usually takes up to 10-14 business days, as long as there are no problems. The whole process meaning from the time you submitted the title. Currently, we are only on day five.
Needless to say, neither of these responses are very helpful, and neither address my very simple question of "when will the finished product be ready for sale?" Customer service, it seems, is not something that either business understands. If they did, it would not take multiple enquires to end up with such inane responses.
So, here I sit, wondering when both projects will finally come to fruition and be made available for sale in their respective marketplaces. Such is the life of the Indie author...