Thursday, September 18, 2008

Finally Finished the [insert epithet] Amazon Guide

One of the things I promised I'd do this summer was create my first Amazon So you'd like to... guide. Under my profile, there, I had done some reviews and listmania lists, but never a guide. This year, with the summer 2008 release of Robert Crais' latest, Chasing Darkness, and Brilliance Audio finally releasing the first five in the Elvis Cole series, in unabridged form, I thought it would be a good one to start with. Easy, right? Yeah... It all reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite westerns, Richard Brooks' The Professionals:

Everything is as usual. I need guns and bullets, as usual. The war goes badly, as usual. Only you, you are not as usual.-- Jesus Raza (Jack Palance)

Nothing came easy in that film. Same here. First, I had to wait until all of those new releases came out and I listened to those audiobooks--along with all of the others in the series. That was enjoyable (re-reading a favorite series is great stuff). But, then I had to start composing the guide. (rinse and repeat). I envy those who can write so elegantly--so effortlessly. That's not me (sigh). Anyway, when I finally had it where I wanted it, I went to Amazon's create a guide page. Filled in the title, qualifications, tags, and copied in my text. I saved and checked it over. But when I pressed the Publish button: "Inappropriate Language, please edit the text below."

I love language filters...not. After spending the last six days going blind to find the inappropriate parts in my guide (no bad words ever existed there), speaking with Amazon's call center (somewhere overseas--one can always tell by the phone lag), writing to their contact email (not very easy to find, and they never replied), I found myself getting nowhere, quickly. No cavalry would be coming over the ridge, at least from Amazon's part. Turned out, since I first drafted the guide on a word processing application (who shall remain nameless), it insisted upon inserting unicode symbols for my punctuation. After weeding them all out and getting it all down to plain text, did it finally post my guide. Whew... If anyone is interested, here it is:


1 comment:

  1. That's a really good write-up and it's clear that you took a lot of time and effort to get it right. Good on yer!

    You were kinder to Patrick Lawlor than I, so I'll say no more about him. And James Daniels I can tolerate except when he says "pleece" instead of police. It makes me want to tear my hair out.