December 20, 2011

Comparing Apples and Amazons

My recent foray into publishing an ebook has been a real eye-opener.

I am a very big fan of Apple products. I believe they make beautiful products that are generally easy and delightful to use. The service in their retail stores is usually outstanding.

Dealing with "corporate" Apple, however, has been a complete nightmare. They are the epitome of everything that's wrong with the tech industry. Trying to get a response from them is next to impossible. Trying to get an answer to a simple question is useless. When you get a response, trying to decipher it is beyond the abilities of mortal men. Attempting to get a live human on the phone is out of the question.

Here's my story.

A few weeks ago I published an ebook with Amazon. It was a pleasure. The instructions on their website were clear. Once I had it formatted, it took just a few minutes to upload it and then just a few hours for it to appear in the Amazon store.

Having heard that publishing something to Apple's iBookstore was more complicated, I started the process weeks before Amazon. I filled out the necessary forms on line. Then I waited.

After a few weeks I sent several emails inquiring about my application and trying to get acknowledgement that it had even been received. I heard nothing. I waited a few more weeks. I sent another email on Dec. 7th asking about the status of my account. One week later I received a return email that was completely incomprehensible.

Not only could I not understand it, our IT guy, who manages the computer needs of 72 people spread out over 2,000 miles couldn't understand it. Not only could he not understand it, the Apple business team (we are an Apple business customer) that handles our account couldn't understand it.

It has now been well over a month and I have no idea what the hell is going on, what the status of my book is, or where to go to find an answer.

My opinion of Apple has taken a very significant dive. It seems that when you get beneath the surface they are no different from the rest of the tech industry. All they want to do is sell you something. Once they do, you can go screw yourself.

By The Way:
Thanks to everyone who has bought the book. It has been a consistent best-seller in its puny little category. If you haven't bought it yet, remember: Kim Jung Il didn't buy it either. Look what happened to him.

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