The Amazon of South America is the second longest river in the world and by far the largest by waterflow with an average discharge greater than the next seven largest rivers combined (not including Madeira and Rio Negro, which are tributuaries of the Amazon). The Amazon, which has the largest drainage basin in the world, about 7,050,000 square kilometres (2,720,000 sq mi), accounts for approximately one-fifth of the world's total river flow*
When I was in university, I held a summer job in the conference centre. One summer, I accidentally became the de facto, temporary conference director when the previous director quit. Another summer, I worked with a wonderful woman who was both elegant and bawdy. We laughed our heads off all the time and got so much done. One of our most absurd moments happened when we called over to another university building, looking for someone, only to be told, "I'm sorry. She's on another floor and cannot communicate." This became our go-to line whenever anything insane happened.
I had a "she's on another floor and cannot communicate" moment this week.
The Amazons are a nation of all-female warriors in Greek mythology and Classical antiquity.*
Actually, moment does not fully describe the two hours I spent on the telephone with various amazon.com and amazon.ca representatives. Though unfailingly polite, they were unable to help me.
Amazon Women on the Moon is a 1987 American satirical comedy film that parodies the experience of watching low-budget movies on late-night television. The film, featuring a large ensemble cast, takes the form of a compilation of twenty-one comedy skits directed by five different directors.*
Let me explain to you -- as I did to all eight Amazon reps -- my own comedy skit. Six years ago, I had a book published. Five years ago, the publisher closed its doors and the book's rights and copies reverted to me. This year, I was encouraged to consider self-publishing and I decided that there was no harm in re-issuing my Christmas-themed book.
No harm except for the hair pulling.
I went to Book Surge, Amazon's alleged self-publishing arm, loaded up my content, filled in all the forms, answered all the questions. It was relatively painless. This was about a month ago. I was sent a sample copy -- and lo, it looked like a real book, was well-bound and printed. I approved the copy, and waited.
Yesterday, I decided it was time to find out why the book was not appearing on the site. And to figure out how to adjust the price of the book, which still appears at its (higher) 2005 price on the Canadian website.
This was not as easy as it sounds. It did take eight conversations, two passwords, and one ticket to the IT department in order to find out that someone was on another floor and could not communicate.
To be fair, it's a weird situation. And, if I had posted the book in the first place to amazon, or if this were not a re-issue, I think things would have gone swimmingly.
Or maybe there would have been piranhas in that Amazon story. I don't know.
I'm still on hold, so to speak. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, if you're interested, I'm selling the book at Waterloo's Ten Thousand Villages store and through Kindred Productions.
Happy start of the Christmas season!
* so saith Wikipedia