This week’s post is a rant regarding our e-readers. Many of you have been following my posts on Twitter regarding the latest “technological issue” with the Kindle app on my Samsung Tablet (I own a NOOK, too). For me, every other month the Kindle app on my e-readers “malfunctions” and I have to either sign-out and sign-in again and wait for hours as my account is “syncing,” or I have to de-register the app on my device, uninstall, and then reinstall it. During this time, I cannot access or read any of the content on the app. This includes purchased ebooks, Kindle Unlimited ebooks, and eARCs.
Yes, I did reach out Kindle Tech Services (or, in this case they reached out to me), and the same thing is reiterated to me: “Have you signed out of your account?” “It takes a while for the content to sync.” “Have you reached out to us for further assistance?” How many times does something need to malfunction before strides are taken to fix it permanently? Yes, I completed the post online from 1 link; then, I sent an email through another link. That was when someone from Amazon Kindle Help reached out to me; except, I was at work and I could NOT answer my phone. And yes, they called once and left a message.
This post is not just about my rants about an issue regarding a faulty app or unreliable customer service, but it’s about how book publishers and bookbloggers can find themselves at a standstill when electronic ARCs and ebooks cannot be accessed. At the start of the pandemic, more readers and individuals relied on ebooks knowing they wouldn’t be able to get access to print books for an unknown time. However, I can attest I still had issues with the apps on my e-readers throughout the pandemic as well. Yes, this includes my NOOK device, but those issues are easier and quicker to resolve than the Kindle app.
As a bookblogger, it can become very frustrating when you can’t access the eARCs you were given due to technological issues. It adds on to the need to read any of these books before their publication dates. In addition, I’m a librarian and there are some books we need to read ahead of time so we know whether or not those books are what our patrons want (especially, for children and teens). Yes, these things are out of our control, but when it happens on a regular basis, it’s no longer an “issue,” it’s a “constant inconvenience.”
And, before you say “download another format of the ebook/eARC,” it’s NOT that simple. For some reason, the NOOK app cannot access any eARCs; I cannot always read the (PDF) files on my computer; and, some of these files cannot be accessed on a mobile device (i.e. smartphones). Ebooks are supposed to be more manageable and more environmentally friendly over print books. Unfortunately, until all of the technology issues that comes with ebooks and e-readers occur less often, then print books will continue to be the preferred format.
We want to make the ARC process easier by using and accessing ebook formats, but the go-between–a.k.a. reading apps–must make the effort so that the process is easier. For now, as longer as I can access my ebooks and my eARCs without the app or the e-reader itself malfunctioning, I should be able to keep up with what I’m reading. It’s sad I lost almost a week of reading because of an issue that should not keep occurring.