I’m sorry to say that I am withdrawing my book from Inkshares. I will be forever thankful to all the people that supported me along the way. It is a great disappointment that so many people worked alongside me to help us get those 750 orders and to now have to walk away. I will try to make this up to all of you. It was a tough decision to make but I’ve lost all faith and trust in the company and think walking away is the best option. An except from a strongly worded email I sent to the CEO yesterday:
For you to say that all credit orders are invalid is completely unacceptable, and I think this is what our problem comes down to--you don’t see an issue there. You should. Among those credit orders was your predecessor at CEO. If that’s not a mark of approval for using credits, I don’t know what is. To say you decided you don’t like the system anymore does not invalidate what happened previous. The company explicitly promoted credits to users for a long time, to pretend like that didn’t happen because it suits your current interests is wrong and you should know that. It sounds like this is what this all comes down to, for Inkshares to publish my book I must concede this point. I won’t.
I don’t know what I’ll do now. It’s been a very frustrating experience these last few months to say the least and the prospect of starting back at square one is daunting, but Illegal will be published and hopefully soon. This week I’ve been working on another round of editing and I’m happy with the progress I’ve gotten there. I’ve created a simple page for anyone to follow the project here. I’ve also written up my experiences with Inkshares here and invite other authors/ readers to comment freely.
This will be my last message from Inkshares. Thank you again, everyone. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out the way we expected but I’ll do my best to make it right with all the wonderful people that supported me.
Inkshares has had problems with refunds on other campaigns and I wanted to make sure everyone who bought Illegal has received their money back. The refund should have gone out on October 24th and reached your account a few days later. If you were not refunded please reach out to email@example.com and let them know. Also let me know and I’ll stay on their case.
On a related note, many of you have been asking if you should re-order. The answer is no. The team has done a very poor job handling their mass-refund mistake, and there are refund issues with at least one other campaign so I would not trust them with money at this point. I’ve lost a lot of trust in the platform and the team running it and at this point they would really have to go above and beyond for me to change my mind and still let them publish my book. That seems unlikely to happen at this point. Save your money.
I’m going to push them to give me a real answer next week about how they plan to resolve this. If they can’t tell me or it doesn’t include them going above and beyond, I’ll walk away and seek better options.
I am sorry to write you, again, without being able to tell you how Illegal will go forward with Inkshares. I do, as always, want to be transparent with what’s been happening.
On October 14th, Illegal fully funded after selling over 750 copies. On October 24th, a computer glitch gave everyone a refund. I immediately reached out to Inkshares and they told me they were not sure what happened but they would be able to recharge credit cards. However, they would not honor orders that used credits. When the funding period began Inkshares issued credits to encourage participation. They have since discontinued that promotion in part because customers were using credits in ways they did not like. For most of the campaign when a customer made a purchase Inkshares gave a referral code on the site at time of purchase and again in the confirmation email with a message that told them they would receive credits when someone used their link. I believe this is the source of most credits used and sought to establish a baseline with Inkshares to determine what they found acceptable and what not. I’ve asked variations of this question many times over the past month and a half and have never received a clear answer what the criteria would be and if the aforementioned example would be valid or not. From the start I told them I would be happy to work with them to resolve the situation but thought completely throwing away all credit orders regardless of criteria was unfair and unacceptable.
While this was going on I was reaching out to various funded authors on the Inkshares platform to try and make sense of this all. I was encouraged to hear that the issue was a big topic among authors who were curious to see how Inkshares would handle the situation. I assumed Inkshares would want to show they had their authors interests in mind.
In the month and half since the bug that triggered the refund I have constantly been reaching out to Inkshares to try to determine what is happening and when I should expect everything to be resolved. Not all my emails are answered and I have been given few specific details, but in the last reply I did receive I was told that they will know more before the end of the year. At this point, I think too much time has elapsed to re-charge credit cards which may mean that ALL orders have been lost. I was cautiously optimistic in the immediate aftermath of the bug but as more time passes without resolution and poor communication I’m beginning to lose that initial hope and patience. I never imagined that this would have dragged on into December.
I spent nearly a year fundraising for this--which is something I hated doing. So having all those orders taken away after reaching the goal stings. A LOT. But, there is a bright side. I have forged friendships with other authors and despite losing all the orders, to know that hundreds of people were willing to spend their money (and often their time) on Illegal is wonderful and validating. I do have the email of everyone who purchased a book and if anyone wants to get in touch with me they can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll update again when the situation is resolved.