The Quincannon Publishing Group

A Word About Muze
and Online Vendors Who Use It



The industry standard for current book titles is Books-in-Print which is published by R. R. Bowker. It is where we publishers register our titles. It is the same corporation which issues ISBN's (International Standard Book Numbers) to identify all titles.

Unfortunately, Bowker charges the likes of Amazon.com and other large online vendors an annual subscription for its use. Therefore, many of these online giants use a company named Muze, which doesn't charge or charges a fraction the amount of Bowker. This is definitely a case of "you get what you pay for." We have caught Muze on multiple occasions, literally making up information about our titles. If they are doing it to us, they are doing it pretty much across the board.

The problem is trying to undo the havoc that they wreck.

Our title, Living in the Past, Looking to the Future, has been mislabeled by them since before it was even in print.

We suppose that they tapped into Bowker's Upcoming Books-in-Print where the title was listed immediately after the contracts were signed. But for such a listing, only a title is necessary because layouts have not determined the number of pages and therefore the price has not been established and a release date is flexible. But not to be beaten to the punch, Muze appears to have simply made up the information on their own.

First they got the title wrong; then they listed the wrong author; then they listed the wrong author again; then they listed the wrong author a third time; then they listed the wrong release date; then the wrong number of pages; then the wrong binding. Finally, they went so far as to list the price at $99.95 (more than four times the actual cover price)!

Each time, it took us forever to cut through their bureaucracy to make corrections and all the while as Muze argued with us, the publisher, that they were correct and we were wrong.

The latest boner is that Amazon (whether on its own or by way of Muze) has now declared this title as "out-of-print." The problem is that this title is not, nor has it ever been "out-of-print" and it has a healthy sales record. But an Amazon listing creates a domino effect. So much so, that it took our foreign agents months to undo the previous nonsense overseas, which hurt sales.

Now we are taking this on ourselves via the internet because Muze is unhelpful and contacting Amazon.com only connects us with a service bureau out-sourced in India, where they repeatedly declare that they must "research" the problem. After months which then turned into years, they reached no conclusions even when the author contacted them on his own. Explaining who we are and that Books-in-Print has the correct information on hand resolves nothing.

Why they choose to conduct themselves in this manner is unfathomable.

Believe it or not, there once was a time when books were treated as objects of respect and accuracy about them was meaningful...



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The Quincannon Publishing Group
All rights reserved.

 
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