Sales of a novel based on an attempted assassination on Donald Trump have been hamstrung by an Amazon ad ban, a newbie Queenstown author claims.
Brit Adam Childs, an aid worker who lives in Arthurs Point, self-published his book Schrodinger’s Cabinet last July.
He planned a six-week ad campaign with internet giant Amazon leading up to the United States presidential election.
But by election day he’d only managed six advert days.
A frustrated Childs exchanged 89 emails with Amazon, which only accepted his first ad on November 3.
Rejection emails vaguely referred to ads violating “our ad guideline policy” or it might advocate for “a specific political ideology or promotes a specific candidate”.
As of yesterday, the 276-page book was languishing at 1228th on Amazon’s list of assassination thrillers and has an average four-stars from 20 reviews.
A fortnight ago, Childs received his first royalty cheque from Amazon for $US143.
It was like salt in the wound.
“I spent $1000 on marketing and 600 hours [working on the book].”
He thinks the effect of the ad ban on sales would have been “very substantial”, or at least a factor.
“If I did do another book it would definitely go through an established publishing house,” he says.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.
While the lack of income hasn’t dented Childs’ pride too much, he adds: “From my partner’s perspective, quite a lot – she’d rather I focus on paying the mortgage.”
A conversation, over a Saturday morning coffee with partner Penny O’Connor, about Trump winning the presidency, spawned the book.
Childs said to O’Connor: “If he did [win], then someone would have a go at him.”
He started writing in April and knocked it out in three months – including about 250 hours of writing.
“They try to assassinate him using a rather odd technique that is designed to capture attention, because this is what you have to do in today’s media world.”
The complexity and “ridiculousness” of the American electoral system creates the plot, he says.
“As to how it ends and who did it, you’ll have to buy the book.”