This is a status update on our new site as of July 20, 2019.
July 20, 2019, 7:50 A.M. PDT: I continue to work on fixing bugs and adding features. Over the past several days we’ve been sending out email announcements about the new site, in relatively small batches. Although most customers have been able to complete their purchases successfully, there have been a few glitches, and we’ve been working through bug reports as quickly as we can. We ask for your patience and understanding, as we’re still finding our footing with this new system and occasionally encountering unexpected things.
I’d also like to call your attention to two things in particular that have prompted feedback:
- Currency: If the checkout page is not showing the currency you want to use, click the flag pop-up menu at the top of the page to choose a different location; currency is tied to geography. Also note that we have zero control or influence over exchange rates! That is entirely within FastSpring’s domain.
- Apple Pay: Although we’ve had many successful purchases using Apple Pay, there have been two or three reports that it wasn’t working correctly in specific cases. If this happens to you, please help us help you. Tell us which device, operating system (including version), and browser you were using, and exactly what you saw on the screen (particularly if that included an error message). (Also, please double-check to see that your browser and device had Apple Pay enabled, including a valid payment card.) The more information you can provide us, the more likely it is we can find a solution.
In fact, I’ll go ahead and make that last request broader: please give us as much detail as you can when reporting any problem. Screenshots are great! Specific URLs are helpful. Tell us exactly what you clicked or tapped and exactly what you saw on the screen. Messages like “I can’t log in” or “your website sucks” (yes, we have received both of those) don’t tell us anything we can use to diagnose or solve a problem.
Things We’re Working On
Please note that, in addition to what’s on this list, we have many behind-the-scenes issues to deal with, so progress on the items listed here may not occur at the speed (or in the order) one might expect. Please contact us if you have a problem with an order or with accessing your purchases, or if you encounter a major issue not shown here. However, the vast majority of issues will disappear on their own as we work our way through our internal checklists. If your issue is not urgent, please consider waiting a few days and checking again to see if it has been resolved before contacting us.
Missing or Partially Implemented Features
Here is a partial list of things that worked correctly on our old site but have not yet been fully implemented on this site:
- Check for updates: The Check for Updates pages (which appear when you click the Ebook Extras link in a book) don’t yet show per-book blog posts, update plans, or the option to register Take Control books purchased from other sites.
- Customer accounts: The Account details tab lets you view the list of all email addresses associated with your account, but does not yet let you add a secondary email address, change which address is primary, or merge accounts. While we’re working on all of that, if you need to change this information, please contact us and we’ll be glad to change it manually.
- Bundles: Bundled products (two or more books offered together at a discounted price) are not yet generally available, although there are a couple of exceptions.
- Affiliate program: Previously, eSellerate handled Take Control’s affiliate program. With the closing of that service, we’re moving to a new affiliate platform, but it isn’t up and running yet.
- Class copies: The Class Copies page is currently just a placeholder, and does not permit you to place orders for discounted class copies. If you need class copies immediately, please contact us for assistance.
- Apple Employees and Apple Consultants Network programs: The automated sign-up forms for these two programs are not yet functional, but if you follow a link to one of those pages, you’ll see instructions for signing up manually.
- Email from us: We have totally replaced our system for sending email (for example, notices of new or updated books), and some major features haven’t been implemented yet. In addition, there could be formatting anomalies in some email messages you receive from us.
Besides the not-fully-implemented features above, we have a number of bugs we’re working through. Here is an incomplete list:
- The cart icon at the top of the page (and the popup that appears if you hover over it) shows the number of items in your cart, but it currently does not show prices, because prices in this location don’t include coupon discounts (those aren’t calculated until you visit the cart page), and some customers found that confusing.
- Although existing user credentials work for most people, some users are unable to log in with the username and password they used on our old site. If this happens to you, first confirm that your username (email address) was entered correctly. In some cases, password managers (such as 1Password) may fail to fill that in automatically on the new site, because the field name has changed. But if you fill it in manually and submit the form, your password manager should offer to update the record for you. If, despite doing that, your password is not accepted, the quickest and easiest remedy is to use our password reset form—and it’s fine to reset your password to the same one you were using before, if you like.
- The visual layout of the site (fonts, sizes, spacing, etc.) is not yet final. In particular, we’re still working to improve the layout for mobile devices with certain combinations of screen size and orientation.
- The site has not yet been optimized for fast performance, though it’s getting better. Some pages still load more slowly than they should.
- Downloading PDFs to mobile devices might fail in certain situations because the site is trying to send a standalone file rather than displaying it directly in your browser. If you encounter this problem, try downloading the EPUB format instead until we get it fixed.
Our intention is not merely to replicate the features of our old site on our new site, but to add useful capabilities we didn’t have before. Here are some of the things we’re working on for the future that were either impossible or impractical on our old site:
- Library enhancements: We’d like to enable you to sort your books by criteria other than title (for example, category or date released). We’ve also heard that users with many books would like a way to hide older books from the Library tab of their account page. We’ll see what we can do.
- Upgrade everything at once: If you’ve bought numerous books from us over the years and want to upgrade all of them to the latest versions, you should be able to do so in a single step.
- Take Control Prime: Instead of waiting for a sale, wouldn’t it be nice if you could purchase our books at a huge discount any day of the year? We think so too.
- Print books: We hope to once again offer paperback versions of some of our books in the future, but it’s a multi-step process that will take some time to implement.
- Better gift purchases: Although you can buy an ebook and send it to a friend today, it’s not terribly convenient for either you or your friend. We’d like to make it much easier to buy our books as gifts.