Whether you are an established published author or aspiring to have your work published in the near future, you need to take note of this week's event. This is another attempt by one of the big boys to get even bigger and it will hurt readers and authors alike. If you haven’t heard, Amazon purchased BookSurge a small POD publisher/printer back in 2005 and is now forcing other POD publishers to use BookSurge to print their books “or else.” The following are excerpts from articles printed this week in Publishers Weekly, The Wall Street Journal and Writers Weekly.
Writers Weekly 3/28/08
Amazon.com Telling POD Publishers - Let BookSurge Print Your Books, or Else...
"Reports have been trickling in from the POD underground that Amazon/BookSurge representatives have been approaching some Lightning Source customers, first by email introduction and then by phone (nobody at BookSurge seems to want to put anything in writing). When Lightning Source customers speak with the BookSurge representative, the reports say, they are basically told they can either have BookSurge start printing their books or the "buy" button on their Amazon.com book pages will be "turned off."
The book information would remain on Amazon, and people could still order the book from resellers (companies that list new and used books in Amazon's Marketplace section), but customers would not be able to buy the book from Amazon directly, nor qualify for the coveted "free shipping" that Amazon offers.
Don't believe it? I didn't believe it either. I am Angela Hoy, the co-owner of POD services company BookLocker.com and publisher of WritersWeekly.com. I am well-known in the industry for my activism performed through Writers Weekly Whispers and Warnings. Over the years, we have helped writers recover tens of thousands of dollars in fees from deadbeat editors and publishers, helped them negotiate better contract terms, assisted writers in obtaining payment after their copyrights have been violated, and even assisted police in collecting evidence to prosecute criminals who have preyed on writers. I am also the author of 11 non-fiction books.”
“...What can you do? Let Amazon know what you think about this "offer" by Amazon/BookSurge.
The names of their Officers and Directors are here: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=97664&p=irol-govManage
Amazon's Investor Relations Team email address appears near the bottom of this page: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=97664&p=irol-faq
Their address is:
P.O. Box 81226
Seattle, WA 98108-1226
Next, tell your author friends, your book buyers, your website visitors, your ezine subscribers and everyone else about this situation. Amazon.com was built on books. Books are written by authors. Unfortunately, it appears authors may ultimately be the innocent pawns in this power struggle."
Read entire article in Writers Weekly Links to other related articles are available on the Writers Weekly page.
Publishers Weekly 3/28/08
Amazon to Force POD Publishers to Use BookSurge
by Jim Milliot
“BookSurge, Amazon’s print-on-demand subsidiary, is making an offer that most publishers would like to refuse, but don’t feel they can. According to talks with several pod houses, BookSurge has told them that unless their titles are printed by BookSurge, the buy buttons on Amazon for their titles will be disabled. A detailed explanation of her how the new program was explained to her is provided by BookLocker.com co-owner Angela Hoy on her writersweekly.com blog.
Over the last year, BookSurge has been trying to cut into the market share of pod leader Lightning Source and is using the selling clout of Amazon to generate more business. “I feel like the flea between two giant elephants,” said the head of one pod publisher about the upcoming battle between Lightning Source and BookSurge/Amazon. He said although the deal with BookSurge will be more expensive, he has no choice but to make the move since most of his authors expect their titles to be for sale on Amazon. He added that his company will also continue to use Lightning Source for printing as well. Amazon's BookSurge mandate extends to traditional publishers as well as to online pod houses.”
Read the entire article in Publishers Weekly
The Wall Street Journal
Amazon Tightens Grip on Printing
By Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg
"Amazon.com Inc., flexing its muscles as a major book retailer, notified publishers who print books on demand that they will have to use its on-demand printing facilities if they want their books directly sold on Amazon's Web site.
The move signals that Amazon is intent on using its position as the premier online bookseller to strengthen its presence in other phases of bookselling and manufacturing. Amazon is one of the biggest booksellers in the U.S., with a market share publishing experts estimate to be about 15%. Amazon doesn't comment on sales. "
Entire article is available to subscribers of The%20Wall%20Street%20Journal'>The Wall Street Journal