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Friday, March 28, 2008

What's Amazon Up To Now?

An author on one of my publisher's loops posted a link to this article this morning. I am wondering how far-reaching this is going to become.

Amazon.com Telling POD Publishers - Let BookSurge Print Your Books, or Else...

For those who don't know about POD, there are more than two players in the printing of POD books. But today, we're going to talk about the following two: Lightning Source (owned by the distributor, Ingrams) is the largest. The smaller BookSurge is owned by Amazon.com.

Recently, some publishers who use Lightning Source's POD services have reportedly received threats that if they don't switch to BookSurge, the "BUY" link on their books' pages would be removed, the books would no longer be available for purchase directly from Amazon, and would no longer qualify for free shipping.

True? Or a rumor? Read the article and make your own determination.

Contrary to what he stated at the very beginning of our conversation, Mr. Clifford finally admitted that books not converted to BookSurge would have the "buy" button turned off on Amazon.com, just as we'd heard from several other POD publishers who had similar conversations with Amazon/BookSurge representatives.


All I can say is that if this is indeed happening, then the major benefit I find in Amazon--the ability to purchase books that are otherwise extremely difficult to find elsewhere--will be completely lost. I guarantee I'd be visiting Amazon.com a whole lot less than I do now.

So much for the Amazon Vision Statement:
"Our vision is to be earth's most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online."


What does the Mr. Clifford
(Amazon/BookSurge representative) suggest to authors whose publishers decided against switching to BookSurge?

Mr. Clifford said authors of those books could participate in the Amazon.com Advantage Program, meaning they would have to pay Amazon $29.95 per year PLUS 55% of the list price of their book, as well as buy and then send those books to Amazon directly for them to warehouse and ship to customers.
Eeeek! So now authors must write and promote their books, along with buying books from their publishers, and shipping them to Amazon?

At 55%, I would LOSE money with every copy that Amazon sold. I guarantee I won't be doing this. I couldn't afford to.

The bottom line: As readers and authors, we are in a pretty rotten position--stuck in the middle. I can speak with my wallet, but will my voice be enough?

The article's author, Angela, makes the following recommendations:

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:

Amazon.com, Inc.
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.


Tawny
*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Wicked-Hot Erotic Fiction




posted by Tawny Taylor at 10:53 AM |

2 Comments:

Commented by Blogger Patrica:


Wow! If this turns into reality then those of us that use Amazon.com to purchase hard to find copies will be SOL.

I guess it all boils down to who wants to make the most money. I can't see this happening because they want to streamline.

Still, it's better to just wait and see what happens. Of cousrse if this becomes a reality I will be shopping elsewhere!


1:29 PM 
Commented by Blogger Lauren Murphy:


I really don't like the sound of this. It leaves a very bad taste on my mouth. And if this is the truth I don't see myself spending much more money with them. This sounds truly unethical!!


6:59 PM 

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