shadowhelm (shadowhelm) wrote,

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Amazon Bullies POD to Use Booksurge -- or Else.

I hardly believed this news, and yet, as incredible as it seems, both Publisher's Weekly and Writer's Weekly have reported that Amazon is bullying Print-On-Demand publishers to use their own Booksurge POD and not Ingram's Lightning Source, which many POD publishers use.  If POD presses don't use Amazon, then Amazon will take down the buy buttons on their books on Amazon. 

The point is that Amazon, as we all know, is the 1000 pound gorilla in the online booksellers.  Authors for some time have used Ingram's Lightning Source because of the Ingram distribution.  But now, in order to placate Amazon, authors may have to publish with TWO POD printers and distributors, Booksurge, to keep Amazon happy, and Lightning Source, to keep their Ingram distribution.  And who in the heck knows where people are going to get the money for that?  See, and the problem is that Amazon double dips if you publish through Booksurge.  

I've been a fan of Amazon, but now I'm not so sure.  As much as I'm not a fan of POD houses, Amazon has taken away the buy buttons on PublishAmerica, among others.  So, now I have to wonder if this -- dare I say this? -- is an attempt at a monopoly?  I've always been happy with Amazon, but this current behavior has me worried.  What's next, I wonder?  While I don't worry about PODs, I worry about small publishers.  Where does the line get crossed?

Amazon should do what it does best, and that is sell books.  If they want to play with POD, fine.  But instead of threats, they should make their printing package far more attractive so POD publishers go to them.  After all, that's what they've been good for in the past -- giving a good product at a good price. 

Tags: amazon, booksurge, news, pod, publishing

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