Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Amazon Sticks it to Some POD Publishers

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Friday, March 28, 2008

(Note: I'll update this story as I get more information. Updates will be at the bottom, or click the link in the previous sentence.)

Amazon.com seems to be giving the brush-off to Print On Demand publishers that do not use their BookSurge service. Writers Weekly (their publisher also also owns POD press BookLocker.com) has this to say on the topic.

The upshot is that apparently POD authors and publishers will have to use Amazon's own BookSurge POD service. Amazon has turned off the "buy" button for some publishers that use LightningSource or other services. Those books are still available through Amazon's partners who sell new and used copies, but not directly from Amazon. I suspect the publisher that got hit the hardest was PublishAmerica, which released this statement. I'm not a fan of PA, but I really feel for the authors over there.

It's going to cost POD publishers who use LightningSource (which is owned by Ingram) a truckload of money to reformat their books to meet the specifications of BookSurge. Most POD publishers already operate on a tight budget. This is really going to hurt a lot of small publishers. I can only hope that Amazon will come to the realization that they've made a terrible mistake and will back off.


11:00 AM CST: Dear Author weighs in. Writer's Weekly has been slashdotted!


4:00 PM CST: Lee Goldberg gives his take on the story.

11:15 AM EST: Apparently Whiskey Creek Press has had their "buy" buttons turned off.

7:18 PM CST: O'Reilly (a publisher of tech books with a huge web presence) analyzes the situation from both tech and publishing POV's. Interesting stuff.

4:49 PM CST: The geek sites are starting to pick it up now. TechCrunch and Computerworld.

4:26 PM CST: Missed this one earlier. Publisher Virtual Bookworm has sent this letter to their authors.

The Writer's Weekly link above also has links to many other blogs and stories.

1:29 PM CST: Victoria Strauss at the Writer Beware Blog on the situation.

1:02 PM CST: Publisher's Weekly weighs in and an Absolute Write member publishes PA's letter to authors on the issue. (Found a better-formated copy.)

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Filed under: Publishing   BookSurge   LightningSource   POD   Amazon


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