Monday, March 31, 2008

Amazon to force POD authors to use BookSurge

On Writers Weekely, Angela Hoy reports that Amazon's print-on-demand (POD) subsidiary, BookSurge, is telling writers that unless their titles are printed by BookSurge, the buy buttons on Amazon for their titles will be disabled.

A petition has been created to oppose what many people are claiming is an abuse of Amazon's market power.
Amazon's Print-on-Demand publishing company BookSurge is trying to strong arm the rest of the Print-on-Demand industry. They are currently threatening to disable a book's buy button if that book's publishing company does not use the Booksurge Print-on-Demand printing service. They have already done this to PublishAmerica. Can iUnverse,, etc. be far behind? Must authors be forced to to as Amazon says?

This is a conflict of interest for Amazon, and a blatant attempt at a monopoly.
Please sign this petition if you want BookSurge to stop enforcing its print service on the independent publishing industry.
Update (01.04.08): From Publishers Weekly, reporting that Amazon have written to interested parties.
In the letter from the books team, the company reiterated that by using machines that are located in its own fulfillment centers, Amazon can have a title ready for shipment quicker than if it needs to wait for a book to be shipped to its facility. The extra time will permit Amazon to “marry” a title with another product that will be shipped in the same box, in most cases hitting Amazon Prime shipping times. “It isn’t logical or efficient to print a POD book in a third place, and then physically ship the book to our fulfillment centers. It makes more sense to produce the books on site, saving transportation costs and transportation fuel, and significantly speeding the shipment to our customers,” the letter states.

Amazon further notes that if publishers do not want to use BookSurge for pod, they can still sell their titles through the e-tailer as part of it Advantage Program, provided they pre-produce five copies of each title that Amazon will stock in its warehouse. Publishers can also use Amazon’s third party marketplace option to list titles. Amazon is not requiring that pod titles be printed exclusively through BookSurge.

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