I am not a published author other than the few letters to editors in local Oregon newspapers, but I had a scary letter from one of my responsible sources (I think) concerning PODs and changes with the little guys getting turned off--out of the system, so to speak. Has anyone heard of this? My letter with what appears full disclosure of details was issued one day later than usual so that facts could be checked. I am not sure that I understood all that was being written, but it appeared that writers would have to pay Amazon.com. or the boom is lowered.

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Go to Angela Hoy's blog for her report on this...

Essentially, Amazon wants all POD books they sell directly to come through Booksurge, which they own. Booksurge is approaching small pubs who have their books through other POD printers (see the Angela Hoy post above) and telling them that the buy button on Amazon will be turned off unless they switch to having their books printed by Booksurge. Apparently they've already turned off the buy button for books put out by Publish America, and while you eventually wouldn't be able to buy directly from Amazon any books printed by other POD printers, such as Lightning Source, the buy from other vendors option would still be there.

Or, you could just go to B&N.com and get it from them instead.
The Angela Hoy letter is the one that came to me, but I am such a neophyte that I try to avoid giving out any information that I do not fully understand. Thank you for responding to my "discussion" question.
Erm...my apologies. If you want to read that blog post, the real, correct link is here. She's added some updates as well.
Publishers Weekly has also picked up on this and I've noticed now the topic is being widely discussed in yahoo groups, blogs, etc.:

Thank you for the link.
Funny. Didn't Bill Gates have to pay millions in fines for creating what was considered a monopoly? This is essentially blackmail for small pod publishers, some of whom are legitimate and will be hurt by this. Shame.
I don't think it would happen in Europe, due to the anti-competitiion laws. Although a bookstore should be able to decide who they deal with, Amazon occupy a dominant market position, and that would surely be an abuse of that.

In the UK, they just add an extra £1.99 "sourcing fee", which is presumably pure profit, as most books are sourced through one agency.
Hearing something like makes me think I'm not gonna sell books through Amazon at all anymore. Not only do they already charge ya a fee, but they take 55% of the money. Online robbery, I say.
Wasn't the forced break up between the movie theater chains and the movie studios a similar situation? At one bookseller's conference they said that Amazon.com makes more money on the books that sell small quantities as the profit is larger. I wonder if Lightning Source will file a legal complaint???? Although I agree that a business has a right to source it's material, Amazon.com may be entering a grey zone here...I might change my bookmarks to suggest buying from B&N instead.
Last note on this--I just read a letter from the Amazon.com team explaining their (its?) position on PODs, and the comments seem reasonable and, of course, complimentary to Amazon. Since, I have yet to write that great American novel (and I probably would never choose to write one as I favor writing nonfiction--at least at this point in my life). Whether good or bad decisions are made in the publishing field, it is apparent that there are many changes ahead. Those authors who can adapt to the challenge will succeed; those who cannot will fail.
That said, has it ever been any different in the writing world? No matter how marvelous marketing changes are, a bad book will not go far (hopefully).
Last word was that IUniverse/AuthorHouse and Lulu signed Amazon's contract. Lightning Source is in a holding pattern as is Xlibiris. Now the Author's Guild and the American Society of Journalists and Authors are weighing in. They're not happy. ASJA specifically mentions a clause in the Amazon contract, "The contract being offered to print-on-demand publishers, which ASJA officers have seen, also includes a confidentiality clause forbidding disclosure of not just specific contract terms, as is typical, but any discussion at all.[emphasis mine.] Thus, small publishers who have signed the contract may not say so, much less reveal the pressure they were under." The link to the letter is here.

In the UK, Amazon is winning friends by stating that publishers who sell their books at discount ON THEIR OWN WEBSITES will find their revenues reduced as Amazon will only pay based on the price listed the publisher's site, not an Amazon. This one won't fly, but it reveals another level of corporate arrogance.
SPAN (Small Publishers Assn of America) has made a formal protest, I've just read, to Amazon.com about their new policy.


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