Yesterday, May 19, a POD publisher named Booklocker.com filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Amazon.com. To simplify greatly, in March Amazon declared that POD publishers (and self-published authors) must use and pay THEIR printing service, called BookSurge, if they wanted Amazon to list their books. Booklocker is saying this is unfair -- as it clearly is.
Today, May 20, (in an E-mail stamped 11:20 a.m.) I received "A Special Offer from BookSurge for Authors!" Until the end of May if I self-publish with them they'll give me 20 complimentary copies of my book, plus some nice things a POD gives as a matter of course, such as the copyright to my own book. I also got a freebie eBook listing 555 ways I can market my self-published book. Yawn. I mean, talk about being behind the wave.
Amazon.com is the sole source and distributor of the wireless reading pod called the Kindle ($400). It's cool, but it will download only reading matter purchased through Amazon.com. Although Kindle users have been agitating for a 2.0 version with more freedom of choice, Amazon has not scheduled any such thing.
Between BookSurge and the Kindle are authors, publishers, and consumers, all getting squeezed. We liked it when Amazon just sold books. Now it's like the boa constrictor that's so big and tangled it doesn't realize that the thing it's strangling is itself.