Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Amazon is Getting Sued

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.

1 comment:

  1. You may want to do some math on any affiliate publishers. Besides, WATCH YOUR TITLE.

    I had a run in with an affiliate over who controlled the title of my new book. I was forced to change it when I migrated my content to the Booklocker because I could not longer afford to publish with the affiliate based on the new terms for writers through affiliates.

    I won back my title Mortgaged Souls in an email battle with the affiliate because I had actually not published under it. That is the key, once you publish your book the affiliate claims the right to the title by 'retiring' it not 'removing' it from their system. By the time I won back the title which would have appeared as out of stock on the affiliate's website and on Amazon, I had already chosen another The Tumbleweed Wars.

    The affiliate I was with also agreed to shut down my account instead of 'retiring' my existing book title with them. Retiring means that the title appears out of stock forever, apparently, on the affiliate's website and on Amazon's.

    While my book A Woman's Book Of Allegory may be off the affiliate's site. Amazon still has it as 'out of stock' on its site, even though I decided to stop publishing the book just to get back my writer rights.

    So, for as long as Amazon decides, this book in the minds of readers, is simply out of stock.

    This has serious implications for writers who are thinking of migrating their content to mainstream publishers based upon their titled book sales.