I was going to do a post on anthologies today, but I just found out about Amazon’s bid for complete coverage in the POD world. There are a couple large Print On Demand (POD) printers – BookSurge (now owned by Amazon), LightningSource (owned by Ingram book distributor), and a few medium sized ones. Print on Demand allows for lower costs for small publishers as well as self-publishing authors.
Now, however, Amazon is using its leverage as a retail giant to force publishers to use BookSurge. The result if they don’t? Amazon will turn off the "Buy" button on their book listings. This means that potential customers can see the book on Amazon, but can’t buy it. But, if the author/publisher switches over to BookSurge–viola!–the "Buy" button returns. Read about it in detail at Angel Hoy’s Writers Weekly.
According to Publisher’s Weekly:
Neither Amazon nor BookSurge returned calls, although spokesperson Tammy Hovey told the Wall Street Journal the move is a “strategic decision. What we’re looking to do is have a print-on-demand business that better serves our customers and authors. When we work with some other publishers, it’s not truly a print-on-demand business.”
What? You’re serious? So, you want to have an apparel business and if the designers don’t use your manufacturing company, you can’t truly be an apparel business? That must be one of the most asinine comments I’ve ever seen.
Amazon, you’ve totally screwed up this time. Your company was built on the words of authors. Books got you where you are today. And now, you’re holding POD books hostage until the authors/publishers pay the BookSurge ransom. Shame on you!