Well I have some very sad news about Amazon, (and I'm very ticked off about this) apparently they have decided that they are going to strong arm POD authors into only having their POD books printed with BookSurge or they will loose their Buy Now button on their Amazon sales page. The thing is I started out as POD author publishing my very first book Getting Out Alive with Lulu Press (an excellent POD publisher by the way), and while I decided not to go and post my books on Amazon due to cost constraints at the time of publication, I still find this news highly disturbing as both an author and a reader. Apparently, BookSurge which was purchased by Amazon in 2005 is now calling and e-mailing all POD authors who have their books listed on Amazon but who are having their books printed by printers other than BookSurge that if they do not switch over to having their books printed by BookSurge only, that their Buy Now button will be removed from their sales page on Amazon! What are these idiots thinking? This takes POD books who are not printed by BookSurge out of the loop for free shipping, and not directly available from Amazon anymore. This is going to loose money for authors as well as those small e-pubs who POD the print versions of their books because people are not going to want to order from Amazon if they can't get the free shipping when they spend $25, it's just not going to happen. Removing the Buy Now buttons is going to make some people go elsewhere to buy the book they want or choose not to buy at all.
I have not heard good things when it comes to BookSurge's quality of print books either, in fact consistently I've been told by more than one author that their quality is crappy to say the least. So, switching over to them is not an option for me should I decide to make my POD print book available on Amazon in the future, which I will not now.
Amazon is even cutting out Lightning Source and saying they are going to remove Buy Now buttons from those pages whose POD books are through Lightning Source. Yikes! Lighting Source is how you get your book listed in Ingrams and as we all know if you are a POD author, this is absolutely critical. So, let me see if I have this straight Amazon? *sarcasm* I have to allow you to only print my book through BookSurge, a low quality POD printer at best, and if I still want to be listed in Ingrams I have to pay for both Booksurge to print my book, and Lightning Source so I can make sure I remain listed in Ingrams? I don't think so. I will be taking my business as well as my books elsewhere thank you very much. I refuse to support any company that takes these sort of stong arm tactics to try and bully POD authors. I hope those of you who read this will follow my example and discontinue doing business with Amazon in any form. I see some lawsuits in the future and while I'm not a lawyer by any stretch of the imagination, I wonder if this doesn't violate anti-trust laws? And I'm not the only one wondering that one! For more information check out this article by Angela Hoy, one of the owners of Booklocker, a POD publisher. You can read it here.