Jeff Bozos did a great thing when he created Amazon. He provided a great service for not only book lovers, but also for small publishers and print-on-demand. A proliferation of writers now had the opportunity to have their books available to the world and Amazon has made big bucks off of them.
Apparently the tide has changed and now Amazon wants to gobble up the small publishers and print-on-demand companies. Amazon has just instituted their BookSurge and is putting the squeeze on. I am one of those who is feeling the squeeze.
When I completed the manuscript for Mary Magdalene, Her Legacy, I chose to use Lightning Source, Inc. because it was a print-on-demand and I liked the idea of it being listed on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com as well as the primary wholesalers Ingram and Baker&Taylor. I already have a substantial inventory of Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls because I am a small publisher and wanted something more feasible for me. When Mary Magdalene, Her Legacy was released in January 2008, Lightning Source listed the book per our agreement. The book is now on Amazon with a cover image only. There is no ISBN or price. What the book buyer gets is a box where they can purchase the book for .01 cents to 1.74 as new and used! Really? I don't think so and this is misleading and the buyer is unable to purchase the book. Lightning Source has exhausted their attempts to get the correct information placed on Amazon. Where does that leave me? Well, one could say 'caught in a squeeze.'
Have you ever attempted to email Amazon? It isn't easy, believe me! I had to purchase a book in order to learn how to navigate Amazon because it is like a labyrinth. My book, Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls is already listed on Amazon under my publishing company name and so far it is okay. It is the newer books such as my latest that is being ambushed and I am asking if anyone has any suggestions. I suggest that we put out the word regarding Amazon. At the end of this article I have placed a copy of an email I received from PMA, the Independent Publishers Association and one from Lightning Source, INc.
I am asking your assistance in spreading the word that both of my books, Mary Magdalene, Her Legacy and Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls can be purchased from www.Barnes&Noble.com, through my website http://www.magdalenescrolls.com. Bookstores may order them through Ingram or Baker&Taylor. I am asking that you send this to all of your friends, relatives, etc. Thank you. Bettye Johnson http://www.magdalenescrolls.com
"From adversity comes the jewel." ~ Mary Magdalene, Her Legacy) ===================================================== Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 4:13 PM Subject: PMA Speaking Out Against Amazon's Recent Policy
Many of you may have been following the recent news regarding Amazon.com's new policy aimed at publishers who use print-on-demand technology to sell directly on Amazon.com. A statement of their policy may be found on the Amazon website http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-printondemand. To express our concern at what we feel could be a significant financial hardship for small and independent publishers, your association is releasing the following statement to the media:
PMA, The Independent Book Publishers Association Speaking Out Against Amazon's Recent Policy
PMA, The Independent Book Publishers Association, representing more than 4,000 independent publishers, is speaking out against Amazon's recent policy aimed at publishers who use print-on-demand technology to sell directly on amazon.com. The company has directed that publishers either must print their books on demand exclusively at Amazon's subsidiary printer for fulfillment of orders placed with Amazon or incur additional cost to print elsewhere and maintain inventory with the online retailer.
"This policy imposes a significant financial burden on tens of thousands of small and independent publishers who can least afford it," points out Executive Director Terry Nathan. "Without the opportunity to benefit from competitive pricing, small publishers risk at best an expensive and needless overhaul of their manufacturing process, and at worst, the loss of their livelihood.
"On behalf of all the small and independent publishers whose businesses are in jeopardy, we urge Amazon to reconsider its position," continues Nathan. "Over the years, Jeff Bezos and his company have given small and independent publishers a level playing field to compete with the largest of companies. Suddenly, this magnificent playing field has been converted into a 'members only' club, to the detriment of those very publishers who have contributed to Amazon's success. We will continue to monitor developments in the weeks ahead."
In order to gather information as to the scope of the effect on you, our members, please send me an email and let me know 1) if you are affected by this policy and 2) what you anticipate the financial implications of the policy will be on your business. The information will remain confidential and will not be divulged unless we request your permission in writing in advance.
We will continue to watch this issue as more details emerge and keep you informed.
April 1, 2008
Lightning Source has been following the recent press coverage and discussions about Amazon.com
and BookSurge. We are aware of the concern this is causing the publishing community. The issue centers around Amazon.com tying the availability of your books and terms of sale at Amazon.com to the production of books at the Amazon.com subsidiary BookSurge, specifically requiring you to use BookSurge in order to sell on Amazon.
Like you, we are very concerned about any conduct that would serve to limit a publishers choice in supply chain partners and to negatively impact the cost of your products to consumers. We believe that choice and selection of best of class services are critical to the long term success of publishers and a vibrant book market.
Lightning Source continues to provide the highest quality digital on demand print and distribution services for every one of our customers. All your titles continue to be available to all of our channel partners, including Amazon.com, with immediate availability for shipment within 24 hours.
We are committed to providing you with the best of class quality product and fastest distribution service in the market, and will continually work to develop new channels and new offerings.
Lightning Source will continue to monitor this situation and let you know when we have more information.
Please feel free to call your Lightning Source point of contact, if you have any additional questions.
J. Kirby Best
President & CEO
Lightning Source Inc.