Amazon’s New POD Policy

April 8th, 2008
Category: Publishing

In case you haven’t heard, Amazon is up to something that is going to make things harder for a lot of independent presses and self-published authors.

The long and the short of it is . . . at some point in the not-terribly distant future, if your POD book is not printed through BookSurge, which is owned by Amazon, it will not be available for sale on Amazon, except through their used book dealers. You can still sell them through the Amazon Advantage program, but that adds another layer of fees to the already razor-thin profit margin on many, if not most of these books.

They are not looking for exclusivity, so you could still produce POD books through alternate vendors in order to reach other sales channels (such as through Lightning Source which sells direct to Barnes and Noble and to the trade through Ingram). But this will require multiple setup fees, as well as multiple sets of files, since printers have varying requirements that need to be met in order to print the books.

While it’s certainly easy to just say suck it up and do what Amazon wants, for many small presses and self-published authors, all of those extra fees, and the extra time, is just too much, so some will be forced to choose between being sold at Amazon, or being sold elsewhere.

If you care about these issues at all, please repost this information and make sure that Amazon knows that people are not happy.

For more on the subject, here are some links:

Angela Hoy’s article on WritersWeekly.

The response page to that article (contains lots of links, up-to-date news, and a list of other articles).

SPAN Executive Director Scott Flora’s letter to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

E-Reads’ Richard Curtis’s article on E-Reads (he evidently saw this coming).

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