Public Poetry, Kevin Walzer's meditations on poetry, publishing, business, and other creative pursuits
Kevin Walzer, a poet, poetry publisher, husband, and father.
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Changes at Amazon
Amazon is currently the largest online retailer for books, and we have made Amazon the major component of our strategy for selling individual copies of our books online: every book we publish has a link to Amazon.
Amazon has recently made some distressing moves against print-on-demand (POD) publishers, which is the kind of printing my organization uses. Here's a brief summary:
Over the past few weeks, Amazon has been contacting some print-on-demand publishers and demanding that they begin using Booksurge for POD books sold through Amazon.
If the publisher does not sign up with Booksurge, Amazon has threatened to remove that publisher's books from direct sale on Amazon. The books would still be listed on Amazon, but could only be purchased from third-party booksellers who have listings in Amazon's Marketplace network.
Amazon has justified this move on the basis of improved customer service and faster shipping of titles.
We're concerned with this development. Based on these facts, here is how we will be responding to the situation:
We have used Booksurge in the past, but were not happy with the quality of their printed products or their customer service. That is why we switched to Lightning Source. We plan to stay with Lightning Source and have no plans to add Booksurge as a printer. We do not want to compromise on the quality of the printed books we sell.
Our books will continue to be available through Amazon, either for direct sale or from third-parties (if they enforce their ultimatum about using Booksurge or else).
We think it's important to offer our readers multiple outlets to purchase our titles, so that the decisions of a single vendor don't affect customer choice.
For more information on Amazon's actions, this site offers a useful overview of information and the industry's response.
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