21. May 2008 · Comments Off on Interesting Times with POD Books · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun and Games, General, Literary Good Stuff, Media Matters Not, Working In A Salt Mine...

Just when I was beginning to think the whole Amazon-Booksurge-POD imbroglio was dying down, now it begins again. Angela and Richard Hoy of Booklocker.com have filed a class action lawsuit against Amazon. Com (details here)

I had begun to hope that Amazon had seen the error of their ways, deafened by the level of outrage expressed by the many, many, many POD small presses and niche writers like myself, as well as professional associations like the The Author’s Guild, the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA),and The Small Publishers Association of North America and was going to rethink their policy of demanding that all POD books sold directly through Amazon.com be printed by their in-house print service. Well, there was certainly no more talk of any more POD houses caving in , under threat of having the “buy’ button turned off on the Amazon page for any authors’ books published by those houses.

At the Independent Authors’ Guild, our members are terribly split over how to respond. Not in the sense of “I’m going to take my marbles and go home” sort of split, more the “everyone decides what is in their best interests” in the way of response. We are an association of equals; there is no corporate line to be toed. Some of us do not give a rat’s patoot if we have any sales through Amazon or not, especially after this greedy grab. Others care very much, since they make the bulk of their royalty payments through on-line retailers, of which Amazon.com is the 800 lb gorilla. One very dedicated member felt that she had no choice but to sign with Booksurge to publish her historical novel, into which she had put too many years of work to put at risk. Others of us are boycotting Amazon.com, and switching any links in our book-marketing materials to Barnes & Noble or Booksamillion. It’s not just buying books and other goods through Amazon.com – I’ve stopped posting book reviews there, participating in any of their blogs or discussion groups, or asking my readers to post reviews for “To Truckee’s Trail” there; I’d much rather throw my custom and marketing interests to Barnes and Noble. (They answer emails about my book page there much more readily than Amazon does, oddly enough. Amazon’s ‘author tech help’ runs the gamut between unresponsive and non-existent)

I’m only too proud to be a Booklocker author, and to continue to be published by Richard and Angela: the Adelsverein Trilogy (aka Barsetshire with cypress trees and lots of side arms) will be available from Booklocker in December. I got my ‘economic stimulus’ tax rebate this week and am using the largest portion of it to get started. Who says that the gummint doesn’t support the arts and literature?

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