updated 04:00 pm EDT, Fri March 28, 2008
Amazon vs. publishers
Massive Internet retailer Amazon.com is deliberately strong-arming some of its publishing competition, reports say. Amazon bought print-on-demand (POD) publisher BookSurge in 2005, but has for some time also sold books from other POD outfits, namely the largest such company, Lightning Source. Representatives for Amazon are said to be approaching Lightning Source customers however, and insisting that they either switch to BookSurge, or have the "Buy" buttons on their Amazon pages shut off. This forces customers to turn to a reseller, where they are also ineligible for free shipping.
This has apparently been confirmed by one Amazon representative, John Clifford, who explains that books not converted to BookSurge's system will be "taken down." Poor-selling books may have to be shifted over to Amazon's Advantage Program, which costs $30 per year plus 55 percent of the list price of a title, and expenses associated with shipping it to Amazon. In cases where two versions of a title are on offer, says Clifford, the company is defaulting to BookSurge. [via WritersWeekly]