Feeds

Amazon smacks little people with BookSurge

On-demand Battle of the Bulge

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

For the moment, you can still buy Booklocker books from Amazon. But mega-online-retailer has already made good on its threat to PublishAmerica - and then some.

PublishAmerica is also a Lightning Source customer, and a BookSurge rep told the company that Amazon would remove its buy buttons if it didn't switch to BookSurge by April 1. Then Amazon started removing the buttons several days early.

Willem Meiners, PublishAmerica's co-owner, responded by sending the following email to Amazon:

This is to let you know that, as far as PublishAmerica is concerned, your company's recent strong-arming tactics are having the opposite effect.

Quite some time ago, sir, long before you were born, American soldiers fought the Battle of the Bulge in Europe. When the 101st Airborne Division found itself surrounded by the enemy, the Germans presented U.S. general McAuliffe with a piece of paper that demanded his surrender.

McAuliffe looked at it, borrowed a soldier's pen, wrote in caps, "NUTS!", then proceeded to win the battle.

There's our answer, sir. Couldn't have said it any better.

We'll be happy to work with your company again, as soon as you are ready for business as usual. Meanwhile we will continue to make our almost 30,000 titles available to Amazon as we always have, in ways that have always worked just fine. But PublishAmerica will not surrender to your bullying and your ultimatum.

When Amazon comes to its senses again, please let us know.

Enjoy your weekend.

Amazon did not respond to our request for comment, but it did toss some words to The Journal, and it posted letter to print-on-demand publishers. The company called its new BookSurge policy a "strategic decision...What we're looking to do is have a print-on-demand business that better serves our customers and authors," Amazon spokeswoman Tammy Hovey, told The Journal. "When we work with some other publishers, it's not truly a print-on-demand business."

But Angela Hoy sees thing a bit differently. "Our printer - Lightning Source - drop ships books directly to Amazon customers, with an Amazon.com return address sticker," she said. "Our BookSurge sales rep told us that it takes so long to get books from the printers to Amazon - but that's nonsense."

Like other publishers, Hoy says that even if she wanted to keep her Amazon buy buttons, she couldn't spare the time or money. "They're giving people an April 1 deadline. But it would take us months - if not years - to open up and convert the files on every book we've published. And I can't even imagine how much money that would cost us."

Amazon does provide another option. Print-on-demand publishers can keep their buy buttons if they ship Amazon a few copies of their non-BookSurge books ahead of time. But Hoy says this doesn't work either.

"We would have to pay to ship the books to Amazon. And Amazon wants 55 per cent of the list price. There's not 55 per cent less to give to anybody. We would have to raise our prices across the board - and that would end up affecting the readers."

So Amazon has given countless publishers little choice but to bad-mouth Amazon. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.