Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Amazon POD Conundrum is apparently now requiring POD authors and publishers (that is, those who are using print-on-demand technologies to produce their books) to work with Amazon's sister company BookSurge to provide books to Amazon's site.

Now, a lot of people and organizations are making a lot of hub-bub and fuss about this change in Amazon's policy, but personally I understand it. Amazon made a good argument for making the change. It really makes sense for them to print the books at their warehouses and to send them out from there rather than wait to get books from Lightning Source or other POD printers. By printing in-house, they can ship orders around the world more quickly and also make sure that the entire order goes out right away rather than being held up by waiting for the POD book to be produced.

Now, the one nasty in this equation is that BookSurge has a hefty set-up cost which really isn't justified. If Amazon really wants to make their argument fairly, they should be providing much lower fees to authors and publishers who have already set up their books for POD (via Lightning Source or another provider). I think a $20 to $30 set-up fee per book would be fair.

If Amazon had offered such a low fee for set-up, I expect they would have avoided all the charges of piracy, monopoly, scuzzy dealing, etc. being launched their way by various associations, bloggers, writers, etc. Perhaps they will still make that change.

But all the fuss, hub-bub, ado, to-do, noise is way beyond what's going on here. The people who say "Give Amazon an inch and they will take a mile next week." are really pushing the noise level too far. Just my opinion.

Much too fussy. Get some dogs. Walk them. Learn from them. I do that every day, and their wonder at life and joy for little things just make these Amazon hijinks seem so unimportant and the fuss about the hijinks even less important.
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