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bpmwriter
04-12-2005, 10:26 PM
Hi All,

Just posting as an FYI for anyone who might be interested. I published my new novel through Book Surge, which is one of the bigger and better (in my opinion) POD publishers. In their April newsletter, Book Surge announced that they've been acquired by Amazon.com. This is definitely the way the publishing industry is moving. No one should fear this avenue of getting your work out there. In fact, you should embrace it, or risk missing out in the New Independent Age.

"Tom Brown Saves the World" is my second self-published novel and I have an audience. A small audience, yes, but growing everyday. On the contrary to some of the posts on this board, I would argue that POD publishing is superior to the experience of a novice being pusblished by a big house. You maintain all creative control, take a much bigger chunk of the profits and when the big houses come calling, you hold all the cards.

Don't get left behind.

Eddie

CaoPaux
04-14-2005, 08:13 AM
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN.O: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Monday that it bought privately held BookSurge LLC, which maintains a catalog of books that can be printed on demand.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Amazon said the deal would allow it to sell many more titles that appeal to targeted audiences rather than the general public, such as foreign-language titles and specialized art books. BookSurge, based in Charleston, South Carolina, was founded in 2000.

The acquisition comes as Seattle-based Amazon, facing increased competition from online rivals such as eBay Inc. (EBAY.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Overstock.com Inc. (OSTK.O: Quote, Profile, Research) , has been forced to lower prices to retain its customers.

Amazon shares rose 43 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $34.44 in trading on the Nasdaq.Um, yeah, this is really going to help novels.

JennaGlatzer
04-14-2005, 09:25 AM
Hi Eddie,

Don't mean to sound snarky, but do you have any point of comparison? You said:


I would argue that POD publishing is superior to the experience of a novice being pusblished by a big house

And I'd emphatically say the opposite, but that's because I've had it both ways and can promise you that I've made far more profit, earned far more readers, etc. with all of my commercially-published works. I had one POD book that sold probably fewer than 100 copies. If my commercially-published books did that, I'd cry.

"Creative control" is highly overrated, too. If you have a problem working with editors in general, I'd wonder why. Editors are there to make you look good. They're not there to evilly take over your book and make it stink.

kaztaylor
08-05-2005, 06:57 AM
I regret ever giving money to BookSurge. At every turn, they either drag their feet time-wise or they make mistakes and charge me to fix them. If I had known how much difficulty I was going to have with them, I'd have printed the books myself.

Are all the POD publishers this much trouble?

Karen

Medievalist
08-05-2005, 08:35 AM
Check out

http://www.lulu.com

Selene LuPaine
08-05-2005, 09:33 AM
From what I have read you should never have to pay someone to publish your book!

brinkett
08-05-2005, 04:26 PM
It depends on what your goals are. Sometimes it makes sense.

PVish
08-06-2005, 12:03 AM
I regret ever giving money to BookSurge. At every turn, they either drag their feet time-wise or they make mistakes and charge me to fix them. If I had known how much difficulty I was going to have with them, I'd have printed the books myself. Are all the POD publishers this much trouble?
Karen

No. Infinity has been easy to work with. They've done 3 books for me (each book was for a narrow niche local market). I needed my first book for a scheduled reading; they got it to me earlier than I expected. According to their authors' rep, they produce about a book a day. However, if you want changes made (that weren't their fault), you do have to pay extra if you've already signed for your final proofing.

Whenever I've called to order or complain, a live person answers the phone. When a bookstore tried to order my second book, it didn't come up on their list of books in print. I immediately called Infinity to complain and their oversight was corrected while I spoke to them on the phone. They have a toll-free number--not all PODs do. I've only emailed them a couple of times; each time I got a response within 12 hours.

They send a bound book to proof, so an author can proof both the cover as well as the content.

They have a limited return policy for bookstores. This has been helpful in getting stores to stock. Also, they get books to stores quickly.

They send a statement out every month. When royalties reach $20, they send a check. They give 40% discounts to authors as well as stores. The first purchase an author makes is 50%. Plus they pay royalties on author purchases. If the author or store buys at least 20 copies, shipping is free. I usually order 20 at a time for readings and appearances, and I have never waited longer than 5 days for a shipment--and that time I was told my books would be late because they were processing a big order. My books usually come within 3 days of order. They do their digital printing in-house.

At the 2005 Virginia Festival of the Book, Infinity had two display areas for their books by Virginia authors and a lounge stocked with snacks for us. Plus they paid parking and provided us with lunch (the $40 per ticket sold-out Crime Scene lunch!)

Infinity gives a discount on the set-up fee to authors who have previously published with them, and usually gives a discount to those who have attended their presentations at conferences.

I have found them easy to work with. Otherwise, I wouldn't have used them three times.

PattiTheWicked
08-06-2005, 01:02 AM
I regret ever giving money to BookSurge. At every turn, they either drag their feet time-wise or they make mistakes and charge me to fix them. If I had known how much difficulty I was going to have with them, I'd have printed the books myself.



Although I've learned a lot since I POD-published my first novel, a year and a half ago, I can say with all honesty that Booksurge provided me with an excellent product. I had no problems with mistakes, timeliness, or customer service. All my books came out looking professional, with a top-quality cover and even, nice-looking typesetting.

I didn't make a profit on it, but I broke even. I won't POD publish again, because now I know better, but on the whole it wasnt an awful experience. While I know everyone isn't as lucky as I was, my Booksurge experience was not a bad one.

ANNIE
11-24-2005, 12:39 AM
I was just curious when i saw their add and filled out the info, got a call 48 hrs later they sent me some info and asked questions about mt project.

I know, Iknow, the traditional route is better. you're getting paid not the oppisite, but I am getting Soooo discouraged with rejection letters. Either I really suck or It's just not my year to win the agent lottery. I don't think I suck that bad! Anyone hear anything about this company? good or Bad, I am tempted.

Cathy C
11-24-2005, 06:11 AM
Okay, without commenting on Booksurge one way or the other (since I don't know about the company), ask yourself one question:


How will you feel LESS discouraged when you've spent your money and can't sell enough books to pay yourself back?

The reason I ask this is that it's quite possible that the rejection letters aren't because of your book. It might have a very good plot, with wonderful characters and terrific dialogue. But your writing (as evidenced in your post) does need some attention to spelling and grammar. Really, I'm not trying to sound mean or snarky, but if the agent/editor can't get past misspellings and grammatical errors in your query and synopsis, neither will the readers if you use Booksurge, and word of mouth will slow your sales.

The money you spend on Booksurge will be like going to the amusement park. You'll have the experience to remember, but not much more. If you have the money, pick up a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style, or Strunk & White. They're pretty much the bible that the publishing industry uses. The closer you can make your book to a perfect, shelf-ready novel, the better the likelihood that it will get snatched out of the slush like the jewel it can be.

Good luck! :)

Julie Worth
11-24-2005, 06:28 AM
After a year of shopping a topical political thriller, I gave up and took it to booksurge. That was about ten days ago. My pfd files have passed their QC, and the book should be in Amazon sometime in December...I hope. As a do-it-yourself project, the up-front money is peanutsó$99, but of course there will be more expenses as I buy books and try to get it reviewed. But itís a fun process, and not terribly difficult so far.

ANNIE
11-24-2005, 06:54 PM
Thanks Julie and Cathy for your responses.

Cathy, you are correct, my posts do contain errors in spelling and grammer(lots Of them!) But I am ussualy posting online when my kids are talking in one ear and typing out of the other- so to speak. I can assure that anything an agent or publisher sees is proffesional and free of errors, but I do appreciate the comments because i do have a tendency to be sloppy and have to really watch myself.

Julie, thanks as well I am considering Booksurge. At this point I just want to see the thing in print- you know?

thanks again guys for the help:)
Ann

PattiTheWicked
11-24-2005, 10:22 PM
I put out my first novel at the beginning of 2004 with Booksurge, after two years which included an absolutely distrastrous relationship with an agent who turned out to be Completely Ungood. There are pros and cons to using any POD press. The benefits are that you get to see your book in print, and you have complete control over the final product. The downside is that you get to see your book in print and you have complete control over the final product.

Seriously, if I had known then what I know now, I'd have realized that there was a reason I couldn't sell it to a traditional publishing company. My novel didn't suck, it just isn't as good as it needed to be. Marketing yourself is a pain in the ***, and good luck trying to get a POD book into bookstores.

On the flip side, I did manage to break even financially, and I was extremely happy with the quality of the book that Booksurge produced. Would I do POD again? Not a chance. Was it a good experience? Actually, yeah, because I learned a lot about what NOT to do, and it didn't cost me a fortune to learn these lessons.

i think the important thing to do is ask yourself WHY you want to do POD? Is it because no one else will take it? If so, there's probably a reason for it. If it's just because you want to see it in print, try marketing it to traditional publishers first. If it's good enough, you'll see it in print eventually, and you won't have to spend a dime.

veinglory
11-25-2005, 12:31 AM
If you are going to self publish don't just go with the company that spammed most recently -- compare the deals. there are websites that make this easy of you google POD, comparison chart etc. Look not only at up front fees but what the cover price will be and distribution.

ANNIE
11-25-2005, 05:49 AM
Thank you everyone for all your input. It has given me a lot to think about.

Annie

val
11-26-2005, 07:50 PM
Hi, Annie,

Check out these articles for additional information and warnings concerning POD:

http://booksandtales.com/pod/catviewer.php

Then, if you decide to go with the POD option, you may want to check a comparison of POD publishers:

http://booksandtales.com/pod/index.php

Hope this helps. There are also other POD resources on the Internet. However, these articles are the most unprejudiced I've seen so far.

val
11-26-2005, 07:57 PM
Also... BookSurge has been recently acquired by Amazon. There are certain expectations that BookSurge's services will better. There are also some discussions going on at the POD's list at Yahoo! Groups. You may check these things before making your choice.

blackbird
11-26-2005, 08:27 PM
I was recently very tempted to go this route myself, not with BookSurge, but with iUniverse, although I don't think there is literally that much difference. POD publishing is POD publishing, period. I was tempted because, at 1300 pages, I had been told over and over that my novel was not marketable unless substantial cuts were made, and frankly, I didn't want to make those cuts. I've received enough praise regarding this book that I felt confident it COULD sell; it was just a matter of getting it out there. I began to think POD could be a viable way to go.

But I did some homework on this, and uncovered several facts that changed my mind. These books are put together very cheaply, and are often shoddy and unprofessional in appearance. It's not unusal to have pages falling out, and think how embarrassing that would be if someone were reading your book, and it started literally falling apart on them? And due to their unprofessional appearance, it's harder to get bookstores to stock them.

Also take into account that, all their hype to the contrary, these books seldom receive reviews, are not taken seriously by the media, and are almost impossible to stock in traditional bookstores. Yes, it's true, your book will become readily available at outlets like Amazon.com and (with iUniverse) Barnes & Noble.com, and this is certainly a viable means of sales. But, as at least one source pointed out, most people who buy books still do so the old-fashioned way, by going into a bookstore and browsing. Besides, if your book has received nothing in the way of publicity or reviews, it's not likely that potential buyers will go to Amazon.com or other sites to actively seek it out (though they might stumble upon it by divine accident, I suppose).

I am happy to say that I now have a legitimate agent for my project, one who believes in it enough that she's willing to attempt (whether successfully or not) to sell it in its entirety. I know it's going to be a long process, and inevitably, I probably WILL have to make some cuts and compromises in order to sell it via traditional means, but I'm happy that patience and good sense finally won me out on that one. I would say just try to hold out a little longer before going that route-the right agent for your project is out there. Don't let the rush to see your work in print lead you to a costly-and ultimately disappointing-mistake.

Most of the POD publishers will boast of success stories; authors who intially published through their services who then went on to get picked up by traditional agents and publishers. I'm sure this probably happens on rare occasions, but you have to consider how many of these "successes" there are in comparison to the number of titles these companies crank out every year.
Those very few exceptions aren't really worth the financial risk, or worse, the humilaitian and disappointment of having a shoddy, unprofessional book sitting on bookshelves-provided, of course, it is on any bookshelves at all.

Cathy C
11-26-2005, 10:14 PM
by Blackbird: I am happy to say that I now have a legitimate agent for my project, one who believes in it enough that she's willing to attempt (whether successfully or not) to sell it in its entirety.


WOO-HOO, Blackbird! :Clap: :banana: Congrats! Looking forward to hearing that it SOLD very soon!

blackbird
11-26-2005, 10:19 PM
WOO-HOO, Blackbird! :Clap: :banana: Congrats! Looking forward to hearing that it SOLD very soon!

Thanks!!!

Julie Worth
11-27-2005, 04:09 PM
I was recently very tempted to go this route myself, not with BookSurge, but with iUniverse, although I don't think there is literally that much difference. POD publishing is POD publishing, period. I was tempted because, at 1300 pages, I had been told over and over that my novel was not marketable unless substantial cuts were made, and frankly, I didn't want to make those cuts. I've received enough praise regarding this book that I felt confident it COULD sell; it was just a matter of getting it out there. I began to think POD could be a viable way to go.

There are two good reasons you couldn't go POD with this. One is that there's no printer that will print something this thick. The PODs I've looked at top out at below 800 pages. (600/800 softbound/hardbound at booksurge, 740 for softbound at lulu. That translates to about 1050 ms pages for a 800 page hardbound, though I suppose you could use the larger format and get the whole thing in there, or you could go to two volumes as iuniverse suggests.) The second is the retail price. This gets to be astronomical for thick books. (For an 800-page large-format hardbound at booksurge, you're looking at an Amazon retail price of $49.) Who is going to invest all that money, not to mention reading time, in an unknown author from a vanity press? And it's even more if you opt for the 2-volume route. A two volume softbound set of 600 pages each would list at $52 at Amazon if you went through booksurge.

MightyMax5
12-21-2005, 12:07 AM
I have sent out my first manuscript out to numerous publishers and have had no luck as of right now. My second book is in the process of being done with my illustrator i used from the first book. The first book I had published by Booksurge and really felt for the quality of the book they were very expensive to deal with. I have many book fairs and literacy days at local elementary schools lined up for the early spring for my second book. My question to all is where can I get a good quality P.O.D. publisher for a good price and good hard cover quality. Please let me know.

thanks

spywriter
10-11-2006, 10:16 PM
Has anyone done biz with them and if so, how did it go?

Thanks!

OmenSpirits.com
10-13-2006, 07:19 AM
I did. PM me. I'll tell you the tale.

CaoPaux
10-16-2006, 08:00 PM
BookSurge has a long history of problems, such as production delays and non-payment of royalties. The buy-out by Amazon hasn't improved things, alas.

spywriter
10-17-2006, 01:54 AM
Thanks. I have since heard similar stories. I also called and spoke to a rep who would not give me any assurance that my book would be out in any reasonable amount of time. I appreciate the heads up.

spywriter
10-17-2006, 01:54 AM
Thanks. I have since heard similar stories. I also called and spoke to a rep who would not give me any assurance that my book would be out in any reasonable amount of time. I appreciate the heads up.

Glynn
11-10-2006, 09:44 AM
Booksurge is printing my new novel (http://www.glynnsbooks.com/AriseBeloved.html) under my own imprint, and so far the process has gone pretty well. There have been a few bumps, but I can assure you that any author has lots of bumps with a publisher. All you have to do is read a few biographies of "well known" writers to know that writers and the people that publish their work are usually natural adversaries.

I made the decision after I began the process with Booksurge to switch to my own imprint (a fig leaf to be sure) to prevent some of the snickering that (justifiably) embarrasses the nakedness of self-publishing writers, but my contacts at Booksurge handled it easily and gave me the advice and help I needed to make the change. I am now waiting for the digital proofs reflecting my final proof reading which should be back next week. After approving the final proofs, they say I'll have a book in about 14 business days afterward. The whole process has not taken that much time and all the delays were from my side of the process--mostly in the time I took to proof their setup of the book.

I did not upload a raw manuscript. I had paid for professional editing before I sent it to Booksurge, but the first digital proof they sent contained so many errors that neither I nor the editor caught, that they would have far exceeded the 60 corrections Booksurge will make without charge, but they gave me a "do-over" and I was able to fix the manuscript and return it to them a second time without being penalized and they sent a second digital proof with the same 60 "free" corrections as on the first pass--which I think was exceedingly generous, since the "do-over" was entirely due to the flawed first manuscript I uploaded to them.

In addition, because of the size of my manuscript it required upsizing the trim from 5.25x8 to 6x9, and although that raised the retail price per book, it did not affect the price of the contract overall.

I have found any number of POD publishers who offer to produce a book for less money than my contract with Booksurge, but the deal with Booksurge included more than one copy of the book, it also included professionally written PR material, a book review by "a NY Times best-selling author" which isn't worth too much in itself because its impact is pretty small for anyone except the exceptionally naive, but it did provide a back-cover blurb. There are a number of other perks in the package having to do with marketing aids, etc., which probably won't translate into lots of sales unless I get aggressive about selling it, but they do give me something to work with if I do decide to market the book aggressively to libraries and bookstores.

(An aside about self-publishing: I have some contacts with public libraries to whom I gave free copies of my first novel (http://www.glynnsbooks.com/APerfectPeace.html), which they tell me is in constant circulation, and they plan to buy copies of the new one! Also the local "big box" bookstore has agreed to a booksigning and to stock my book on consignment in their "local writers" section. It's not on the Dan Brown scale, sure, but not everyone starts big. Did you ever hear of Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press? She and her husband hand-set the type in their living room for the first edition of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. I think the first run was about 100 copies. Hogarth Press also was the first to publish W.H. Auden.)

As I said in the title, maybe I'm speaking too soon, but.....so far I have nothing to complain about with Booksurge. Maybe the book will be late in coming out. Maybe it will look like doo-doo. Maybe the binding will be shoddy. Etc. Etc. Etc. Maybe nobody will buy a copy but my yard man. Maybe I'm just lucky, but, like I said, so far......

I'll be sure and post to this thread again after I get a copy of my book, so stay tuned.

James D. Macdonald
11-13-2006, 12:24 AM
Let us know a year from now how it all turned out for you, okay?

Glynn
11-14-2006, 02:00 AM
I'll be sure and post to this thread again after I get a copy of my book, so stay tuned.

James D. Macdonald, do I have your permission to update the forum on my experience earlier than a year from now, or have I misinterpreted your comment?

James D. Macdonald
11-14-2006, 05:18 AM
Not that you need it, by you have my permission to post updates any time you like.

The year is to give a fair time to see how it's all working out. Another update two years out would be nice, as well.

ResearchGuy
11-14-2006, 08:34 PM
Booksurge is printing my new novel (http://www.glynnsbooks.com/AriseBeloved.html) ...

I'll be sure and post to this thread again after I get a copy of my book, so stay tuned.
I look forward to hearing of your progress.

--Ken

Prosperity7
03-02-2007, 01:08 PM
I'm looking for people opinons on Amazon Booksurge Publishing. I've read some about them. Has anyone here used them or have an opinon about the benefits of their service?

citymouse
03-02-2007, 04:05 PM
P7, I have just signed up for their $99 option. I'm lucky that I have a good editor, layout person and cover artist so I can take advantage of this low cost package. I know of one author who has abandoned iUniverse, to publish through BS (no pun intended). He emailed me that in the last six months he he has netted $1000 in royalties through BS. That said however, this guy advertises vigorously through every internet vehicle available. Writing is work and so is marketing.
I bought one of their products to see what their quality was like. I'm was impressed. I was sold on their capabilities.

Like most POD outfits you don't have to have a ms ready to go. Once you pay for the service they wait for you to be ready.

The wait time is ~4 to 6 weeks depending on how well you have the ms prepared. Delays are mostly due to writers not having their dicks in order.

Their contract is not on line but I have a pdf copy if you'd like to see it.
It's lists your rights and responsibilities and theirs as well. Sign-up is via phone.
As with all POD outfits you'll not be stocked in brick and mortar stores. They also use the amazon.com catalogue exclusively so if you want to be listed on other online catalogues like B&N you will have to make those arrangements yourself.

It's early moring here so I'm probably too sllepy to be complete in my remarks. If you have any detailed questions you may send a private message and I'll try to answer them as best I can.
I'm also have 2 books out with Author House and iUniverse. I'm leaving both for different reasons.
C

MickRooney
03-29-2008, 05:11 PM
I'm amazed nobody in the forum has picked up on this breaking story in POD publishing. See the Publisher's Weekly article below. This has been widely covered in The Wall Street Journal as well as The Washington Post.

Seems to me it doesn't bode well for POD published authors and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out. Do you reckon Amazon are losing the run of themselves?

Mick.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6545772.html?nid=2286&source=title&rid=632422858

triceretops
03-29-2008, 05:47 PM
Amazon's BookSurge mandate extends to traditional publishers as well as to online pod houses.

Now that comment surprises me. Just how bad is this move?

Tri

veinglory
03-29-2008, 06:16 PM
On a personal basic it depends on whether they already POD through Booksurge or use a different service. On a more general basis it shows them expanding their verticile intergration beyond ebooks (where you have to use Amazon-owned Mobi-format to be listed. They also own an audiobook company. In general this is anti-competitive and likely to have negative effects in the long run. Afte all, Booksurge is not the most cost effective service already.

williemeikle
03-29-2008, 06:58 PM
Angela Hoy has some interesting things to contribute at Writers Weekly

http://www.writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/004597_03272008.html (http://www.writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/004597_03272008.html)

ResearchGuy
03-29-2008, 08:34 PM
I'm amazed nobody in the forum has picked up on this breaking story in POD publishing. . . .
It's been discussed in at least two of the PublishAmerica-related threads.

--Ken

MickRooney
03-29-2008, 09:50 PM
Thanks Ken, hadn't checked there. Though if I do have an irk about Absolutewrite its that so much about POD issues starts in the PA threads, as if that were a must!

I guess the real killer punch for the POD publishers is the print costs being greater with Booksurge than with Lightening Source. POD publishers also seem to have an issue with Booksurge's print quality.

veinglory
03-30-2008, 01:00 AM
Also I don't believe Booksurge works with Ingrams?

citymouse
03-30-2008, 03:02 AM
Also I don't believe Booksurge wirks with Ingrams?
I'm a Book Surge customer. They use Baker & Taylor.
C

JosephR
03-30-2008, 07:21 AM
OK, so I'm a bit confused (again) about something. How would Amazon even know if the book is POD?

Keyan
03-30-2008, 09:21 AM
Angela Hoy has some interesting things to contribute at Writers Weekly

http://www.writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/004597_03272008.html (http://www.writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/004597_03272008.html)



And there's a good blog about it from Victoria Strauss:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2008/03/victoria-strauss-use-booksurge-or-die.html

MickRooney
03-30-2008, 05:54 PM
OK, so I'm a bit confused (again) about something. How would Amazon even know if the book is POD?

JosephR,

If the book is POD then in most cases it doesn't physically exist, or Amazon have a very, very small amount on hand. The order is electronically sent across to Lightning Source (the printer used by most POD publishers) who then print the book and ship it.

Believe me, Amazon and every other online retailer know exactly which books are POD printed. It's flagged on their databases as POD.

JulieB
03-30-2008, 08:08 PM
The Writer's Weekly story has been slashdotted (http://news.slashdot.org/news/08/03/29/2240209.shtml).

ResearchGuy
03-30-2008, 09:00 PM
OK, so I'm a bit confused (again) about something. How would Amazon even know if the book is POD?
The Books In Print database (Bowker), the source of their bibliographic information, tells them. A bookstore clerk told me that listing as "Perfect Bound" (one of the choices when a publisher adds a book to the database) is code for print on demand.

--Ken

absitinvidia
03-30-2008, 10:25 PM
Amazon's BookSurge mandate extends to traditional publishers as well as to online pod houses.

Now that comment surprises me. Just how bad is this move?

Tri

I can't help wondering whether traditional and academic presses weren't the real target of this strategy by Amazon, and the online POD houses got caught in the crossfire.

After acquiring BookSurge, Amazon made deals with some major publishers (Oxford University Press, HarperCollins, McGraw-Hill) to make their backlists available via POD. I think there is a possibility that this is a move to convince other such publishers to abandon LSI (such as Cambridge University Press, which has thousands of backlisted titles available through LSI and made some $30 million in the late 1990s through this arrangement).

Press release is here: http://www.booksurge.com/content/Release-May_31-_2007.htm

It seems to me this is the only market that would generate revenue for BookSurge. Perhaps they just didn't think through the implementation?

absitinvidia
03-30-2008, 10:28 PM
Also I don't believe Booksurge works with Ingrams?

LSI is owned by Ingram, so it's not surprising that Ingram doesn't work with BookSurge.

veinglory
03-30-2008, 10:40 PM
In any case I am now deciding which I like better, B&Ns online store or Powells. Any other good options?

JohnB1988
03-31-2008, 01:36 AM
Part of this discussion should be about how Amazon’s grab for power has made life a whole lot harder for yet-to-be-published writers. There are not that many avenues available to break into writing as it is. Now many e-presses are going to either bite the Booksurge bullet and accept higher costs and lower print quality, or have a major sales door closed to them. Many e-publishers are shoe-sting operations at best; expect more bankruptcies down the line. For non-New York established authors that means lower opportunities to break into the profession and for everyone revenues will drop any way you look at it.

This is not a good thing.

ResearchGuy
03-31-2008, 02:18 AM
Part of this discussion should be about how Amazonís grab for power has made life a whole lot harder for yet-to-be-published writers. There are not that many avenues available to break into writing as it is. Now many e-presses are going to either bite the Booksurge bullet and accept higher costs and lower print quality, or have a major sales door closed to them. Many e-publishers are shoe-sting operations at best; expect more bankruptcies down the line. For non-New York established authors that means lower opportunities to break into the profession and for everyone revenues will drop any way you look at it.

This is not a good thing.
Sorry, but I think you are grossly overstating here. "Major sales door"? "Bankruptcies"? "Lower opportunities to break into the profession??!!

No way.

My perspective: five years associating with scores of self-publishers/independent publishers, myself now a micropublisher, years of associating with aspiring writers, and a long interest in books and publishing.

I'm sorry, but whether or not Amazon provides a "buy now" button for POD books from other than its in-house POD service has no bearing on any serious writer's or publisher's success. Anyone whose marketing plan or career path depends on sales of POD books through Amazon is already hopelessly far off the tracks.

There are plenty of opportunities to "break into writing." Amazon's policy change does not close off any of them.

--Ken

Sheryl Nantus
03-31-2008, 02:49 AM
Sorry, but I think you are grossly overstating here. "Major sales door"? "Bankruptcies"? "Lower opportunities to break into the profession??!!

No way.

My perspective: five years associating with scores of self-publishers/independent publishers, myself now a micropublisher, years of associating with aspiring writers, and a long interest in books and publishing.

I'm sorry, but whether or not Amazon provides a "buy now" button for POD books from other than its in-house POD service has no bearing on any serious writer's or publisher's success. Anyone whose marketing plan or career path depends on sales of POD books through Amazon is already hopelessly far off the tracks.

There are plenty of opportunities to "break into writing." Amazon's policy change does not close off any of them.

--Ken

I tend to agree with Ken's perception - I've only sold a few books through Amazon and count more on personal contacts and getting bookstores to STOCK my book for booksignings and the like to get sales. I'm still not convinced that a majority of people somehow cruise Amazon or any other online site and just snatch books out of thin air to be ordered and delivered to their homes.

Is it a problem for some publishers? Certainly! The death of small publishers on their shoulders? I should hope not, but if anyone does go under it'll probably be from bad management than Amazon doing such a silly move, IMO.

MickRooney
03-31-2008, 02:58 AM
There are plenty of opportunities to "break into writing." Amazon's policy change does not close off any of them.

--Ken

I agree, while Amazon's move shows a high degree of arrogance to the book publishing and retail industry, I think there is a danger in assuming the world has irrevocably changed as we know it. The possibilities for any aspiring writer are no different now than they were several days ago.

Mick

veinglory
03-31-2008, 03:16 AM
Unless of course you write for Whiskey Creek Press in which case the possibility of Amazon selling your book just vanished. I would call that a change.

MickRooney
03-31-2008, 04:01 AM
Unless of course you write for Whiskey Creek Press in which case the possibility of Amazon selling your book just vanished. I would call that a change.

I think the real judgement of change is about how reliant the publisher is on online sales from Amazon. Whiskey Creek Press are a publisher who are far more reliant on brick & mortar sales even though they use a POD printer. Its really about what percentage of sales are driven through Amazon and any other online retailers.

The POD publishers who are really going to hurt because of all this are the ones who sell the 'available in 25000+ online retailers' as a primary part of their service packages to authors. If this spreads across the board - how many POD publishers will tell perspective signing authors that the tag line now only means 'listed' but you can't actually buy our books as a first party Amazon customer?

Me thinks, there won't be very much change, and the less forthright POD Subsidy publisher's silence will be deafening.

JohnB1988
03-31-2008, 05:07 PM
I wonder what percentage of Absolute Write users are pre-published authors? Pretty high I bet. And I also bet many write great stories. But getting that first novel published isn’t easy, just poke around and read some of the other posts. That e-publishers now have another revenue-decreasing obstacle to overcome can’t be good for authors. If it’s such a minor event then why, in the last couple of days, have most of the bloging agents and established writers become so upset?

Those of you who’ve jumped that alligator-filled moat should remember those who need every opportunity, no matter how small, to follow in your path.

MickRooney
04-01-2008, 04:04 AM
And finally a response from Amazon Corporate!

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-printondemand

james_b38
04-01-2008, 05:38 AM
And finally a response from Amazon Corporate!

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-printondemand

I like this line the best...."It isn't logical or efficient to print a POD book in a third place, and then physically ship the book to our fulfillment centers".

The thing they don't mention is that POD books are drop-shipped directly straight to the customer from the printer (most often LSI) they never see the inside of an Amazon fulfillment center.

cpickett
04-01-2008, 06:10 PM
Hi,
Just wanted to say I agree with several points here. First, if an author is relying totally on one outlet, Amazon or not, for book sales, they're going to struggle no matter what. Amazon has, before now, opened a great outlet for publishers of all kinds, but there are others and I'm sure another one or two will rise to the top now.

The big issue for me is that Amazon tried to do this under the radar. According to the person who broke the story, Angela at Writer's Weekly, their rep even denied it was happening until pressed. If you have something to say, at least show enough respect for us to say it to our faces.

It also amazes me that they thought publishers would greet the policy change with open arms. Not sure if the person who came up with that strategy still has a job or not.

One final note about the comment about "perfect bound" being code for POD. Perfect bound is one of just a few choices in binding and would be used by any printer making softcover books, whether it's one at a time or 1000 at a time. Also, as was mentioned, many traditional publishers use POD printing, so they will effected by this too.

All in all, Amazon can conduct business however they want. In my opinion, it's just been handled really poorly with little respect for many who have supported them and made them what they are today.

ResearchGuy
04-01-2008, 06:42 PM
. . . Perfect bound is one of just a few choices in binding and would be used by any printer making softcover books, whether it's one at a time or 1000 at a time. . . .
True, which was why I was surprised when the clerk (apparently knowledgeable) at my local Barnes & Noble store told me that "perfect bound" in the Books in Print listing means (as far as B&N is concerned, at least), nonreturnable print-on-demand.

It came up in connection with a book that had been initially mis-listed as perfect bound (it was actually to be an offset-printed hardbound, a correction made by the publisher after I brought the error to his attention). It took months before the store personnel stopped citing the book as nonreturnable on account of that initial error by the publisher in entering information into the Bowker/Books-in-Print database. As I had a considerable interest in that book, this is something I paid close attention to. It was vexing and damaging for a very long time, even after the error was corrected in the Bowker database.

Take it for what you will. I am just reporting what I was told explicitly, face-to-face.

--Ken

cpickett
04-01-2008, 06:51 PM
Good tidbits of knowledge to keep in mind, both what clerks do and don't know, as well as making sure the info about your book is accurate at the bookseller (whenever humanly possible).

Thanks for adding these points.

CatSlave
04-01-2008, 07:05 PM
Though if I do have an irk about Absolutewrite its that so much about POD issues starts in the PA threads, as if that were a must!
That is most likely due to PA's notorious reputation among PODs and a large number of ex- and present PA authors participating in the threads.

benbradley
04-01-2008, 07:34 PM
In any case I am now deciding which I like better, B&Ns online store or Powells. Any other good options?

There's bookfinder:
http://www.bookfinder.com
It searches B&N abd Powell's, as well as Amazon:
http://www.bookfinder.com/about/booksellers/
I don't see any option to exclude a bookselling site from a search, but it plainly states where each book comes from, so you can easily enough ignore Amazon or whoever else you don't want to buy from.

There are several similar metasearch sites, such as:
http://addall.com

benbradley
04-01-2008, 07:45 PM
I like this line the best...."It isn't logical or efficient to print a POD book in a third place, and then physically ship the book to our fulfillment centers".

The thing they don't mention is that POD books are drop-shipped directly straight to the customer from the printer (most often LSI) they never see the inside of an Amazon fulfillment center.
This is also how the third-party used books are sold through Amazon, and no doubt there are sellers/authors who list their new vanity-press, self-published or POD books on Amazon that way, it just doesn't go through Amazon's usual "Buy" button.

JulieB
04-01-2008, 09:16 PM
A Lulu staffer posted this statement on their forums today:


We would like to assure our users that Lulu continues to have a strong relationship with Amazon..com. As a result, the recent changes Amazon.com has announced should not adversely affect Lulu content listed within Amazon.com in any way.

MickRooney
04-03-2008, 04:37 AM
According to Angela Hoy AuthorHouse and IUniverse have signed up to Amazons latest POD Booksurge deal. Staffer Adam on Lulu's forum also indicates that they are going with things as well with no 'adverse' affects.

http://www.writersweekly.com

citymouse
04-03-2008, 04:32 PM
The effects of this extending to Amz's insisting E-books be made available to Kindle formatting was touched upon but no one seems to have gotten any information, or at least no one has posted any.

I was wondering if POD outfits that offer E-books (now unavailable on Amz)
will be able to do so if they re-format from PDF? Anyone heard anything?

C

Tomornorman
04-03-2008, 05:17 PM
Things that this simple mind picked up :

It will cost more, and less quality. Why didn't Amazon hook up with a press people like, then do all this ? They are not thinking of the customers, or us, just their profits.

citymouse
04-03-2008, 05:24 PM
Things that this simple mind picked up :

It will cost more, and less quality. Why didn't Amazon hook up with a press people like, then do all this ? They are not thinking of the customers, or us, just their profits.

Repeat after me. Writers are artists. Retailers are business people who care about money not art. Art is incidental to making money.

C

citymouse
04-03-2008, 11:04 PM
Folks, it looks like my post #34 might get buried in the excitement of this topic. Please take a look at it. At the moment it's an important issue for me.

Many Thanks,
C

Beast
04-04-2008, 10:14 AM
Whatever anyone thinks of POD, many authors using these services through iUniverse or whatever, are extremely proud of the quality of their work and the final product that ends up in readers' hands. BookSurge's reputational for ghastly print quality - missing pages, ink bleed, upside-down pages, off-center covers, degraded graphics and so on, is pronounced.
I've enjoyed a very educational and valuable journey with iUniverse, but have learned enough to now move on. However, my first work remains with iUniverse for now, and I'd rather have the 'buy' button switched off on Amazon than let BookSurge anywhere near it.

citymouse
04-04-2008, 03:28 PM
Whatever anyone thinks of POD, many authors using these services through iUniverse or whatever, are extremely proud of the quality of their work and the final product that ends up in readers' hands. BookSurge's reputational for ghastly print quality - missing pages, ink bleed, upside-down pages, off-center covers, degraded graphics and so on, is pronounced.
I've enjoyed a very educational and valuable journey with iUniverse, but have learned enough to now move on. However, my first work remains with iUniverse for now, and I'd rather have the 'buy' button switched off on Amazon than let BookSurge anywhere near it.

B, I agree with you about iU's quality and service. I went with BS because of their higher royalties which are at present 35% of the cover price. Not bad.
The interiors for the iU and BS product (for me at least) are comparable, however, the cover stock is not so hot. I provided the cover art for my book and they got the scarlet parts the color of tomato soup! Also, the ink on the cover scratches off easily.
I will say that when I complained about the covers they sent me a dozen complimentary copies. I'm not sure iU would do that, but then they probably wouldn't have to either.
C

BlondeZilla
04-05-2008, 09:50 AM
Finally, some people who aren't up the proverbial butts of vanity presses and spouting off about how Amazon is taking over the world.
It's not real tough to see that writersweekly is booklocker and starting a smear campaign that can only benefit them is a waste of my inbox space.
It also wasn't tough to see this coming back in 2005 when Amazon bought BookSurge.
Ellora's Cave did and bought their own press. If you are going to go out of business chalk it up to bad management. Amazon is a publicly traded company and has stockholders to answer to. They have always been a cutting edge time proven company.
It also wasn't tough to see them rapidly expanding and upping their game as they are running job ads on every job site out there. Great for the economy which can really use it.
Online book sales are aprox 30% of the market and Amazon has a portion of that. Hardly a monopoly.
Everyone has been riding Amazon's coattails and enjoying the traffic and profits they provide and now because they bought their own press, its a conflict of interest to allow other POD services. There is nothing wrong with that. You can still have your book on there, print it yourself, and offer it for sale, if you cared to invest in your own company and buy a press or contract one, which is essentially all they are offering.
Also, since even vanity presses accept maybe 4% of submissions, lets get excited about seeing a lot of crazy idea fresh authors who self publish that we would never get to see before.
There is nothing wrong with more options for writers who simply know they must write.
Change it good.

ResearchGuy
04-05-2008, 06:06 PM
. . .
Also, since even vanity presses accept maybe 4% of submissions, . . .
Huh?

PublishAmerica prides itself on its low standards. It will accept pretty much everything up to the daily or weekly quota, apparently. Pay-up-front vanities will publish pretty much anything that the authors pay to have published -- the limiting factor is who has the money.

--Ken

cpickett
04-05-2008, 06:14 PM
In response to Blondezilla:

I agree Amazon has the right to do business as it wants, as long as they do so legally. That question is yet to be determined. One would also hope for ethically, but that's often a bonus not an expectation. I am not in anyone's backside, but I do understand the point that indpependent presses and susidy publishers are trying to make.

First, you mentioned giving authors a choice, and I totally agree that should be the case. This can't be a logical way to do it however.

The great thing about free enterprise is that the market gets to determine who wins and who loses. In this case, as has been pointed out earlier, Booksurge is not known for quality and have you ever tried to reach Amazon for customer service beyond "click here?"

In a competitve, fair business system, problems like that generally mean you don't do well. At that point the option should be to improve so that customers will want to do business with you, or possibly you'd focus on another niche where you are better. It's business 101.

However, what Amazon is doing is the opposite. Can't get enough business? Hey I know, let's force people to buy from us, good quality, bad quality who cares? We get paid. That doesn't make friends no matter what business you're in.

Secondly, if quality/service continues to be an issue, who do you think feels the brunt of it? Booksellers, authors and possibly the publisher- most of us on this forum and most of the people taking a stand.

If the common reader buys a book that falls apart, do you think most will even know, let alone understand the fact that the printer messed up and think "I better not buy something they print again"?

Of course, not. They'll be disappointed with the purchase and maybe try to return it if it's worth the hassle. A few might wonder how the author (who has the least control) would allow him or herself to be represented by such a product, and the author's rep is now tainted.

Next, do you think this book would get a recommendation to other readers? Probably not, but someone could easily post a review to say the book had an upside down interior, don't bother.

Very very few would know it's really the supplier, Amazon/Booksurge that should be to blame. Amazon/Booksurge continues biz as usual while everyone else, to whom that book is much more important, runs damage control.

If Amazon really wants to help customer service, save fuel and all they say, fine, sounds great, but prove it. Show me statements of how it's going to work. Tell me the numbers before and after to my face, run it for a trial period, ask for our input. I don't think most people would have argued with that.

citymouse
04-06-2008, 12:27 AM
In response to Blondezilla:

"... Booksurge is not known for quality and have you ever tried to reach Amazon for customer service beyond "click here?"

CP, You probably meant to also remind people that if they have a complaint about the quality of a BS product they should contact BS customer service, not Amz. I doubt the average reader has any idea who BS, or LuLu, or iUniverse is. I can tell you that Amazon will not address a BS quality issue with a customer beyond a an apology and an offer of money back. It's even doubtful Amz would steer complaining customers to BS. NI may be wrong, but it would be worth investigating.
As I said earlier, I'm a BS author and my only complaint is the cover quality in that the ink is easily scratched.
C

MickRooney
04-06-2008, 12:46 AM
Finally, some people who aren't up the proverbial butts of vanity presses and spouting off about how Amazon is taking over the world.
It's not real tough to see that writersweekly is booklocker and starting a smear campaign that can only benefit them is a waste of my inbox space.
It also wasn't tough to see this coming back in 2005 when Amazon bought BookSurge.
Amazon is a publicly traded company and has stockholders to answer to. They have always been a cutting edge time proven company.

Also, since even vanity presses accept maybe 4% of submissions, lets get excited about seeing a lot of crazy idea fresh authors who self publish that we would never get to see before.


Is this one of George W. Bush's family posting????

The USA economy??? Woo, slow down, and 4% of submissions are accepted by vanity presses???

It's a smear campaign by Angela Hoy and Booklocker???

Hmmm...I'll say no more.

Inky
04-06-2008, 01:04 AM
Once upon a time, I bought all of my books from Barnes & Noble and those book clubs, but never Amazon. The customer service was perfect, and they shipped VERY fast to those of us that are military & living overseas.

This is big-brother bullying to me, what Amazon is pulling, and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I may be one person, but if my book can only be available via Amazon by way of now buying into BookSurge--hence, also taking a cut in royalties--but Barnes & Noble isn't pulling this stinky poopoo extortion madness, then they're the company that also deserves my business as a customer. I don't like force-the-hand tactics and feel what Amazon is pulling is rather vulgar.

If I had wanted to do business w/BookSurge, I'd have gone with them in the first place. Now they think to force my hand? Oh, hell no!

victoriastrauss
04-06-2008, 05:06 AM
Online book sales are aprox 30% of the market and Amazon has a portion of that.
Actually, 20% overall. But for many small presses and self-publishing services, online sales are probably well over 50%, maybe closer to 80% or 90%. I don't know what portion of those sales occur on Amazon, but I'll bet it's substantial.

On the other hand, the percentage of Amazon's gross income represented by POD books is probably minute. You can talk all you want about the long tail, but the fact is that Amazon's tail is so long that it can afford to lose the business of publishers that stick with Lightning Source, or that decide to boycott it and find another way. In this fight, Amazon and small publishers are speaking completely different languages.

- Victoria

Inky
04-06-2008, 06:57 AM
Actually, 20% overall. But for many small presses and self-publishing services, online sales are probably well over 50%, maybe closer to 80% or 90%. I don't know what portion of those sales occur on Amazon, but I'll bet it's substantial.

On the other hand, the percentage of Amazon's gross income represented by POD books is probably minute. You can talk all you want about the long tail, but the fact is that Amazon's tail is so long that it can afford to lose the business of publishers that stick with Lightning Source, or that decide to boycott it and find another way. In this fight, Amazon and small publishers are speaking completely different languages.

- Victoria

I know, I know *deep sigh*.
Some will swear this is brilliant business practice, but not I. This is dirty business. Amazon knows self published authors prefer Amazon and the 'round the world affiliates (Amazon. whatever country you're living in/from), but to force the hand....grrrrr. AND, according to Outskirts Press, there's a significant cut in the royalty--not that I'm so filthy rich from present royalties, that this will put my family out on the street, AND the cover price will increase. As if cover prices of self published books aren't already high enough. Sorry, but I went for the lowest royalty so that my cover price would remain low...and the bloody thing is still pricey.

Booksurge lacks quality. I researched self publishing companies for a long time. In all fairness, BookSurge may have improved their product since I last looked into them, but at the time (I wanna say 2 years ago?), they had commentary such as shoddy (sp?) covers, misprinted pages, double printed pages....you know....the nightmare stuff that makes your book look like it was printed in someone's garage.

Just makes me more determined to hone craft, make book II in my series 'da bomb' (sorry, couldn't resist), and pray to every entity that THIS time I don't get great letters from agents encouraging me to keep writing, but that one says: I'd like to offer you representation.

You'll know it has happened. There'll be a sonic boom. Don't worry. It's just my fat ass fainting dead away.

citymouse
04-06-2008, 04:45 PM
I have read some posts in this thread that BS has inverted printed pages and duplicated pages. I a copy I have out with BS and it's fine. I did the formatting myself. I wonder if that made any difference?

Has anyone here had any experience with BS screwing up their manuscript?

Also I want to reiterate that Amazon is a business. The fact that they are in business selling books is incidental to the art of writing and producing books. The folks at Amz don't give a fig for your art, its worth to you as the artist, or its worth to your readership. They do care about $$$$ and how to get more of it.
A lot of time and angst has been spent howling about how stupid, mean-spirited and shortsighted Amz is on this matter. But I'm still waiting for someone with knowledge to respond to my post #34 in this thread.
Victoria! Where are you? You always save my bacon. It's getting too crisp in the pan!!! Help! :)
C

Browndragon
04-17-2008, 12:22 AM
"non-returnable print on demand?" Not all that knowledgeable since a lot of royalty paying POD publishers DO accept returns.

MickRooney
04-17-2008, 12:41 PM
"non-returnable print on demand?" Not all that knowledgeable since a lot of royalty paying POD publishers DO accept returns.

I wouldn't say 'a lot' of royalty paying POD publishers accept returns, IMHO those who have a returns policy are in the vast minority, and often charge this as an 'add-on fee', anything up to $400-$500. I'm trusting to memory, so don't quote me, but I believe Infinity might be one of the few who offer this as standard.

The whole idea of 'print-on-demand' is that the books are available and only printed when a 'firm' request of purchase is made. This in itself grinds against the idea of POD books having returnability, though, I do appreciate it can make the potentially successful books likely to get physical shelf space.

Mac H.
04-17-2008, 01:10 PM
I'm confused. Isn't this the whole point of POD?

POD enthusiasts often talk about a time when a bookstore would simply have a machine to print books on the spot .. you select what book you want and it is printed, instead of the bookstore doing it the 'old fashioned way' and ordering it from the publisher.

Well - that future time is now. That is exactly what Amazon has - a machine to print the POD books for whoever orders them.

Why should this affect POD publishers? Surely it doesn't matter who PUBLISHES the book, as long as they give Amazon permission to press the 'Print' button on their in-house machine .. and supply the file in a way that Amazon can print.

I realise that a POD publisher may prefer to use a different printer instead of the one in house at this bookstore, but why would a bookstore that insists on using a 'Printer A' instead of 'Printer B' kill the micro publisher's business model?

I understand it could kill the profitability of other printers. But surely 'printer' and 'publisher' are different enough for the micro publisher business model to survive?

Mac

Inky
04-17-2008, 01:15 PM
It's about quality.
It's about forcing the hand.
I do business with Outskirts Press. BookSurge didn't have a very good reputation for quality.
Now, regardless of my choice, if I want to continue having my book available via Amazon, I'm forced to do business with BookSurge.
If they've cleaned up their act and have become more professional, fine/whatever. But if they're still hit or miss when it comes to quality...I prefer not having my book available on Amazon.

CDarklock
04-17-2008, 03:40 PM
I'm wondering, and pardon me if I do so out loud.

If Amazon says "POD must go through business X", doesn't business X suddenly increase its revenue stream geometrically in the short term, and realise massive economy of scale in the long term?

In other words, won't that business rapidly become and remain the best POD publisher anyway? Prices should drop, quality should improve... granted, it's "should" and not "will", but POD is still a competitive market.

MickRooney
04-17-2008, 05:38 PM
I'm wondering, and pardon me if I do so out loud.

If Amazon says "POD must go through business X", doesn't business X suddenly increase its revenue stream geometrically in the short term, and realise massive economy of scale in the long term?

In other words, won't that business rapidly become and remain the best POD publisher anyway? Prices should drop, quality should improve... granted, it's "should" and not "will", but POD is still a competitive market.

I think this whole issue just shows how the line between POD publisher and printer is becoming so blurred. Are POD's simply glorified printers with a few added publishing bells and whistles? Infinity are a good example of a POD publisher who do their printing in-house, and do not use Lightning Source.

With the roll out of in-store print-on-demand machines in some retail bookstores, the whole manufactoring part of the process is placed firmly at the fingertips of the customer. But this is a little different to what Amazon are trying to do. This is a large conglomerate business telling the companies who trade and place with it to use their supply print network. What it removes from the publisher is the ability to choose and trade on mutually agreed terms. There remains the greater issue of print quality and Booksurges own abilities to take on the extra print demand which Amazon will expect of them.

It seems to me no different than a massive food chain store saying to one particular group of food manufacturers, 'if you don't use our packaging facilities - then we don't sell you product from our stores'.

What Amazon need to do is explain precisely what kind of development and investment they have planned for Booksurge. I don't follow the notion that increased revenue and business is automatically going to lead to better service and quality of product.

TomBenjey
10-25-2008, 10:24 PM
I plead guilty to having been stupid enough to have had BookSurge print the ARCs for my first book. Their shoddy work convinced me to never use them again. But they didn't go away easily. In fact, I have no evidence that they went away at all.

About two years ago I became aware that when customers ordered my book from Amazon, BookSurge printed a copy of the ARC instead of obtaining a copy from a wholesaler or the publisher, and shipped it to the unsuspecting buyer. The customer got an inferior copy of the book and my reputation was harmed.

The matter hasn't been resolved and I have been forced to take them to Federal Court over copyright infringement.

TomBenjey
10-25-2008, 10:59 PM
Be very careful, Will Robinson. I stopped doing business with BookSurge after one job (or so I thought), the ARCs for my first book, but two and a half years later find myself suing BookSurge/Amazon in Federal Court for copyright infringement. It appears to me that Amazon found it more profitable to fill orders for my book by having BookSurge print ARCs and send them to unsuspecting customers as if they were the final version of the book. Amazon claims that a "systems error" at BookSurge, a separate company over whom they had no control caused the problem. I'll leave assessing the logic of Amazon's position to the reader.

Could I have been a test case for Amazon's power grab? It's hard to say because my finished books were offset print, not POD, and were available from industry wholesalers as well as the publisher. But the ARC's files were available to them and they did print unauthorized copies copies from those files.

I would be concerned about ever getting control over my book back if I sent them the PDFs for a finished book. How would you be able to verify how many copies they printed and sold? I know of no inexpensive or reliable way to do that. Let's say you decide to have someone else print your books. How can you make BookSurge/Amazon stop printing them? Does their contract even allow you to do that?

Editorinchic
11-07-2008, 12:04 PM
Amazon tying up with Booksurge does not in any way affect print on demand companies to deliver as a publisher. The only change is the printer. Small feat but the remorse could come from authors who might need to shell out more just to do the entire process of synching their meta data (if they've been listed under Ingram/LSI) to work with Booksurge. That could pose a problem.

MickRooney
11-07-2008, 07:26 PM
Amazon tying up with Booksurge does not in any way affect print on demand companies to deliver as a publisher. The only change is the printer. Small feat but the remorse could come from authors who might need to shell out more just to do the entire process of synching their meta data (if they've been listed under Ingram/LSI) to work with Booksurge. That could pose a problem.


Editorinchic,

I think you glaringly (or deliberately) miss the point of this whole thread. How could 'Amazon tying up with Booksurge not affect print on demand companies to deliver as a publisher'?? The whole point of this thread has been Amazon's moves to get publisher's to use their own 'printer', Booksurge, and the question marks over Booksurge's ability to match the quality and capacity turned out by a rival printer LSI. If that does not go to the very heart of a POD publishers reputation and business, then I don't know what does.

I respect all voices of opinion, but when it is expressed by someone like yourself who blatantly blogs and promotes about one single POD publisher, namely, Xlibris, then I have to question your own balance of opinion and motivation for any posts you make here, or on other threads you have posted to at Absolutewrite in the past week.

BrazilGirl
01-06-2009, 10:16 PM
What's the latest on LSI's relationship with Amazon, is Amazon winding down it acceptance of books printed thru LSI?

CaoPaux
01-07-2009, 03:23 AM
I'm not sure I understand the question. LSI is a printer, therefore Amazon's relationship would be with the (self)publishers using LSI, not LSI itself.

IceCreamEmpress
01-07-2009, 10:09 AM
CaoPaux, I think that BrazilGirl may be looking for updates on this situation (http://www.writersweekly.com/amazon.php), where Amazon.com offered a higher level of service ("Buy Now" buttons, etc.) to people and presses using BookSurge, which it owns, than to those who used Lightning Source and other printing services.

BrazilGirl
01-07-2009, 08:06 PM
Right on! IceCreamEmpress.

In particular, as of today, are POD publishers must pay Amazon to print their books or their “buy” buttons would be turned off at the Amazon.com website, or book buyers will have to buy through third-party resellers on the site.

CaoPaux
01-07-2009, 08:35 PM
Ah. Last I heard, in order to keep their "Buy Now" button, non-BookSurge users needed to provide books for Amazon to warehouse. 'Course, the cost of that could easily surpass the cost of paying Amazon to print orders through BookSurge.

BrazilGirl
01-07-2009, 08:49 PM
Thanks.
Sounds like the best way to handle this is to use the LSI/Booksurge combo, or the LSI/Amazon.Advantage combo.

cpickett
01-08-2009, 01:08 AM
Hi all,
I'm aware of the whole "amazon situation" that blew up a few months ago. Now that the dust has settled, things are fine between LSI/Ingram and Amazon. According to my reps at LSI, books will be listed with Amazon, B&N.com etc as before. No need to worry about Booksurge. If I find out anything otherwise, I'll update everyone.

Apparently things were worked out with the new contract or whatever, but nothing was ever reported because I didn't know until I asked either.

Marva
01-08-2009, 04:33 AM
I'm looking at LSI after using Lulu for one book (two trim sizes). I already ported the book into CreateSpace to pick up the Amazon market. I intend to 'retire' the Lulu editions and put the books up on LSI.

It looks fairly straightforward at LSI. $37.50 to put up a title, $12/year for distribution. Book costs are comparable to CreateSpace (as in much cheaper than Lulu).

Any downsides I should know about? I'm smack in the middle of the signup, sitting on the Accept Agreement page.

Anybody else "retire" a book from Lulu and take it elsewhere? Are the file requirements at LSI too difficult to meet? Any other potential problems at LSI?

Anybody's experiences are appreciated.

cpickett
01-08-2009, 04:44 AM
Hi Marva,
Check out my other post in answer to Bazil Girl's other Amazon thread. I talk about a few things I think it's important to know. Don't want to repeat on the same forum if that's okay.

BrazilGirl
01-08-2009, 05:31 AM
Marva,
I have investigated the LSI file requirements a little bit, I think if you use InDesign and save the file in PDF/X-1a:2001 format, you should be ok.

chrisminglee
01-08-2009, 07:41 AM
Hi all,
I'm aware of the whole "amazon situation" that blew up a few months ago. Now that the dust has settled, things are fine between LSI/Ingram and Amazon. According to my reps at LSI, books will be listed with Amazon, B&N.com etc as before. No need to worry about Booksurge. If I find out anything otherwise, I'll update everyone.

Apparently things were worked out with the new contract or whatever, but nothing was ever reported because I didn't know until I asked either.

Nice, thanks for the heads up Cheryl!

MickRooney
01-08-2009, 09:41 PM
[quote=Marva;3142580]
Anybody else "retire" a book from Lulu and take it elsewhere? Are the file requirements at LSI too difficult to meet? Any other potential problems at LSI?
quote]

Marva,

Be sure you have not published a title through Lulu with an assigned ISBN and then try submitting to LSI. I have recently signed my own publishing company up with LSI UK and when my rep heard that I had previously used Lulu for some self published titles, she was very clear that LSI will not 'entertain' Lulu assigned titles. I know you can 'retire' a title from Lulu, but it takes some time before a title is cleared/flagged as deleted/out of print from the Bowker database. Obviously if your title is simply a 'private lulu' project, then you are fine. Some small presses actually use Lulu's online widgets to design and prepare their books before submitting to LSI.

cpickett
01-09-2009, 05:56 AM
Thanks Mick, that's a new bit of info for me.

Lulu is good for some projects, but I think lots of people jump into it without knowing enough about it. Lulu could make it easier to find the details of course, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. Thanks again for sharing.

BrazilGirl
01-09-2009, 08:00 PM
Does anyone know how big is the cookbook or travelbook market in the US?