PDA

View Full Version : PA divorces AMAZON



overfiend
03-29-2008, 03:09 PM
REad this email i got:


Dear Author,
PublishAmerica is intensifying its ties with BarnesandNoble.com as its primary online vendor. At the same time, we are devaluating our relationship with Amazon.com. Unfortunately, we are doing this under pressure.
Amazon has informed us a few days ago that they are insisting on printing every PublishAmerica book they sell, in their own recently bought in-house digital printing facility. We have been given just over two weeks to comply. Their ultimatum implies that PublishAmerica must submit almost 60,000 separate book files (text and cover), and redo every single one of them so they conform to the complicated technical specs that Amazon's in-house press requires.

They also demand a huge increase of their own profit-per-book, which would lead to dramatically lower royalty payments for our authors on all books sold through Amazon.com. Amazon's threat: if you do not play ball, we will disable the "Buy" button for your books.
Not surprisingly, PublishAmerica refuses to be swayed by anyone's strong-arming tactics, big name or otherwise, especially given the fact that budging would mean an additional expense on the publisher's side of tens of thousands of dollars, on top of the unacceptable royalty losses for our authors.

When they tried to force our hand in the past, Amazon representatives have suggested that PublishAmerica should simply pass on its Amazon-caused expenses to its authors. Of course we have refused this. PublishAmerica never charges its authors as much as a single penny, ever. We are not going to change this winning policy under the threat of anyone's intimidation, nor are we willing to involuntarily accept any royalty cuts on behalf of our authors.
PublishAmerica's almost 30,000 titles remain available to Amazon, and we will continue to also make all future titles available to them. Amazon continues to be able to access our books the same way they, as well as all other retailers, have always accessed them, through at least four separate venues. One of those venues is LightningSource, a daughter company of the world's largest book wholesaler Ingram, which prints our books for retailers. (Amazon was attempting to take away a portion of this printing volume from Lightning Source until we prevented it.) If they want to obtain any PublishAmerica title, they can at all times, as they always have.

PublishAmerica's books will furthermore continue to be available to just about every other book retail venue as well, including all Barnes and Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks, Books-a-Million and many other chain and independent bookstores, and to online outlets such as BarnesandNoble.com.

Barnes and Noble remains PublishAmerica's number one customer: more of our books have always been sold through Barnes and Noble and that company's online store than through any other vendor. Given the new circumstances, we now fully anticipate significant sales increases through BarnesandNoble.com and other places.
Thank you for your support. If you feel inclined to let Amazon.com know what you think of their actions, we encourage you to contact them at cust.service@amazon.com or call them at 206-266-1000 or 1-866-216-1072.
Thank you,
PublishAmerica Author Support Team




Was wondering what is the angle here? May be Amazon doesn't want to seel crappy books from just anybody anymore or they found a way to get rid from dealing with PA.PA does business with barnes and Noble.I read that those guys don't do business with them meaning B&N don't want to also.What is the Deal???
Hey was wondering could this be considered some type of breach of contrat by PA that an author could use to ask for release.They do claim they will put your book once published on Amazon and others.If amazon disables buy option(surely happening) then my book (hahaha i know it didn't have a chance anyway) is not going to sell so brainstorming this all brings us to the book can't be sold on a world renouned site.

Elaine Margarett
03-29-2008, 04:54 PM
Interesting...

What I got from this is that PA doesn't want to lose the profit they make from printing books, to Amazon.

Siddow
03-29-2008, 04:56 PM
It's not just PA books. Amazon will no longer list POD books for sale that aren't printed by Amazon's printer.

It's crazy.

triceretops
03-29-2008, 04:57 PM
Yes, it would make Pa's new printing facility obsolete--no more gouging.

Here's the test--watch or check out the other small presses to see if they are be handled in a like fashion. If so, it wil cause quite the firestorm.

Tri

triceretops
03-29-2008, 05:00 PM
This is a stupid question--but where it the "buy" button actually located on the amazon page? I mean, what color is it and what does it appear next to?

Tri

Siddow
03-29-2008, 05:01 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120667525724970997.html?mod=rss_whats_news_techn ology

Sorry, it's not a full article. I'm sure we'll hear more in the near future.

Siddow
03-29-2008, 05:03 PM
This is a stupid question--but where it the "buy" button actually located on the amazon page? I mean, what color is it and what does it appear next to?

Tri

It's the orange "Add to shopping cart" button to the right of the book cover.

Christine N.
03-29-2008, 05:06 PM
I've heard from at least one other small press that their buy links have also gone bye-bye. Whiskey Creek press.

triceretops
03-29-2008, 05:07 PM
Thanks, Siddow.

Tri

Gillhoughly
03-29-2008, 06:35 PM
dramatically lower royalty payments

PA writers get royalty payments????

williemeikle
03-29-2008, 06:52 PM
Looks like Amazon want a monopoly on POD published books.

Small presses that use Lightning Source are very concerned, as if they want to comply with Amazon, they'll have to switch to Booksurge for their printing, with all the costs that will involve.

More linkages with more info:-

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6545772.html (http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6545772.html)

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

http://www.fonerbooks.com/2008/03/new-amazon-mandate-say-it-aint-so-jeff.html (http://www.fonerbooks.com/2008/03/new-amazon-mandate-say-it-aint-so-jeff.html)

Gillhoughly
03-29-2008, 06:56 PM
PA needs to write a "tone" letter to Amazon.

That'll show 'em.



BTW--I think Amazon is being moronic.

Julie Worth
03-29-2008, 07:34 PM
Looks like Amazon want a monopoly on POD published books.



There's a discussion on the Lulu forums (http://www.lulu.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=90527&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0).

Claudia Gray
03-29-2008, 10:51 PM
On the one hand, anything that screws with PA has an upside. On the other hand, Amazon is being really hard-ass about this.

VickyH
03-29-2008, 10:53 PM
Its not just amazon's site that the buy buttons have gone from. Barnes and Noble and Waldenbooks internet sites have suffered the same fate.

Julie Worth
03-29-2008, 10:59 PM
Its not just amazon's site that the buy buttons have gone from. Barnes and Noble and Waldenbooks internet sites have suffered the same fate.

Really? The first one I looked at on B&N was still there.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
03-29-2008, 11:11 PM
Amazon's 'buy' buttons are gone, but Barnes and Noble's are still there.

Marie Pacha
03-29-2008, 11:15 PM
From PA's web site: http://www.publishamerica.com/amazon.htm

"Not surprisingly, PublishAmerica refuses to be swayed by anyone's strong-arming tactics, big name or otherwise, especially given the fact that budging would mean an additional expense on the publisher's side of tens of thousands of dollars, on top of the unacceptable royalty losses for our authors. PublishAmerica never charges its authors as much as a single penny, ever. We are not going to change this winning policy under the threat of anyone's intimidation, nor are we willing to involuntarily accept any royalty cuts on behalf of our authors."

There's the real issue in bold.

Stew21
03-29-2008, 11:18 PM
Here's an article:
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9073198

VickyH
03-29-2008, 11:24 PM
PA books are not available on Barnes and Noble except from third party sellers. B&N have followed amazon's lead, thus making a mockery of PA's email to its authors.

Julie Worth
03-30-2008, 12:21 AM
PA books are not available on Barnes and Noble except from third party sellers. B&N have followed amazon's lead, thus making a mockery of PA's email to its authors.

Here's one (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=1413760260) that's even in a few B&N stores.

JulieB
03-30-2008, 12:28 AM
Several PA books are available for purchase new through B&N and do qualify for free shipping. OTOH, I've noticed that books published by BookSurge are only available through third-party vendors at B&N.com.

VickyH
03-30-2008, 01:00 AM
From the B&N page for my book "

A new copy is not available from Barnes & Noble.com at this time."

Three Weeks Last Spring was available as a new book yesterday.

Voyager
03-30-2008, 01:08 AM
Here's one (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=1413760260) that's even in a few B&N stores.
Okay, I just swallowed my damn gum. $19.75 for a paperback book? And that's the member discount price.

Christine N.
03-30-2008, 01:12 AM
It affects Borders.com as well.

I blogged about this today and sent a bulletin to my entire friends list on MySpace. So far the response has been positive, and people will be reposting the bulletin. Maybe we can spread a boycott of Amazon across the net.

Marie Pacha
03-30-2008, 01:44 PM
From the PAMB Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:53 pm:
http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=26321&start=30

The move by Amazon and the counter move by PA puts us, the authors, in a checkmate. I can understand why PA made the move , but it does deprive us, the authors, of a large segment of the marketplace. I’ve tracked the sales of my books closely and I don’t think any of my books have sold through Barnes and Noble, as far as I can tell. I believe most of my sales have been through Amazon.

Amazon has a publishing house of their own, Booksurge, and recently acquired a printing capability as well. Since Booksurge charges to publish your work and probably doesn’t have the big following that PA has, Amazon is looking to get a bigger segment of the printing market by forcing publishers to use their company.

Unfortunately, without Amazon, if some of us don’t get any sales from Barnes and Noble, then we don’t get any sales at all. One of the sales features advertised by PA to attract authors was the diverse marketplace, which included Amazon. At this time in history, retail outlets can either make or brake products. Wal-Mart is a good example of that. Manufacturers can either play by their rules or sell their products at… well, in limited venues? Therefore, the manufacturers fall in line and consequently they have an international market for their wares. Now Amazon is applying a similar strategy. While we aren’t the manufacturers of our books, we are the creators. Without PA, our books might never see the light of day, and without us, PA wouldn’t have a product to sell. Apparently, PA can afford to take a significant cut in retail sales, but for most of us, the loss of any retail outlet could mark the end of our creation.
There's a battle going on between Amazon and B & N and it’s hard to tell how it will turn out and how it will affect our sales. At the present time, B & N will not sell any books published by Amazon’s Booksurge. In fact, they won’t even list them. If the whole idea of selling books, is to sell books, then why do you care who prints them, except where vested interest gets in the way? What will B & N’s attitude be six months or a year from now about books published by PA? Will they perhaps set up their own publication wing, if they haven’t already or their own printing wing, if that isn’t already being done and leave us with no significant market at all? Only time will tell.

Another negative aspect of PA’s decision is the damaging light it casts on our work. With Amazon still posts our books on their website, but they're not available for sales, the public may be led to believe that Amazon no longer thinks our books are worth selling at any price. I’ve seen books listed on their website that indicated they were no longer available for sale. I figured they didn’t sell, so Amazon no longer tried to sell them. And if Amazon didn’t want to sell them, then I probably didn’t want to buy them either, even if I could get them from B & N.

My opinion is that there isn’t a clear answer to the problem that faces all of us. With the loss of a market comes reduced revenues for PA. With reduced revenues comes reduced service. Perhaps a viable solution would be for PA to allow their authors to have an early termination of their contract so that they can place their book with a publisher that isn’t so closely tied to a printing facility. For many of us, that might mark the end of our book, possibly me included; however, if I had that option, I would rewrite my books and properly edit them so they might sell better. I’ve learned a lot in the two years since my first book came out and I think I do a much better job of writing than I did in the beginning. However, re-editing a book isn’t allowed, so I’m stuck with my initial work.

I’m grateful to PA for publishing my two books. They were a good learning experience for me and my current work is far and away better because of that experience. I’d like to redo my first attempts and see what they can really accomplish.

I hope PA’s economic decision won’t doom them to failure. They’re a good organization and have good people and folks like us need them. But nothing is forever.

The Desert Dan


I have put certain areas of his post in bold letters.
Marie

Christine N.
03-30-2008, 03:30 PM
I don't know about what he's saying. My LBF/Lachesis books are printed by Booksurge, and B&N.com is carrying them - in stock. So no, books printed by BS will still be sold at B&N, and I haven't seen anything that says different. Don't know where he's gotten that information from.

Booksurge is a printer, not a publisher.

This isn't about Amazon vs. B&N -it's about Amazon not wanting to sell digitally printed books that they didn't print. They say it's for 'convienence', so they can bundle stuff together, but it still seems greedy and manipulative.

Other than that, Dan's got some good points.

JulieB
03-30-2008, 06:44 PM
Books that are listed as published by BookSurge are not available on B&N for immediate purchase - at least any that I could find. They have to be purchased through any partners that may have copies available. That may be what the poster is referring to.

Christine N.
03-30-2008, 07:08 PM
Ah, okay. So self-published books.

kullervo
03-30-2008, 07:09 PM
A legitimate publisher would care about losing Amazon, obviously, since a publisher gains its profits through sales to the general public.

PA gains the majority of its profits through sales to the author and the author's friends and family.

On average, a book has 8% of its sales on-line. If PA is not expecting many if any sales to the public, why fight for 8% of nothing?

JulieB
03-30-2008, 07:31 PM
Welcome to AW, kullervo.

I think this is going to hurt PA authors a lot more than it hurts PA itself. One author on the PAMB (quoted in the other thread) mentioned just having dropped a bundle on promotional materials that listed Amazon.com. Ouch.

kullervo
03-30-2008, 08:23 PM
Thank you for the kind welcome!

I hope the divorce from Amazon will make would-be PA authors consider other options. Like continuing the (not impossible, I will attest, because I did it) quest for a new, unknown writer to land a traditional publisher. Or to opt for a legitimate POD service.

thecraftteens
03-30-2008, 10:31 PM
kullervo, I think I read somewhere that no one refers to the big publishers as "traditional" except PA. I could be wrong, though.

escritora
03-30-2008, 11:36 PM
kullervo, I think I read somewhere that no one refers to the big publishers as "traditional" except PA. I could be wrong, though.

correct. they are known as commercial publishers.

kullervo
03-30-2008, 11:38 PM
Ah, I stand corrected. I am learning as I go.

JulieB
03-31-2008, 12:33 AM
Ah, I stand corrected. I am learning as I go.

Hey, that's how it works. Again, glad to see you here.

jamiehall
03-31-2008, 02:59 AM
kullervo, I think I read somewhere that no one refers to the big publishers as "traditional" except PA. I could be wrong, though.

PA started that, and I've seen non-PA writers use "traditional publisher" a bunch of times. However, the correct terminology to refer to a non-vanity publisher is usually either "commercial publisher" or "trade publisher."

Some people object to "commercial publisher" because vanity presses are also commercial - they can make quite a bit of money, they just do so off their own authors instead of from the book trade.

"Trade publisher" indicates a publisher that makes its money from the book trade - from selling to bookstores, wholesalers, readers etc. instead of its own authors.

JoNightshade
03-31-2008, 03:11 AM
Question: Is this going to affect Lulu.com books being sold on Amazon? My workplace put out a guidebook (originally only available to our clients) and I was in charge of getting it up on retail sites. I went through Lulu and purchased their distribution package, so it's displayed on Amazon. As of now it's still for sale, but are they going to cut us off?

MickRooney
03-31-2008, 03:25 AM
Last I heard was that Lulu were monitoring this issue over the weekend and would respond over the coming days. I not even sure if Amazon have made any contact with Lulu.

Mick

Christine N.
03-31-2008, 04:02 AM
Well, I just got some information that Amazon has offered to format each book from those publishers affected to the BS format for free. Each subsequent book would be $50 setup fee. This was something I was unaware of until today.

Which means either PA could do both (not likely) or cut ties with LSI/Ingram, who was printing only their Amazon books anyway, switch to Booksurge, and keep their buy links.

But PA chose to cut ties with Amazon. I don't know why, unless the 55% discount was too steep.

DaveKuzminski
03-31-2008, 04:38 AM
Looks like Amazon might be rethinking this. Wait until they calculate just how much it will cost to republish all those books if PA and other publishers take them up on the free conversion for existing books. Wouldn't surprise me if an executive finds himself pounding the pavement sometime next week. However, that discount will probably save his job because too few of those publishers can afford or will give that kind of discount on a POD book.

MickRooney
03-31-2008, 04:42 AM
Well, I just got some information that Amazon has offered to format each book from those publishers affected to the BS format for free. Each subsequent book would be $50 setup fee. This was something I was unaware of until today.

Which means either PA could do both (not likely) or cut ties with LSI/Ingram, who was printing only their Amazon books anyway, switch to Booksurge, and keep their buy links.

But PA chose to cut ties with Amazon. I don't know why, unless the 55% discount was too steep.

A number of forums have been talking about this additional $50 set-up fee for Amazon/Booksurge.

But I think there are more core issues that POD publishers have with using Booksurge.

1. There are question marks over Booksurge's final book print quality.
2. Booksurge have simply not got the resource/supply capacity that a massive printers like Lightning Source have.
3. Booksurge do not have a uk/european based plant - meaning POD publishers will still have to supply two seperate set-up formats for the two territories.

From following the various forums across the internet, it seems the POD publishers simply don't believe that Booksurge are up to the task.

Mick.

Afinerosesheis
03-31-2008, 06:03 AM
PublishAmerica's books will furthermore continue to be available to just about every other book retail venue as well, including all Barnes and Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks, Books-a-Million and many other chain and independent bookstores, and to online outlets such as BarnesandNoble.com.

From PA's letter to it's authors. I didn't get one BTW. Note the bolding in red (mine), THIS is the kicker, they are made available to bookstores only, they are not catalogued or advertised to stores. Then you get into the crappy discount and that's all she wrote...

thecraftteens
03-31-2008, 06:15 AM
From PA's letter to it's authors. I didn't get one BTW.

I didn't get one either. I think they cut people off after they complain (tell the truth) about them. Not that I am complaining. I got tired of getting emails telling me I can get my book at a "special discount" when it wasn't -- and still isn't -- released.

DaveKuzminski
03-31-2008, 06:19 AM
But you received two copies?

Afinerosesheis
03-31-2008, 06:36 AM
I didn't get one either. I think they cut people off after they complain (tell the truth) about them. Not that I am complaining. I got tired of getting emails telling me I can get my book at a "special discount" when it wasn't -- and still isn't -- released.


I do still get the special sales e-mails, you know the ones where I buy to resell and pay my own royalties to myself. =)

Christine N.
03-31-2008, 01:36 PM
I know quality used to be a problem with BS. I've heard that more than once. But honestly everything I've gotten from them thus far has been perfect. The books were fine quality, the interior b&W illustrations in my books were crisp.

I remember when they had a problem with their cover machine, but that was years ago.

Marie Pacha
03-31-2008, 04:23 PM
About Amazon:
http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/97/97664/2006AnnualReport.pdf

C.bronco
03-31-2008, 04:32 PM
I had no idea that "devaluating" was a word. Did they borrow that from davids? It sounds Lobsterese.

overfiend
03-31-2008, 05:13 PM
Actually i don't care what amazon does so long as it becomes one place less accessible to PA.New writers who go there might rethink of signing if they will not draw a contract with Amazon and if they do Pa will ask money to print from author so this should diminish the amount of people who will come to them.Either way they are busted.If the publisher is legit and wants to really get you on contract then he must think your book has a chance in the market so they will not mind spending some money on amazon to market your book.

Gillhoughly
03-31-2008, 06:41 PM
New writers who go there might rethink of signing if they will not draw a contract with Amazon.

Like PA would even mention that detail!

Neos tend to get swept up in the "I'm going to be published!" frenzy and otherwise may be wholly ignorant of the commercial publishing process.

If they knew anything about how real publishing works they wouldn't be going to PA.

For all that I think Amazon is being moronic and hope they figure out theirs is a bad idea.

allenparker
03-31-2008, 10:48 PM
Like PA would even mention that detail!

Neos tend to get swept up in the "I'm going to be published!" frenzy and otherwise may be wholly ignorant of the commercial publishing process.

If they knew anything about how real publishing works they wouldn't be going to PA.

For all that I think Amazon is being moronic and hope they figure out theirs is a bad idea.

From a publisher standpoint, none of them state in their contract where the book will be sold, at least none that I have seen.

If I received a contract that stated the book would be offered in any store through Ingram's and online stores such as Amazon, I would be very suspicious.

This will just be a glitch that PA explained away with an email.

thecraftteens
03-31-2008, 11:36 PM
But you received two copies?

me? Yes, i got my two free copies already. They send them out before the "official release date."

DaveKuzminski
04-01-2008, 02:00 AM
Then that most likely makes your book published. That will make things tougher to sort out.

CatSlave
04-01-2008, 02:03 AM
Out of curiosity, can you tell if the two author copies were printed by LSI or the PA printing press?

Christine N.
04-01-2008, 03:10 AM
Amazon speaks!
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-printondemand

Of course, it's all because Amazon CARES so much about their customers, not because it will make Amazon more money, right? Blech.

overfiend
04-01-2008, 02:49 PM
PA CONTINUES


Dear Author,

Thank you for the strong show of support that we have been receiving after we informed you about how PublishAmerica is leading the industry in resisting what many consider Amazon.com's recent bullying practices.

Again, if you want to share your thoughts on this issue with Amazon, here's a good email address to use: jcliffo@amazon.com (jcliffo@amazon.com).

Please note that the nation's largest bookseller Barnes and Noble continues to list your book online at www.BarnesandNoble.com (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/). They are an excellent alternative for Amazon for those customers who prefer not to use the sales options that are still being listed by Amazon. BarnesandNoble.com uses the same printer for PublishAmerica's books (Lightning Source) that has served Amazon for all these past years, and they deliver just as promptly.

So let us start April on a royal note for those of you who want to keep copies of their book on hand. In fact, we'll throw in free shipping (one of those customer-friendly features that we have always respected Amazon for), US domestic sales only, for all of these following orders.

* Between 5 - 50 copies: we offer 35 pct discount, plus we pay royalties, plus we do FREE shipping;
* 51 - 100 copies: 40 pct discount, plus we pay royalties, plus FREE shipping;
* 101 - 200 copies: 45 pct discount, plus we pay royalties, plus FREE shipping.
* 201 or more copies: 50 pct discount, plus we pay royalties, plus FREE shipping.

Phone orders only, at 301 695-1707, between 9am - 8pm EST. Offer expires April 4. Sorry, hardcover books excluded, but fullcolor books are included!

Thank you again for your support!

PublishAmerica Author Support Team


GREAT now that you have everybody's attention try selling them their own books and pay them royalties from their(authors) own pockets.

brianm
04-01-2008, 05:30 PM
I believe the name of this thread should be Amazon divorces PA...lol.

Or Amazon washes its hands of PA with antibacterial soap.

Rinse. Repeat.

Rose colored glasses
04-02-2008, 05:07 AM
I agree with the comments, but this does suck for those of us already "published". My book has been out almost 3 yrs and I finally made a whopping $155 for the last 6 mo. royalty period. ( Don't laugh!!...I mean it, quit laughing....I was planning a date with the Dooney and Bourke store for my next check.)

You know what's sad, and I would post this on the PA board if I weren't banned.....I was in the top 5 bestselling PA books on Amazon for most of the prior 6 month period, even being in the number 2 spot often, and my check for that royalty period was $73!!! What did the person whose book ranked 567 get?

Sad sad sad, but hey, it was something.

CatSlave
04-02-2008, 05:10 AM
I agree with the comments, but this does suck for those of us already "published". My book has been out almost 3 yrs and I finally made a whopping $155 for the last 6 mo. royalty period. ( Don't laugh!!...I mean it, quit laughing....I was planning a date with the Dooney and Bourke store for my next check.)

You know what's sad, and I would post this on the PA board if I weren't banned.....I was in the top 5 bestselling PA books on Amazon for most of the prior 6 month period, even being in the number 2 spot often, and my check for that royalty period was $73!!! What did the person whose book ranked 567 get?

Sad sad sad, but hey, it was something.
Your royalties are WAY above the average for PA.
Congratulations for that, and I'm sorry you're stuck in their mess.

Afinerosesheis
04-02-2008, 07:31 AM
My highest was 40 some dollars. You're doing great! =)

Rose colored glasses
04-02-2008, 08:09 PM
Thanks. I only wish the newly signed with PA, or those thinking of signing, knew this reality. It was sad to read the PA message board and see so much hope destined to go unfulfilled.

CatSlave
04-02-2008, 08:25 PM
Thanks. I only wish the newly signed with PA, or those thinking of signing, knew this reality. It was sad to read the PA message board and see so much hope destined to go unfulfilled.
We feel the same as you; there are many excellent books that have been denied to the reading and buying public, and too many shattered dreams to count.

DWSTXS
04-02-2008, 08:45 PM
catslave - I think you just came up with the greatest 'subtitle' for PA -

there are many excellent books that have been denied to the reading and buying public, and too many shattered dreams to count.

choppersmom
04-02-2008, 09:03 PM
Amazon speaks!
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-printondemand

Of course, it's all because Amazon CARES so much about their customers, not because it will make Amazon more money, right? Blech.

What I get from Amazon's statement here is that any POD publisher can make use of Amazon's POD services. If they choose not to use Amazon's service, then the author must provide X number of copies of the book prior to its being listed for sale on Amazon.

I really don't disagree with this as a policy, honestly. All they're saying is, look, you can use our service to make your product. If you don't choose to, we have to have the product before we can sell it. There's nothing unfair about that. They aren't saying they're not going to list POD books that are not produced through Amazon. POD books are harder to sell. They can't always be going out on a limb for every POD author who wants to sell their books. You got something to sell? Great, we'll sell it, but we gotta have it to sell first.

As far as "caring" vs. "making money" - well, every company that claims to care about its customers makes money, no? Johnson & Johnson (I think) is making a "green" version of Windex. They "care" about the environment - but they're not giving it away for free. They'll make a profit off of it, just as they will make a profit off of regular old Windex. There's nothing wrong with that - is there? Why would they stay in business if they didn't make a profit? If, however, your issue is with big companies making money at all, that's a whole other ball of wax, which I won't get involved in here! ;)

overfiend
04-02-2008, 09:59 PM
you actually got some money but i got 0.00$ and they sent me all this stuff about advertising myself.My father made me laugh when i told him i was going to drop out of the PA contract.He said you can't blame them because you did not do as they said which was to go market and beg to sell your books to the stores.I didn't have the courage to bring him up to speed on how things should work in the business but i kept thinking if i had paid to advertise then may be i would make 5 or may be 20 $ extra at the end of six months.Is it worth it? I don't think so expecially when they published your book with mistakes

Rose colored glasses
04-02-2008, 10:17 PM
overfiend - I listened to people on the PA message board and got a website, paid for search engine access, "press releases" etc - BIG WASTE OF MONEY. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't spend a cent of it. ( I didn't pay to renew the website.)

What I did do that has resulted in semi-decent royalties is to search online for universities and colleges and then search through the faculty list for professors who might use my book, according to their specialty, and I emailed them info about my book. I also found forums and groups online who might have an interest in my subject matter.

All of that was FREE, and it was effective.

I wish newbies to PA would stay off their message board because it's a den of disillusion and denial as far as I'm concerned.

brianm
04-02-2008, 10:56 PM
I really don't disagree with this as a policy, honestly. <snip>

I concur.


I wish newbies to PA would stay off their message board because it's a den of disillusion and denial as far as I'm concerned.

The PAMB is PA's most successful new author recruitment tool and that is why it exists. It is heavily monitored and edited to provide the appearance of successful, happy authors all coming together to share trade secrets and marketing strategies. Unfortunately, it's all smoke and mirrors and the information provided by the oldtimers to the newbies hurts them more than helps them.

But it's not the end of the world and some of them, who are serious about a career in writing, will cut their ties to PA, write new manuscripts, and find their way to legitimate, trade publication.

The rest will stick about the PAMB patting each other on the back while proclaiming they have attained their dream of being a published author and that "it didn't cost them one cent."

If that's what makes them happy, so be it. No skin off my teeth.

As for the others, AW provides real support, insight, and education for the serious writer who really wants a career and not just a title.

icerose
04-02-2008, 10:59 PM
I can see why Amazon is doing this. They've had massive troubles getting and delivering books from PA and their ilk. I know I had to be refunded several times for trying to get even a single book from them or B&N that were printed by PA.

VeggieChick
04-04-2008, 12:00 PM
Why is this exactly affecting some POD publishers and not others? My book, Don't Turn the Lights On, just came out from a small POD publisher. When I heard about the Amazon thing, I contacted the publisher. He assured me he had talked withLightingsource directly and was told that this "DOES NOT AFFECT titles PRODUCED/DISTRIBUTED by INGRAM." Am I missing something here? What are the distribution channels of PA? What makes them different?

MiniMeEmma
04-04-2008, 02:20 PM
Is this the real kicker to the Amazon Decision, that all POD books on Amazon will now have to give 55% of the book list price to Amazon for each copy sold - see Bookseller Article below. This will cut down on Author Royalties for many POD authors as before it was possible to set a much lower list price payment per book that went to Amazon for each copy sold on Amazon - up to half less. This 55% comes out of each author's royalties in the end. Other POD publishers will also likely pass on their extra costs to the author, see below.

Reported from BookSeller.com:

It said that publishers who wished to use third party print on demand services could continue to do so. However, they would have to provide at least five copies of the book to Amazon via its Advantage service, which costs publishers $29.95 per year and 55% of the list price of each book sold to join.

Christine N.
04-04-2008, 05:14 PM
The only authors who will lose royalties are those whose publishers pay on net and not cover price. I know that many POD publishers DO, but not all.

Of course, if the books sell fewer copies because the book can't be bought directly from Amazon, those authors making money on cover price will see a drop in royalties also.

Khazarkhum
04-05-2008, 01:45 AM
No matter what, Amazon doesn't look too good for doing it. On the surface it doesn't sound too bad, but the more details that surface expose it for what it is: a blatant grab for money & exclusivity.

I have no dog in this fight--yet--but if I were Amazon I'd rethink this position very carefully.

Khazarkhum
04-05-2008, 01:51 AM
Actually i don't care what amazon does so long as it becomes one place less accessible to PA.New writers who go there might rethink of signing if they will not draw a contract with Amazon and if they do Pa will ask money to print from author so this should diminish the amount of people who will come to them.Either way they are busted.If the publisher is legit and wants to really get you on contract then he must think your book has a chance in the market so they will not mind spending some money on amazon to market your book.


The big problem here is that there are lots of tiny & micropresses who also depend on Amazon to survive. PA can clearly afford to do what Amazon is demanding, but many more can't. And by requiring it Amazon may well be setting itself up for a nasty lawsuit.

And yes, a micropress should have the resources to handle demand & so on. Trouble is, many of them have already made such arrangements--but with Lightning Source. They don't all have the wherewithall to do the same with Amazon & BookSurge.

It can be argued that Amazon's decision has a 'chilling' effect on the tiny & micropresses, which are likliest to espouse unusual/minority viewpoints and therefore most in need of 1st Amendment protection.

I predict an interesting time ahead.

jamiehall
04-05-2008, 02:04 AM
It can be argued that Amazon's decision has a 'chilling' effect on the tiny & micropresses, which are likliest to espouse unusual/minority viewpoints and therefore most in need of 1st Amendment protection.


As far as legitimate micropresses go, this would impact some very significant markets:
-erotica, especially fantasy erotica
-small religious denominations & Neo-Paganism
-the fantasy/scifi spillover (many more decent books get written in this genre than the mainstream publishers can handle, thus the books that are either slightly less good or merely unlucky spillover into the micropresses)
-some alternative thought niches

DaveKuzminski
04-05-2008, 03:27 AM
We feel the same as you; there are many excellent books that have been denied to the reading and buying public, and too many shattered dreams to count.

Fortunately, PA keeps score for us.

Khazarkhum
04-05-2008, 11:03 AM
As far as legitimate micropresses go, this would impact some very significant markets:
-erotica, especially fantasy erotica
-small religious denominations & Neo-Paganism
-the fantasy/scifi spillover (many more decent books get written in this genre than the mainstream publishers can handle, thus the books that are either slightly less good or merely unlucky spillover into the micropresses)
-some alternative thought niches

And there are small African-American, GLBT, and various other alternative lifestyle presses, all of which probably hope for Amazon sales. Most of them are run on a wing and a prayer, and Amazon just clipped the wing.

Marie Pacha
04-06-2008, 01:46 AM
The other day I wrote Amazon.com at the e-mail address provided by PA. I asked if they would care to reply publicly to Mr. Meiners correspondence to them or even supply their response to PA publicly. Actually I would have been disappointed in them if they had chosen to do so.

They did however respond to my query with the following, and I thought it should be shared. It's on their website per their letter, and I hope I am not being redundant by posting it.

Marie

Here's their response.

"Hello from Amazon.com.

Given your interest in Amazon Print On Demand, we want to make sure
that you had an opportunity to read a letter we published about what
we're changing and why.

The full text of the letter is posted on our website here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/?docId=1000213141

One question that we've seen is a simple one. Is Amazon requiring that
print-on-demand books be printed inside Amazon's own fulfillment
centers, and if so why?

Yes. Modern POD printing machines can print and bind a book in less
than two hours. If the POD printing machines reside inside our own
fulfillment centers, we can more quickly ship the POD book to
customers -- including in those cases where the POD book needs to be
married together with another item. If a customer orders a POD item
together with an item that we're holding in inventory -- a common case
-- we can quickly print and bind the POD item, pick the inventoried
item, and ship the two together in one box, and we can do so
quickly. If the POD item were to be printed at a third party, we'd
have to wait for it to be transhipped to our fulfillment center before
it could be married together with the inventoried item.

Speed of shipping is a key customer experience focus for us and it has
been for many years. Amazon Prime is an example of a successful and
growing program that is driving up our speed of shipment with
customers. POD items printed inside our own fulfillment centers can
make our Amazon Prime cutoff times. POD items printed outside cannot.

Simply put, we can provide a better, more timely customer experience
if the POD titles are printed inside our own fulfillment centers. In
addition, printing these titles in our own fulfillment centers saves
transportation costs and transportation fuel.

Another question we've seen: Do I need to switch completely to having
my POD titles printed at Amazon?

No, there is no request for exclusivity. Any publisher can use
Amazon's POD service just for those units that ship from Amazon and
continue to use a different POD service provider for distribution
through other channels.

Alternatively, you can use a different POD service provider for all
your units. In that case, we ask that you pre-produce a small number
of copies of each title (typically five copies), and send those to us
in advance (Amazon Advantage Program -- successfully used by thousands
of big and small publishers). We will inventory those copies. That
small cache of inventory allows us to provide the same rapid
fulfillment capability to our customers that we would have if we were
printing the titles ourselves on POD printing machines located inside
our fulfillment centers. Unlike POD, this alternative is not
completely &#34;inventoryless.&#34; However, as a practical matter, five
copies is a small enough quantity that it is economically close to an
inventoryless model.

Might Amazon reconsider this new policy?

Only if we can find an even better way to serve our customers
faster. Over the years we've made many improvements to our service
level for consumers. Some of these changes have caused consternation
at times, but we have always stuck with the change when we believe
it's good for customers. An early example: many years ago we started
offering customer reviews on our website. This was a pioneering thing
to do at the time. The fact that we allowed *negative* customer
reviews confounded many publishers -- some were downright angry. One
publisher wrote to us asking if we understood our business: &#34;You make
money when you sell things! Take down these negative reviews!&#34; Our
point of view was that our job was to help customers make purchase
decisions. It made sense to us to stick with the customer-centric
position of embracing customer reviews, even negative ones.

Another example: a few years ago, we made the decision to offer used books, and to make those used copies available directly alongside the new editions. This caused significant consternation, but we stood by
the decision because we were convinced it was right for
customers. Sometimes a used book will do and it can sometimes be had
at a significant cost savings relative to a new book. We stuck with
the customer-friendly decision.

Our decision with POD is the same. Once a book is in digital format,
it can be quickly printed on modern POD printing equipment. 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. It makes more
sense to produce the books on site, saving transportation costs and
transportation fuel, and significantly speeding the shipment to our
customers and Amazon Prime members.

We hope this helps those who are interested understand what we're
working to do and why. We believe our customer-focused approach helps
the entire industry in the long term by selling more books.

Thank you again for your interest in Amazon Print on Demand.


Sincerely,

Customer Service Department
Amazon.com"

DaveKuzminski
04-06-2008, 07:44 AM
Someone should ask if Amazon is aware of the Thor Power Tools vs. IRS case and if they intend to also pass on the tax charges to the publishers, too?

MadScientistMatt
04-07-2008, 04:30 AM
Amazon speaks!
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-printondemand

Of course, it's all because Amazon CARES so much about their customers, not because it will make Amazon more money, right? Blech.

I work for a company that does Internet retail and has a goal of very fast shipping, and I have to say that I can somewhat understand Amazon's claims that this would improve customer service. Coordinating drop shipments when someone else has your inventory is quite a pain and it does slow down shipping. We normally try to deal with this on our side by keeping our inventory up and try to discourage our resellers from using us for drop shipments, but I can see the logic behind Amazon's arguement that they can handle orders better when printed in-house.

I still think it's a blatant money grab, however, as they could still let Lightning Source drop ship their orders.

allenparker
04-07-2008, 05:51 PM
... I think we are starting to see POD at its intended usage. What if all points of sale had the machine? A publisher would simply send out a digital file with the information and when a book was purchased, the location would print it and had it to the customer. Isn't this what POD promised in the beginning?


So, Amazon, then B and N, and finally the rest of the world places machines in their warehouses. When a store wants to stock a book, or more likely 5 books, they email the warehouse and he prints and ships the books.


I am not saying this is great idea, but it seems to follow the logic of POD. For large print run books, this would not be cost effective. For sort run and no run books, this is probably what we should have expected to happen all along.

PVish
04-07-2008, 08:27 PM
... I think we are starting to see POD at its intended usage. What if all points of sale had the machine? A publisher would simply send out a digital file with the information and when a book was purchased, the location would print it and had it to the customer. Isn't this what POD promised in the beginning?

While it may take a while (and a lot of money to implement) Lightning Source's recent deal with the makers of the Espresso book Machine could undercut Amazon:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6547006.html

Some folks go to Amazon to order books they couldn't find in a bookstore. What if they could get the book in the bookstore in less than 15 minutes?

I can't wait to see PA's spin on this. Now PA books will be "available" in brick and mortar books from sea to shining sea, as well as in all sorts of other stores and possible Jiffy Lubes—if the buyer doesn't mind waiting 15 minutes. Of course, it make take years for this to happen, since only seven machines now exist. . . .

And on the PAMB (http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=26321&start=120), a poster asks Infocenter questions:

It appears a company called booksplusmorestuff got smart in a real hurry and is offering a lower price for my book under used/new. If it says new, does that mean they have to order from you and we still get royalities?

Also, has PA definately decided not to cave in to their demands? It occured to me that if we make too much of a fuss, Amazon might take our pages down completely.

and Infocenter answers:

[W]e did not cave, and, no, we won't, and, yes, all PublishAmerica books continue to be listed. Reportedly, Amazon would run into serious legal trouble if they'd take down the listings altogether.

I don't think of cave-ins when I think of PA. I think of train wrecks.

Khazarkhum
04-07-2008, 10:17 PM
I don't think of cave-ins when I think of PA. I think of train wrecks.

Hmmm.:e2writer:

/////////// Cave-in / PA

buried alive Y / Y

suffocated Y / Y

escape difficult Y / Y

crushed Y / Y

Sounds pretty similar to me.

DaveKuzminski
04-07-2008, 10:39 PM
Hmmm.:e2writer:

/////////// Cave-in / PA

buried alive Y / Y

suffocated Y / Y

escape difficult Y / Y

crushed Y / Y

Sounds pretty similar to me.

Maybe, but it's harder to set up bleachers for a cave-in. ;)

Khazarkhum
04-08-2008, 11:00 AM
Maybe, but it's harder to set up bleachers for a cave-in. ;)

Ever see Kirk Douglas in "Ace in the Hole"? ;)

It's 50 years old, was relevant when it came out, it's relevant now, and 50 years from now it'll still be relevant.

PVish
04-16-2008, 06:52 PM
Somebody's getting a clue (http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=26321&start=240):


I still have a problem with the issue of choice. PA has the choice to list at Amazon or not even without using their Booksurge. They can beef up their own site to compete. They can provide authors with the option of sending their 5 author copies to Amazon for their "warehouse" and thus be listed at Amazon.com with a buy button. Therefore, since there seems some element of choice, I think a class action suit is difficult by us against Amazon. We can be listed there, we just need to sell our own books or get email rights and put our books into their Kindle program. It seems that as long as there are choices, it's hard to fight the behemoth.

The above post was in response to this one:

I beleive all 3000 Authors here at PA should
bring a class action suit against Amazon and
bring them to their knees .............

Wonder how Infocenter will respond to the matter of choice? Probably will choose to ignore it. . . .

Marie Pacha
04-16-2008, 07:44 PM
Granted I wanted my books sold through brick and mortar bookstores and actually stocked on their shelves too, and THAT was why I signed with PA. I know, I know, I was a dreamer.

Here's a novel idea (pun intended.)

PA authors should simply direct all their potential readers to the PA bookstore. Then the "sales price" on their royalty statements won't reflect the retail discounts and the authors will actually get more money for the sales of their own books.

It shouldn't be a problem or require any change in PA's procedures. Of course PA might have to add some staff to accomodate the increase in sales, but they could still use LSI or their own printer to deliver the goods. Granted customers might find it difficult to have their orders filled, as some of mine did; but what the heck nobody's perfect and it's not costing the authors any money...or is it?

If their books can't be purchased; they are losing their royalties aren't they?

Of course if PA doesn't or can't fill the orders then who will PA blame?

Marie Pacha
04-16-2008, 07:58 PM
Clause 20 of my PA contracts reads, "Author hereby agrees that the Publisher shall have the exclusive right for the duration of this Agreement to negotiate for the sale, lease, license or other disposition of the said literary work in all hard and/or soft cover or reprint editions in book form."

I am not an attorney, but it seems to me that the authors have given up their rights to file a class action suit or attempt any negotiations with Amazon or any other distributor by signing a contract with that clause included. In my opinion it's PA's responsibility to take action, and the authors should protest to PA.

Saundra Julian
04-22-2008, 06:14 AM
You have to read this ...
http://bb.publishamerica.com/viewtopic.php?t=26584

Today PublishAmerica is issuing the following announcement. All authors are receiving a personal email from our support team as we speak.
Feel free to debate!

----------------------------------------------

PublishAmerica is drastically reducing sales prices of all titles on its own website!

A little background: A few weeks ago we shared with you news about the pressure that many publishers were receiving from online vendor Amazon.com. As you know, PublishAmerica refused to budge. Today we can also report that this was not the first time that Amazon attempted to strong-arm PublishAmerica.

Roughly a year ago Amazon forced PublishAmerica to raise the pricing of our own books on our own website. They would not allow us to sell our almost 30,000 titles at sales prices lower than what Amazon chose to charge, and they threatened us with the very same retaliation that followed a year later after all. We complied at the time, and have been charging full list price in our own online store, because Amazon also charged full list price.

Staring down the bully: Now that Amazon has decided to punish PublishAmerica anyway for resisting further bullying, the time has come to reduce prices in our own online bookstore. And as an introductory step we will now slash our prices in half.

That's right: all book sales on PublishAmerica's website are at a 50 pct discount. Royalties are paid on all online sales. Go see for yourself at www.publishamerica.com .

The introductory offer will expire April 28, when discounts will go back to approximately where they were before Amazon first attempted to dictate the nation's vending terms.

Thank you!

PublishAmerica Author Support team

Last edited by infocenter on Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

James D. Macdonald
04-22-2008, 06:26 AM
It's the standard hurry-hurry-hurry, buy your own books pitch. The only difference is that they're using their website rather than a phone number to take the orders.

Do you think they'll manage to keep their on-line store functioning?

Unimportant
04-22-2008, 07:41 AM
There's a fair few disgruntled PA authors who just bought crateloads of their own books at a price higher than PA is now selling them. It'll be interesting to see how long PA keeps the "sale" going.

Scribhneoir
04-22-2008, 07:56 AM
I see they've deleted the fellow who bluntly said the offer was nothing more than a way to get them to buy their own books. Wonder if he's banned now?

Rose colored glasses
03-06-2009, 07:00 AM
I was worried that I would drop in sales. Someone asked me 6 mos or so ago why I felt my sales were coming from Amazon exclusively.

Well, for the past few years my royalties have been between $100-150 every six months. Now, 6 months after Amazon quit selling PA books directly, I have received my royalties check.

A whopping....... $15.

So has losing Amazon hurt PA authors? Absolutely yes, in a big way.

I just want people contemplating signing with PA to be aware of this.

KTC
03-06-2009, 07:03 AM
They shouldn't sign with PA anyway.

merrihiatt
03-06-2009, 09:52 AM
My PA printed book is available through Amazon.com, so I'm not sure what you mean by "Amazon quit selling PA books directly." I do know that new releases have a "buy now" button on Amazon and PA books that have been out for a while do not have these buttons.

By the size of your royalties you seem to have done well with your PA printed book. Congratulations!

Just a reminder to folks considering signing a seven-year contract with PA, the average PA author sells 75 books. Some sell more and many sell less. Take that into considerationn before signing your rights away.

Rose colored glasses
03-07-2009, 11:56 PM
Yes, I should have clarified that. My book is no longer available directly from Amazon. It is only available used or from alternate sellers, and the prices seem quite high.
I only sold 2 in the US this past 6 months.