Thursday, 3 April 2008


AuthorHouse & IUniverse Jump Ship to Booksurge


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There are no details on the deal both AuthorHouse and IUniverse have done with Amazon/Booksurge, but they are the first of the big hitters to jump from the good ship Ingram/Lightning Source. It remains to be seen exactly how these publishers will deal with the issue of Ingrams and distribution. The issue here is that Booksurge do not deal with Ingrams as a competitor of the Amazon group, and yet, Ingrams is the largest supplier of books in the United States.

Lulu have made no official statement, but staffer 'Adam' on their forum had assured 'users', (I thought they were customers - silly me) that there will be no 'adverse' affect on their authors book availability through Amazon's site. The word 'adverse' already bothers me - it suggests something like, err, a not disagreeable amont of disruption and reduction in overall 'user' satisfaction. Jez,what does that sound like, one of those flat pact manuals you get written by a guy from Taiwan who couldn't explain how to boil a friggin' egg! So we definitely have three in. What about the rest?

Infinity do there stuff in-house and send the physical books on for Amazon to warehouse (clever boys and girls, them Infinities). So it will be interesting to see how Xlibris, Mill City Press, Virtual Bookworm et all react. Brent Sampson, CEO of Outskirts Press had made pretty adamant soundings on the web that his company won't crumble to Amazon.

As an aside June Austin http://juneaustin.blogspot.com on her blog says she has been in contact with Jerry Simmons of http://www.nothingbinding.com and he is proposing that POD and Self publishers pull together and use his site as a online retail host for them.

Here is Angela Hoy's second article on the issue this week on Writersweekly.

http://www.writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/004610_04022008.html
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2 comments:

  1. You never know what type of "deal" authorhouse/iuniverse and lulu struck with amazon. It will take a larger consortium than infinity/Xlibris, Mill City Press, Virtual Bookworm and the other 80,000+ self publishers to make any difference.

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  2. Tom,

    I agree, your comment puts things in perspective. AuthorHouse might have 30,000+ amazon listings, and even combining this with other large POD publishers, they remain a drop in the ocean for Amazon's revenue. I'd estimate that all the POD printed books listed for purchase on Amazon are in a single percent figure.

    I think this just underlines the precarious position self-published and POD/Subsidy published find themselves in.

    Over the coming weeks, we should find out some of the minutia of the deals/arrangements AuthorHouse/IUniverse have struck with Amazon. The real issue will be if and how Amazon push this on to the many traditional publishers using digital POD as a print method for their books.

    Mick rooney

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