Ingram Book Group Respond to Amazon POD strategy

Following Amazon Corporate’s statement to ‘Interested Parties’, John Ingram of the Ingram Group and parent company of Booksurge’s rival Lightning Source, issued a statement from John Ingram about the concerns their publisher costumers are expressing to them.

John Ingram said, while “the questions that are being raised about and its Booksurge division don’t directly relate to Ingram – either Lightning Source Inc. or Ingram Book Group – it clearly is alarming many of our publisher partners.”

John Ingram goes on to say, “publishers are telling us they feel’s actions are not appropriate.”

Amazon have yet to directly respond to Ingram and it remains to be seen if they will.

John Ingram continued, “We all live in a world where decisions are made about insourcing and outsourcing, and free choice is important. At Ingram Book and Lightning Source, we are going to work really hard to continue to be the compelling choice as publishers make their outsourcing decisions. Our breadth of distribution channels including the online retailers remains the same, and Ingram still provides one day turnaround in the fulfillment of orders for books including print on demand titles.”



  1. June said:

    I have posted the letter on my blog also, with comments of my own. amazon though are basically lying through their back teeth – they have 10 distribution centres, but just one printing plant – the books then will still have to be shipped halfway across the US to reach the distribution centres, saving neither time nor money. They are then to put it politely, talking out the thing they sit on … Neither will this be good for customers, as it will mean less choice, how can this then be good? I urge everyone to boycott amazon and stop buying anything from their sites at all until this is satisfactorily resolved.

  2. Anonymous said:

    Yes, June, the Amazon ‘Interested parties’ statement released on Monday is very much a sales pitch aimed at their customers. What it fails to mention is that for quite some time Lightning Source inc have been ‘drop-shipping’ the POD books ordered on Amazon. So when customers get those nice cardboard cartoned books, with the amazon logo emblazoned on it, delivered directly to their doorstep – it has all all been done by LSI. I think the worst thing about Amazon’s move is the ‘sop’ the say about how POD publishers can send 5 copies of each book to them to house for their inventory! Lets see LSI deal with 4400 POD accounts approximately, hmmm, lets say at the most reserved estimate per publisher 50 titles and times 5 copies, hmmm, I get a holding inventory of 1.1 million books. I think every POD should take them up on their offer. That ‘ill teach ’em.


  3. June said:

    Ha Ha Mick, I like your sense of humour – that would indeed teach them a lesson they would never forget ! Maybe I should forget the boycott idea and get everyone to do that instead !

  4. Emily Veinglory said:

    Very, very murky….

    It seem like the ones that aren;t spinning aren’t saying much about what they think or will do.

    “publishers are telling us they feel’s actions are not appropriate.”

    That should get the understatement of the year award.

  5. Anonymous said:

    Keep in mind that Ingram execs cannot take an open position in this debate. They’re caught between a rock and a hard place.

    We need to cool down and think strategically about this. Not everyone has the stubbornness to hold out against the pressure Amazon can exert. We can’t depend on some government agency intervening this time. Those agencies are staffed by politically inclined lawyers. Ethics doesn’t move them. It’ll take time, probably years of pressure, before what happened to Microsoft happens to Amazon.

    We must take charge of this debate. We must dictate the terms. Amazon wants to enrich themselves by screwing everyone else. We all know that. But we also know that they can’t look bad to their customers. That’s their fatal weaknesses.

    We need to develop a statement that legally binds Amazon to behave in ways that they don’t want to do and insist that they agree or we don’t sign. They claim to want to ship to customers faster. This agreement would bind them to shipping quickly by ordering from Lightning, paying an expedite fee if necessary, to ship quickly when BookSurge can’t meet the demand.

    Even more important, we need to keep in mind something that Amazon can easily do if they control the entire production and sale of our books. They can print and sell 1000 books, but pay us for 750. Amazon must provide POD publishers will full accounting of each and every sale: order date, shipping date, city and zip code. Will they want to do that? Of course not. And if they do that for us, how can they deny other publishers the same data.

    Attempt to hang in there individually, and enough of us will fall in line for Amazon to claim a victory. Make this painful enough by setting conditions we can rally around that don’t fit with Amazon’s plans to maximize their profit, and they will drop this like a hot potato.

    Think of this like the American Revolution. Would the Revolution have succeeded if there’d been no Declaration of Independence to rally around? Probably not. Amazon is behaving like King George III. We need the equivalent of a Declaration of Independence, something that lays down the conditions under which we will do business with them.

    Greed is their motivation. We need to target that greed by insisting that they provide quality service to their (and our) customers and insisting that they display accountability in their dealings with us. That puts to ball in their court and takes the pressure off us.