It’s April 12. I’m sitting in my office. I’ve got a foot of new snow right outside my window.
Snow. In April.
If you’ve been keeping up with freelance news, you’ve undoubtedly heard that Amazon is planning to remove the “buy” buttons from all books printed by LightningSource and demand that all those titles be printed by their own company, Booksurge.
This news is real. Wall Street Journal as well as Publisher’s Weekly have reported it. Angela Hoy at Booklocker broke the story when a Booksurge rep threatened to remove all of Booklocker’s “buy” buttons.
Already PublishAmerica and Whiskey Creek Press have had their buttons removed.
This move impacts all of us… as authors and publishers. Subsidy publishers, university presses, traditional publishers, we all use print on demand technology. In fact, Filbert Publishing has six titles affected by this move.
With literally thousands upon thousands of titles on Amazon, many of the subsedy POD presses will incur great expense moving all those books over to Booksurge. The squeeze on these companies companies will most certainly affect their freelancers.
Those who won’t move their titles to Booksurge will lose an outlet for book sales. Sure, we can head to other online bookstores, but let’s face it, Amazon is a book selling juggernaut.
So, if you’re an author who is (or who may be) impacted by having the “buy” buttons removed from your Amazon book page, you need to start weighing your options. First and foremost, don’t panic, act professional in all your dealings with this issue, and remain open to directing your potential readers to other outlets.
Whether or not Amazon will remove more “buy” buttons is unknown. I’m the kind of person who watches the world through rose-colored glasses and remain optimistic that everything will turn out just fine… in fact I’m sure it will. I would love to continue to sell through Amazon, but if it isn’t in the cards, so be it, it’s really Amazon’s choice.
And on a personal note, I sell very few copies of my own books through Amazon. I suggest that if you’re an author, get your hands on a few copies of your book and sell them direct on your website. You’ll make more money, you’ll grow your own customer list, and (most of all) you’re not as affected by the whims of retail outlets who can change their terms at a moment’s notice.
But that’s just me.