If You Use Lightning Source Instead of BookSurge
I'm sure you know Amazon bought BookSurge about a year ago or so; they' a self-publishing option for those who want to go that route.
Well, it seems that if you use Lightning Source (PublishAmerica, anyone?), Amazon will remove the "Buy" button from your book; books printed by the aforementioned PublishAmerica (PA) have already had the Buy buttons removed.
But...There's A Catch (Isn't There Always One?)
The catch, the way I read it, is you have to agree to Amazon's contract and use BookSurge.
An informative page about this whole Amazon/BookSurge thing is at the Writer's Weekly site (Angela Hoy, who also runs the epublisher, Booklocker). Here, specifically, is what the fuss is all about:
Mr. Clifford [of Amazon] said authors of those books could participate in the Amazon.com Advantage Program, meaning they would have to pay Amazon $29.95 per year PLUS 55% of the list price of their book, as well as buy and then send those books to Amazon directly for them to warehouse and ship to customers.More and more fees and stuff. Doesn't seem right, especially as a lot of authors want their book with Lightning Source, as it uses Ingram as a distributor.
And something else in favor of Lightning Source:
Amazon/BookSurge would make money two ways on Amazon.com sales - first the fee for printing the books, and then 48% of the list price of each sale through Amazon.com. Lightning Source allows its customers to set their own discount rate for Amazon and other retail sales, and does not force POD publishers or authors to pay "48%."So...What to Do?
I'm not in the self publishing boat, fortunately. Ms. Hoy is seriously considering moving all of the books in Booklocker to Barnes and Noble. But that'll take time, as she has lots of books up at Amazon.
For those published by bigger or smaller presses...it looks as if everything is okay right now. (If anyone comes up with anymore info, feel free to post your comment; I'll probably blog about it at some point.)
But who knows? I'm currently an Amazon Associate, although I haven't taken advantage of it all that much (I post books on reviews is about the extent of using it).
I wonder if B&N has a similar program?
Since this seems to have happened in just the past day or so (talk about fast), I'm sure more things will shake out about this.
One Thing Is For Sure...
I hope Amazon reverses itself on this. My feeling is that maybe they're not getting enough people to go with BookSurge, and they think only force can provide them with the moolah they want?
Oy vey. Not liking this, FWIW.