One step closer to eliminating the phrase "out of print"
According to this article in the Yahoo biz section, Amazon is offering POD to publishers as a way to sell lower volume books--and if they put 50 or more titles into the program, Amazon will waive the set-up costs! From the article:
"Publishers have told us they are looking for ways to serve lower-volume book markets more effectively," said Greg Greeley, vice president of worldwide media at Amazon.com. "This program offers our customers increased choice and selection while providing publishers quick and efficient distribution of previously unavailable titles without exposure to the risk and expense of traditional methods."
I'm sure this is what Amazon had in mind all along. And being progressive and successful in their business models, this will probably work well--for both Amazon and the publishing industry.
Here's the real potential value behind their affiliation with BookSurge (in my opinion): If Amazon decided to offer a POD program (like iUniverse, Authorhouse, et. al.-- or even a DIY like Lulu) but also offered immediate (or near immediate) availability on Amazon's site, they would probably take over the entire market. Why? Because there exist two kinds of POD authors: (1) Authors who have exhausted every imaginable avenue to getting published and POD is the only option left, other than chucking it in the waste bucket, and (2) impatient authors. That said, Amazon would offer the best option to the impatient. Granted, Amazon would quickly fill with sludge, but it would be a certain windfall for the company.
And, in other POD news, Publishers Marketplace reports that: Lightning Source announced that they will start manufacturing full-color on demand books in August. CEO Kirby Best says they have spent two years developing and testing the process.
The times they are a changin' (sort of.)