Wednesday, May 24, 2006

You get what you pay for: yet another POD lawsuit

Do not read this article if you have a mouthful of food or drink, unless you enjoy spraying masticated matter all over your laptop.

New York State Senate candidate Leon Koziol is suing BookSurge (and Amazon, of course) because his self-published book was full of "misspellings, slanted text and other errors."

Um . . . then maybe Koziol shouldn't have put them there.

That's like suing your face for having pimples.

Okay, it's not really like that at all, but there is definitely some pimple-popping that needs to occur here.

I like a good POD lawsuit as much as the next guy, but this is insane. Sounds like another uninformed customer to me. When you self-publish, you need to remember there is a reason "self" is in the terminology. As one of my writing mentors used to say, "If you don't want salmonella, you better cook that chicken!"

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

One step closer to eliminating the phrase "out of print"

It doesn't surprise me (nor, I would imagine, anyone) that Amazon is finally harnessing the power behind POD printer BookSurge (which they purchased/acquired some time back.)

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 "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.)