Friday, March 28, 2008

Crying Rape at the top of my lungs re: Booksurge

Okay, I can put up with a lot. I'm an author, 'nuff said on that. However, touch my wallet and I'll scream to the rooftops. If you think this pure overt extortion Amazon/Booksurge is shoving down POD Publishers won't affect your wallet, think again.

Read about it here:

It's clear extortion and rape. That's forcing something down someone's throat (or other orifices, if you will) without their consent. Booksurge costs more to use. So, the publishers either have to eat the cost (Not likely because they are a business), cut the royalties of the authors (not wise to annoy the geese who lay the golden eggs), or pass the costs onto the consumer. The latter is not a great solution, but the best out of a bad deal, since this would mean about a dollar additional per book in price to cover the additional 10% more Booksurge charges as opposed to Lightning Source.

Whatever happened to free enterprise and the concept of captialism? If you offer the best deal at the best price, you get all the business. Up to now, Lightning Source has beat the pants off the competition, so they got all the business. Now Amazon/Booksurge has just taken away that choice. "Do business with us, or lose the sales at Amazon."

I can tell you from my point of view, this is worse than a bad deal. It's rape. Already, my publishers (all of them) sent me one good royalty check from my Amazon sales, then I had to eat a massive negative balance because of returns from the bookstores. In one case, I still owe that money months later because sales never offset that negative balance. Clearly, the money I make off print sales is next to nothing already.

I know for a fact that my publishers have already signed and paid for advance contracts with Lightning Source for print books scheduled months in advance. What will my publishers do? Eat the losses and sign new contracts? I hope not.

I hope with all my heart that my publishers tell Amazon/Booksurge to stuff their extortion where it will never see daylight. Profits from print sales aren't that great. I hope my publishers continue with their POD business of choice and start selling the print books from their own websites, cutting out Amazon as a middleman.

Will this hit Amazon/Booksurge in the wallet enough for them to realize they made a big business blunder? Maybe not. I don't care about that. This is more about not bowing to extortion and rape. Like any good woman under attack, I hope we at least make them bleed a little because we should not ever submit to rape.



Melissa said...

What a dismaying tactic coming on the heels of the trouble Borders is facing. With more independent bookstores closing and now one of the "giants" facing the same fate - more and more readers are turning to online sales outlets because, lets face it, direct sales avenues are dwindling.

This is extortion, plain and simple.

jean hart stewart said...

I'm appalled..... what's the best thing for an e-author to do?

Michelle Cary said...

I read this the other day and I'm with you. It burn me that right as my books are about to go into print, I'm faced with the Borders fiasco and now this? As much as I'd love to see my books on amazon, I for one don't want to have to give up my integrity to do it. The heck with Amazon!!!

salaphoenix said...

That's just sick. Being the crusading type, I'm all for storming the castle... As a frequent buyer at Amazon (ie, consumer) and author both, I think we should start a campaign to flood Amazon with complaints over unfair business practices. With enough of both the writing community and the consumers (after all, the business doesn't run without both!) protesting this ridiculous idea, maybe they'll let it drop, and Amazon will tell Booksurge where to stick their so-caleld "marketing" idea.

Cynnara Tregarth said...

I feel like I'm reliving the Microsoft nightmare all over again. *sigh* Amazon is great, but because of their limitations, I don't often buy from them. But this, this goes against everything I've ever learned about capitalism. Hmm, wonder why the government hasn't stepped in and smacked down Amazon.

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