Newsflash for the day: Big corporations suck, and the bigger they are, the more enthusiastic they are about sucking.
Now that we've brought up the tactile properties of water, the religious habits of the Pope, and the common defecation locations of bears, more specifics.
You've probably heard of Amazon.com. Hell, I link 'em occasionally when I'm posting about books here and have a searchbox on my page until I post this and start revamping my layout to remove it. Turns out, they've taken the notion that their position in the forefront of the online book market means they can strongarm presses that use print-on-demand technology. Specifically, they want all of those presses to print using Amazon's POD service rather than whatever they are using now, at least if they want to be listed on Amazon.com.
This is going over about as well as one would expect, especially since the POD publisher that Amazon acquired is deemed not as good (more expensive, fewer features) than the alternates that various small publishers are actually under contract with.
I work for Immanion Press, a small press that uses print-on-demand technology for its publication runs as a freelance editor; I have also been published in one of their anthologies, and intend to pitch at least one project to them in the future. They use Lightning Source, mentioned in the Angela Hoy article. I've bought books from Asphodel Press, which uses Lulu.com as a printer. I don't know what printer The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a small pagan press devoted to the Graeco-Egyptian pantheon, uses, but they'll be affected by this nonsense too. (I'm listing specific pagan presses because I actually have more direct contact with them than others. This has made The Wild Hunt, a pagan blog; I haven't seen it in the fiction-writing world yet, though if it makes Making Light I'll edit in a link from here.) I also know a variety of writers working in small-run science fiction, fantasy, and romance lines, at least some of which use print-on-demand.
I want people to be able to buy my books. I want people to be able to buy my friends' books. I want people to be able to buy the books of worthy others, too.
Please join me, one of my employer's senior editors, Lupa, Celtic recon author Erynn Laurie, and a variety of other people in bitching out Amazon for being monopolistic bastards. As soon as I get this posted, I will be removing all the Amazon affiliate stuff from my blog design and possibly drafting them a nasty handwritten letter about what assholes they are and sending it to
- Amazon.com, Inc.
P.O. Box 81226
Seattle, WA 98108-1226