Amazon Backs Down On Demanding Publisher Use Only Its Own Print-On-Demand Solution

from the stand-up-for-yourself dept

Back in 2008, we wrote about Amazon's questionable demand to book publishers that if they wanted to offer print-on-demand books, they had to use Amazon's own POD solution. A few months later, a class action lawsuit was filed, and after a judge refused to throw out the case, it looks like Amazon quickly agreed to settle (thanks Achura). Unfortunately, from the wording of the agreement, even though this was filed as a class action, it's not clear if it only applies to this one publisher or others as well. It is worth noting that Amazon is allowing the publisher to keep using alternative solutions and also agreed to pay the legal fees of the publisher. Amusingly, a monetary reward was on the table, and the publisher turned it down -- and wanted it written into the settlement that it refused to take money -- but Amazon didn't want that mentioned in the official settlement. Still, it seems unfortunate that at least one publisher had to go through all this trouble just to use the print-on-demand offering of its own choosing. And, while it's great for this one publisher, it leaves out the fact that many others caved in and agreed to deals that required them to only use Amazon's solution.
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Filed Under: limits, print on demand, publishing on demand
Companies: amazon, booklocker


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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 21 Jan 2010 @ 7:09am

    Re:

    "There are plenty of companies that print books. I can't understand why anyone would voluntarily bind themselves to use only one."

    Well, I think Amazon's theory was that they saw value in their aggregated market and thought that they could leverage that market to make money printing books. It's kind of a weird theory, because if they drive away book listings, theoretically they drive away part of the very aggregated market that they're trying to leverage.

    I'm still having trouble figuring out how one makes money on writing in a POD environment anyway. I've been spending a great deal of time trying to think of what the author version of a live performance is, and it's tough. Though I did have one idea I thought I'd share to hopefully get the communty's thoughts:

    ***I'm currently about half-way through the first draft of a novel that takes place primarily in a post-apoctalyptic Chicago-land area. I was thinking of releasing an ePub version of the eBook for free, promoting it in full blitz mode. As something more scarce I was going to take some extensive photographs of the real-world locales in which the storyline takes place, to be used in the physical book only and interspersed throughout the book to show the reader the locations I'm talking about.***

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