My Thoughts on the News About Amazon

My Thoughts on the News About Amazon

A lot of people have linked to the thing about Amazon telling POD publishers they have to print their books though Booksurge (owned by Amazon) or they won’t be listed. Some are very upset about it, some have determined that it won’t impact their business, and others are freaking out!

I will admit that I am not entirely sure of all the ramifications, but two bits of information floated my way that make me think that the situation is not so dire. The first is that, according to Deborah Layne, nothing will change for her and Wheatland Press, and she’s with Lightning Source. So rumors that Lightning Source people have to switch over are, apparently, not entirely correct.

Which leads into the other thing I heard. The first bit of news about this came from Writer’s Weekly/Angela Hoy. And let me tell you, I don’t trust a damn thing that woman has to say. In part because she’s a vanity book publisher dressed up as not, but because I’ve had personal dealings with her that convinced me she’s really not as knowledgeable or interested in helping writers as she seems.

Several years ago, back when I was teaching writing classes, I pitched some ideas to her for the writing classes area associated with Writer’s Weekly. The full account of what happened is here, but essentially I came away from the encounter thinking that Angela didn’t know a lot about fiction writing and selling, yet was acting if she did. At the time, I just thought she was deluded, but after reading and hearing more about her, I’ve come ’round to the opinion that she’s more than a little scammy.

Someone on the BroadUniverse list pointed out that this news from Amazon really only affects POD publishers who are not part of an existing distribution system, like Ingram. The kind of POD publishers that can’t get their books stocked in Brick&Mortar stores because they won’t accept returns. The kind of publishers that have names like PublishAmerica. So really, this is terrible news for PA and that ilk, but not necessarily for all small presses. Again, this is the impression I’m getting from various sources, but if anyone has information to the contrary, I’d like to know. Mainly, I feel like anything that upsets Angela Hoy can’t be all bad.