Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Author Solutions to BookSurge?

We recently wrote on Amazon’s acquisition of Audible,‘When faced with a Gorilla you have a limited number of choices. You can turnaround and walk away and pretend he wasn’t there. You can smile and concede the next move is his and that he now owns the garden. You can take him on ‘David and Goliath’ style. You can call your friends, at the local zoo and hope that they turn up in time.’

According to Publisher Weekly, Author Solutions, the owner of AuthorHouse and iUniverse, has ‘acceded to Amazon.com’s recent demand that publishers’s print-on-demand titles be printed by BookSurge, Amazon.com’s POD subsidiary’.

Obviously, in times such as these, the market is awash with rumors and the merest word is interpreted many ways, but if they have indeed decided that is where their best interests are, then it would be a safe bet that others will now follow.

Publishers short print runs on POD should continue but the true on demand business of self publishing will be squeezed hard and it’s a safe bet that it is going to BookSurge and Amazon.

The booktrade is not just about front list and the major houses. It is about all sorts of books from rare, bargin, used, self publishing, backlist, etc to front list. When Amazon recognised this and stepped in the used marketplace there was a few noises but today they and the likes of ABE rule. When they bought audiobooks in the form of Audible, there were noises and it did stir some into the sensible DRM free route but today they own marketshare. They have now stepped into the self publishing and small press world of POD. Some would argue that they have seen how Ingram through LSI have developed their digital offer and its that that they are after and POD is just a bonus. What is clear is that they understand the pieces ofthe jigsaw and are putting them together one by one.