Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Update on the Stop the BookSurge Monopoly Petition.

As of this morning the petition (Stop the BookSurge Monopoly) has 1117 signatures.

Here is a sample of some of the comments from the cause supporters:

"I guess no amount of money is enough money for Amazon.com. The requirement to use Booksurge is the epitome of greed, and it must be stopped. Otherwise there is nothing to stop Amazon from attempting to stifle competition in other areas."

"Americans don't like monopolies. In this internet-driven day and age, it's a mistake to alienate a group like this. Prices are already soaring. Forcing higher cost and offering lower quality to line your own pockets when you're already doing well is a good way to start losing business."

"As a new author, and one who is not likely to ever reach the fame and stature of a Steven King, I strongly resent this attempt at 18th century style capitalism. Not only that but on their website, Borders says it is going to be using the same technology. Look out, theres another on the loose."

"This is insane. Authors are customers too. Making such a ridiculous demand of them will result in a loss of both authors and customers."

"I have a book through LULU.com, so am affected directly by this ultimatum. The whole thing smells like monopoly to me and is anti-free market economy. If Amazon is allowed to get away with this, they will seek to take over others down the road. How long before they start trying to control content. This is NOT North Korea."

"I have enjoyed shopping at Amazon for years, and don't begrudge them the success they've enjoyed. However, I can't see this push to get print-on-demand titles listed through Booksurge as anything more than an attempt at setting up a vertical monopoly (paired with its acquisition of Mobipocket, an e-book distributor, a couple years ago). Come on, Amazon - aren't you making enough money??"

"Amazon are willfully prohibiting orders for potential customers unless the publishing company sign into their agreements. This means that amazon take a staggering 60% of sale for doing not that much! This must be dealt with, there must be some form of governing body who can oversee this unfair monopoly. For many up and coming authors they feel their hands are tied."

"I am a small publisher that did not go with BookSurge because of quality issues. Now that Amazon owns them and is insisting on Booksurge printing to be sold on Amazon, my business will go elsewhere. It may be tough for a while, but where ever there is a void, the vacuum syndrome fills the void. There will be a new Marketing strategy to follow."

"Outrageous - I will NEVER shop at Amazon."

"As a regular and loyal customer to Amazon, I feel this tactic in forcing authors to use Booksurge is a blatant attempt at blackmail and an attempt to set up a monopoly. Fortunately, there are many wonderful independent booksellers in Seattle where I can purchase my books and cease my patronage at Amazon if this poor business practice continues."

"I'm a reader and author and I've got books on Amazon for sale as well as buying regularly. Because of this move from Amazon I've taken my links to Amazon.com off my website and I've told as many people as possible."

"As a micropublisher, this action could severely limit some of our authors' abilities to distribute themselves. A portion of our business rests on authors being able to connect with audiences through a internet market, and any limitation on that current ability is not acceptable."

"This is disgraceful and a blatant slap in the face to all, filtering from other print on demand book publishers to the authors to the readers who are not aware of what is happening. Who are the head muckety mucks behind this? They must be politicians...or related to politicians...or political wannabees...or just plain obnoxiously greedy quelch-the-free-enterprise system. I'm sending this petition to everyone I know...and hope main media will help get this story out, too. SHAME ON YOU, AMAZON!"

"If Amazon persists in trying to monopolize the market will stop doing business with them. I also manage several clients' businesses that are small publishers. We will do whatever is necessary to avoid dealing with Amazon."

"I shopped at Amazon exclusively for books until now. Yesterday I deleted my wishlist. I intend to delete my account if they do not change their ways. For now I am shopping at Books-A-Million."

"I am also an author. This is awful, just another squeeze on writers. POD and self-publishing will not go away. Somebody, some where, will create another "Amazon" if necessary. Amazon.com should be ashamed. I have loved Amazon and have been a supporter. Now I'm wondering if the big publishers are behind this? I can tell you if this happens, I, as well as many of my friends and family, will never buy another thing from Amazon.com."

"Competition is what makes the USA great. This is an irresponsible move.... I'll take my online book buying from Amazon.com to B&N.COM now. See ya!"

"People should be free to choose who they would like to print their books. They shouldn't be forced to be omitted from a large marketplace just because Amazon isn't getting the printing revenues. I will not be purchasing anything from Amazon if this goes through."

"As a publicist I abhor this move by Amazon. This is a blatantly greedy move on their part that will hurt first time authors, as well as bigger publishers. And over and over again I have seen that Book Surge has very poor customer service, and quality. So we have greed combining with shoddy product. If Amazon does not change this policy I will not use them again for the myriad of books I buy and my authors sell. And I will use my influence as a publicist to encourage others to do the same."

- Note:
The only response I have had from Amazon to these unhappy customers was a echo of their official statement. It seems their Booksurge policy overrides their policy of pleasing their customers. Does Greed rules Amazon? -

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