The Standard Oil of Books
April 3, 2008 1:59 PM Subscribe
Amazon.com dropped a bombshell on the publishing industry
posted by Toekneesan (43 comments total)
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with the announcement on Friday that they will no longer allow print on demand
books printed by vendors other than Amazon, to be sold directly by Amazon. In other words, use our print services or lose your listing on our site. This decision effects over half a million books listed on their site and could be a defining moment for both publishing and the future of online retailing.
The company with the most at stake is Lightning Source
, the largest print on demand company in the world. If Amazon makes good on its threat, Lightning Source's 4,300 client publishers and their almost half a million titles on Amazon's site will go from "ships in 24 hours" to unavailable unless those publishers switch to using Amazon's company, BookSurge
, as their printer.
Hubris or exceptionally bold gamble?
There is nothing on Amazon's site
about the move.
Meanwhile, On Demand
, the company developing the Espresso Book Machine (previously
), announced today
that they have finalized an agreement with Lightning Source that would allow publishers currently using Lightning Source to license that content to On Demand so those books could be printed at Espresso sites. If the EBM catches on and Amazon's catalog is compromised, could brick and mortar bookstores and libraries find themselves with an unexpected windfall?