Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No April Fool

I am reminded of the first movie date I had with my wife, Miss Pamela. We went to see the latest Paul Newman movie of the time, entitled Nobody's Fool. This was a high-quality film that has always had a low profile. The title is so generic that I often forget it, even though it should have been emblazoned into my memory bank. The plot was a slice of life of ordinary folks with little flash and lots of character. Victoria Strauss has stated on her blog that she thinks the latest threat to POD authors posed by Amazon is very real and here to stay. She also says she thinks few will remember all the uproar a year from now. Like the good movie with the generic title, the significance of the issue may have been substantial, but it may nevertheless slide from our memories. Knowing rabid corporate greed as well as I do, I have to think Ms. Strauss is probably correct in her summation of the issue. I would not want to have my books published with PublishAmerica or some of the smaller POD companies today.

This April Fools Day is also the day that iUniverse officially, physically, and completely becomes integrated with AuthorHouse. We have all known since last September that this day was coming, so this change should be no surprise. What we do not yet know is if the corporate leaders of iU have known of Amazon's plans long before now, or have they been surprised, too? One thing is for certain: if iU was the 800-pound gorilla of POD, they are certainly the one-ton gorilla now! Has Author Solutions cut any sort of deal with Amazon? Will their books disappear from the Free Shipping Department? Will the books stay at Amazon while the printing quality slides downhill or the prices or fees climb upward? Will the company tell Amazon where to shove it as they reignite their legendary ties to Barnes & Noble? Susan Driscoll probably knows the answers to these questions, but I don't, at least for now.

As stated in The Latest News of March 21st, iUBR is now open to submissions from some POD publishers outside the iUniverse or Writers Club Press imprints. As of this date, most, but not all brands will be accepted. The accepted imprints definitely include: AuthorHouse, Booklocker, Dog Ear, Infinity, Llumina, Outskirts, PublishAmerica, Tate, Trafford, Virtual Bookworm, Xlibris, and Xulon. I am sure there are many, especially smaller, brands that I cannot recall to mention at this point, too. Lulu is not one of them. No Lulu books will be accepted, at least as long as Shannon's Lulu Review site is in business. All Lulu requests will be forwarded to that site. Will CreateSpace and BookSurge be accepted? That's the question of the day, isn't it? For the moment, I do not, as you certainly may understand, wish to commit one way or the other. Will I still compose individual Amazon reviews? Will copy-and-paste Amazon reviews still be done by the iUBR team? At this point, we shall just have to see where it all goes.


Without Ribbons said...

I've been waiting patiently for your thoughts on the recent Amazon/POD uproar. It's glad to finally hear from you.

As much as Amazon's actions sadden me, it will be interesting to see how this one plays out for POD publishers and authors over time.

Just when I believe the POD industry is finally getting recognition it has so long deserved, especially with Amazon distribution in our corner, a blow like this hits hard.

It will definitely determine if I choose POD for my next book or not. Thanks for mentioning the Lulu review site. ;-)


veinglory said...

I would note that POD People is, based on our reviews so far, about 85% Lulu reviews. So feel free to send them this way too.

Ian said...

I've noticed iUniverse has been EXTREMELY quiet about the Amazon/POD debacle. There is no information on their website and they aren't responding to emails. My book, The Milkman, is no longer for sale directly by Amazon - you have to get it from third party vendors. It's my understanding that iUniverse/AuthorHouse already caved in to Amazon's orders.

I'm curious to know where iUBR stands on this.