Monday, March 31, 2008

Amazon Open Letter

Well, it's official. Amazon are doing exactly what we feared. They have confirmed it with an open letter on their site.

We wanted to make sure those who are interested have an opportunity to understand what we're changing with print on demand and why we're doing so.

One question that we've seen is a simple one. Is Amazon requiring that print-on-demand books be printed inside Amazon's own fulfillment centers, and if so why?

Yes. Modern POD printing machines can print and bind a book in less than two hours. If the POD printing machines reside inside our own fulfillment centers, we can more quickly ship the POD book to customers -- including in those cases where the POD book needs to be married together with another item. If a customer orders a POD item together with an item that we're holding in inventory -- a common case -- we can quickly print and bind the POD item, pick the inventoried item, and ship the two together in one box, and we can do so quickly. If the POD item were to be printed at a third party, we'd have to wait for it to be transhipped to our fulfillment center before it could be married together with the inventoried item.

Read the rest here.

Oh, and for the record, this is utter BS about fast shipping. Our books are shipped with the same speed as any others, including the ones printed by Amazon/BookSurge. This is ALL about forcing suppliers to pay them instead of their own chosen printers. This is ALL about money.

So be it. But lets call it what it is.

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