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YouWriteOn.com Calls for Amazon Boycott - How You Can Help << Back

UK's Leading Writers Website Boycotts Amazon - View BookTrade Info News Item

YouWriteOn.com calls for Amazon Boycott - View Bookseller News Item


Beware the Bytes of May - Why global website users are biting back and how global website changes affect you on the web

Boycott Against Amazon
   YouWriteOn.com is taking on Amazon over its controversial decision that all Print-On-Demand (POD) books will now have to be printed through Amazon's printing company BookSurge, and also Amazon’s attempts to stifle competitive book prices for readers of all books. Groups who are against Amazon's recent actions include The American Society of Journalists and Authors and The US Authors Guild. Anti-Amazon complaints have led to the Washington District Attorneys Office being involved to examine if Amazon's actions constitute restraint of trade or otherwise violated anti-trust laws. On May 1st 2008 we urge all writers and readers to boycott Amazon for the reasons below. We also support the global boycott of eBay being staged by eBay campaigners on May 1st. View news story on why campaigners are boycotting eBay and how you can list cheaper elsewhere

BookStore Readers and Higher Prices as Amazon Attempts to Stifle Competition If you like reading the latest bookstore bestsellers this affects your choices. MediaBistro reports Amazon is punishing mainstream publishers who sell their books at a discount from cover price directly on their publisher's websites. It is taking that discounted price as the book's "cover price" and then applying their own discounts accordingly. From The Times newspaper:  Such is the power of Amazon that several publishers did not feel able to talk on the record. One senior executive said: “It’s very serious. I can’t believe they’d be allowed to get away with it under competition law. Forcing people to increase prices seems to me entirely wrong.”

Print-On-Demand Print-On-Demand (POD) is the process by which any writer can publish a book, for friends or family or to try to achieve mainstream publishing success, millions of books have been printed via this process. Amazon says that if POD companies do not print through Amazon’s own printing arm, BookSurge, they will remove the 'buy now' button for authors POD books.
Amazon is also raising the bookseller discount it takes as its list price share for each copy of a POD book sold to 55%, currently POD authors can list on Amazon for a 25% discount. The US Authors Guild is looking at the BookSurge move for "antitrust and other legal implications". The American Society of Journalists and Authors, the US trade association for freelance non-fiction writers, who said it was "disgusted", adding that it would urge the Washington state attorney general's office to investigate whether Amazon's move constituted restraint of trade or otherwise violated anti-trust laws.

"If they succeed in doing this, they'll have basically seized the supply chain, and they can pretty much call the shots and pay less to publishers for the books, which means less money going to the authors in many cases," said Paul Aiken, executive director of The Authors Guild, based in New York.

How Amazon’s Decision Affects You As A Writer and Reader  The Victims of Amazon’s decision will be writers and readers themselves.
This is a boycott against Amazon with good reason. Amazon's POD decision means that all POD writers who want their books to appear on Amazon US will have to pay 55% of the book's list price for each copy sold on Amazon for the privilege, which comes out of their author royalties. Prior to this, POD publishers could pay a percentage like 25% to list their book on Amazon. Also, POD publishers will now have to pay Amazon a yearly fee. Amazon's insistence that POD publishers use their printing presses and not others is an attempt to control the printing presses - so is their heavy-handed attempt to knock down publishers who offer more competitive book prices - their moves will inevitably stifle competition, choice and innovation and lead to rising prices for authors, publishers and book readers alike.

"It seems that Amazon's decisions are effectively a two-pronged assault on the publishing industry and writers and readers,” said Edward Smith, Manager of YouWriteOn.com , “They are effectively attempting to monopolise the POD industry, and monopolies are never to the benefit of individuals. This will inevitably lead to less choice, less opportunities, and less royalties for POD and mainstream writers. At the same time, their heavy-handed attempts to stifle competition over book prices impacts on reader choice and writers royalties. This is a red flag to the mainstream publishing industry that needs to be countered now."

How You Can Boycott Amazon and Make Them Reconsider 

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A Proactive Boycott of
Amazon so that they will take a step back to their roots and work with, and not against, writers and the interests of readers. We consider their actions are being taken for purely commercial reasons, so the response needs to be a negative commercial impact on them.

Writers:  Use media contacts to raise the profile of this issue. New writers - post this news item to the writers websites and also to your networking sites to encourage the Amazon boycott. If you publish by POD, post it to your POD forum or other writers forums that you use. POD is not led by publishers, agents, or notably by Amazon, but by writers themselves, and it is us as writers who can affect Amazon’s decision with a large and united response. Start a movement on your forum to stop your POD publisher or writers’ site dealing with Amazon.  Contact Amazon and email this article to them to express your disapproval of their actions  -
ecr@amazon.com  We invite all POD fiction writers to list their POD books for free on YouWriteOn.com with a link to any bookseller other than Amazon. Join us and email us your preferred bookseller listing link.

AmazonTroopSurge.com  PR Web reports this site has completed a successful email campaign to make the Washington state Attorney General aware of what may be violations of antitrust provisions. Hundreds of people used the blog to send a message to the Attorney General regarding Amazon's activities. In a response, the Attorney General stated that it had made Amazon.com aware of the complaints and is awaiting a response. The blog has launched a new campaign targeting the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. Visit their site for more details.

Readers
–Get Your Books Cheaper Elsewhere, email Amazon that you are doing so.  Amazon’s decisions on pricing clearly indicate that you can get your books more economically.  Check on a publisher’s own website, or use an alternative book retailer, such as Barnes and Noble (US) or WH Smith (UK).
Readers - visit a site such as http://www.find-dvd.co.uk   Click on ‘books’ on this site’s homepage and enter the book title. This will bring up a picture of the book you are looking for, click on the book title link next to the book title and this will list retailers where you can buy your book at the lowest price. If you are a member and know of a site which provides comparative book price details, let us know of this or any other comparison site and we’ll post this here.

Boycott Suggestions? Email us with suggestions or actions you have taken. We will use actions taken to keep the media informed and continue to raise the profile of this Boycott.

About YouWriteOn.com and Why We Support an Amazon Boycott
YouWriteOn.com is funded by the Arts Council and began in early 2006 and has a peer to peer chart system in which site members review and rate fellow writers opening extracts. Each month, the five highest rated writers in the YouWriteOn charts each month receive a free Arts Council funded critique from editors for leading literary agents and publishers, including Orion, Curtis Brown and Bloomsbury, who represent writers such as JK Rowling and Ian Rankin. 

Our Individual Writers and POD  We have helped writers achieve success with mainstream commercial publishers like Random House, and we have also assisted writers who were not able to find agents or publishers by publishing them through POD. One of our inaugural 2007 Book of the Year writers, Patricia J. DeLois, was not able to find an agent or publisher for her novel Bufflehead Sisters, so we published her through POD. She sold over 1,200 copies of her book during Christmas 2007 and was named the best book of the year in her home state of
Maine in a newspaper poll of librarians and readers ahead of a former Pulitizer Prize winning writer. As a result of that, Patricia was then successful in getting an agent and now is under consideration for a two book deal by a leading publishing house. Amazon’s decision will stifle the opportunity of individual writers like Patricia to get the breaks and the royalties that their writing deserves. We ask Amazon to take a step back to their roots and work with writers and not against them and the interests of readers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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