Amazon's Response

Hi Writers,
I’m trying to get you more information about the Amazon/POD situation (see my previous post).

Today, I put in a request for an interview with an Amazon exec. and received this note back from their PR department:

Hi Maria,

We received your request to interview an Amazon executive.  Please refer to our open letter here——as it should answer your questions on the topic.  If there’s anything else you need, please let me know.


Drew Herdener
Senior Public Relations Manager

So you can check out that link for the official Amazon response.

I’d like to open up this blog as a forum for all interested parties: POD houses, Amazon and, of course, writers to discuss the issue. I’m neutral on the matter and I’d like to extend an offer to serve as a moderator so that all concerned parties can voice their concerns.

Please post any thoughts, questions and concerns here.

Keep Writing,

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10 thoughts on “Amazon's Response

  1. Leigh Ann

    P.S. Is there a difference between the five-books-in-inventory deal and however they work with books published the traditional way?

    I feel we’re lacking a lot of the story here. Maria, I think it’s great that you’re trying to talk to them. There are some factual holes that need filling in.

  2. Leigh Ann


    I agree: I’m a bit confused, as well.

    Here’s a WritersWeekly post about it, which addresses the quality issue (toward the middle).

    I believe they’re in the POD business, too, though, so it’s not an unbiased source.

    I would still love it if someone would enlighten me on why printing elsewhere and just keeping five books in inventory at Amazon is such a bad deal.

  3. Justin

    I’m a bit confused by the uproar. Is the quality of the POD service’s pushing that poor? Or is that much more expensive? Or are people just upset about Amazon using its power to limit their choices, regardless of how good/bad the service might be?

    I definitely understand why other POD service providers hate this move. After all, it could cut a big chunk from their bottom lines. And I understand Amazon’s reasons for making the move. I just don’t understand why so many others (writers, etc.) are so pissed off.

  4. Leigh Ann

    Thank you for posting this, Maria.

    I see the logic in Amazon’s statement. But Amazon does ship many other products that are made elsewhere (including the magazine I edit). I, for one, have always understood when I’ve had to wait or pay for an additional shipment.

    However, one thing that sways me heavily in Amazon’s favor is the fact that they are still allowing writers the option of printing elsewhere and just keeping a five-book inventory at Amazon. I had not heard this before. It sounds like a reasonable compromise to me. Given that new information, I’m now really not sure what all the uproar is about–or whether it’s warranted. I’ll be interested to hear what others think, though.

  5. Kathy Feller

    The link for the open letter gave me a page not found. When clicking on it, it goes to blog url that does not exit. I also tried typing in the url (twice), and that went to a page does not exist as well.

    Could you update the posting to have a good url?

  6. Heather Kizewski

    I understand it. I’m wondering what happens to those who are already on Amazon – those who went with POD’s such as Authorhouse, Xlibris, iUniverse, etc. Are these books going to be taken off of Amazon?

  7. KMTolan

    As a new author with a genuine small press (Champagne Books) I can only view Amazon’s move with dread. My publisher was planning on putting my novel Blade Dancer out on Amazon in paperback this summer. Now what? Do I end up with readers who watch pages fall out of their books because we have to use Book Surge? Guess who gets the blame for that. And once Amazon has everyone, what happens to the price for printing then? It goes up, and no doubt that means I earn even less per book.

    I am hoping that someone else steps up to take Amazon’s place as the one-stop shop for books. Unlikely as that seems.

    As if we small press writers weren’t under the gun already for market share…sigh.

  8. Sweetfightgirl

    As a former PR professional, I would never let any request for an interview go undone. I guess we got the junior, senior manager here. Usually when they do this Amazon or any company has no answer and knows that they are doing a disservice to the people who use their printing services for their self-published works. Which would be even more reason to give an interview, to set writers minds at ease. Perhaps by telling them it is to save money, to lower production costs, whatever the excuse, give them an interview if the market matters to them. This magazine and online forum are an important source for Amazon’s printing service. I personally have never used it but I would think the sales of my book would better if I had my books ready to go the same day or next like all other products people shop for online.

    WD does their homework from what I can tell to and to not oblige a respected publication is just wrong in the PR world no matter the size of the "market" for Amazon, they opened the door and invited us in they should answer to people like us. Now you all know why I am slipping out of the industry and looking to expose the wrongs from my former industry and others through journalism. And of course writing my own book.

    Amazon not only is doing a disservice to the users of the self-publishing options but to the prospective ones by not telling WD the reasons behind the change. With the increasing numbers of writers and the need for some of us to self-publish, for whatever reason, you would think Amazon would rather promote the service rather than have a bunch of unanswered questions floating around.

    Just an opinion from someone who used to do the job of working closely with reporters, got frustrated and decided a career change in order.

    With that said, I would love to know any thoughts on needing a MFA in writing of any kind to become a journalist or just to lend credibility when sending in manuscripts for my books…perhaps we can discuss this one day or I missed it since I recently joined the online and hard copies of WD. My journalism friends say it may help the stigma associated with PR people because of those like the gentleman above. Journalist who know my style and knowledge base say go for it without a degree but they already know me and my quest for truth and details. others think I would just be having fun getting a degree in something I love…they fail to recognize writing is a full-time dedication and the workload with a degree is quite hefty.


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