Saturday, November 29, 2008

Slamming the Gates -- Or Opening them.

I just sent this email to a bookstore in response to their youtube description of another funnel site (keeping authors going through one gateway):

"Hi -- I'm joining at your Facebook (video) suggestion.

Now -- I love independent bookstores. But as an author, I can't afford to lock myself into one seller base. I use,,, Amazon -- whatever it takes.

Dimestore and Booksurge work to keep customer costs and carbon footprint down by direct ordering. A retailer can get POD books at near wholesale through Lulu or Booksurge.

However, any retailer that tries to funnel authors through one gateway -- and penalizes those authors for refusing to use only one gateway -- is going to find authors selling everywhere except that gateway -- and the one with the gate ends up being the only one behind it. Even Diamond Comics is figuring this out (say what you will about them, they're trying).

I WANT to keep small independent bookstores running. But can you use POD the way it was meant to be used -- without distributors, without returns and shredding?

I know Amazon makes you crazy -- but it fills a huge customer need. Indie bookstores worked with distributors to limit our customer contact and sales. Why go to your bookstore when they can only get it on Amazon? By using Lulu and Booksurge you can get the Amazon rates -- near wholesale -- without distribution or extra fees, or order limits. You can compete.

It's where it's going. Help keep indie bookstores strong by joining where the authors are going."

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