Good News for POD World: Amazon Settles Antitrust Lawsuit Filed by BookLocker

If you look back at some of my posts from April 2008, you’ll see that at that time Amazon was threatening to monopolize the print-on-demand (POD) publishing industry.  Amazon wanted all POD publishers to print their books using BookSurge, a POD owned by Amazon. In other words, they wanted all POD publishers to pay Amazon via BookSurge to print their books. If they didn’t agree to do so by signing a contract, Amazon said it would remove the “buy it now” buttons from for all their authors’ books. This sent a lot of authors who were about to or planned to self-publish running to BookSurge, despite the company’s quality issues. It also caused some POD publishers to sign that Amazon contract in an effort to keep those “buy it now” buttons working.

One POD publisher, however, fought back: BookLocker. Despite a run in I had with Angela Hoy, who runs BookLocker and (see this post), I gave her a lot of credit (and still do) for doing what the whole industry should have done–stand up to Amazon. She not only boycotted (which some other POD publishers and many writers did as well) and refused to sign Amazon’s contract (which quite a few POD publishers did not),  but also filed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon, alleging their actions violated federal antitrust laws.

In the latest issue of Hoy provides an update on the Amazon/BookSurge antitrust lawsuit. According to an article Hoy published in, Hoy says Amazon filed a motion to dismiss, in August, 2009, but Chief U.S. District Judge John Woodcock Jr. issued a 26-page order denying Amazon’s motion. Amazon then opted to settle before discovery began.

Two months later, a settlement was reached, with, I believe, money awarded going to charity. (Nice, touch, Angela…) You can read the final settlement HERE.

You might be interested to know that  Amazon recently retired the BookSurge name. It now does POD business under the name CreateSpace.

As for winning the antitrust lawsuit, Hoy reports, “We didn’t do this for the money. We did it to make Amazon understand that covert efforts aimed at forcing POD publishers to pay Amazon / BookSurge (now Createspace) to print their books is not the way responsible corporate citizens should act. By getting Amazon to rescind their pay-us-to-print-your-books-or-else policy, we believe BookLocker’s lawsuit achieved its goal.”

I would like to thank Hoy and BookLocker for taking up the fight for all authors who want to self-publish their books and for all POD publishers. POD publishers should never have felt bullied into printing their books with BookSurge (or any other publishing house) so they would be free to sell their books on line at like other publishing companies.

We can all breath a bit more easily now, and we can self-publish with the POD of our choice without fear that our books won’t be sold on, which–unfortunately–remains the primary online bookseller.

About Nina Amir

Nina Amir, the Inspiration to Creation Coach, inspires writers and bloggers to create published products and careers as authors. Additionally, she helps her clients and readers achieve their potential, fulfill their purpose and make a positive and meaningful difference with their words. She is the author of How to Blog a Book, The Author Training Manual, and Creative Visualization for Writers, all published by Writer’s Digest Books. As a hybrid author, she also has published 17 books independently. She is a nonfiction book editor and doctor, proposal consultant, and an Author Coach and Trainer as well as a Book and Blog Coach. Some of her clients have sold 320,000+ copies of their books and been published by major publishing houses. Nina also is an award winning blogger and journalist, international speaker and founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, also known as the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University. Also a Certified High Performance Coach, Nina strives to help creative people Achieve More Inspired Results personally and professionally.

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