An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos

Jeff,

I am a writer. I am in the process of independently publishing my first book, The South Coast.

In the early stages I was going with Amazon’s CreateSpace but decided to use Lightning Source as my printer to not limit the availability of my book to only Amazon.com. All the right selling points were there, that my book would be available to Amazon through Ingram. Honestly I also liked the quality of the final printed book and the nice matte cover better than the proofs I received from CreateSpace.

Then I find out, once Ingram has put my book in the system, that Amazon began the process well over a year ago of not carrying independent books from Lightning Source anymore, instead putting a Temporarily Out of Stock notice on their detail pages which as we all know discourages anyone from ordering.

Lightning Source is a reputable, respectable and fast print-on-demand supplier. Would it not be possible for Amazon to simply put ‘Available to ship in 1-3 days’ on the details for Lightning Source sourced books rather than ‘Temporarily Out of Stock’? I understand Amazon doesn’t have the warehouse space to carry even one copy of every self-published book, but allowing people to order the books that are then created by Lightning Source seems to be a win-win for Amazon.

I’ll still be selling my Kindle version through Amazon through the KDP program. It is still the best method of distributing eBooks online.

Amazon was first a bookstore before it began selling everything else. This is punctuated by the first product Amazon built was a device to read books. The Kindle store has a special section for Independent Books. It seems counterintuitive to me that you would then take steps to keep independent authors from making their printed books available through your store.

Embrace the Independent Authors. Whether they use Amazon’s CreateSpace or Lightning Source, or another Print On Demand system that can integrate with your system with minimal human interaction, let them easily sell their printed books on your store.

Thank you,

John H. Matthews

Sent To:
Executive Customer Relations,

ecr-replies@amazon.com

Jeff Bezos
jeff@amazon.com