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I have to apologise for not assembling the Tuesday Blogscan today, and also for missing the annual Daily Grail April Fool’s gag for the first time in a long while. My excuse is a serious one – sorting through a huge controversy which has erupted with Amazon trying to take control of the print on demand industry (something which could impact me considerably). You can read about it in full detail on my Publish Yourself website, but in short this is the deal:

Bookselling giant Amazon is using strong-arm tactics in an attempt to take control of the fast-growing Print on Demand publishing industry, pursuing a new, hardline policy for publishers: if you want a print-on-demand book to be stocked on Amazon.com, you need to leave your current printer and sign up with the Amazon-owned printer Booksurge. Publishers have received phone calls from Booksurge with “an offer you can’t refuse” – convert to the Amazon-owned company, or the ‘Buy’ button will be removed from your books’ Amazon pages.

The enabling facets of Print on Demand technology make us all potential publishers. As such, we should *all* be concerned about Amazon’s attempt to monopolise the industry at this early stage of its development.”

How is this relevant to readers of The Daily Grail? Put quite simply, the continuation of TDG depends on the success of my self-publishing projects such as Darklore – otherwise I can no longer justify the time and money required to keep the site running. Amazon have just thrown a fair sized spanner into those plans – thankfully, I have not been directly affected yet, but it might be just a matter of time…

(To be absolutely clear, there is no April Fool’s joke hidden within this story. You can revisit old AFD stories here: 2005, 2006, and 2007)