O’Reilly Publisher Joe Wikert Is ‘Breaking the Amazon Habit’

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By Dianna Dilworth Comments

Amazon has been making a lot of people in the publishing world upset lately. Last week, the retailer failed to renew its contract with Independent Publishers Group — kicking almost 400 indie publishers out of the Kindle Store. The move has led some authors to cut ties with Amazon.

Now O’Reilly Media publisher Joe Wikert is “breaking the Amazon habit.” In a blog post, Wikert outlines how he turned from an Amazon fan to someone who will no longer support the company. The IPG dismissal is one reason. Another is Amazon’s Christmas season attack on bricks-and-mortar stores in which the company gave shoppers who didn’t shop in physical stores a $5 incentive. And he doesn’t like their library lending policy. 

Wikert explains on his blog: “One reason I’ve become disenchanted has to do with Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. As Amazon stated in the Lending Library press release, compensation to publishers for ‘the vast majority of titles’ is on a ‘fixed fee’ basis. I strongly feel this should be an uncapped, pay-for-performance model similar to what Safari Books Online and Books24x7 offer. Unless you have a perfect crystal ball anything less than a pay-for-performance model risks underpaying publishers and authors. And yes, it also risks overpaying but I seriously doubt that’s happened up to now.”

If you are considering the same kind of move, check out our How to Buy eBooks from an Indie Bookstore post.