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The Long Riders Guild Press Seeks
Government Protection From Amazon

 

The Long Riders' Guild Press is the publisher of Horse Travel Books, the largest treasure trove of equestrian exploration wisdom ever seen.  In addition, The Guild publishes the Classic Travel Books Collection, which features many of the most influential travel writers of all time.  The Guild's latest project is the Equestrian Wisdom and History Series, a special collection aimed at preserving mankind's most vital equine knowledge.  All told, The Long Riders' Guild Press publishes nearly three hundred titles in eight languages.

Because of our publishing efforts, The Long Riders' Guild Press has been praised in the English and American press.  Moreover, Their Royal Highnesses, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, have both expressed their appreciation for The Guild's efforts to preserve, protect and promote these valuable books.

Sadly, in early April 2008 The Long Riders' Guild Press became the victim of an unprecedented bid to seize control of the world's Print-On-Demand publishing business.

In an alarming turn of events, news emerged that Internet book-selling giant Amazon.com had attempted to establish itself as the world's premier book printer.  This undeclared war against the world's authors began when Amazon purchased a second-tier Print-On-Demand company named BookSurge.  Once Amazon had its own printing capabilities, it launched an extraordinary campaign to establish a global monopoly designed to control authorisation, production, sale, distribution and profit from the planet's literature.

To enforce this insidious crusade, any publisher who resisted Amazon's brutal offer to capitulate was punished by having their titles' "Buy Buttons" removed.  One publisher alone had 70,000 books sabotaged in this manner.

The American Society of Journalists and Authors, the US Authors Guild, the National Writers Union of America, the Small Publishers Association of North America and the Publishers Marketing Association have all condemned Amazon's tactics and asked the federal government to investigate what many believe is a clear violation of corporate monopoly laws.

October 2008 : It appears that publishers and authors in England have now come under a similar attack from Amazon.co.uk, according to this article in The Bookseller.  For more information, please click here to read one author's blog.

20th January 2010:  Amazon defeated by independent POD Publishers!   The American judicial system did indeed protect the “little guys.” Amazon’s first set-back occurred in August, 2009 when a U.S. federal judge denied the corporation’s motion to dismiss BookLocker’s antitrust lawsuit. Then earlier today Amazon  threw in the towel.  For more information about this historic victory, please click here.

On the other hand, Amazon has now come up with another way of trying to elbow everybody else out of the publishing world.  Here's a link to a story in the Los Angeles Times, "Amazon.com ups the ante for e-books - Juicy digital royalties could tempt authors to bypass traditional publishers altogether" and here's a link to an article in the Wall Street Journal, "The Death of the Slush Pile - Even in the Web era, getting in the [publisher's] door is tougher than ever" which explains why Amazon might get away with it.

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The following documents have been sent by The Long Riders' Guild Press to various government officials, seeking their aid during this perilous crisis.  Answers, and/or offers of governmental help and support, will subsequently be published on this page.  Two editorials written by The Long Riders' Guild are also available.  These documents may be reproduced with The Guild's permission.  Please note most of these are PDF files, so please use your back browser to return to this page.

In Defense of Literary Liberty, an editorial published in the British publication, The Bookdealer, alerting the world to Amazon's unprincipled attempt to establish a global publishing monopoly, the existence of which threatens readers, writers and publishers.

The Blood of Books, an on-line editorial urging independent authors and publishers to resist Amazon's efforts to intimidate into surrendering their authors' rights and titles to Amazon.

The largest Muslim magazine in North America, Islamic Horizons, has published an article about Amazon's practices.

The Blood of Books has now also been published in The Bookdealer.

Letter to President George W. Bush, reminding him that it was President Teddy Roosevelt who, in order to curb abuses throughout industry, ordered the Anti Trust Act against the most powerful corporations in the country, even though he was a pro-business Republican.

Letter to First Lady Laura Bush, explaining that as a former librarian The Guild is requesting the First Lady to use the influence of her office to help the book writers, publishers and readers of this nation in their hour of need.

Letters to Presidential Candidates Senators Clinton, McCain and Obama, to ask for each of their views in regards to this extraordinary assault on the integrity of American literature, and to remind them that the best thing you can do is the right thing.  The second best thing you can do is the wrong thing.  But the worst thing you can do is nothing.

Letter to Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, US Department of Justice, requesting that he use the authority of his office to help the book writers, publishers and readers of America ascertain if the nation's monopoly laws have been violated by Amazon.
In response to this letter, the US Department of Justice has notified The Long Riders' Guild Press that they are "reviewing your complaint" and determining if there is "any potential antitrust concerns or violations regarding Amazon and Print-on-Demand."

Letter to Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, warning him that the equestrian heritage represented by the Kentucky-based Long Riders' Guild is now threatened by the Lexington-based Amazon corporation.

Letter to Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, advising him that in an ironic twist of fate the freedom of literary liberty represented by The Long Riders' Guild Press is now endangered by the monopolistic behaviour being practised by the Lexington-based Amazon corporation.

In response to this letter, Senator McConnell wrote: 

 

"Dear Mr. O'Reilly,

 

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns with the recent actions of Amazon.com regarding the print-on-demand industry.....

In your letter, you expressed your concerns regarding Amazon.com's recent announcement it would sell certain publisher's books on Amazon's site only if the publishers used the services of Booksurge, a print-on-demand business owned by Amazon. You also mentioned that the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had informed you that the Division is investigating the matter. I appreciate your concern that businesses respect American antitrust laws. I support the goals of antitrust laws to protect economic freedom and opportunity by promoting competition in the marketplace. I agree with the Antitrust Division of U.S. Department of Justice that competition in a free market benefits American consumers through lower prices, better quality and greater choice.

I appreciate you informing me of the matter and the international response. I also see from your website that a publisher has filed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon.com relating to the matter. It appears that by informing the U.S. Department of Justice and by initiating private action in the courts, the POD industry has taken the appropriate steps to obtain legal review of this matter...........Although intervention in such disputes lies outside the purview of my duties as a U.S. Senator, I do hope for a just and fair outcome to the both the DOJ investigation and the ongoing lawsuit."

 

Mitch McConnell

United States Senator

 

Letter to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, urging him to order an immediate investigation into Amazon's assault on America's literary legacy and Kentucky's equestrian literary heritage.

The World Responds to Amazon’s Threat to Publishers

Helpful links for further information:

Writers Weekly - clearing house for all breaking news, comments and updates.

Class Action Lawsuit filed against Amazon.com.

British boycott of Amazon.

Submit your concerns to the Department of Justice.

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