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Inventory-free global publishing platform
Amazon Cemetery


BookSurge was a popular inventory-free publishing solution founded in 2000 in South Carolina. The company served authors, publishers, distributors, retailers, and wholesalers around the world with print-on-demand solutions.

BookSurge had a global publishing system (GPS software) that could be used to sell books worldwide. The company maintained a catalog of thousands of different titles that were available for on-demand printing. This helped BookSurge maintain some unique titles such as books by the Museum of Modern Art or rare non-fiction works and novels.


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Cause of Failure

In 2005, Amazon acquired BookSurge to expand its own selection of books. With this acquisition, Amazon hoped to utilize print-on-demand to cater to a larger audience. BookSurge would allow Amazon users to choose books from an unlimited array of options. Books with a low or uncertain demand could also be produced profitably through BookSurge.

A few years after the acquisition, in 2009, Amazon merged BookSurge into CreateSpace. CreateSpace had previously focused on the supply of tools for self-publishers. However, Amazon decided the services could become one and started adding the print-on-demand features of BookSurge to CreateSpace. By the end of the merge, Amazon hoped to make CreateSpace one consolidated platform for all publishing and print-on-demand needs.

CreateSpace informed customers with a message displayed on their website claiming that all BookSurge accounts would be shifted to CreateSpace and the BookSurge brand would retire for good. At the time, an Amazon spokesperson explained that BookSurge’s offices would remain functional. However, the employees of both BookSurge and CreateSpace would be serving under the brand name CreateSpace on one single platform. According to Amazon, the combination of the two platforms would prove to be beneficial for authors and publishers alike.


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