A Suggestion for Lightning Source
So, why doesn't LSI set up a direct ordering site (opt-in for client-publishers) that integrates the drop-shipping capabilities they already have in place for Amazon and other retailers. Cut out the middle man. Sure, Amazon's got market share, but if a book-selling site is set up right, and seriously promoted by the many LSI client-publishers, it stands a chance of taking back some of the lost profits to both LSI and the individual publishers.
As it stands, if the Amazon rampage continues, POD publishers that don't migrate to Booksurge will only be offered by third-party sellers, with no discounts, no free shipping option, and probably an increase to the price by the third-party seller. POD publishers that do migrate face lower profits via a higher forced wholesale discount, or through increased retail pricing that decreases the number of books sold.
If LSI set up a direct-buy website for its client-publishers, they wouldn't have to give the wholesale discount to a retailer -- they could keep that as retail-side profit. There'd be no need to discount titles (which is only done by Amazon as a gimmick, anyway), but there'd also not be a tacked-on increase to retail pricing, so it would be a good site for authors to direct potential buyers. I'm sure a viable and economical shipping solution could be arranged.
With as many titles as are in the LSI system, if it were set up correctly it could help even out the POD retail playing field. Amazon's only getting away with this because of the lack of direct competition. Someone else needs to show up to play.