The original “Big 6” aren’t terribly happy about this, but authors, agents, and readers are thrilled. Amazon has revolutionized the way books are sold and the way books are read. They are a group of business savvy pioneers who, while making billions, serve their authors and their readers. Thanks to Amazon, authors have more options than ever to get their work in the hands of their audience. As I’ve said before, Amazon is an Author’s Best Friend. (No, I’m not being paid to promote Amazon.com in this way, although I should be!)
But the Big Boys are not happy, and some analysts say that this is a bold move for Amazon because it’s alienating many of its major suppliers. HA! I say to that. Big publishers need Amazon much more right now than Amazon needs them. With more and more people buying online due to convenience and significantly increased options (not to mention price point), fewer people are buying from brick & mortar bookstores.
Additionally, for the past decade, Amazon’s database has been collecting purchasing trends and preferences of their customers, which means that they know their customers. They know what they buy. Then know when they buy. They know what they want. No other NYBB has this kind of important marketing information.
Oh yes, Amazon is not only the new player in the publishing game, they’re coming to the table with more to offer authors, agents, and readers than other Big Boys can, as they’re all still scrambling to play catch up with technology, paying author’s too little in percentages, and charging too much for eBooks. Amazon.com is not only offering advances and new opportunities, the lucky authors published by Amazon will have prime placement on Amazon.com, meaning their books will be more visible. Which, of course, means that they will sell more copies.
This might even mean higher percentages for authors. Instead of the measly 2-7% offered by most NYBBs, with Amazon taking up so many of the middle-man roles (publisher, distributor, retailer, etc.), it could leave the author with as much as 35% of the revenues, as Srmana Mitra wrote in a Forbes article three years ago.
The game is changing, folks.
Read more about Amazon as Publisher in these articles:
- Amazon a Publisher, Publishers as E-tailers. Publishers Weekly.
- Amazon as Publisher: What Does It Mean? Christian Science Monitor.
- Amazon.com to Be a Major Book Publisher? SmartMoney.
- Amazon’s Next Play: Kirshbaum’s Comeback at Amazon Publishing. New York Observer
Learn more about Amazon’s imprints on my “Supplemental” page.
What do you think of Amazon joining the publishing game?
Good for authors? Good for readers? Good for agents? Good for other publishers?