Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

04/02/2011

Amazon Tries to Muscle into Traditional Book Publishing


Amazon Trying To Move On Traditional PublishingAmazon is trying to beef up its Kindle offerings with new anticipated blockbusters…Itching to grow away from mostly backlist offerings (and these aren’t bad, mind you!).

Amazon’s first foray into traditional publishing came when they entered the bidding for Amanda Hocking’s four, self-published best-sellers in competition with other big houses…AND, even though Amazon brought the highest bid, Amanda and her agent decided to go with St. Martin’s Press instead…due to traditional publishing reputation, stability, depth and breadth, blah, blah, blah.

A little publishing politics and intrigue here, I’m sure…For one thing, Amazon demanded ebook exclusivity rights in the deal and Amanda’s agent thought that represented a loss of potential revenue.   

More details provided in Crain’s New York Business.com by Matthew Flamm

Amazon.com pushes into book publishing

The online retailer recently participated in the auction for best-selling novelist Amanda Hocking, making its most aggressive move yet into traditional publishing territory.

Amazon.com, the online bookselling behemoth that has sometimes rubbed publishers the wrong way, has just put its big foot someplace new.

In its most aggressive move yet into territory traditionally occupied by the major New York houses, the Seattle-based e-retailer took part last week in a heated auction for four books by self-published bestselling novelist Amanda Hocking. Executives at several houses said they knew of no other instance in which the company had competed with major publishers for a high profile commercial author.

Amazon has done deals directly with authors and agents in the past, but usually for backlist titles or specialty projects. It has used those exclusive offerings to distinguish its Kindle e-bookstore in an increasingly competitive digital market.

It’s believed that Amazon would have seen Ms. Hocking as a natural fit because of her roots in the e-publishing world, where she has sold more than a million copies of her nine titles in the category of young adult paranormal romance.

An Amazon spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

To beef up its offer, Amazon brought in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which would have published the print editions of Ms. Hocking’s books, according to insiders. Part of a company that has gone through two debt restructurings in recent years, the venerable trade house would also have lent Amazon the aura of a traditional house.

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1 Comment »

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