From Bookstore to Publisher…the Revolution of Amazon.com

Guest Post by Sabrina Jackson:

In this day in age, we take to Amazon.com for pretty much anything our hearts desire.  Not only can you access the site to purchase that new book by your favorite author…but while you’re at it you can also add a plasma TV along with gourmet foods and wine to your shopping cart.  So who knew back in 1995 when Jeff Bezos launched Amazon as an online bookstore that it would flourish into the company it is today?

Based in Seattle, Washington, Amazon.com is famed for being one of the first major companies to sell goods via the web.  Fittingly named after the Amazon River, which is one of the largest rivers in the world, Amazon.com is a Fortune 500 e-commerce jewel that takes the cake for being the largest online retailer in the world.  And what used to be just an online bookstore is now a store for every kind of item imaginable…as well as a book publisher.  Check out how Amazon is immersing itself in the publishing industry:

Amazon Publishing:
Amazon.com once only sold books published by other companies, but now Amazon has jumped on the publishing train and is publishing both digital and printed works of their own authors.  After launching their first imprint in 2009, six more have followed and they have even hired master of the publishing industry, the former CEO of Time Warner Book Group, Larry Kirshbaum, to head a seventh imprint that is currently in the making.
Amazon Publishing has released about 150 books since 2009 across its first six imprints, ranging from literature in translation to romance and thrillers.  Many of the authors had previously self-published their books and others left traditional publishers to work with Amazon.  Between November 2011 and October 2013, Amazon is scheduled to release over 100 more titles.

The History of Amazon’s Imprints:

  • AmazonEncore:  This imprint was the launching point for the Amazon Publishing in 2009.  It features out-of-print or self-published books and new general books that have sales potential.
  • AmazonCrossing:  Announced in May 2010, AmazonCrossing specializes in works translated into English.  Its first successes were the French-written novel, The King of Kahel and the German-written novel, The Hangman’s Daughter.
  • The Domino Project:  Founded in December 2010, this imprint was created to publish a series of short books.
  • Montlake:  The romance imprint, Montlake, came out in 2011 as it became clear that romance was one of the biggest and fastest growing categories, especially amongst Kindle users.
  • Thomas & Mercer:  Another genre-focused imprint launched in 2011, Thomas & Mercer is one that hones in on mystery and thriller titles.
  • 47North:  Amazon’s 47North was released in October 2011 to take on the works of science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

What Does this Mean For the Book Publishing Industry?  
Amazon has received a lot of heat lately for trying to exert themselves into the minds of readers by expanding the company with their publishing division.  Other book publishers are terrified.  With the success of Amazon and the option they give writers for a one-stop shop:  agent, publisher and distributor…we can’t help but ask:  are traditional publishers still needed?  What kind of implications do YOU think Amazon’s publishing sector will have on the book publishing industry?

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This guest post is brought to us by reading and writing enthusiast, Sabrina Jackson.  Sabrina also writes on a variety of issues surrounding online dating for Free Dating Sites.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. bdr2031 says:

    Cool. Thought that most of the publishing house were doing things anciently anyways. I know that ebooks are the future and, thus, it is time that the big boy publishers learn this and deal with it. Every writer out there ought to have some knowledge of where to go to make it available in all sorts of formats for the multiple styles of ebooks available. Amazon is just one.

    People can put there book into the ebook format through all the multiple formats just by submitting it into one online publisher, Smashwords. Smashwords for their troubles will only charge you ten percent of your book. However, if you want no one take any of your royalties you can self publish for free, ebook only, through the various format, such as Kindle, Nook, iTunes (requires use of a Mac, though), etc.

    If you’re intent on publishing with the big boys, good luck. But if you’re content on doing it your way, good luck as well (it will take more work on your part though to promote it…suggestion use Facebook and Twitter to get word out, but don’t over do it. Mention it, link it to your site and go on).

    1. christinerose says:

      Absolutely. Marketing is up to the author now matter which publishing path they choose. I talk about it extensively in my book. I always tell writers: build your author platform NOW – even if you’re not finished with your book!

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