In many ways this is a fairly sensible move from Amazon:
Similar to AmazonEncore, Amazon’s first publishing imprint, AmazonCrossing uses customer feedback and other data from Amazon sites around the world to identify exceptional books deserving of a wider, global audience. AmazonCrossing will acquire the rights and translate the books and then introduce them to the English-speaking market through multiple channels and formats, such as the Amazon Books Store, Amazon Kindle Store, and national and independent booksellers via third-party wholesalers.
It does go to show though how much power Amazon has gained for itself through hard work and enterprise. Owning the relationship with readers is enabling them to leverage their other capabilities and to relatively rapidly create imprints. Right now they seem small enterprises and mant dismiss them, but as I have pointed out before (and been shown to be correct) small things can grow!
Some questions arise here:
1) Will agents see the value of this outfit?
2) Will authors prefer more established houses?
3) Will their sales data and reader feedback advantage give Amazon a clear advantage over traditional houses in the rights acquisition field?
4) How will publishers react?
That last question is by far the biggest and strategically important. 2010 has really seen a ramping up of Amazon’s publishing enterprises. Beside this new imprint and a fairly large increase in the numbers of titles published under the Encore brand, they also announced this week that they had acquired a pretty mainstream writer. Publishers surely must see the danger that Amazon presents when it pursues actions like these!
Intrigued by all this!
Amazon Encore the publishing imprint of the internet retailer has signed a deal with JA Konrath to publish his next ‘Jack’ Daniel title, Shaken.
This is pretty big news, as Mike Shatzkin points out:
this is a significant jolt to conventional publishing economics. Sales of Konrath’s $2.99 ebook will deliver him about $2.10 a copy (Konrath says $2.04; not sure where the other six cents is going…), as much or more as he would make on a $14.95 paperback from a trade publisher, and significantly more than he’d make on a $9.99 ebook distributed under “Agency” terms and current major publisher royalty conventions.
I noted here and elsewhere how Authors will drive change and pointed specifically to Konrath. It is very interesting that this deal is with Encore whose efforts I have also been watching warily for some time.
Publishers who didn’t see this coming, having been warned that such moves were on the horizon and in the aftermath of a series of similar deals really only have themselves to blame. I wonder what the reaction will be.
Print may wither much sooner than we expect!
Things Publishers Fear: No. 1 ~ Amazon
No 1 ~ AMAZON
Despite the seeming victory of Macmillan in its battle to force Amazon to accept the new “agency model” publishers have a sensible fear of Amazon. Like all businesses that sell their goods to consumers through intermediaries, publishers are forced to subject themselves and their products to the requests and “suggestions” of the retailer.
Amazon controls a large portion of the online consumer connection to books. They may not be the best at this, but they are surely the biggest. They have been on top of pretty much every trend in publishing for some time: