Ecommerce Leader Amazon Taking Publishing Into Their Own Hands

October 19, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team

Ecommerce giant Amazon is set to publish 122 books of a variety of genres this fall. By creating their own publishing line, Amazon is removing traditional publishing houses from the process and making their own deals with authors.

Amazon Publishing will act similar to a traditional publisher, completing all of the editing, printing, promoting, and selling. This will make Amazon both a distributor of products and a competitor in the publishing house market, which is bound to create tension with traditional publishing houses.

Their new project is led by successful publisher Lawrence Kirshbaum and has already signed popular author Timothy Ferriss.

Amazon has been breaking into the world of publishing for awhile and already offers self-publishing platform Kindle Direct. Self-publishing platforms are becoming increasingly popular because they allow authors to keep all the rights to their work and retain higher royalties. Other companies like LuLu.com and Barnes and Noble (PubIt) allow authors to publish manuscripts into ebooks. With more and more people adopting iPads, Kindles, and Nooks there is a shift from print to web-publishing.

Web publishing makes it much easier for an author to get their work out to the public. Electronic self-publishing of ebooks has several benefits including, cost, quality, and readiness. Web-publishing has much cheaper costs of entry than traditional publishing, and if a book fails, there are not many costs to recoup. However, traditional publishing requires money upfront to pay distributors and printing costs. Another benefit of electronic publishing is that everything is immediate; the entire publishing cycle is accelerated with ebooks. Authors can make quick edits of an ebook and they also receive payments for their work quickly.

One downfall of self-publishing is the lack of accessible distribution channels and no professional marketing plan; however, with Amazon Publishing both distribution and marketing will be handled as they are with traditional publishers.

Amazon’s entrance into the world of publishing is causing some to fear the prospect of an Amazon monopoly on the book chain. We’ve seen how they shut down brick-and-mortar stores with their cheap new and used books. They have also sparked the abandonment of physical books in favor of digital downloads for ereaders with the Kindle and Kindle Fire. Now they are expanding into the world of publishing and taking authors out of the hands of publishers. What do you think? Is Amazon becoming a monopoly right before our eyes?

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