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Old 10-17-2011, 03:01 AM   #1
Caleb666
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Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal

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SEATTLE — Amazon.com has taught readers that they do not need bookstores. Now it is encouraging writers to cast aside their publishers.
Amazon will publish 122 books this fall in an array of genres, in both physical and e-book form. It is a striking acceleration of the retailer’s fledging publishing program that will place Amazon squarely in competition with the New York houses that are also its most prominent suppliers.

It has set up a flagship line run by a publishing veteran, Laurence Kirshbaum, to bring out brand-name fiction and nonfiction.
More at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/17/te...hing.html?_r=1
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:48 AM   #2
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Interesting...
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:54 AM   #3
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Not only interesting, but a little worrying. I publish my books at Amazon (and everywhere else through Smashwords). Amazon accounts for more than 90% of my sales; however, I don't like the idea of a monopoly, which seems to be where we're heading. How will Amazon be pricing books when the competition has disappeared?
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:26 AM   #4
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i've long questioned why someone like a stephen king or a laurell k hamilton still needs a publisher.


i don't think amazon would be a jackbooted monopoly.i'm sure they have data that i can only dream of that considers what peoples price "breaking point" is. if they push too far sales will suffer.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Young View Post
Not only interesting, but a little worrying. I publish my books at Amazon (and everywhere else through Smashwords). Amazon accounts for more than 90% of my sales; however, I don't like the idea of a monopoly, which seems to be where we're heading. How will Amazon be pricing books when the competition has disappeared?
It's their cross-promotion you're going to need to worry about. With their own line of ebooks to pimp out it will obviously be skewed in their favour. I'm already starting to see that in the emails they send me.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:53 AM   #6
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Saw that coming, the thing that Amazon really wants is a near-total monopoly, and been fairly apparent for a while now.

And yo'll thought they were just a nice bookstore !
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:07 AM   #7
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I don't see how Amazon could have a monopoly. They are not the only e-book sellers. Other major online stores are probably going to start doing the same thing (if they see that it works for Amazon).
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I don't see how Amazon could have a monopoly. They are not the only e-book sellers. Other major online stores are probably going to start doing the same thing (if they see that it works for Amazon).
No other ebookstore has the fiscal resources of Amazon. If Amazon had to compete just bookstore to bookstore, a company like Barnes & Noble might have a competitive chance. But with the ability to use the revenue generated by, for example, selling TVs in pursuit of book deals, Amazon can afford slimmer margins and to invest significantly more capital in trying to monopolize the book indistry.

The publishers do have a counter if they only had the gumption to do it: All they have to do is refuse to allow any ebookseller to sell any of the publisher's ebooks in any format other than ePub with specific Adobe DRM. Doing this would mean that readers could safely buy from any ebookseller and be able to read on on any device. Just like buying a DVD. That would take the wind out of Amazon's sails.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:15 AM   #9
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So far Amazon's published ebooks have DRM (if desired), geographical restrictions, variable pricing, and exclusivity. One of their latest ebooks is less expensive in UK and France than US.

Not sure how different they are to the large traditional publishers from the consumer's end.
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:39 AM   #10
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Well the thing about Monopolies is that they are impossible to maintain once they increase their prices dramatically in an industry with low barriers to entry.

So say Amazon runs the Publishers out of business and then increases the prices on all Amazon published books to $20 or whatever. What would happen?

Somebody would set up a website to start selling eBooks at $9.99 and their business would boom.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:13 AM   #11
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Not sure how different they are to the large traditional publishers from the consumer's end.
"Meet the new boss...same as the old boss..."

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Old 10-17-2011, 11:00 AM   #12
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I don't see how Amazon could have a monopoly. They are not the only e-book sellers. Other major online stores are probably going to start doing the same thing (if they see that it works for Amazon).
Amazon will almost certainly want all the writers they sign up to be Kindle exclusives, so the other ebook sellers won't be able to compete with those titles. If they are giving 40% royalties compared with the 15% that normal publishers give (which is what I read) they will attract writers with that.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:19 AM   #13
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Well the thing about Monopolies is that they are impossible to maintain once they increase their prices dramatically in an industry with low barriers to entry.So say Amazon runs the Publishers out of business and then increases the prices on all Amazon published books to $20 or whatever. What would happen?
Somebody would set up a website to start selling eBooks at $9.99 and their business would boom.
See Fbone's post - Amazon has resources no other group could hope to deteat in the long run - like big supermarkets do with small shops, price them out. "Somebody" wouldn't last long.

And, Zanshin, note I said "near" monopoly - obviously, they won't worry about niche publishers, or indeed anyone they don't see as a threat.

And don't forget their attack is on two fronts as far a books are concerned - they have the market leader device, the stroke of genius they cooked up, as well as trying to get "exclusive" authors.
And cost - they'll beat any competitor if they feel they need to.
I think you'll see, over the next few years, more and more authors signing up/being poached, and - perhaps more annoying/dangerous, more and more sole rights being purchased by Amazon.

Sadly, I reckon they have a very clever strategy, which is working beautifully
Remember when it was just books we were worried about ? Well, nothing got in their way then, or when they realised just how profitable ebooks could be - and started to make people think ereader = kindle.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:21 AM   #14
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Somebody would set up a website to start selling eBooks at $9.99 and their business would boom.
Except Amazon would have all the books under contract so what would they be selling?
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:38 AM   #15
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I publish my books at Amazon (and everywhere else through Smashwords). Amazon accounts for more than 90% of my sales; however, I don't like the idea of a monopoly, which seems to be where we're heading. How will Amazon be pricing books when the competition has disappeared?
That probably won't change for self-publishers. They may tack on a fee here and increase their share a few percent there, but it's unlikely they would flip from, say, offering self-publishers 70% to only offering 30%.
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