Amazon Publishing – Good or Bad?

October 19, 2011

I’m sure many of us noticed the New York Times story about Amazon.com’s efforts to become a publisher. The company’s efforts to become a publisher are getting many folks in the publishing industry worried – and rightly so.

Disclosure: I have been an Amazon.com’s customer for more than 15 years and have an affiliate account with them. While I don’t agree with their strong arm, sometimes mafia like tactics with publishers, I highly respect their business model of delivering what the customer wants at a fair price and not trying to get the customer to buy what they want to sell.
Sadly a common business practice these days.

If you read the article you’d notice that Amazon has been publishing books for years, the big news is that they signed up their first major author, Timothy Ferriss who will publish his next self-help book with Amazon.

The article makes two points which I thought were very interesting:
1) Unlike other publishers, Amazon.com has almost a one-to-one relationship with their customers.
and
2) Amazon is a technology company which embraces publishing, not the other way around.

As consumer of books, we all noticed the difficulties the publishing industry has with technology, or rather how to handle this new delivery format which consumers demand yet they adamantly put up roadblocks (pricewise or otherwise).

Amazon can offer authors something publishers can’t in terms of value created, however publishers have the added value of experience and if they get off their high-horse and adjust themselves to consumer demands they’ll be able to give Amazon a good run for their money.

Personally, as a consumer, I’m looking forward to a good fight because I believe that it will move everyone, traditional and digital publishing, in the right direction which will benefit readers.

So tell me, do you think Amazon.com will be a better publisher in the digital age?

Zohar – Man of la Book

 

 

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3 Comments

  • Shilpa October 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I think it might be because they know their customers. Amazon is more customer centric and that makes a lot of difference, no matter what industry we are talking about. A thought-provoking post.

  • BigLou October 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Amazon is the book world to me…I read books on Kindle one, Kindle three, now Kindle keyboard and I’m waiting for Kindle Fire right after Thanksgiving, I read on my iPad but I like the feel of the kindle. I buy many other things from Amazon, have been a prime customer since the first offer and they have always served me well, better, perhaps, than any store I have ever dealt with. After spending my life as a TV producer/director/writer I’m spending my golden years writing books about my life…smile here, I not a celebrity who writes a book and is welcomed on every talk show in the world, I was a very successful producer but that doesn’t help cause no one pays attention to credits. I find the future of eBooks so exciting that I’m going to spend the time allotted to me trying to be involved…it’s far superior to playing on-line solitaire. I directed and produced the long running CBS comedy show Candid Camera for three years in the early sixties. I used to tell stories about Allen Funt and the crazy world of Candid Camera and my business partner would say, Louie, write the book. When he went to his reward I followed his instructions wrote the book, “The
    flying Phone Booth” which the publisher dropped when the economy went int the toilet. So after pouting for a few months I published the book on Amazon as an eBook and paperback. It made the store the middle of July and has been pooping along…got a couple of decent revues and people who have read it seem to like it but I discovered the real world. My book is one of a million books floating around digital heaven. 780,000 writers across the age spectrum have become author/publishers and have a book or several books to sell…but no one hears about them. Every sells marketing instructions, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin they all offer and when you do the social media it’s all the writers selling to the other writers, except the big guys and a couple of lucky or wealthy littles guys whose books get some attention. I think if Amazon paid some attention to the thousands of indie writers already for sale in their stores they would realize the money they could make by getting some of those books read. We don’t have to clap when they sign a well known how-to writer to publish his already published works. They could open the world to the bright people who’re uploading their material and help those that Amazon is “publishing” right now. Thank you for listening, I’ll climb off the band box and go back to my empty Word page.

    • zohar October 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      I agree, Amazon is more consumer centric and readers get to judge what they want to read instead of it being fed to them by marketing firms.

      Thanks for the comment and good luck with your book.

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