May 152011

Amazon, already unpopular with traditional book retailers for ‘ruthlessly’ undercutting on the price of books, has now being criticized for its plans to produce its own titles. This will give it a stranglehold on the industry and drive traditional publishing houses and book shops out of business, claim critics.

It has launched four publishing businesses:

  • Amazon Encore, specializing in first-time writers;
  • Amazon Crossing, which sells English language translations of foreign books;
  • Domino a non-fiction range;
  • and the latest addition: Montlake Romance, “bringing readers the freshest, most innovative and compelling love stories possible”

The eBooks published by Amazon will be available only in Kindle format. The move is part of a campaign to further boost dominant position of the company’s proprietary Kindle format. The strategy is already proving a success and several of the 65 Kindle only have made it on to Amazon’s best-seller lists, with the Kindle ereader and Kindle apps being best selling products on the Amazon site. But critics say the strategy will further undermine demand for traditional print books and will put increased pressure on small and independent publishers which are already struggling to survive.

Amazon is rapidly becoming a dominant force in publishing. It now has a collection of more than 650,000 eBook titles available for download from the Kindle bookstore, more than twice as many as its nearest competitor. Its relatively low running costs mean it can sell books much more cheaply than its traditional rivals and offer authors a larger cut of any sales.

Industry experts reported ‘Some within the publishing industry should be scared because the industry is going to be squeezed unless it adapts very rapidly.”

‘The problem with the traditional publishing industry is that it doesn’t understand technology. They have allowed this giant and utterly dominant organization to take complete control of the book trade.’

A spokesman for Amazon defended its move into publishing: ‘This is just another step toward making our overall bookstore better for readers.’

Where next for Amazon? Well turning a book into a movie is a well trodden path. So watch out Hollywood, Bezos is coming and he’s looking for more than just an Oscar!



(NASDAQ:AMZN)– today announced the launch of Thomas & Mercer, the fifth imprint from Amazon Publishing, focused on mysteries and thrillers.

“Our customers enjoy reading mysteries and thrillers, and we’re excited to launch this imprint devoted to that genre,” said Victoria Griffith, Publisher, Amazon Publishing. “We think our five launch authors are great representatives for the genre and we’re looking forward to growing our list with both new and established writers.”

Five bestselling and critically acclaimed authors will be the first novelists published under the Thomas & Mercer imprint. John Rector (Already Gone), co-authors J. A. Konrath and Blake Crouch (Stirred), Daniel M. Annechino (Resuscitation), and Kyle Mills (The Immortalists), will all be publishing new titles through Thomas & Mercer in 2011. All four books will be available to English readers in Kindle, print and audio formats at, as well as at national and independent booksellers.

Thomas & Mercer, named for streets that flank the Amazon headquarters in Seattle, joins its sister imprints AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Powered by Amazon, and Montlake Romance in the Amazon Publishing family.

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