Continuing their dominance of the print industry, Amazon is now starting its own publishing company. In the coming weeks, the digital retailer will publish 122 books spanning multiple genres, poised to compete alongside major existing publishing houses in New York and instilling fear in the hearts of publishers everywhere.
By forming its own flagship line, Amazon is effectively doing what it did to bookstores years ago: cutting out the middleman between author and reader. The new imprint has already inked an $800,000 deal with author Penny Marshall and signed up numerous other authors. Helmed by veteran publisher Laurence Kirshbaum, it will publish both paper books and e-books.
According to The New York Times, the news of Amazon’s new strategy has sent publishers into hysteria, with agent and e-book publisher Richard Curtis explaining Amazon’s decision to allow authors to self-publish directly through the new imprint as “an old strategy: divide and conquer.”