Amazon Get Serious About Book Publishing

amazon publishing

While this headline may not appear as groundbreaking news to you, it really should because it may affect the way you consume books, again.

Back in April 2011, the company announced that for every 100 print books has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle books. E-book sales continue to increase and to contribute to Amazon’s ever-growing sales. However, Jeff Bezos and his team believe that the book publishing industry can still make money, but not by running business as usual.

Getting Serious About Book Publishing

Laurence J Kirshbaum
Laurence J. Kirshbaum

In May 2011, Amazon recruited Laurence J. Kirshbaum to run Amazon Publishing, a fledgling New York-based imprint whose lofty goal is to publish bestselling books by big-name authors, in simple terms: to take over the New York book publishing industry. Mr. Kirshbaum, 67, began his career at Random House, then spent more than 30 years at Time Warner, eventually rising to chairman and chief executive of the Time Warner Book Group. He retired in 2005 and founded his own literary agency, LJK Literary.

Mr. Kirshbaum brings a massive resume in book publishing and in all aspects of publishing and print procurement to Amazon Publishing. This has made for sure lose some sleep to the Big Six of book publishing: Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Penguin, Hachette, and Macmillan.

So Far, So Good

Kirshbaum has been hard at work in signing up authors for Amazon Publishing. He has been able to ink some deals with Timothy Ferriss, the self-help guru, James Franco, the actor and budding novelist, and Bob Knight, the volcanic former basketball coach who will pen a business book, The Power of Negative Thinking. Amazon Publishing is standing out from other publishers by paying big advances such as more than $800,000 for a memoir by actress and director Penny Marshall.

The New York-based printing company is riding on the goodwill that the Kindle publishing process. For example, according to Bloomberg Businessweek Joe Konrath was once struggling mystery author in Chicago who was frustrated with the publishing industry’s constant refusal. Then in 2010, he experimented with submitting his books directly to the Kindle marketplace and is now enjoying a 70% share on every book he sales. His reported daily sales are about $4,000.


Amazon Publishing is trying to revolutionize the book publishing industry by providing big advances to authors and providing low prices to consumers. With deep pockets and a willingness to operate at a loss to take down competitors, Amazon is making the Big Six of book publishing very nervous.

Author: Damian Davila

Ideas and concepts from Damian Davila, Ecuatoriano thriving in Hawaii. Pro marketer and blogger. Find him at @idaconcpts on Twitter.

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