Amazon’s Message to Authors: Skip the Bookstores, We’ll Sell More Books for You

From a Wall Street Journal story, by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, headlined “Amazon Courts Big-Name Authors”:

When Dean Koontz’s book contract expired last year, his stature as one of the country’s top-selling authors made him a hot target for several major publishing houses. He chose Inc.

It was a surprising move because it means his new books likely won’t appear in retail stores, which generally boycott Amazon published titles. But Mr. Koontz is banking on Amazon’s vast retail machine to get his work to readers, whether in physical or digital formats.

“Maybe I won’t be in some stores or make the New York Times best-seller list, but I’m willing to take that risk and I think we’ll sell more books in all formats,” Mr. Koontz said. . . .

Amazon Publishing already has 16 imprints in the U.S. churning out titles from thrillers to romance novels. Rival publishers expect competition for top talent to heat up further, now that Amazon’s initial big-name signings have proved encouraging. . . .

Amazon can promise writers a big paycheck, agents say, and a powerful e-commerce platform and marketing tools to promote sales of their work. . . .

For Mr. Koontz—who has sold more than 500 million books world-wide—the opportunity to reach new readers through Amazon’s extensive promotions was too good to ignore, he said.

“We had seven or eight offers, but Amazon offered the most complete marketing plan, and that was the deciding factor,” said Mr. Koontz, who is 74.


  1. Why do brick and mortar bookstores boycott Amazon-published books? Are other publishers boycotted by book stores?

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