Matthew Ingram, "Amazon to book publishers: Welcome to the jungle, baby"
"Amazon isn’t happy just disrupting the book-publishing world by promoting self-publishing via the Kindle platform or launching a rumored “Netflix for books,” it seems. The giant online retailer — which recently unveiled its iPad competitor, the Kindle Fire, and also dropped the price of its lowest-priced Kindle, bringing it even closer to being free— is also busy signing up popular authors for its own Amazon publishing imprint. And those it’s signing up are becoming evangelists for the company as an alternative to the “legacy publishing” industry, including the latest addition: thriller writer Barry Eisler. Publishers are now in direct competition not just with the Kindle, but with Amazon itself.
Eisler, a former CIA operative turned author, has been one of the most prominent examples of self-publishing, along with fellow writers J.A. Konrath and young-adult author Amanda Hocking — who made more than two million dollars by publishing her own books via the Kindle marketplace (often charging as little as 99 cents for them) before signing a $2-million deal with a traditional publisher earlier this year. Eisler also got the publishing industry’s attention in a big way when he turned down a $500,000 advance for two books with St. Martin’s Press in March, and said that he was going to self-publish his new novel instead." Read the full post
"What publishers need to realize is that authors like Eisler and Ferriss — and even some without that kind of pre-existing fame — don’t have to put up with the glacier-like pace and other downsides of the mainstream publishing business any more. If a publishing deal is lucrative enough they might take it, but even if it is lucrative, they might decide to simply cut their own deal, and Amazon is more than happy to step in. In that sense, the Eisler deal is yet another wake-up call for the industry: Adapt or die."