Amazon A Book Publisher Too

Andrew AlbaneseAmazon and publishing are stuck together like peanut butter and jelly. The e-commerce giant built its customer base as a virtual bookshop, and for a number of years, it has even played the role of publisher.

Established in 2009, Amazon Publishing is the umbrella brand for several dozen imprints, from Montlake Romance to Jet City Comics. When founding publisher  Laurence Kirschbaum – a former  chairman and chief executive of the Time Warner Book Group – left the house in 2013, many predicted its demise. Yet nearly two summers later, Amazon Publishing still puts out hundreds of new titles, in print and digital formats.

“Amazon is not backing away from its publishing program. So far they are heavily focused on commercial fiction, but that too will expand—one example I’ll give is the growth of adult coloring books. Those titles are hitting hard,” Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, reports. “They’ve also expanded Brilliance Audio into Brilliance Publishing, which is now a full-service publisher of print, digital and audio books.

“So, while the progress has been modest, and most booksellers still won’t carry their titles, we shouldn’t expect a retreat by Amazon from the publishing business,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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