According to this article by The New York Times, Amazon will publish 122 books and e-books this fall. This is good news for authors and the book industry in general. Now authors who may have had a difficult time getting published will have a fresh set of eyes to look at their material, which could result in a second chance at publishing. And in terms of the book industry, that means more books will be physically and digitally available to people all over the world.
But it’s bad news for the intermediate players in the game: the publishers and agents, as David Streitfeld explains in his article.
“Everyone’s afraid of Amazon,” said Richard Curtis, a longtime agent who is also an e-book publisher. “If you’re a bookstore, Amazon has been in competition with you for some time. If you’re a publisher, one day you wake up and Amazon is competing with you too. And if you’re an agent, Amazon may be stealing your lunch because it is offering authors the opportunity to publish directly and cut you out.
Either way, Amazon is creating a book industry monopoly. It may be cruel, but it’s also smart. And as one of Amazon’s top executives, Russell Grandinetti, says in the article, “The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and reader. Everyone who stands between those two has both risk and opportunity.”