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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Amazon possible new western imprint

Now that Amazon have acquired ownership of Avalon books and their massive backlist it means that Amazon will be publishing westerns under possibly a new imprint. I know that all of the Avalon's books will available in print form as well as eBooks, and will be published under Amazon’s Montlake Romance and Thomas & Mercer imprints. But it is unclear under which imprint the western genre books will be published, which leads me to suspect that another new imprint will be created by Amazon for the westerns and other adventure fiction. There are a lot of westerns in Avalon's back list and Amazon will obviously make the most of this.

This is a great concern to me as I write westerns - It's a little exciting but scary too. I love Amazon's service and buy a lot from them. I applaud them for making westerns widely available when the biggest chunk of traditional publishing had forgotten the genre,  but I don't want to see them dominating publishing which seems to be where they are heading. It's a horrible thought to think of the online giant swallowing up all the independent publishers one by one and then turning on the big guys.

Is it all inevitable though?  And Amazon must be congratulated on bringing reading into the new millennium with the excellent Kindle eReader. The customer service with Amazon is also second to none, but all the same it is troubling to think they may one day be the only players in town.

Comments would be most welcome - do we love them or loathe them?


Chris Scott Wilson said...

I, too am ambivalent about the takeover. Our on-line friends must be applauded for providing the services they do, but in the long run it is one less door for us writers to knock on.

KR said...

In the music business, traditional record labels are dying, but broker services like TuneCore and CDBaby have made it possible for independent, unsigned artists to get their work available for purchase on iTunes, amazon, and other online outlets, given independent and small label artists significantly wider distribution than ever before.

I see the same thing happening with Amazon and books. I seriously doubt that they will stop allowing other publishers to sell content through them - that's bad business.

When you look at physical products on Amazon, you see their in house sale price and all the competing prices from resellers that advertise there as well. It's clear they (unlike Apple) are not working toward a monopoly.

What they _can_ do with an Amazon branded house label is provide a guarantee of quality that you don't get with POD books.

Personally I look forward to anything that produces more new content at reasonable prices.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

KR - The music business analogy is a good one, and I take many of your points. I do think that trad publishing has been responsible for a lot of Amazon's success with eBooks because they failed to innovate and weren't often publishing what people actually wanted. Yes Amazon provide a great service and I spend quite a book with them, buying more books as eBooks than I ever did before, but I still worry that Amazon could become a monopoly which may very well hasten the death of the printed book. But don't get me wrong I am pro-Amazon and I've thought eBooks are great since day one but the world of publishing in changing fast and there are some things that worry me.

benbridges said...

Yeah, I'm finding it hard to get excited about this news. It's great that Amazon have even ACKNOWLEDGED the popularity of the western. But I always found Avalon's titles a bit too 'squeaky-clean' and dated for me, almost as if they were aimed more at the young adult market than anything else. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing. If we're to encourage the next generation of western readers, clearly we need to get 'em young. It's just that Avalon's titles are not apt to appeal much to me.

Dominique Hopkins said...

I am afraid it is inevitable Gary. As much as I love the look, feel and smell of a book in my hands, the books going into the electronic age has opened up a path for people to have what they crave in our days we live in.....instant gratification. We are an impatient scociety that wants every thing yesterday. This is satisfying many.

Dominique Hopkins

KBD said...

I see it as Amazon breathing new life into books, and allowing Independent publishers and new, and mid list authors a chance to sell books. Independent Publishers and bookstores and print books were in trouble without Amazon. Compared to 30 years ago we have so many forms of entertainment now that books are in trouble, but with Kindles, Tablets, Smartphones all able to quickly access and download ebooks, making more books by more authors more easily accessed--it's a win-win for authors and readers IMO.

Anonymous said...

As for Amazon getting a monopoly, I think that could be probable in spite of our anti-monopoly laws...Look at walmart - everywhere they open up most of the mom and pop, small independent or small chain businesses disappear in a short time period.
And, as for the printed book disappearing, I don't think that will happen in the foreseeable future as most readers are quite used to holding a book and turning the pages and a lot of people have permanent libraries (books they love to re-read. I have all of L.L'Amour's books, a lot of Zane Grey, Clarence Mulford,Ralph Compton, William/w, Johnstone, etc. etc.etc..
Also, all these wonderful new "electronic gadgets" or most of them, depend on Satellite delivery- so what happens if the Satellite breaks down ? Y'all better have recourse to some printed works. Jus' sayin ... ;)
Trelawney Gal

Janet Chester Bly said...

As many have expressed here already, it's good to a point. Both provides a wider outlet and smaller distribution outlets at the same time. Will have to see how it plays out.