Amazon, a Friendly Giant as Long as It’s Fed

by | Jul 14, 2014 | Blog

David Streitfeld’s piece in Sunday’s New York Times takes the angle that evolution and distruption in the publishing ecosystem continues, with authors being put in control instead of publishers.  Several ex-Amazon colleagues and myself were interviewed for the article:

John Rossman:  “You always hear about never wanting to fight a two-front war,” said John Rossman, a former Amazon executive. “Well, Amazon is fighting a five-front war. They are investing in faster delivery, in a phone, in streaming video. And they need more profits so they can continue their investments. That’s why there is a lot of pressure and negotiation.”

Scott Jacobsen:  “Amazon believes the value exchange between publishers and authors is fundamentally broken,” said Scott Jacobson, who worked on the Kindle team at Amazon and is now at the Madrona Venture Group. “In a world where authors can hire their own editors, market their books through the web and social media, and get production and distribution through Amazon or other services, publishers will play a lesser role and their share of the economics will be diminished.”

Randy Miller:  “A lot of people had been in business for 30 years,” he said. “They said: This is what we’re going to publish, this is the price, you have no leverage, we control the content.”  “There were particular authors — we’d meet with them, have dinner with them — and they’d say, ‘I always check Amazon to see where my book is,’ ” Mr. Miller said. “They’d do it over their morning coffee. So you knew.”

Read the full article at the New York Times  here

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