Amazon is now fulling competition with traditional publishing houses, by publishing titles for top authors.
Dean Koontz, one of the US top-selling authors, chose Amazon to publish his new books though likely they won’t appear in retail stores boycotting Amazon-published titles.
Amazon dominates the book retail market, accounting for over half of all new books sold in October, according to research firm Codex Group.
Signing up blue-chip authors like Koontz could make the tech giant a threat to the traditional industry, led by publishing houses such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins Publishers.
Koontz’s first novel for Amazon is expected to publish March 31. He already has published a collection of short stories, “Nameless,” that generated over a million downloads in the first month after its debut last November. The stories are available only as e-books and audiobooks.
In 2018, Patricia Cornwell signed a two-book deal; the first novel, “Quantum,” was published last October and enjoyed brisk downloads despite poor reviews. Both Koontz and Cornwell are in the top 25 of all currently published US adult fiction writers, as measured by the size of their most dedicated fan bases, according to Codex.
“Amazon offers all publishers a variety of marketing programs, including adding titles to subscription programs like Kindle Unlimited, Amazon First Reads, and Prime Reading,” a spokeswoman for the company said.
Amazon can promise writers a big paycheck and a powerful e-commerce platform and marketing tools to promote sales of their work, agents said.
Even when premier writers remain under contract elsewhere for their novels, Amazon can develop ties with them on other projects such as exclusive short works, and eye a larger deal down the road.