Amazon As Publisher

Self-publishing through Amazon has just stepped up another notch with news that teenage author,Cayla Kluver, from Wisconsin, USA, has sold the rights of her debut self-published book ‘Legacy’. The book will become the first to fully launch AmazonEncore, a new publishing program set to focus on self published books as well as traditional out of print books. This is very much the predicted rise of Amazon As Publisher.

First, the good news for Cayla Kluver. It is understood Kluver is planning ‘Legacy’ to be the first in a fantasy trilogy of books, but like much of this publishing deal with Amazon, vagueness is the order of the day. Advances or terms were not disclosed by Amazon’s Vice President of Books, Jeff Belle, and it remains to be seen if it will include the subsequent two books in the trilogy. A brief snippet of Kluver’s blurb for ‘Legacy’.

“Across the land of Hytanica, under the shadow of the crimson moon, infant boys continued to vanish. Not until the blood had faded from the sky did the disappearances stop and the bodies of the murdered infants were found outside the gates of the city, a final word from the greatest enemy Hytanica had ever known. For the next sixteen years, peace reigned, but one mystery remained unsolved. The Cokyrians had abducted forty-nine newborns, but returned only forty-eight bodies.”

• Reading level: Young Adult
• Paperback: 464 pages
• Publisher: Forsooth Publishing; Original edition (April 15, 2008)

The hardback AmazonEncore edition will be released in august this year with a downloadable Kindle version and audiobook through Amazon’s Audible as well. The book was originally self-published last year with the support and financial backing of Cayla’s mother. They decided on Forsooth Publishing as an imprint name to publish under last year and since then, its success has brough it under the radar of Amazon’s Jeff Belle as an ideal launch for their AmazonEncore publishing program.

Interestingly, ‘Legacy’ will be printed using offset traditional print methods, though this does not discount the possibility of Amazon using their own in-house print on demand company, Booksurge for future AmazonEncore released titles.

“I wouldn’t say this is a new model; there are other examples in the marketplace of retailers who’ve done similar things…publishers want to see how we could work together on this model”

Jeff Belle, VP, Amazon Books

For me, the jury’s out on this one. I am cautious as to how much of a boon this is going to be for self-published authors. At the very least it adds further to the significant foothold self-publishing it now getting in the wider scheme of publishing. Amazon are not in this for the betterment of self-publishing, but rather as a means to administer and control the book publishing world as retailer, distributor, and as it now seems, publisher.

Overall, I am a little more intrigued about the original version of ‘Legacy’ which Kluver published through Forsooth Publishing and exactly how well it has really been doing since its release April, 2008. I have to say the current Amazon ranking is less than spectacular and one wonders what hard and fast criteria Amazon are really going to use to decide on publishable titles. Are they going to allow authors to submit to them like a real traditional publisher? Me thinks not. This is an Amazon gig after all!

The Jeff Belle quotes were taken from Publishers Weekly’s article of today by Rachel Deahl which you can read in full at the link below.

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