Amazon Publishing Acquires Avalon Books

Amazon Publishing has acquired romance and western publisher Avalon Books. This news may very well be the start of a long line of acquisitions for the giant retailer and publisher.
From the press release:
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jun. 4, 2012–, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and  Avalon Books today announced that Amazon Publishing has acquired the publication rights from Avalon Books to over 3,000 backlist titles predominantly in the Romance, Mystery and Western categories. Established in 1950 by  Thomas Bouregy,  Avalon Books has long been a home to writers specializing in wholesome entertainment across popular genres, such as  Holly Jacobs,  Carolyn Hughey and  Carolyn Brown, whose book “The Ladies’ Room” is nominated for a 2012 RITA by the Romance Writers of America.
“I’ve been running  Avalon Books–which was founded by my father–since 1995, and it is time for me to explore the next chapter of my life,” said  Ellen Bouregy Mickelsen, Publisher of Avalon Books. “I chose Amazon Publishing because they care deeply about the writers, readers, and categories that have long mattered to our family business and they are uniquely positioned to assure that our titles make the leap forward into the digital future. I am pleased they have asked me to assist during a period of transition to provide continuity and support for our authors.”
“Avalon has a long tradition in publishing wonderful stories that affirm a positive way of life,” said  Philip Patrick, Director, Business Development, Rights and Licensing. “We are thrilled to have these talented writers join our publishing program. None of these titles have been digitized yet and we know Kindle customers will delight in this great new offering.”
Avalon books will be published under the West Coast imprints of Amazon Publishing, including Montlake Romance and Thomas & Mercer. These books will continue to be available in print for booksellers and libraries nationwide. Ms. Mickelsen will be assisting for several months to support a smooth transition for authors and to help secure eBook amendments for some of the older Avalon titles whose digital rights are not owned by Avalon, with the intention of bringing these books to a wider audience.
Avalon Books was advised on the transaction by  Bill Barry who acted as exclusive broker on its behalf.
Amazon Publishing is the publishing arm of Amazon Publishing’s West Coast Group includes imprints AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Montlake Romance, Thomas & Mercer, and 47North. Amazon Publishing’s East Coast Group publishes adult trade, children’s and young adult titles. For more information about all imprints of Amazon Publishing, Amazon Publishing is a brand used by Amazon Content Services, LLC.

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