I read an article from Publisher’s Weekly this morning about how DC was going to launch its own branded storefront on Amazon’s site. If you don’t feel like reading the whole article, just know that the storefront will feature digital and print collections, not just the Kindle Fire exclusive content.
One of the things that strikes me about this article is about how obvious this seems to me. Amazon really isn’t necessarily just a storefront themselves, but a lot of times, they act as distributor for publishers, especially when thinking about how they (Amazon) basically distribute such a large percentage of the digital products out there already.
I know that they (Amazon) have the affiliate program, designed to help re-sellers and stores have their own storefronts on Amazon’s storefront, but this is a move that I think should potentially usher in a greater partnership between Amazon and publishers in general.
Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t think Amazon is the answer to all of publishing’s ills, but then again, why not embrace the fact that most of the people go here to buy the damn books instead of bitching about it?
*gets down off soapbox*
Don’t forget that Amazon used to lose a lot of money. They put up the big bucks; they gambled big; they won (as of now). A lot of companies want to keep doing everything precisely in the same way as it’s always been done *cough publishing cough * but maybe that’s part of the reason that things are always so melodramatic and apocalyptic for publishers.
In talking with students yesterday, one of the things that we discussed was the very nature that a publisher’s toolbox is changing. Used to be, we’d have to know a lot about offset printing, what a type foundry was, and possibly manual typecoding. Today, we need to know XML workflow, electronic rights management, and HTML5. We still need to know a lot about a lot of things, but the priority of knowledge is shifting, and with it, much of the business.
Now, I did a good job of not griping about the content within DC’s new relaunch (and go here to read some great stuff about them), or some of the potential problems of an Amazonian Marketplace Monopoly, but let us not forget the size of Ingram. It seems like no one bitches about Ingram these days.
Go on, make that Amazon storefront. Embrace the Dark Side. They’ve got the money, right? And isn’t that why you started publishing in the first place?
* sarc emoticon here *