Amazon Publishing Update — Will It Turn the 'Big Six' Into the 'Big Seven'?

Recently Amazon has launched several publishing initiatives and added four new imprints to their publishing arm. Last year, Montlake Romance, 47North, Thomas & Mercer and Amazon NY joined Amazon Crossing and Amazon Encore. In just a short amount of time, these lines have managed to acquire a list of author names and titles that would make even the most jaded reader giddy. So fans will be excited to learn that there are even more books on the horizon.

Earlier this week, Publisher’s Marketplace reported that in the last quarter it has seen a “large volume of deal reports for [Amazon’s Publishing’s] various imprints ...” And that certainly bears out with a look at these numbers. 

AMAZON PUBLISHING DEALS

Publishers Marketplace points out that Amazon’s 52 deals in the past four months are “roughly equal to the adult publishing deal reports for two of the ‘big six,’” and that both Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins reported just over 50 deals. Amazon’s adult fiction deals are commensurate, and certainly nothing to scoff at. But it looks like Amazon has no intention of resting on their laurels; they know that adult fiction is only a piece of the picture.

All six major publishers also have active children’s divisions, thus their total deals numbers jump a fair amount higher when one is not just looking at the deals made for adult fiction. For example, in the last quarter, Simon & Schuster, Random House and Macmillan all reported total deals figures in the 80s. And leading the pack is Penguin acquiring the most, with 110 deals reported.

To respond to the large children’s market, Amazon has recently acquired Marshall Cavendish US Children’s Books titles. These books will be folded into an existing line and include the rights to four-hundred-and-fifty books such as The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Gennady Spirin, Chalk by Bill Thomson and Debby Dahl Edwardson’s My Name is not Easy, which was a National Book Award finalist. The deal was announced late last year and Amazon stated, ”The acquisition creates the foundation for Amazon Publishing to further expand into picture books, chapter books and Young Adult novels.”

But no matter how many deals the Amazon lines are making, what readers are really noting is the quality of the work. And thus far Amazon’s publishing endeavor has been successful in releasing books that readers actively want. And if you haven’t had a moment to add some of these books to your TBR list, take a moment to power up your e-reader as we point out some of the names and books that we can’t wait to get our hands on — and have been quick to pass along to our friends and families.

Mystery readers should be sure to check out the Thomas & Mercer line, which has works from veteran authors Max Allan Collins and Scott Nicholson, as well as the recent tales from two of self-publishing’s biggest advocates, Barry Eisler and J.A. Konrath. But if you can only carve enough time out of your schedule to read one of these novels, our most-frequently recommended title from this imprint is The Detatchment from Barry Eisler.

Romance fans can enjoy stories across the different subgenres with the books from Montlake Romance. This was the first of the Amazon fiction imprints to be announced, so it’s no surprise that their line-up is brimming with many exciting projects. But we suggest you check out the historical tale Home by Morning by Alexis Harrington, Robin Perini’s gritty romantic suspense, In Her Sights and the long-awaited sequel to Connie Brockway’s 1997 hit As You Desire, the all-new read about that couple’s now-grown up daughter, The Other Guy’s Bride.

Meanwhile, science fiction enthusiasts are all eagerly waiting for the April 24 release of The Monogliad: Book One from 47North. Set in Foreworld, a universe that was co-created by George Bear and Neal Stephenson and several debut authors, The Mongoliad promises to be quite an adventure. The series has been described as “East will clash with West as Genghis Kahn advances on Europe and only a small group of warriors stand to protect the region.” It’s an epic showdown we are very much looking forward to getting a front row seat for.

If you prefer some foreign fare, then be sure to check out what’s available from Amazon Crossing, the line that publishes translated works from around the world. Some must-reads that you should be sure to take a look at are the works of Russian bestseller Andrei Gelasimov, Iceland’s Hallgrimur Helgason and Germany’s Jutta Profijt. But for true one-stop shopping, we suggest the popular novel The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch.

And for more reads from Amazon’s publishing imprints, you can pop over to AmazonEncore to find a professionally re-released reads that were original self-published works. The Amazon editors have culled through the stacks of self-published stories to spotlight the best and brightest.

Have you tried a book from one of Amazon’s imprints yet? Let us know in the comments below. And for more publishing industry news, click here!