Amazon Publishing turns 10

This week, Amazon Publishing celebrates a decade in existence.

I remember when Amazon starts this endeavor, and how Big Publishing simultaneously looked down their collective nose and quaked in their collective boots. At that time, Amazon already controlled the lion’s share of the market. The company released the Kindle in 2007. After owning the marketshare, starting to own the medium on which books would be read, the company logically went after the third leg of the tripod — content.

The first book published by Amazon’s imprint was was Cayla Kluver’s Legacy, released in August 2009. That book did not go on to be a big blockbuster for the company, but several others did, including Mark Sullivan’s Beneath a Scarlet Sky and Blake Crouch’s Pines

Amazon figured out — far ahead of other publishers — that controlling the data of book buyers was the key to generation repeat sales.. If you know what people like to read, and you can tailor what books they see when they log onto your site, you can make suggestions that your readers might like. If they do like those suggestions, they keep coming back for more. Even to this day, this is not a model that Big Publishing is capable of matching. 

In the world of books, Amazon is king.

The company has so much data that when they now release a book, they can throw a couple of Wizard Behind the Curtain levers and boom, that book sells thousands — if not hundreds — of copies. 

Amazon’s dominance of the publishing world has not peaked. Far from it. They will continue to grow. As they gobble up big name writers — they just gave Sylvia Day a seven-figure advance for a novella, a 203-page book — they will further marginalize small publishers and even the Big Five. Amazon has deep coffers that the company has barely begun to tap.

Sorry, publishing world, it’s all over but the crying. By Amazon Publishing’s 20th anniversary, they might be the only Big left standing.


This blog post sponsored by our GoDaddy Coupon page. Use the code CJCSIG99C to snag a brand-new domain — including dot-coms — for 99 cents.

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A (very) small step toward Hollywood

One of our long-term goals is to write for movies and TV. One of the big hurdles in getting there is building a resume — people don’t want to hire you until you’ve written a film that gets made, and you can’t write a film that gets made until someone hires you. The Catch-22 is the bane of many aspiring screenwriters, even ones with a publishing track record like Scott Sigler, one of our company co-founders (the other being me).

So when an opportunity comes up to write for an established indie director who has a track record of actually getting things made, you jump at it — even if the movie is only three minutes long.

Scott wrote the screenplay THE PRESENT for director Adrian Picardi. Adrian is entering the picture in the Moment Invitational Film Festival — a festival featuring three-minute films that were shot exclusively on cell phones. This dark noir mini-movie stars Steven Ogg (THE WALKING DEAD, GRAND THEFT AUTO V), Kelly Thiebaud (GENERAL HOSPITAL) and Jordan Matlock (ROT).

Let me tell you this — three minutes is not much time to tell a compelling story. Scott and Adrian took on the challenge, combining to make this dark, surprising tale.

FUN FACT: To share the pain, Scott wrote the script on an iPhone, using Final Draft.


This post is sponsored by GoDaddy Coupon, particularly the 99-cent coupon code GJCSIG99C, which gets you a brand-new dot-com domain for just 99 cents.

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Nook vanishes from Europe —
Can America be far behind?

Sponsored by our "Moosejaw Coupon" page at http://scottsigler.com/moosejaw

If you’re an independent author, eBook sales are (or should be) a major part of your business plan. All that in-store distribution that is almost impossible to get? That’s not an issue for your eBooks. Your eBooks can be sold globally in most cases, giving you access to an entire world of readers. So when […]

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Facebook groups: how you are getting screwed and what to do about it

Howdy, friends. Are you an author or creator that uses Facebook groups (a.k.a., “fan pages”) to reach your peeps? We do, and for a long time it’s been a great way to get our stories, pictures, podcasts and general goofiness directly to those that want to consume what we make. In the past few months, […]

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Beware the robots … writing robots, that is.

"The Representative" by Nemo Gould

As if it isn’t hard enough to stay profitable in the writing biz while competing against smart people, it might not be that far in the future when we have to defend against the “rise of the machines.” You know, robots that write fiction. Yes, seriously. In an article for The New Stack, David Cassel […]

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Fewer Americans reading print books

With the continued impact of eBooks, the growth of audiobooks, and the ever-present time-gobble of TV, movies, video games and the Internet, is it any surprise that fewer adults are buying and reading good-ole print? A new study by the Pew Research Center states that “seven-in-ten American adults (72%) have read a book within the […]

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New “Kindle Scout” program
echoes the 2001 iPublish model

As reported in Publisher’s Weekly, Amazon is will release ten titles from its Kindle Scout program. What is Kindle Scout? It’s a crowdsourced publishing platform. In the words of Kindle itself: Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will […]

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Kickstarter & publishing: good or bad?

As reported at Galleycat, Kickstarter released donation stats for 2014. Two of the categories that matter most to us here at Empty Set Entertainment are “Publishing” (obviously) and “Journalism.” I kind of lump those two things together when talking about the book biz. It’s all wordz, baby. From the Galleycat article: The crowd sharing company revealed […]

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