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Amazon leaves publishers in the cold by signing eBook authors directly

Amazon leaves publishers in the cold by signing eBook authors directly
The 6-inch Kindle Touch is an E Ink e-reader with no buttons on the front, a mult-touch screen, and a speaker for audio books. The Wi-Fi only version costs $99. The Wi-Fi/3G version costs $149. Amazon

(CBS) - Amazon is taking the power out of book publisher's hands and providing a viable alternative for writers to publish books. So, what's the problem? 

An article in The New York Times paints a picture of Amazon pushing book publishers out of the process, leaving behind only the writer and reader.

The online retail giant is upping investments in eBook publishing by signing writers directly, bypassing agents and major book publishers.

According to the Times, Amazon is slated to publish 122 books this fall - in both physical and electronic formats. The company is even building its arsenal of editors and paying top dollar for authors. Actress and director Penny Marshall recently signed an $800,000 deal for her memoir, the paper reports.

Amazon Publishing has even snagged established literary agent and publisher Laurence Kirshbaum to run its flagship imprint, AmazonEncore. The company has a variety of other imprints that include 47North, Thomas & Mercer and The Domino Project.

The nerve of Amazon! To give readers access to books that would otherwise be collecting dust on an agent or publisher's bookcase. What a disservice to consumers. 

Literary agent Richard Curtis told the New York Times, "If you're a bookstore, Amazon has been in competition with you for some time. If you're a publisher, one day you wake up and Amazon is competing with you too. And if you're an agent, Amazon may be stealing your lunch because it is offering authors the opportunity to publish directly and cut you out."

We can only hope there is room for everyone in the book club. 

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