Well, That’s Interesting…

Amazon has just signed a contract with Dean Koontz to publish Koontz’s books.


Apparently Amazon has been looking into direct contracts with major authors for some time, but now they have the oomph and distribution power to match [and exceed] what Traditional Publishers have offered.

So, if more major names sign straight to Amazon, will TradPub start offering better contracts to potential Big Names? Or will reversion clauses and other rights-returns disappear all-together and we see greater limits on use of author names.

For those interested in the TradPub option, and in the publishing business in general, it will be interesting to see if the ‘Zon signs up more Big Names before the end of the year, and what the response from the rest of the industry is.

H/T The Shatzkin Files and The Passive Voice


  1. I predict screaming, the gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments. Sweet music to my ears.

    I’m conflicted though, I must say.

    On the one hand is TradPub’s ox getting well-and-truly gored, which I’m all for. Because screw those guys. On the other hand, an Amazon monopoly will mean nothing but bad news for my writing. Sooner or later, the ‘Zon will move to protect their interests over mine, and there will be nowhere to go.

    Big Name Authors of course need to do something to protect their own interests in a world of increasingly useless TradPub companies and vanishing retail channels. Even us little tadpoles can see the way the current is going, big fish like Mr. Koontz must be losing revenue every day.

    Interesting times indeed.

    1. I predict the future for us little guys will eventually devolve to torrents and tip jars. Iffy paycheck, but can’t be conveniently gatekept out of existence.

      1. I predict not, Amazon has made no move to get rid of the hundreds of other microvendors selling items through them, including sizeable ones like NewEgg, who are also regularly undercutting them on price. They’re still allowing ABEBooks to run as a separate entity with separate inventory, even having bought them in 2008.

    2. This – I wish there were an alternative to Amazon; if they try and throw their weight around like they did about a decade ago when they tried to pressure a number of small POD publishers to use their favored print provider by turning off the “buy” button on the author pages of authors published by those small POD houses … not a good thing, when they will be the only game in town. (Booklocker brought suit against them, and won, BTW.) If Amazon is looking to start signing big-time established authors, that makes it a slightly other ball-game from their original means of getting 1$ from a million authors. If they begin deciding they would rather have a million $ from one author…

  2. Will TradPub do the sane thing to make themselves more attractive?
    Or will they instead try to hold on old ways harder, thus shooting themselves in the foot?

    Put the podiatrists on danger money.

  3. Amazon may _publish_, but will it also provide competent editing and proofreading? I’m a professional proofreader and I’ve seen some doozies like you wouldn’t believe in typeset material. And I’ve seen worse in published material, even stuff written by major authors.

    1. Like an entire duplicate chapter that got through, because the author was “too big to edit.” That may be the “winner” thus far. But then I’m almost numb to ordinary errors, because of reading a lot of academics-in-translation.

  4. I believe Harlequin forced all authors to publish under a pen name…. and then trademarked the pen name. Look for that practice to spread.

    1. That was a while back, shortly after — I think — Nora Roberts left and took her fans with her. The writers did manage to wring the concession of one pen name per writer. But it’s not in place any more, I believe

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