Sunday, September 13, 2015

Amazon Hits 20 But Barely Turns A Profit

Amazon is celebrating its 20th anniversary just as it is likely to surpass 100 billion dollars in annual revenue.  Thought the company is just barely earning a profit, it continues to dominate in the book industry.  

Some authors love Amazon and some hate it.  It has been a leader, innovator, and game-changer for the book business and still needs to go a long way to showing it can play fairly and make profits.

Over the years it has acquired leaders in used books (Abe Books), audio books (Brilliance Audio and Audible), and reviews (Goodreads).  It is now experimenting with the textbook industry, opening several campus stores.  It revolutionized the ebook industry with the Kindle.  Now it is surging in the self-publishing and POD world with Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space.  Who knows what’s next.

Interestingly, Publishers Weekly just released Amazon’s all-time bestselling books list.  You’d think older books – with more years to sell – would be on this, but the oldest book only dates to 2006.  80% of the titles are fiction.  One can conclude Amazon is great at selling fiction ebooks but it also sells a lot of books, period, in all formats and genres.  But if there’s hope for bookstores it looks to be with non-fiction.

Happy birthday, Amazon.  Now please play nicely with publishers.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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