Spinning the flywheel: Amazon publishing at 15 imprints and growing

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Last year I wrote about Amazon’s growing stable of imprints.

At around the same time, I attended an Amazon dinner for mystery writers publishing under its Thomas & Mercer imprint. Pretty much every writer I spoke with at the event said something similar to what GM Ford did, which is that they’re selling a whole lot more books with Amazon than through their old-school publisher.

And while Amazon isn’t touting this success publicly, an article published this week in the Seattle Times hinted at how fast the company’s own titles are growing. According to Jeff Belle, Vice President of Amazon Publishing, the company’s imprints generated “triple-digit revenue growth” in 2013, on top of “triple-digit” growth in 2012.

Which helps explain why the company keeps adding new imprints. Just last summer the company had 10 total imprints, and now, just six months later, they’re up to 15, the latest of which is Christian fiction imprint called Waterfall.

The Times piece talks about Amazon’s publishing business benefiting from the flywheel effect, and Kindle and Amazon’s e-commerce engine are at the center of that flywheel, which continues to gain speed as Amazon mines data to help it find new authors to scoop up.

And with today’s news that Sony is getting out of the North American e-reader business, it’s obvious the Amazon flywheel is not only speeding up, but knocking out those who dare to compete with it.