Amazon in love…with romance
Last week, Amazon launched its latest publishing imprint, Montlake Romance. In my opinion, Montlake – their fourth imprint – could be the baseball bat that cracks Big Pub’s knee cap.
Let’s be honest. In publishing, romance is big, big business. Romance is the genre that puts the mass in mass-market paperback, doing $1.36 Billion in sales in 2009. Romance takes up the most space in the mass-market paperback section of (*insert favorite brick & mortar store here). There are probably more romance writers, per capita, than any other genre. There are at least a half-dozen big name romance writers living in my area, alone. I would even guess that Romance gets more submissions to Big Pub than any other genre. And guess what, ebooks are already THE perfect format for such mass-produced material.
For Amazon to now jump into print for this genre strikes me as HUGE.
If they can draw in big talent the way they drew in Barry Eisler and lord knows who else, AND if they continue to take care of these authors the way they have so far with things like the 70% royalty for ebooks, and leaving control of the material in the hands of the author, big pub might just feel the boot of progress on their neck…at least for a while.
If this move is as successful as I think it can be, and big pub STILL doesn’t get the picture, then the big SIX publishers are likely to become the marginally successful TWO in just a few years.
Can someone wake up those big publishers in the back of the class? They’re missing the lessons here.
**** In other news, George and the Brain is finally available for the Nook at B&N.