5,000 words, but the Amazon CEO letter to shareholders offers little promise for the publishing industry

From The New Publishing Standard:

One cannot help but feel no news is bad news for an industry which has for so long allowed itself to become unhealthily dependent on one company and has for so long eschewed opportunities to build up alternatives and fully support rival players.

To be fair, neither Jassy nor Bezos could ever hope to cover even a fraction of Amazon’s many sectors in a letter to shareholders like this.

But in the past, publishing and the Kindle store and devices have been strong features.

This year the only mention of the Kindle is in historic context, and the nearest we get to a vision of publishing is an acknowledgement Amazon has closed all its bricks & mortar bookstores, and that ads in audio are the new black.

Jassy has previously made clear the Books element of the Amazon machine is a sideshow, and most recently we have seen The Book Depository marked for closure.

Link to the rest at The New Publishing Standard

PG suggests the author of the OP hasn’t really been paying much attention to Big Publishing for a long time. In short, there’s not enough money in traditional publishing to move any needles for Amazon. It’s small potatoes compared to any number of other things Amazon does to make money.

All the physical bookstores could simultaneously close and not have any meaningful influence on Amazon’s bottom line.

To be fair, indie authors are in a similar position as far as moving Zon’s needle, but Amazon has streamlined KDP and its underpinnings to the point that computers and automated presses pretty much handle the entire process of publishing, selling and shipping a physical book. Of course, taking an order for an ebook and delivering it is a 100% computer job.

With indies, Amazon doesn’t have to buy truckloads of printed books that have to be unloaded, taken to the right place in the warehouse and take up space gathering dust until Amazon sells them all or its computer decides to return the unsold physical books back to the publishers’ warehouses.

If the truth be told, Amazon would be much happier if traditional publishing used the same production process as indie authors do – print on demand.