Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Amazon Acquires Avalon Books

Amazon continues to move forward with purpose and probably understands publishing and the value chain better than any other entity. Its move into covering all the bases continued with the acquisition of Avalon Books, a small publisher with a healthy backlist of mystery, romance and western titles. The move follows their acquisition of the rights to publish a number of James Bond books in the US and the acquisition of children’s titles from Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books.

With its vast resources and experience why would it buy a relatively small publisher?

How will Avalon fit into its strategy?

Avalon was launched some 60 years ago and has a backlist of some 3,000 titles which haven’t been digitised and have been heavily focused and enjoyed a strong library following. So Amazon gain some more titles which it can exploit digitally once they have secured the rights with the help of the founder’s daughter Ellen Bouregy Mickelsen.

We suggest that they will gain some authors who have been forgotten by the mainstream, titles that have not been exposed to the wider market and proven library books. Many think that digital is purely about enhanced ebooks, front list, apps and creating the next digital blockbuster, perhaps its also about those ‘forgotten ‘ books that have a strong sales  and lending history, those authors that have been not discovered by the mainstream, recognising the lending demand and about creating a mix of titles everyone has on offer and some that are 100% owned and exclusive.

The Amazon press release says “these books will continue to be available in print for booksellers and libraries nationwide.”

It will be interesting to watch the development of Amazon’s mix of self publishing, list acquisitions and digital and physical in the coming months and years. They have the funds to swallow up a mid market or even large publisher but the may be too much baggage today and the price also may be a high one but we would not rule anything out and they obviously have a logical and vertical strategy.

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