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Codebreaker

Amazon signs big author

John Moe Aug 17, 2011

Publishing industry tries to adjust its collar, complains its getting kind of hot in here, dabs at its brow.

Self-help guru Timothy Ferriss has signed a deal to release his next book directly through Amazon.com. Ferriss’s previous books “The 4-Hour Work Week” and “The 4-Hour Body” are best sellers, both published by Crown, a division of Random House. Amazon will publish “The 4-Hour Chef” next spring in hardcover, audio, and e-book form. Most telling part of the NYT write up of this: “Mr. Ferriss said he had approached Amazon about a book deal. Crown did not get a chance to match the offer because in the writer’s view, it never could have.”

Sounds like a total slam on Crown but it’s the truth. Authors might typically get 15% of a book’s sale but Amazon has been offering something more like 70%. That’s easy math and it’s making publishers very sweaty right now.

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