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Amazon Cutting out Publishers

I saw this New York Times article over at CNBC about Amazon publishing books directly with top authors:

Amazon.com has taught readers that they do not need bookstores. Now it is encouraging writers to cast aside their publishers.....

It has set up a flagship line run by a publishing veteran, Laurence Kirshbaum, to bring out brand-name fiction and nonfiction. It signed its first deal with the self-help author Tim Ferriss. Last week it announced a memoir by the actress and director Penny Marshall, for which it paid $800,000, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said.

Publishers say Amazon is aggressively wooing some of their top authors. And the company is gnawing away at the services that publishers, critics and agents used to provide.

I love that guys like Tim Ferris, author of some pretty entertaining books like The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman, can now bypass mainstream publishers altogether. Soon other lesser known writers will join him, without the need for a publisher. It's about time.