Amazon wants to become a book publishing powerhouse to hook more Prime members

Amazon Publishing is investing in flashy authors to give the e-commerce giant another way to pick up Prime members.

August 13, 2019

Yes, Amazon sells a lot of books. But, increasingly, the e-commerce giant also publishes many of the books that it sells.

In fact, Amazon Publishing puts out 1,100 titles a year, and then uses its massive Prime membership base to sell those books, reports The Atlantic.

This isn’t a new strategy for Amazon…

In fact, the “why-can’t-we-be-wholesaler-and-retailer?” formula is the exact strategy that Amazon used for videos. 

When Amazon began developing video content, it used original TV shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and original movies like Beautiful Boy to attract new members to its lucrative Prime program.

The popular TV show The Man in the High Castle attracted 8m viewers and, more importantly, hooked 1.15m new Prime users.

Now, Amazon wants to do the same thing for book publishing 

Amazon uses its dominant position as a bookseller — it sold 25% of the 25.5m books bought by Americans last month — to push its own titles, which often come from lesser-known authors but still appear near the top of Amazon’s charts.

Lesser-known authors were a proof of concept for Amazon. But now the company is hiring well-known authors like Dean Koontz and Mindy Kaling to win over even more readers — and, of course, more Prime members.

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