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Amazon underbidder on frontlist auction

Amazon has emerged as the surprise underbidder on a multi-million dollar auction for a self-published author, the first time the retailer is believed to have bid on frontlist.

Crains reports the retailer was the highest bidder in the auction for self-published author Amanda Hocking. The auction was eventually won by St Martin's Press. Amazon is believed to have teamed up with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for it to publish print books. The article claims it was Amazon's insistence on exclusive e-book rights that was a factor for Hocking to choose St Martin's Press.

A publishing executive familiar with the deal told Crains: "[Amazon] has less than 65% share of the e-book market and dropping, and 20% to 30% of the print market . . . [The author and agent] would have anticipated significant lost sales."

Hocking is a self-published phenomenon, selling more than a million copies of her paranormal romance titles. She has previously published nine titles.

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Jonathan - I totally agree it is very encouraging if it is true! I haven't seen any authorative figures for ebook sales yet - nevermind ebook market share. This comes from a nameless "publishing executive". Presumably the best they can be aware of is the market share of their own company's ebooks - not the whole ebook market.

There seem to be a lot of statistics thrown around concerning the state of the e-book market, most of them conflicting with each other. Unless someone has figures for the self-published and indie published titles that make up a large proportion of the Amazon bestsellers list then I don't understand how they can make any accurate claim about Amazon's e-book market share.

Regarding the comment that Hocking would have anticipated "significant lost sales", this doesn't necessarily mean she would have suffered a reduction in revenue. Having said that I suspect that she isn't just doing this for the money.

Lots of questions. Does anyone have the answers?
What do you mean by "teaming up".

The Bat says: My novel is an eBook (It's called A Calm Exterior, not that anyone'll be remotely interested, but hey, it's a bit of free publicity:-})Anyway, since it went live about a month ago I've sold 6 copies and I'm currently at number 80,966 in the Kindle Bookstore Chart on Amazon UK...

Amazon announced in PW a couple days ago that Haughton Mifflin Harcourt is re-publishing ten of their top titles and releasing them this year. Hocking's novels would've been one of that group had she signed on.

Amazonencore (amazon's publishing imprint) is sub-licensing the print version of 10 of their titles to HMH. HMH will publish them and distribute them later this year, and Amazon will keep handling the ebooks for kindle only. If Hocking would've gone with Amazon as her publisher, she would've been one of these titles. She didn't go with them because they wanted her books to be Kindle only.

Jonathan - I totally agree it is very encouraging if it is true! I haven't seen any authorative figures for ebook sales yet - nevermind ebook market share. This comes from a nameless "publishing executive". Presumably the best they can be aware of is the market share of their own company's ebooks - not the whole ebook market.

There seem to be a lot of statistics thrown around concerning the state of the e-book market, most of them conflicting with each other. Unless someone has figures for the self-published and indie published titles that make up a large proportion of the Amazon bestsellers list then I don't understand how they can make any accurate claim about Amazon's e-book market share.

Regarding the comment that Hocking would have anticipated "significant lost sales", this doesn't necessarily mean she would have suffered a reduction in revenue. Having said that I suspect that she isn't just doing this for the money.

Lots of questions. Does anyone have the answers?
What do you mean by "teaming up".

Amazonencore (amazon's publishing imprint) is sub-licensing the print version of 10 of their titles to HMH. HMH will publish them and distribute them later this year, and Amazon will keep handling the ebooks for kindle only. If Hocking would've gone with Amazon as her publisher, she would've been one of these titles. She didn't go with them because they wanted her books to be Kindle only.

The Bat says: My novel is an eBook (It's called A Calm Exterior, not that anyone'll be remotely interested, but hey, it's a bit of free publicity:-})Anyway, since it went live about a month ago I've sold 6 copies and I'm currently at number 80,966 in the Kindle Bookstore Chart on Amazon UK...

Amazon announced in PW a couple days ago that Haughton Mifflin Harcourt is re-publishing ten of their top titles and releasing them this year. Hocking's novels would've been one of that group had she signed on.