Amazon could phase out publishers

<p>Forbes.com looks at &quot;how Amazon could change publishing&quot;. </p><p>The first major technology-enabled change in the books industry came when digital print-on-demand presses started becoming affordable, but for authors looking to gain serious readership, the big question still remains unanswered: How would they market and distribute their books?</p><p>&quot;Enter Amazon.com,&quot; writes entrepreneur Sramana Mitra. &quot;Some surveys suggest that online booksellers could become the largest channel for book sales by 2009, and Amazon is certainly the 800-pound gorilla in that market--it&#39;s the largest bookseller in the world&quot; and &quot;what really keeps customers coming back is the outstanding user experience&quot;, in great part due to its recommendation system.</p><p>In addition, in 2005, Amazon acquired the print-on-demand company BookSurge and Mobipocket.com, an e-book software company, and in November, it launched the e-book reader Kindle. According to Forbes, Amazon is now poised to revolutionise the book printing business through vertical integration. </p><p>The company recently announced it would require all print-on-demand publishers to use its BookSurge print-on-demand, and &quot;over the next few years, Amazon likely will use its power to build direct relationships with authors and gradually phase out publishers and agents&quot;, predicts Mitra. &quot;It will first go after the independent print-on-demand self-publishers and get the best authors from that world. Amazon will then take on the large publishers. For decades, the publishing industry has taken advantage of authors. Amazon: authors are counting on you to turn the table!&quot;</p>