June 5, 2012

Amazon purchases romance & crime fiction publisher Avalon


The small but venerable publishing house Avalon has been swept off in the river. The perimeters of the deal have yet to be announced, but Amazon‘s increasingly large publishing arm has added over 3,000 titles from Avalon’s 62-year-old back list.

Julie Bosman reports for the New York Times:

Ellen Bouregy Mickelsen, the publisher of Avalon Books, said in a statement: “I’ve been running Avalon Books – which was founded by my father — since 1995, and it is time for me to explore the next chapter of my life. I chose Amazon Publishing because they care deeply about the writers, readers, and categories that have long mattered to our family business and they are uniquely positioned to assure that our titles make the leap forward into the digital future.”

Like when it bought up Ian Fleming‘s James Bond books earlier this year, Amazon is trying to either sneak-by or overwhelm its detractors with a vertiginous mix of titles and imprints. More than ever the question of how much is too much is important. How far will the DOJ allow Amazon to go and how much control over the production, distribution and retailing of books can Amazon attain before being deemed a monopoly?

The answer, apparently, is a lot.


Paul Oliver is the marketing manager of Melville House. Previously he was co-owner of Wolfgang Books in Philadelphia.