Amazon.com has been publishing books for several years, but since hiring famed editor and agent Laurence Kirshbaum three months ago, the online retailer has managed to snag its first major book deal. Amazon announced yesterday that it had signed self-help guru Timothy Ferriss, author of the popular 4-Hour series.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Ferriss told The New York Times, “I don’t feel like I’m giving up anything, financially or otherwise” by signing with Amazon.
Ferriss' first book, The 4-Hour Workweek, has been on The New York Times Advice best-seller list for 84 weeks, while his second, The 4-Hour Body, has been on the list for 33 weeks. Both were published by Random House division Crown. Amazon will publish the third title in the series, The 4-Hour Chef, this spring as a hardcover, e-book, and audio book.
Ferriss told the Times that he approached Amazon about a book deal, not the other way around. He didn’t give Crown a chance to match Amazon’s offer, he said, because it never could have. “The opportunity to partner with a technology company that is embracing publishing is very different than partnering with a publisher embracing technology,” he said.
And according to Amazon Publishing vice president Jeff Belle, Ferriss isn’t the only writer who has contacted Amazon. “There are a number of high-profile authors who reach out to us regularly,” he said, if not to sign a book deal, then at least to see how they could improve sales.