Is Amazon Buying Simon and Schuster?

dealHere is something I don’t think many people saw coming. The internet is abuzz with rumors that Amazon is in negotiations to buy big ink publisher Simon and Schuster. The internet is always abuzz with something, and I don’t know whether this is real or not. It may be a stratagem aimed at scaring Hachette off the fence in its negotiations with Amazon. But Passive Guy is also reporting it, so maybe there is something there after all.

Kozlowski (link above) reports:

The publishing industry could be turned onto its head with a recent revelation that Amazon is in talks to purchase big 5 publisher Simon and Schuster. If the deal were to get done, this would give Amazon major distribution to physical bookstores under their own imprint and change the publishing world forever.

Notwithstanding that everything that happens seems to threaten to change the publishing world forever, this does conjure up some pretty dramatic images.

As always, Amazon is not talking. My favorite part of any article about Amazon is always at the end of the article: A spokesperson for Amazon refused to comment. Seriously? I think maybe Amazon is using the title “spokesperson” incorrectly. It would make more sense if they changed the person’s title to stonewaller. A stonewaller for Amazon refused to comment. There. That makes sense.

Anyway, if Amazon really did buy its own big fat pet publisher, that could represent some major upheaval. Will the Bezoids still love indies if they have their own big brand to push? What about Apple? Will Apple respond in kind, scooping up Hachette? Will Random Penguin scramble to buy Barnes & Noble to squeeze its competitors out of the brick and mortar markets? Will Yahoo respond by buying up DC Comics?

Fun times. What are your predictions?

Author: Stephen Hise

Stephen Hise is the Evil Mastermind and founder of Indies Unlimited. Hise is an independent author and an avid supporter of the indie author movement. Learn more about Stephen at his website or his Amazon author page.

22 thoughts on “Is Amazon Buying Simon and Schuster?”

  1. Just when you think it can’t get any crazier….I would make a prediction but admit that at this point I’m completely flummoxed

  2. This is pretty scary. It’s no secret amazon wants all publishing to be through them, with no competition whatsoever. (Maybe all retail, too) This would be a big step.
    Despite all the good, wonderful things amazon has created and accomplished, I continue to regard them as evil monopoloists. And once monopolies are established, things rarely get better for anybody concerned. When a big oil company cuts gas prices to drive smaller companies out of business, it’s not done for the betterment of humanity… and those low prices don’t last.

  3. Let’s face it: Anything is possible when it comes to Big Business. If an acquisition can be a money-maker for a company, that’s all that will matter in the end–and the rest of us be damned!

  4. And the writing and reading public hold their collective breath, turning a lovely shade of purple. You see, Amazon is taking a quick census to see who cares what happens. It’s a quick and dirty way to count noses without all the red tape. Problem is, when we have to take a breath ourcolour returns to normal and so we are missed in the count. Bottom line – we lose again. 😉

  5. My prediction is that Kozlowski took a mostly boring story about Amazon beginning price negotiations with S&S, similar to the ongoing Hachette negotiations, and turned it into clickbait. (eyeroll)

    Although it would be fun to watch if it were true. I’d be buying into the popcorn concession, for sure. 😀

    1. If I had to bet, I’d bet on Lynne being correct on this. It took me a while to come up with a theory that would even makes sense for Amazon to do this. I came up with two ideas.

      The first, it gives them print distribution.Possibly a good thing in the short term, but I couldn’t see that fitting into Amazon long term strategy and almost certainly not worth the price I’d expect them to have to pay.

      The second theory is the only reason I’ll entertain the thought that there is any possibility this *might* be true. Back list.

  6. I’m sure Amazon has secret agents out reading blogs like this one to see who’s paying attention and what the reactions are. NSA? Nah. Just an Amazon stonewaller.

          1. I mentioned this as a possibility instead of buying out the publisher. The rental rights are most likely outside the terms of their current contracts. They would need to negotiate this into a new contract.

  7. A spokesperson for Amazon just gave us that dead fish stare.

    The only way Barnes and Noble will ever go under is if Amazon develops “Sniff-O-Rama” on the Internet.

    I get giddy when I go into a Barnes and Noble. That aroma of fresh print hits you like aged gonja, and the aisles and rows of books, magazines, music, puzzles, sports, $15.00 newspapers from overseas, pizza makers and knick knacks, it all sends your senses into a delirious tailspin. Amazon offers “Click Here.”

    I will say this for Amazon. I have never clicked on the site and had to look at some guy with a neatly trimmed beard—touch of gray, wire-rimmed glasses, laptop and cup of la-la, reading “Mother Jones” and nodding his head in smarmy approval.

  8. Assuming this is true, what would the potential benefits be? I’m asking, as I’m still quite new to the self-publishing arena. Wider distribution? A change in print-on-demand return policies? In this hypothetical future, I think Amazon would continue to support independent authors–as publishers seen to be in a natural state of contraction anyhow–although I wonder if they would not pursue a “tiered” support structure with authors as they have done with their shipping changes.

    1. Christian,

      If it is true (and I don’t think it is) the place to look isn’t to self-publishing, but to Amazon’s publishing imprints which are not much different than a traditional publishing company (although from all reports, they treat their authors better).

      1. Thanks for clearing that up. It actually propelled me to check out what, exactly, Amazon Imprints is! I didn’t know anything about that side of their business.

  9. Well…what about the new ebook subscription Amazon is launching? It is all over Kboards yesterday and today. I don’t get half of this. It is over my head.
    #am editing.

  10. If this is true, then S&S is the brightest of the traditional publishers. Maybe they are concerned over the new Google goals and decided to team up…. Hmm

  11. You guys know everything about it that I know. Beyond that, I can only say a spokesperson for Indies Unlimited refused to comment. 😉

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