Amazon.com is increasingly expanding into the business of book publishing, and it has some formidable distribution mechanisms in the form of its own e-commerce site and Kindle devices. But what about people who prefer to pick up the ink-and-pulp versions in the local bookstore?
Amazon Publishing’s East Coast Group this week announced a new licensing agreement with publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to publish and distribute Amazon titles outside the Amazon.com platform. Books covered by the deal include titles from authors such as Tim Ferriss, Penny Marshall, Deepak Chopra, and James Franco.
The agreement comes in addition to an existing licensing deal between Houghton Mifflin and Amazon Publishing’s West Coast group, based in Seattle.
One wild card is Barnes & Noble, which competes with Amazon and has has said it won’t stock books in its stores that it doesn’t also have the right to publish as e-books. As noted by PaidContent, it’s not clear if Amazon and B&N have separately addressed that issue, or if the Houghton Mifflin deal will give Amazon an avenue into Barnes & Noble stores.