Amazon will allegedly be publishing 122 books, fiction and non-fiction, in the autumn. This is far more than many traditional publishers produce in an entire year - or two or three years, even. Not only can authors already self-publish with Amazon's Create Space (for paperbacks) and Kindle (for ebooks), not only are all authors offered virtual shelf-space and dedicated pages on Amazon's massive - and always growing - site, now Amazon is diving into the role of a traditional publisher. And I say good!
Does this action finally kill off the myth that ebooks, including self-published ebooks, don't sell? If there wasn't money to be made then a hefty company like Amazon wouldn't be expanding further into this field. While many businesses take chances, the successful ones only take informed chances.
If a product works and is wanted and is affordable, it will sell.
If a system, no matter how long-established, ceases to provide what is wanted it's customers will look elsewhere.
If producers of products find they can't get a look in edgeways with a traditional system, they'll explore other outlets for their products, just as increasing numbers of writers are doing with ebooks.
I recently read a blog by a writer who justifiably complained about the 'no reply' policy which many agents now operate despite their websites promising they'll reply within a stated time. If they're interested in an author, they'll reply within the stated time; if not, they'll simply not reply at all - so the writer is left wondering what happened, if the MS arrived, if anyone even bothered to read it, or how long they should wait before giving up and trying elsewhere. Do you really want to work with people who are so rude?
Remember the kids teasing song that went, "I'm the king of the castle, and you're the dirty rascal...?" This seems to be the attitude of many in the traditional publishing industry. Well, thanks to ebooks, we're not obliged to play that game anymore.