Amazon.com ( AMZN ), the largest digital bookseller, has added another weapon to its arsenal: a 10-year exclusive deal to publish all 14 classics of James Bond spy novels written by the late Ian Fleming. The rights cover both print and digital formats in North America.
How much Amazon had to dish out remains a mystery. But we hear that Penguin, which previously had the global English print rights thought they were too expensive to renew.
In any case, Amazon will bring all-new versions of titles such as Dr. No , Casino Royale , The Spy Who Loved Me , Goldfinger and by summer under the Thomas & Mercer imprint, which is for Amazon's mystery genre. Management remains silent about the price of the e-books as well as the hard copies.
The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling; the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer and other such new novels have stolen the limelight in recent times. These famous titles were made into blockbuster films. The Ian Fleming Publication house think that Amazon has the capability of renewing interest in James Bond, thereby keeping the hero alive.
Amazon leaves no stone unturned to strengthen its book sales. The company is spending huge amounts to acquire titles and publishing rights from various sources. It continues to add new authors to build its publishing business.
Additionally, the recent Department of Justice suit against Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) and five other publishing houses for rigging the price of e-books is expected to help Amazon in this endeavor. These companies had tried to take business from Amazon, but the significant increase in book prices (Amazon charged just $9.99) aroused the interest of regulators.
Some believe that this is another Amazon strategy to lower prices and eliminate intermediaries between producers and customers. It is directly promoting its Kindle Direct Publishing for its e-book business for this purpose. Whatever the case, there is no doubt that Amazon will remain the leader in this segment of the market for some time.
Amazon shares currently have a Zacks Rank of #3, implying a Hold recommendation in the next 1-3 months.
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