Amazon.com Inc. delved deeper into the publishing business with a new agreement with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, letting the New York company distribute titles from Amazon Publishing’s East Coast Group.
The books, including works from authors such as Deepak Chopra and James Franco, will debut later this year, the companies said today in a statement.
This is a big deal, because a lot of bookstores simply won't order books from Amazon.com, but just about every bookstore already works with Houghton Mifflin, which is one of the austere, old-school publishers. It's a sign that Amazon.com doesn't foresee the end of the bookstore market anytime soon. I suspect a lot of bookstores will still refuse to carry Amazon's books, but this deal makes it harder for them to ignore the books and easier for them to order the titles if their customers want them. It's a smart deal for Amazon.