Amazon grew its publishing arm this week with the purchase of publisher Avalon Books, while will include the rights to over three thousand backlist titles previously published by Avalon. These books will be placed in the various imprints of Amazon Publishing by genre depending on whether they are romance, Western, or mystery. Avalon has been well-known and well-respected as a publishing imprint for over fifty years, but second generation company leader Ellen Bouregy Mickelsen is handing the reins to Amazon Publishing.
“I’ve been running Avalon Books–which was founded by my father–since 1995, and it is time for me to explore the next chapter of my life,” said Mickelsen, Publisher of Avalon Books, in a press release. “I chose Amazon Publishing because they care deeply about the writers, readers, and categories that have long mattered to our family business and they are uniquely positioned to assure that our titles make the leap forward into the digital future. I am pleased they have asked me to assist during a period of transition to provide continuity and support for our authors.”
The titles that Amazon will acquire from Avalon have not yet been converted to digital, so both parties are excited about the transition to ebook and the ability to make these titles available in the Kindle store. Amazon Publishing has several imprints under its label, including Montlake for romance, 47North for an eclectic mix of urban fantasy, and Thomas & Mercer for mystery and thriller; Amazon Publishing also contains two other imprints, Amazon Encore and Amazon Crossing.
The full press release is included below, along with further comments from Amazon on the new venture.
Avalon titles in the Romance, Mystery and Western categories to be available digitally for the first time
SEATTLE, WA—June 4, 2012—Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Avalon Books today announced that Amazon Publishing has acquired the publication rights from Avalon Books to over 3,000 backlist titles predominantly in the Romance, Mystery and Western categories. Established in 1950 by Thomas Bouregy, Avalon Books has long been a home to writers specializing in wholesome entertainment across popular genres, such as Holly Jacobs, Carolyn Hughey and Carolyn Brown, whose book “The Ladies’ Room” is nominated for a 2012 RITA by the Romance Writers of America.
“I’ve been running Avalon Books–which was founded by my father–since 1995, and it is time for me to explore the next chapter of my life,” said Ellen Bouregy Mickelsen, Publisher of Avalon Books. “I chose Amazon Publishing because they care deeply about the writers, readers, and categories that have long mattered to our family business and they are uniquely positioned to assure that our titles make the leap forward into the digital future. I am pleased they have asked me to assist during a period of transition to provide continuity and support for our authors.”
“Avalon has a long tradition in publishing wonderful stories that affirm a positive way of life,” said Philip Patrick, Director, Business Development, Rights and Licensing. “We are thrilled to have these talented writers join our publishing program. None of these titles have been digitized yet and we know Kindle customers will delight in this great new offering.”
Avalon books will be published under the West Coast imprints of Amazon Publishing, including Montlake Romance and Thomas & Mercer. These books will continue to be available in print for booksellers and libraries nationwide. Ms. Mickelsen will be assisting for several months to support a smooth transition for authors and to help secure eBook amendments for some of the older Avalon titles whose digital rights are not owned by Avalon, with the intention of bringing these books to a wider audience.
Avalon Books was advised on the transaction by Bill Barry who acted as exclusive broker on its behalf.
Amazon Publishing is the publishing arm of Amazon.com. Amazon Publishing’s West Coast Group includes imprints AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Montlake Romance, Thomas & Mercer, and 47North. Amazon Publishing’s East Coast Group publishes adult trade, children’s and young adult titles. For more information about all imprints of Amazon Publishing, visit www.amazon.com/amazonpublishing. Amazon Publishing is a brand used by Amazon Content Services, LLC.
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