4 original manuscripts getting published via Amazon Encore

Amazon is going to publish 4 original manuscripts via Amazon Encore in Spring 2010 – marking its next step in making Encore a pillar of Book Publishing.

The four books were entries to Amazon’s 2009 Breakthrough Novel Award and it’s the first time the Amazon Encore program is adding books that haven’t been published before.

The Bookseller chimes in -

 In March, Amazon will publish Pages from a Tennessee Journal, a debut novel from Francine Thomas Howard and Steffan Piper’s Greyhound.

Paul Reid’s A Cruel Harvest will be published in April, while in May, Andrew Fukada’s Crossing is due to come out. All four books will be available through the Kindle store as well as Amazon.com.

The Amazon Encore page now lists 10 titles (so it’s 6 new Encore titles – not just 4) -

  1. Legacy by Cayla Kluver – published in August 2009. 
  2. Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane – scheduled to release February 2010.
  3. A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott – scheduled to release February 2010.
  4. They Never Die Quietly by D. M. Annechino – February 2010.
  5. Page from a Tennesse Journal by Francine Thomas Howard – Scheduled for March 2010.
  6. Strings Attached by Nick Nolan – March 2010. This book is not included in the Amazon Press Release.
  7. Greyhound by Steffan Piper – March 2010.
  8. Silent Tears by Kay Bratt – March 2010. This book is also not included in the Amazon Press Release.
  9. A Cruel Harvest by Paul Reid – April 2010.
  10. Crossing by Andrew Fukada – April 2010.  

Amazon is certainly adding titles at a fast clip.

A little more on the new Amazon Encore Titles

Amazon has a Press Release with details on the 4 manuscripts making it to Amazon Encore.

There’s a little about ‘Page from a Tennessee Journal’ -

… based “Page From a Tennessee Journal” on a well-guarded family secret.

The debut novel is about the lives of two Southern farming families–one white, one black–and their interconnected lives set in racially oppressive Tennessee a century ago.

Some details on Steffan Piper’s Greyhound -

Steffan Piper’s “Greyhound” is set in the early ’80s, and tells the story of 12-year-old Sebastien Ranes, who travels 2,000 miles across the country on a Greyhound bus, chronicling the lessons he learns and people he meets along the way.

Piper, based in Los Angeles, had previously self-published one novel and three books of poetry. “Greyhound” will also be published in March 2010.

A Cruel Harvest seems to be a love story -

“A Cruel Harvest” tells the epic tale of two young lovers who are separated in a pirate raid on their Irish fishing village and forced to face terrible danger at the hands of tyrants in order to be reunited.

The novel, set in 1790, stretches from the windswept coast of Ireland to the sun-baked hills of Morocco.

The author, Paul Reid, was born and raised in Cork, and lives on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Cork Harbour.

Finally, Andrew Fukuda’s Crossing -

… a debut novel that explores the Asian-American immigrant experience in modern-day America, and exposes the day-to-day cruelty of life in high schools, was inspired by the author’s time spent working with immigrant teenagers in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

The half-Chinese, half-Japanese Fukuda lives on Long Island, New York. “Crossing” will be published in May 2010.

It’s interesting that the authors selected for Encore are different from the ones who finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in last year’s contest (the winner gets a book deal from Penguin).

What do we make of these new additions to Amazon Encore? 

Amazon is expanding its Encore program very, very quickly.

  1. There was just 1 book in 2009. 
  2. It’s just January and already 9 books have been announced for the first 4 months of 2010.
  3. It’s moved from self-published books to books that haven’t ever been published.

Independent Authors and Encore could be Amazon’s hedge against Publishers

The two main risks to the Kindle’s dominance are Apple’s iSlate and Publishers.

There’s little Amazon can do about the iSlate. However, there is a lot it can do about Publishers -

  1. Start finding talent before they do.
  2. Set up an alternate stream of quality books and eliminate the dependence on Publishers. 
  3. Play Publishers against other options and thus keep prices at $9.99.
  4. Have something to fight Publishers if they try to lock Amazon out via ebook delays and other measures.

Building up Encore and letting indie authors thrive in the Kindle Store is the perfect hedge.

Amazon is building up its own supply of books - Encore and the Kindle Store are critical parts of it.

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