The online retailing giant flew out a dozen of New York's top literary agents last week for a day of meetings at its Seattle headquarters. Steven Kessel, senior vice president of worldwide digital media, led the all-day presentations and discussions, which centered on Amazon's wildly successful Kindle e-reader and the future of the e-books business.In the words of one agent, the day-long event apparently was intended to convince the group that Amazon is "not trying to destroy publishing as we know it.”
Some publishing insiders speculated whether Amazon might be planning to ask the agents to act as middle men to make "direct e-book deals with major authors." Amazon was quick to deny this charge.
It turns out this wasn't the first feeler Amazon had put out to literary agents. Lynn Nesbit of Janklow & Nesbit acknowledged meeting with Amazon on a previous occasion in New York.
While Crain's article did not name any of the agents at Thursday's meeting, Paul Constant of The Slog website in Seattle did. In pointing out that this approach is new to Amazon, Constant said:
They usually don't play ball with the New York big-shots, and putting agents like Melanie Jackson, Ira Silverberg, Charlotte Sheedy, Nicole Aragi and Melanie Jackson at the Hotel Andra is a big deal for the company.Read the Crain post here.
Read The Slog here.