Amazon has signed its first author as it attempts to make its mark as a book publishing, as well as a book selling, powerhouse.

The company has snagged the services of self-help guru Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour series, and will publish all of his future works.

The first of which, The 4-Hour Chef, will arrive in hardback, audio and, of course, ebook format next spring.

Ferriss says that the deal will open a lot of doors for himself and other authors.

"Amazon has a one-to-one relationship with every one of their customers," he said. "You can just imagine the possibilities that opens up."

"The opportunity to partner with a technology company that is embracing publishing is very different than partnering with a publisher embracing technology."

Monopolistic

The move allows Amazon to cut out the middle man, something that has angered the traditional publishing houses who believe Amazon Publishing is another attempt to put them out of business.

HaperCollins UK CEO Victoria Barnsley reckons the developments are "obviously a concern".

She added: "They are also a very important customer of ours and they have done fantastic things for the book industry.

"I have mixed views about them but there's no doubt they are very, very powerful now and in fact they are getting close to being in a monopolistic situation."

Amazon stepped up its efforts to establish itself in the publishing game earlier this year by hiring long-time editor and former CEO and chairman of the Time-Warner Book Group Larry Kirshbaum to head up Amazon Publishing.

Link: New York Times