Businessweek Profiles Amazon's Hit Man ⇒

{% blockquote -Brad Stone Amazon’s Hit Man %} “What we’re building is more like an in-house laboratory where authors and editors and marketers can test new ideas,” says Jeff Belle, vice-president of Amazon Publishing and Kirshbaum’s boss. “Success to us means working with authors who want to find new ways to connect with more readers.”

Talk like that hasn’t mollified publishers, and it’s easy to see why. They’re trying to protect a century-old business model—and their role as nurturers of literary culture—from encroachment by a company that consistently reimagines how industries can be run more efficiently. {% endblockquote %}

Gosh, that sounds a lot like the movie industry, doesn’t it? This whole artlicle is a great read, highlighting the challenges that come with trying to move a stubborn 100+ year-old industry into the future. So many memorable lines in it, like this one from author Tim Ferriss of 4-Hour Workweek fame:

Amazon will publish his new book, The 4-Hour Chef, in September. “For me it was a choice between publishers embracing technology and a world-class technology company embracing publishing,” Ferris says. “The latter will give me more of a chance to improvise and experiment.”