Tim Ferriss — the bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body, both published by Random House’s Crown imprint – was the first author to sign up with Amazon’s New York publishing imprint, headed by publishing industry vet Larry Kirshbaum.
Amazon will release Ferriss’s book on November 20, amid media coverage that the company probably isn’t thrilled about. Articles in Publishers Weekly, the Wall Street Journal and now the New York Times have focused on low print sales of Amazon NY’s first big title, Penny Marshall’s memoir My Mother Was Nuts, and bricks-and-mortar bookstores’ refusal to carry Amazon titles.

As Amazon attempts to sign big-name authors in the future, it will have to convince them that print distribution isn’t important. The 4-Hour Chef may be sold at few places other than Amazon. Barnes & Noble, the largest bookstore chain in the U.S., won’t stock Amazon titles in its stores, and many independent bookstores refuse to do so as well. 
And while Amazon is making its New York titles available as ebooks to other retailers through distributor Ingram, few rivals are biting. The ebook edition of My Mother Was Nuts, for example, is for sale at Kobo but not at Google, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store or Apple’s iBookstore.

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