Amazon has a publishing arm, a legitimate publishing arm, which has been in the news for handing out wonderfully high royalties and for the animosity traditional bookstores have expressed toward Amazon’s publishing venture.
You could publish with Amazon, but you weren’t going to find your book in Barnes & Noble.
Except that now Amazon has signed a deal with Harcourt for distribution. Amazon’s books will appear to be Harcourt books. Now, bookstores could just refuse to carry Harcourt books, but that’s a little harder to accomplish than just cutting off Amazon. So, it appears for now that a work-around had been found.
I’m curious to see how the industry responds to this.