Obviously, if short-term profit is all that matters, Apple is winning by a mile. Apple has generated more than $73 billion of profit over the span of this chart, while Amazon is around $2 billion.
Yeah, that’s insane.
Amazon's Hit Man →
In interviews, Amazon executives cast their new effort as an experiment in the booming world of e-books, not a plan to displace the Big Six—Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Penguin, Hachette, and Macmillan. “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. Book publishing, an inefficient industry if there ever was one, seems ripe for reimagining.