A Journey Down the Amazon.com River

March 1997
by Ken Lee, Michael Wiese Productions

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In a year filled with frustrating statistics for the publishing industry
(huge returns, low margins, another book by Howard Stern), a Seattle-based
company has guided the book industry down an unknown path with an eclectic
mixture of high-tech wizardry, marketing savvy, and a genuine passion for

For those who haven’t heard yet, here are some facts about Amazon.com:First opened its cyber doors to the public in July 1995.The largest cyberspace bookstore in the world.Offers customers over 1.1 million book titles.Allows buyers to search for books by author, title, and subject.Customers can read reviews, post their own reviews, add books into their personal “shopping bag,” and purchase books online.Sales have been growing at more than 25% per month since its inception.

I spoke with Jennifer Cast, Director of Marketing for Amazon.com, who shared
her insights into the remarkable growth of this company. We also discussed
some specific tips on how publishers can utilize the services of Amazon.com
to promote and sell their titles.

KL: How did the company get its start?

JC: Jeff Bezsos was a successful young executive on Wall Street who was
looking for an opportunity to create his own business. Like others, Jeff was
fascinated with the phenomenal growth of the Internet and he began to
research business opportunities using the Net.

After careful analysis, he started Amazon.com which, in just a few months,
has become the most successful Internet bookstore in the world.<P…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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