Tim Ferris, of 4 Hour [Insert Topic du Jour Here] fame, is putting out his next book through Amazon. But he's not using their self-publishing platform. He's the first writer to enter into their actual publishing stable.
Ferris and Amazon will release 4 Hour Chef (which doesn't ring of efficiency like his other book titles, but whatever), in both paper and electronic versions. Getting Ferris can be seen as something of a coup for Amazon, considering his last two books were New York Times Best Sellers.
Book publishers should be scared. After multiple major publishers played hardball with Amazon over the price of eBooks in the Kindle store, Amazon could very well woo away big name writers with promises of big digital sales and a huge marketing push through the Kindle. That could also translate into lower prices for books for consumers, given there will be less mouths too feed if they were to cut out the middle man.