Amazon prides itself on unraveling the established order. This fall, signs of Amazon-inspired disruption are everywhere.There is the slow-motion crackup of electronics showroom Best Buy. There is Amazon’s rumored entry into the wine business, which is already agitating competitors. And there is the merger of Random House and Penguin, an effort to create a mega-publisher sufficiently hefty to negotiate with the retailer on equal terms.Amazon inspires anxiety just about everywhere, but its publishing arm is getting pushback from all sorts of booksellers.
After several reboots, e-book publishing is seeing signs of growth. Recent sales figures compiled by the Open eBook Forum (OeBF) have given publishers an indication of what the future holds. And that future might be now. For the first quarter of 2004, e-books posted double-digit growth (28 percent), and though revenue is projected to be a modest $13 million for the year, sales are rising, and the OeBF, an international trade and standards organization for the electronic publishing industry, began tracking sales of trade titles via a monthly bestseller list in March. Given all the optimism, publishers have taken a harder look at their