Once upon a time, selling directly to consumers was a rarity in the book publishing business. Now, publishers of all types are doing it, or planning to. This trend has been enabled by the web and complemented by publishers’ parallel social media strategies. It is driven by the desire to connect with readers and the strategic threat posed by publishers’ number one trading partner, Amazon, who has explicitly promised to disintermediate publishers, even referring to smaller publishers as sickly gazelles to be culled.

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