Self-publishing authors have discovered they can sell their books successfully despite the fact that bookstores by and large will not sell self-published books. Amazon is perfectly willing to do so and with the purchase of both BookSurge and CreateSpace and the merger of the two companies, has created a larger division for providing self-publishing authors access to the largest online book retailing store in the world.
Recent e-book deals that Amazon has signed with prominent authors such as Stephen Covey has to make one wonder a bit just what is Amazon thinking long term. Amazon owns its own POD house CreateSpace and has a close relationship with Lightning Source Inc., the largest POD printer in the U.S. and the U.K. Eliminating publishers as the middleman leaves more of the pie for the author and Amazon.
Why would a successful author with an established reputation and ability to create an author platform quickly and effectively independent of an established publishing house want to make less money when the author could form a partnership with Amazon. The author could self-publish through CreateSpace and distribute and sell both the p-book and e-book versions of a new title using Amazon's online presence to sell the book to internet shoppers and CreateSpace's new Expanded Distribution service option to sell books to books stores and other online retailers. Just as "regular" self-publishing authors hire free lance editors and book designers, so could the big name authors, producing a self-published book of equal design and production quality as one done by a traditional publishing house.
Fewer fingers in the pie means more pie for Amazon and the author. It does make you wonder what Amazon is thinking? How valuable an asset is CreateSpace in Amazon's eyes? Only the future will tell.