Press Release

<< Back Catapults Independent Author Into The Big Leagues

Author M.J. Rose makes publishing history by becoming the first author to be discovered through the Internet

SEATTLE, August 17, 1999 --/PRNewswire/-- and author M.J. Rose make publishing history today as her book Lip Service hits the street to become the first self-published novel discovered online. Rose, an independent author, was selling her book through and, as a result, has won a major publishing contract with Pocket Books.

Rose was a participant in Advantage, a free program that solves two of independent authors' biggest problems: visibility and widespread distribution.

Two years ago, when Rose was turned downed by traditional publishers, she decided to establish her own imprint, Lady Chatterley's Library, and publish her novel herself. Through Advantage (, Rose was able to market and distribute her book directly to customers so successfully that the Doubleday Book Club selected it as a featured alternate. After enrolling in the Advantage program, Lip Service generated such a buzz from the large volume of positive reader reviews that the publishing industry was forced to take notice. As a result, Lip Service became the Literary Guild's first selection drawn directly from online sources, and it is the first self-published novel the book club has ever acquired. Subsequently, Pocket Books bought the North American rights to republish Lip Service, and the sale of film rights are now in discussion.

"My dreams of driving cross-country selling books from the trunk of my car became a nightmare when every independent bookstore I approached refused to stock a self-published book," said Rose. "Through and the Advantage program, my dreams became a reality. Advantage gave Lip Service the same prominence, immediate availability, and level of exposure as a bestselling novel from a larger publisher."

" Advantage is great for customers and authors," said Carl Gish, General Manager of Books at "It provides small publishers and self-published authors exposure to our more than 10 million customers and gives our customers a vast selection of books that truly can't be found anywhere else."

In the publishing industry, a book must reach a certain critical mass before it makes it into retail channels. With's unlimited virtual shelf space, Advantage enables independent publishers and authors to place a limited quantity of books in's distribution centers for immediate sale and delivery to customers all over the world. helps Advantage members sell books by enhancing their online presence with cover art and space for synopsis and review. At no cost to the publisher, will scan the book cover and help publishers add valuable title information, such as descriptions, excerpts, tables of contents, and author comments to the page. Participating titles will be assigned subject classifications to help surface the book through's rich subject-browsing features. Faster book availability, improved subject-browsing classification, and richer content will make it easier for customers to discover and buy books from independent publishers.

Since its launch in February 1998, Advantage has grown in popularity and is also offered to record labels, musicians, filmmakers, and video producers. As a result, independent musicians, filmmakers, publishers, and authors have the chance to attract a worldwide audience, while customers have the opportunity to discover titles that may never appear on the limited shelf space of physical retail stores.

About, Inc., Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 video, and No. 1 book retailer, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest SelectionTM with online auctions, toys, electronics, free electronic greeting cards, and more than 4.7 million book, music-CD, video, DVD, and computer-game titles. seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. As part of its efforts to provide the best shopping experience for customers, provides secure credit-card payment, personalized recommendations, streamlined ordering through 1-ClickSM technology, and hassle-free auction bidding with Bid-ClickSM. operates two international Web sites: in the United Kingdom and in Germany. also operates PlanetAll (, a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (, the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. also operates (, the sole provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.

In addition, has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient:, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at;, the online leader for pet products, expert information and services, at;, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, at;, which offers brand name sporting goods at prices from 20% to 90% off retail, at .

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others,'s limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999 and June 30, 1999.

NOTE:, Auctions,,, Internet Movie Database, PlanetAll, Earth's Biggest Selection, Bid-Click and 1-Click are either registered trademarks or trademarks of, Inc., or its affiliates. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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