Press Release

<< Back Launches New Program to Level the Playing Field for Small Publishers Advantage Program Empowers Independent Publishers to Sell More Books Online

SEATTLE, WA (February 26, 1998)-- Earth's Biggest Bookstore and leading online retailer, (Nasdaq: AMZN), today announced it will kick off Small Press Month with the launch of Advantage, an innovative new program designed to increase the visibility and sales of titles from independent publishers. Advantage will help level the playing field for smaller publishers by providing the tools and framework to ensure their books appear more often and more prominently throughout's catalog of 2.5 million titles. Typically, small publishers have been shut out of traditional distribution channels. Advantage changes that.

In the publishing industry a book must reach a certain critical mass before it makes it into existing wholesale channels. has redefined what critical mass means by combining worldwide demand with centralized distribution. Advantage is a free program enabling independent publishers to place a limited quantity of books in's distribution centers for immediate availability to customers. Member titles will be upgraded on the site to "usually ships in 24 hours," instead of the usual four to six week delivery promise for special order titles.

Participating titles will be assigned subject classifications to help surface the book through's rich subject browsing features. will also scan the book cover, at no cost to the publisher, for inclusion on the title's detail page and help member publishers add persuasive title information such as descriptions, excerpts, tables of contents, and author and publisher comments to the page. Faster book availability, improved subject browsing classification, and richer content will make it easier for customers to discover and buy books from independent publishers.

"With more than 2.5 million titles in our catalog from more than 50,000 different publishers, has always provided an opportunity for small publishers to succeed," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO. "Now through Advantage a title from an independent publisher can have the same prominence, immediate availability, and level of exposure as a title from a larger publisher who typically has more resources at their disposal."

Learn more about Advantage at Inc., Earth's Biggest Bookstore, is the largest online retailer of books. offers a catalog of 2.5 million titles, easy-to-use search and browse features, e-mail services, personalized shopping services, secure Web-based credit card payment, and direct shipping to customers. has virtually unlimited online shelf space and offers customers a vast selection through an efficient search-and-retrieval interface, as well as streamlined ordering through 1-ClickSM technology. pioneered the concept of syndicated selling on the Internet and has more than 30,000 members in its Associates Program including, Yahoo!, Netscape, Excite, the AltaVista Search Service, the @Home Network, and the Prodigy Shopping Network. is headquartered at 1516 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. Internet address: Telephone: (206) 622-2335.

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from predicted results. Potential risks and uncertainties include, among others,'s limited operating history, the unpredictability of its future revenues, and risks associated with capacity constraints and management of growth. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in the company's final prospectus, dated May 15, 1997, as well as the company's Form 10Q for the third quarter ended September 30, 1997, both filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission., Earth's Biggest Bookstore, and 1-Click are service marks of Inc. Other product and company names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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