Amazon's first major publishing acquisition worries publishers

Amazon's aggressive move into publishing has continued with its signing of bestselling self-help author Timothy Ferriss. has made the first 'major' acquisition for its New York-based publishing imprint, snapping up rights in bestselling self-help author Timothy Ferriss's new book The 4-Hour Chef.

Amazon's imprints how cover everything from romance to literature in translation and mysteries and thrillers. Earlier this summer it hired publishing bigwig Larry Kirshbaum, former chief executive of the Time Warner Book Group, to head up its New York imprint, and it is Kirshbaum who has spearheaded the world rights deal for Ferriss's work.

Ferriss, whose previous books were published by Random House imprint Crown, said that his decision to move to Amazon Publishing 'wasn't just a question of which publisher to work with. It was a question of what future of publishing I want to embrace.'

Many mainstream publishers are likely to beworried by the latest show of dominance from the online player.

'Amazon's foray into book publishing ... is obviously a concern. They have very deep pockets and they are now a very, very powerful global competitor of ours,' HarperCollins UK's chief executive Victoria Barnsley told Radio 4's The World at One . 'They're this weird thing. We call them frenemies ... They are very, very powerful now – in fact they are getting close to being in a sort of a monopolistic situation. They control over 90% of physical online market in UK and over 70% of the ebook market so that's a very, very powerful position to be in. So yes, it is a concern.'