Amazon Publishing Announces the Launch of ‘Icons’
August 16, 2013 | 10:17 pm
Amazon Publishing plans to release a series a short biographies looking at influential figures throughout history.
The series kicks off in December with “Jesus” by Jay Parini, a writer who has done novels, poetry and other biographies, according to an article in the NAPCO-owned Publishing Executive. The series will be called “Icons.”
“It seems appropriate to launch a series of short, thought-provoking biographies with a figure who has dominated our collective imagination and cultural iconography for over twenty centuries,” said Parini in a release “This first book in the series will consider Jesus as the human face of god and dramatize the transformation from man to myth.”
Amazon Publishing will start with 10 biographies. Many of these figures are literary or creative influences such as J.D. Salinger or Alfred Hitchcock. The second biography in the series, however, on Joseph Stalin, appears to be a 180-degree shift from the initial offering of the series.
The biographies will be published bimonthly.
“In a time when our fascination with the private aspects of public lives is so intense, it’s not surprising that biography has become one of the most prominent forms of narrative nonfiction,” said James Atlas, one of the series’ editors. “Yet reading habits have changed dramatically in the digital age and I am excited to bring these short biographies to the Kindle platform.”
The “icons” being featured in Amazon’s new series have been written about extensively, of course. Amazon’s own store has dozens (if not hundreds) of books about Jesus Christ. And the basic facts of these stories can of course be found free online, on any number of sites.
I hope Amazon Publishing is offering something new when it comes to the lives of these people. Otherwise, it just seems like a simple money grab.
The first ten books in the series are:
• ”Jesus” by Jay Parini
• “Stalin” by Paul Johnson
• “Lucian Freud” by Phoebe Hoban
• “J.D. Salinger” by Thomas Beller
• “Poe” by Paul Collins
• “Van Gogh” by Julian Bell
• “Hemingway” by Mark Kurlansky
• “David Lynch: by Dennis Lim
• “Hannah Arendt” by Anne Heller
• “Hitchcock” by Michael Wood