Amazon Publishing made its first major deal since Larry Kirshbaum was named publisher of the unit, acquiring world rights to bestselling author Timothy Ferriss’ next book, The 4-Hour Chef. Ferriss has hit the bestseller list for Crown Publishing with his The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Workweek. “My decision to collaborate with Amazon Publishing wasn't just a question of which publisher to work with,” said Ferriss in a statement. “It was a question of what future of publishing I want to embrace. My readers are migrating irreversibly into digital, and it made perfect sense to work with Amazon to try and redefine what is possible. This is a chance to really show what the future of books looks like, and to deliver a beautiful experience to my readers, who always come first. I could not be more excited about what we’re doing.”
The 4-Hour Chef will be published under the New York-based Amazon Publishing imprint in print, enhanced digital and audio formats. When asked if Amazon would be selling the title in digital formats other than Kindle, a rep for the company said: "Our intention is to make this book available to any retailer who would like to sell it in any format." This comment seems to indicate that Barnes & Noble, which has said it will not carry any print editions of Amazon books if it cannot also sell the digital version, could potentially sell The 4-Hour Chef. Stephen Hanselman of LevelFiveMedia, did the deal for Ferriss. The title is expected to be released in 2012 as part of Amazon Publishing's official launch. The deal was also for just one title.
In addition to being an author, Ferriss, is an angel investor in a number of technology startups (StumbleUpon, Facebook, Digg, Twitter), guest lecturer at Princeton University, and faculty member at Singularity University, based at NASA Ames Research Center.