To our shareowners:
The Power of Invention
“To us, the value of Amazon Web Services is undeniable – in twenty seconds, we can double our server capacity. In a high-growth environment like ours and with a small team of developers, it’s very important for us to trust that we have the best support to give to the music community around the world. Five years ago, we would have crashed and been down without knowing when we would be back. Now, because of Amazon’s continued innovation, we can provide the best technology and continue to grow.” That’s Christopher Tholen, the Chief Technology Officer of BandPage. His comments about how AWS helps with the critical need to scale compute capacity quickly and reliably are not hypothetical: BandPage now helps 500,000 bands and artists connect with tens of millions of fans.
“So, I started selling on Amazon in April of 2011, and by the time we became the top Amazon lunchbox seller in June, we had between 50 and 75 orders a day. When we hit August and September – our busiest time, with the start of the school year – we had 300, sometimes 500 orders a day. It was just phenomenal… I’m using Amazon to fulfill my orders, which makes my life easier. Plus, when my customers found out they could get free shipping with Prime subscriptions, the lunchboxes began selling like crazy.” Kelly Lester is the “mom entrepreneur” of EasyLunchboxes, her own innovative line of easy-to-pack, environmentally friendly lunchbox containers.
“I sort of stumbled onto it, and it opened a whole new world for me. Since I had over a thousand [book] titles at my house, I thought, ‘I’ll give this a try.’ I sold some and I kept expanding it and expanding it, and come to find out this was so much fun I decided I don’t ever want to get another job again. And I’ve got no boss – other than my wife, that is. What could be better than that? We actually work together on this. We both go out hunting, so it’s a team effort that’s worked out very well. We sell about 700 books a month. We ship between 800 and 900 to Amazon each month and Amazon ships out the 700 that people buy. Without Amazon handling shipping and customer service, my wife and I would have to be running to the post office or someplace every day with dozens of packages. With that part taken care of for us, life is much simpler… This is a terrific program and I love it. After all, Amazon supplies the customers and even ships the books. I mean, how can it get better than that?” Bob Frank founded RJF Books and More after getting laid off in the midst of the economic downturn. He and his wife split their time between Phoenix and Minneapolis, and he describes finding the books he sells like “a treasure hunt every day.”
「我偶然发现Amazon，结果它为我打开了一个新的世界。由于我家里有上千本书，所以我想试着在Amazon上卖点书。我卖了一些书，然后不断扩张业务。接着，我发现这实在太有趣了，我决定不再寻找其他工作，专职做这项业务。没有老板，而且可以和妻子一起工作，有什么工作比这个工作更好呢？我们为此一起努力，外出寻宝找书，团队合作非常顺利。我们每个月向Amazon寄出800至900本书，可卖出其中约700本书，并由Amazon帮我们处理物流。没有Amazon的物流及客服服务，我和我的妻子需要每天扛着几十个包裹到快递收件中心寄货。有了这些服务，我们的生活变得更加简单。这是相当了不起的服务，我非常喜欢。毕竟，Amazon除了帮助我们销售，还帮我们处理物流，还有什么比这个服务更好？」在经济不景气中被裁员之后，Bob Frank创立了RJF Book。他和妻子花时间在凤凰城和明尼阿波利斯之间寻找书籍，他将这样的过程称之为「每日寻宝」。
“Because of Kindle Direct Publishing, I earn more royalties in one month than I ever did in a year of writing for a traditional house. I have gone from worrying about if I will be able to pay the bills – and there were many months when I couldn’t – to finally having real savings, even thinking about a vacation; something I haven’t done in years… Amazon has allowed me to really spread my wings. Prior, I was boxed into a genre, yet I had all of these other books I wanted to write. Now I can do just that. I manage my career. I feel as if I finally have a partner in Amazon. They understand this business and have changed the face of publishing for the good of the writer and the reader, putting choices back into our hands.” That’s A. K. Alexander, author of Daddy’s Home, one of the top 100 best-selling Kindle books in March.
「由于使用了Kindle自助出版（Kindle Direct Publishing），我在一个月内获得的版税比为传统出版社写作一年还多。过去我经常担心收入是否能支付生活开支，但现在我不用担心了。我开始有了积蓄，甚至考虑给自己放个假，假期可是我好几年想都不敢想的事。Amazon让我能够真正展翅高飞。以前，虽然我想写很多类型的书，但我往往会被出版社定型成特定类型的作家。现在，我可以写各种我想写的类型的书。我管理自己的事业，我感觉自己在Amazon中有合作伙伴。他们了解这项业务，并为作家和读者的利益改变了出版业的面貌，将选择权重新交到我们手上。」 《Daddy’s Home》是三月份最畅销的Kindle电子书之一，它的作者A. K. Alexander如此说道。
“I had no idea that March of 2010, the first month I decided to publish on KDP, would be a defining moment in my life. Within a year of doing so, I was making enough on a monthly basis to quit my day job and focus on writing full time! The rewards that have sprung out of deciding to publish through KDP have been nothing short of life changing. Financially. Personally. Emotionally. Creatively. The ability to write full time, to be home with my family, and to write exactly what I want without the input of a legacy publisher marketing committee wanting to have a say in every detail of my writing, has made me a stronger writer, a more prolific writer, and most importantly a far happier one…. Amazon and KDP are literally enabling creativity in the publishing world and giving writers like me a shot at their dream, and for that I am forever grateful.” That’s Blake Crouch, author of several thrillers, including the Kindle best seller Run.
“Amazon has made it possible for authors like me to get their work in front of readers and has changed my life. In a little over a year, I have sold nearly 250,000 books through the Kindle and have traded in old dreams for bigger and better ones. Four of my books have hit the Top 100 Kindle Best Sellers List. Also, I have been approached by agents, foreign sales people, and two movie producers, and have received mentions in the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, and PC Magazine, and was recently interviewed by USA Today. Mostly, I am excited that all writers now have the opportunity to get their work in front of readers without jumping through insurmountable hoops. Writers have more options and readers have more choices. The publishing world is changing fast, and I plan to enjoy every minute of the ride.” Theresa Ragan is the KDP author of multiple Kindle best sellers including Abducted.
「Amazon让我这样的作家有机会在读者面前展示作品，改变了我的生活。在一年多的时间内，我透过Kindle售出近25万本书，用旧的梦想交换更大的新梦想。我有四本书进入Kindle畅销排行榜100名，代理商、国外销售人员和两个电影制片人和我联系合作事宜，《LA Times》、《Wall Street Journal》和《PC Magazine》对我进行介绍，而我最近还接受了《USA Today》的采访。让我感到兴奋的是，此时此刻任何作家都有机会在读者面前展示自己的作品。作家有了更多选择，读者也是。出版界瞬息万变，我享受每一分钟的旅程。」《Abducted》等多本Kindle畅销书作者Theresa Ragan如此说道。
“Past age 60 and in the midst of the recession, my wife and I found our income options severely limited. KDP was my one shot at a lifelong dream – our only chance at financial salvation. Within months of publishing, KDP has completely changed our lives, enabling this aging nonfiction writer to launch a brand-new career as a best-selling novelist. I can’t say enough on behalf of Amazon and the many tools that they make available to independent authors. Without reservation, I urge fellow writers to investigate and seize the opportunities that KDP offers. As I’ve happily discovered, there is zero downside risk – and the potential is virtually unlimited.” Robert Bidinotto is the author of the Kindle best seller Hunter: A Thriller.
「在经济衰退期间，我和我的妻子发现自己的收入来源选项很有限，此时我们已经60岁了。Kindle自助出版是我对毕生梦想的一次尝试－我们仅有的财务机遇。出版后几个月内，Kindle自助出版大大改变了我的生活，使一名年迈的非小说家，可以用新的身分－畅销小说作者重新开始。我并不能充分代表Amazon，他们为独立工作者提供很多工具。我毫无保留地鼓励其他作家研究Kindel自助出版，好好保握Amazon提供的机遇。我很高兴地发现，风险为零而潜力几乎无限。」Kindle畅销书《Hunter: A Triller》的作者Robert Bidinotto如此说道。
“I leveraged KDP’s technology to blow through all the traditional gatekeepers. Can you imagine how that feels, after struggling so hard, for so long, for every … single … reader? Now, inspirational fiction lovers I never would have reached are enjoying Nobody and my other two novels from the Kindle Store at $2.99. I’ve always wanted to write a Cinderella story. Now I have. And, thanks to Prince Charming (KDP), there will be more to come…” Creston Mapes is the author of the Kindle best seller Nobody.
Invention comes in many forms and at many scales. The most radical and transformative of inventions are often those that empower others to unleash their creativity – to pursue their dreams. That’s a big part of what’s going on with Amazon Web Services, Fulfillment by Amazon, and Kindle Direct Publishing. With AWS, FBA, and KDP, we are creating powerful self-service platforms that allow thousands of people to boldly experiment and accomplish things that would otherwise be impossible or impractical. These innovative, large-scale platforms are not zero-sum – they create win-win situations and create significant value for developers, entrepreneurs, customers, authors, and readers.
Amazon Web Services has grown to have thirty different services and thousands of large and small businesses and individual developers as customers. One of the first AWS offerings, the Simple Storage Service, or S3, now holds over 900 billion data objects, with more than a billion new objects being added every day. S3 routinely handles more than 500,000 transactions per second and has peaked at close to a million transactions per second. All AWS services are pay-as-you-go and radically transform capital expense into a variable cost. AWS is self-service: you don’t need to negotiate a contract or engage with a salesperson – you can just read the online documentation and get started. AWS services are elastic – they easily scale up and easily scale down.
AWS已经发展成30种不同服务，客户包括成千上万个大小企业及个人开发者。AWS的首批产品之一，Simple Storage Service目前有超过9000亿个数据对象，每天还会增加超过10亿个数据对象。一般来说，Simple Storage Service每秒处理超过50万笔交易，峰值可达100万笔交易。所有AWS服务都是「随收随付制（pay-as-you-go）」，用多少才收多少，客户因此可以将固定的服务器支出，转为可变动成本。AWS是自助服务：你不需要和销售人员签订合约，只需要阅读在线文件之后，就可以开始使用。AWS服务有很大的弹性，可以轻松调整使用容量。
In just the last quarter of 2011, Fulfillment by Amazon shipped tens of millions of items on behalf of sellers. When sellers use FBA, their items become eligible for Amazon Prime, for Super Saver Shipping, and for Amazon returns processing and customer service. FBA is self-service and comes with an easy-to-use inventory management console as part of Amazon Seller Central. For the more technically inclined, it also comes with a set of APIs so that you can use our global fulfillment center network like a giant computer peripheral.
2011年的最后一个季度，Amazon配送服务为卖家们运送了数千万件商品。当卖家使用Amazon配送服务时，他们的商品可以搭配Prime会员服务、Super Saver Shipping和Amazon客服支持。Amazon配送服务是易于使用的自助服务，而且是库存管理后台（Amazon Seller Central）的重要组成。对于更倾向技术的使用者，它还提供了一组API，让使用者可以像使用大型计算器外围设备一样，使用我们的全球配送中心网络。
I am emphasizing the self-service nature of these platforms because it’s important for a reason I think is somewhat non-obvious: even well-meaning gatekeepers slow innovation. When a platform is self-service, even the improbable ideas can get tried, because there’s no expert gatekeeper ready to say “that will never work!” And guess what – many of those improbable ideas do work, and society is the beneficiary of that diversity.
Kindle Direct Publishing has quickly taken on astonishing scale – more than a thousand KDP authors now each sell more than a thousand copies a month, some have already reached hundreds of thousands of sales, and two have already joined the Kindle Million Club. KDP is a big win for authors. Authors who use KDP get to keep their copyrights, keep their derivative rights, get to publish on their schedule – a typical delay in traditional publishing can be a year or more from the time the book is finished – and … saving the best for last … KDP authors can get paid royalties of 70%. The largest traditional publishers pay royalties of only 17.5% on ebooks (they pay 25% of 70% of the selling price which works out to be 17.5% of the selling price). The KDP royalty structure is completely transformative for authors. A typical selling price for a KDP book is a reader-friendly $2.99 – authors get approximately $2 of that! With the legacy royalty of 17.5%, the selling price would have to be $11.43 to yield the same $2 per unit royalty. I assure you that authors sell many, many more copies at $2.99 than they would at $11.43.
Kindle Direct Publishing is good for readers because they get lower prices, but perhaps just as important, readers also get access to more diversity since authors that might have been rejected by establishment publishing channels now get their chance in the marketplace. You can get a pretty good window into this. Take a look at the Kindle best-seller list, and compare it to the New York Times best-seller list – which is more diverse? The Kindle list is chock-full of books from small presses and self-published authors, while the New York Times list is dominated by successful and established authors.
Kindle自助出版对于读者来说也有好处，他们可以得到更便宜的书籍，以及更重要的是，还有更多样化的书籍，因为那些可能会被出版社拒绝的书籍，现在都有机会被出版，并且很容易被你找到。看一下Kindle的畅销排行榜你就会发现，与《New York Times》的畅销排行榜相比，Kindle的排行榜内容多样性比较高。Kindle的排行榜中挤满了小型出版社和自费出版的书籍，而《New York Times》的排行榜则以知名作家的著作为主。
Amazonians are leaning into the future, with radical and transformational innovations that create value for thousands of authors, entrepreneurs, and developers. Invention has become second nature at Amazon, and in my view the team’s pace of innovation is even accelerating – I can assure you it’s very energizing. I’m extremely proud of the whole team, and feel lucky to have a front row seat.
As always, I attach a copy of our original 1997 letter. Our approach remains the same, and it’s still Day 1!
Jeffrey P. Bezos
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
其实自主属性是非常好的，这可以给客户无限制的服务，不限制客户的想法。想想，在没有云服务的时候，做一个网站，做个App会有多难。 云计算的发展，让很多时候都没有了门槛。包括亚马逊举的物流的例子和卖货的例子。 以前你想开点是很困难，现在在淘宝，亚马逊可能十分钟就可以有一个店铺，还提供了更多非常方便的服务，创业的门槛降得很低了。