If your question is answered, you'll get an email from Amazon with the answer included. And even if the author doesn't answer, other readers can do so from the author page.
Amazon has 16 participating authors right now, and you can find a complete list as well as a FAQ here.
You may not know this, but the Kindle has had similar @search options for some time, including @dict, @help,[email protected],[email protected], @web, and @wiki. This new @author is a clever addition to the bunch. It's also a smart way to start tying the Kindle hardware with the Kindle Social Network.
BTW, Amazon also secured the @author account on Twitter, but I should warn you that it can't be used to ask a question.