THE EXPECTED CHANGES IN THE BOOK BUSINESS FAVOR AMAZON'S SHARE GROWTH
"You have to excuse publishers if it makes them nervous to think about living in a world where the company through which they get 50% of their sales is also competing with them to sign up titles directly. This is a situation where it is accurate to say that any other player in the ecosystem who is not at least mildly panicked probably doesn’t fully understand what’s going on.
The challenges faced by Amazon as they try to grow as a publisher are not trivial, but neither is the strength they bring to address them. The world five years from now where Amazon is stronger because they can reach 80% of the market rather than somewhat less than 50% is also one where the big players with whom they’re competing for authors are also weaker."
The Idea Logical Company | @MikeShatzkin
AMAZON & THE IMPORTANCE OF POPULARITY
"However, today I want to focus on something else, namely, the differences between the Bestseller List and the Popularity List, and how this is affording extra visibility (and thus sales) to those participating in KDP Select, and, conversely hurting the visibility (and thus sales) of those who don’t participate – including self-publishers, and all the trade publishers who have refused to make their books available for the Kindle Lending Library (which is most of them)."
Let's Get Digital | @DavidGaughran
AUTHORS CREATE CONTENT, READERS CONSUME CONTENT, EVERYONE ELSE IS IN BETWEEN
"Some roles, the mainstays of traditional publishing, are outmoded. Distribution is no longer king (yes, I know print still outsells eBooks but take out your top 5% of authors and really??). Discoverability is key. Since traditional publishing’s business model was essentially wrapped around distribution, this is such a fundamental change one wonders if most of those in traditional publishing will survive it.
I’m seeing a rash of blog posts where authors and editors and agents “defend” traditional publishing. They explain the value of what is provided. I don’t disagree but the answers are rooted in the past, not the future. They are reactionary rather than bold and innovative."
Digital Book World | @Bob_Mayer
TWO QUESTIONS THAT LOOM OVER THE TRADE PUBLISHING BUSINESS
"Amazon was not the first online bookseller. But they appear to have had several distinctions from all others from the beginning. One is that they always saw bookselling as a springboard to a much larger business. That meant that bookselling was, perhaps primarily, a customer acquisition tool, not an end in itself. A second is that they saw, long before it was accepted general wisdom, that perfecting the “customer experience” online was the core requirement for success. And the combination of those two things, in concert with the ubiquitious availability of capital for promising Internet propositions that characterized the late 1990s, fueled growth powered by aggressive pricing that has had their trading partners and competitors agape for nearly two decades."
The Idea Logical Company | @MikeShatzkin
HOW THE E-BOOK LANDSCAPE IS BECOMING A WALLED GARDEN
"Just as a few massive chain stores eventually came to dominate the traditional printed book market in North America, the e-book marketplace is a kind of oligopoly involving a few major players — primarily Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble. And while bookstore owners of all kinds are free to decide which books they wish to put on their shelves, these new giants have far more control over whose e-books see the light of day because they also own the major e-reading platforms, and they are making decisions based not on what they think consumers want to read but on their own competitive interests. That is turning the e-book landscape into even more of a walled garden."
GigaOm | @mathewi
I ALMOST BOUGHT A BOOK TODAY: WHY I'M FRIENDS WITH AMAZON
"For readers, high price points for ebooks might drive them to a library, except that publishers have withheld titles from libraries. Therefore, some readers might turn to pirated digital editions; others might turn to other forms of entertainment; others find cheaper books on Amazon. It has a dark beauty: through the combination of usurious pricing strategies and their undeclared war on libraries, the largest publishers have unerringly drawn their customers – readers with whom they’ve never cared to have a direct relationship – closer into the arms of the retailer whose market power and influence they most fear – Amazon. So much for a strategy of self-interest."
Publishers Weekly | @naypinya
Bones of the Book » n+1
Piracy as market signaling mechanism: Why don’t they listen? » TeleRead
The rebirth of reading » The Economist Group
Anthony Horowitz: Do we still need publishers? » The Guardian