Wednesday Midday Links: Amazon Raises Profile of Used Books
Updated: Over at Mobileread.org, a reader pointed out a special that runs out on the 17th. Target is selling Sony eBookstore gift cards worth $25 for only $15. The poster suggests you print out the ad to take with you as the Target employees appear not to be fully aware of this deal. I’ll be driving around tomorrow availing myself of this great deal. via Mobile Read
Angela James pointed out on Twitter last night that Amazon is employing what appears to be a new tool in its pricing battle: used book fulfillment by Amazon. Here are a couple of examples:
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Amazon has been accepting trade ins for books since last fall but I hadn’t realized that it was going to do book fulfillment. Powells allows trade ins as well. The trade ins are right under the “Buy New” buttons:
The increased visibility of these buy used + Prime + Fulfilled by Amazon are rare. It’s quite hard to find one. I have no idea if it is going to be more prominent or how Amazon makes money on this but nothing that Amazon does is without reason, particularly its pricing schemes.
I assume that Amazon is ramping up its trade in program. Here you can see the list of romances Amazon is willing to pay for (at least the ones tagged “romance” for Amazon). DS brought the trade in program to my attention a month ago, but I didn’t really get the import of it at the time. In any event, this is bound to make authors angrier with Amazon. Remember when I said that the battle was likely to get uglier? Yeah.
Congress asked the General Accounting Office in April of 2009 to attempt to quantify the harm of piracy. In a blow to media companies, the GAO has found that the data used by the media industry is unreliable and that the current effect of piracy cannot be quantifiable. GAO acknowledged that piracy is “large and harmful” but that it can also lead to increased sale of legitimate goods.
“Three widely cited U.S. government estimates of economic losses resulting from counterfeiting cannot be substantiated due to the absence of underlying studies,” the GAO said. “Each method (of measuring) has limitations, and most experts observed that it is difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the economy-wide impacts.”
This is not to say that pirating is right and we should all go out and pirate, but it does show that overinflating claims of piracy can hurt the industry and that perhaps more time and money should be devoted to making quality goods available so that those of us who want to buy have legitimate avenues of purchase.
Penguin is focused on maintaining the romance of the physical book even while acknowledging that digital media will play an important part of its publishing strategy in the future.
People often compare the book industry to the music industry, where digital sales have overtaken sales of CDs, but there is an emotional connection to books, said Makinson, who studied English and history at Cambridge and began his career as a journalist.
“We need to keep the emphasis on the reader’s emotional relationship with the book. It’s still important to produce a well-designed, beautifully printed book that looks good on a shelf, and that you can gift to a friend,” he said.
Diana Peterfreund blogs about the art of retellings.
The point is, in a retelling, you are taking a particular part of a story (a plot, a character, a story question, a theme) and using it as a jumping off place from which to create something entirely new.
I think that when a part of the story is taken merely as a jumping off place, then it isn’t a retelling. The second story is merely inspired by the original. A retelling remains true to the plot, theme, and meaning of the original but in a reimagined way. That is what make a retelling brilliant aka Clueless and West Side Story, two retellings identified by Peterfreund.