E-book Sales Bolster Publishers’ Bottom Lines – While the adoption of ebooks isn’t providing a one to one replacement of the loss of physical book sales, PW reports that none of the Big 5 publishers had a margin of less than 9% in 2012. Higher sales of ebooks was creating a higher margin. You’ll want to read the whole article because the numbers provided are pretty interesting.
In 2012, everyone but Random House suffered substantial legal bills and costs associated with agency pricing. Even after reduced growth and reduced revenue, publishers were still posting a close to 10% margin. If they can increase the volume of sales, the margin will be even higher.Publishers Weekly
LibraryThing: How to succeed in an Amazon/Goodreads world – Tim Spalding, owner and founder of LibraryThing, believes that Amazon’s Goodreads purchase is good for his business because Goodreads will become less nimble, more bogged down by corporate issues and more driven by profit; he gains more friends and partners in the fight against Amazon and his direct competitor Goodreads; and users hate monopolies.
I only agree with number 2 of Spalding’s assessment. I shopped at Zappos before and after the acquisition by Amazon and it remains my favorite place to online shop for shoes, clothes, and bags. Further, the majority of users don’t really care about monopolies until the monopoly hurts them.
Finally, if LibraryThing wants to take full advantage of the opening it perceives has been made by Amazon’s purchase of Goodreads, I would hope that it redesigns its site and makes it easier to use. A lot of people gravitated toward Goodreads, not because it was nimble and independent, but because it was better looking and easier to use. LibraryThing
Investing in community – When I read about investments in the community to build loyalty, I keep thinking of the established literati and their disdain for the huge number of readers who like books that the literati sneer at. Ron Charles, for instance, mocked 50 Shades readers as “To tell where they should stand in line, all these women — they’re almost all women — are wearing numbered hospital wristbands. They’ve come here for treatment. They’re lovesick. “. When he was given the Veritas Award by RWA for writing one positive article on romance books, he responded by calling it an “uncomfortable honor.”
The literary community that dominates the newspapers and the indie bookstores won’t allow themselves to view those people who like Colleen Hoover’s books or EL James books or Sylvia Day’s books as valued customers.
Amazon has no such pretensions. If you are selling, they want to highlight you. Step one for literary community should begin with “Embrace the customer as she is”.Magellan Media Partners
Google All but Officially Admits It Wants to Be Amazon – Google has aspirations to compete with Amazon on the e-commerce level. It has the technological interface in place, but it doesn’t have the physical warehouse and delivery infrastructure. But perhaps by partnering with brick and mortar stores like Target and others who have a vested interested in seeing Amazon brought low, Google can compete head to head on selling everything to everyone. Like Amazon. Wired.com