Book Stores

A baker’s dozen predictions for 2010

Here is the first prediction:

1. At least one major book will have several different enhanced ebook editions. This will result from a combination of circumstances: the different capabilities of ebook hardware and reader platforms, the desire of publishers and authors to justify print-like prices for ebooks, the sheer ability of authors and their fans to do new things electronically, and the dawning awareness that there are at least two distinctly different ebook markets: one just wants to read the print book on an electronic screen and the other wants links and videos and other enhancements that really change the print book experience. (Corrolary prediction: the idea of an enhanced ebook that is only sold “temporarily” in the first window when the book comes out, which has been floated by at least one publisher, will be short-lived. Whatever is made for sale in electronic form will remain available approximately forever. Or, put another way, if you have a product that requires no inventory investment that has a market, you’ll keep satisfying it.)

Twelve more predictions at the IdeaLogical blog

No sales taxes on Kindle e-books, please—and here’s why

David Rothman at Teleread responds to the NYT article: Sorry, Shoppers, but Why Can’t Amazon Collect More Tax?

How's This for Larceny? Stealing Your Own Books

Further musings on Sunday's LISNews story about stolen books:

A recent New York Times article about book thefts has the online community atwitter about one mysterious Boulder author accused of feeling a little too entitled to the fruits of his labor.

In taking a national snapshot of the shoplifting problem, the Times story cut to Boulder, where "one writer was even busted stealing his own books." The Times, which didn't name the author, talked to Christopher Ohman, who was manager of the Boulder Book Store at the time.

"I think he felt somewhat entitled to the copies," Ohman told the Times, conceding that the author's alcohol problem might also have led to the attempted theft.

"In some ways, I can kind of understand that logic," he said. "I mean, it's a commonly held misconception that authors get as many copies of their books as they want, and that's not always the case."

Scott Foley, who is now the floor manager for the Boulder Bookstore, wouldn't disclose the name of the thieving author but said his attempt to swipe his own tome has become an infamous story told during security training for new bookstore employees.

Speculation as to the identity of the thief is engaged in on Gawker.

Amazon and Walmart were not the first

In the news recently has been the fight between Walmart and Amazon over book prices. There has been discussion of what impact this would have on the publishing industry. I found an interesting/funny picture of a bookmark on Flickr that shows that book discounting in chain stores is not a new thing.

Apparently This Sign Was Necessary

Hosted by imgur.com

Edit: Moved the image to a server with higher transfer and bandwidth.

Birthday Books Idea for Someone Special

From Shelf Awareness:

Sheryl Cotleur, the buyer at Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA, shared the following great story with us:

We had a wonderful thing just happen at Book Passage. A woman named Diana Phillips gave her partner, Diane Allevato, 63 minutes of shopping here for books for her 63rd birthday. Diane came in with lists (she prepared for weeks), her partner used a timer and off she went. I was given notice and did some decorating beforehand and had signs made welcoming her. Diane ended up with 73 books, which is pretty amazing as she tried to spend a few minutes with any book she wasn't sure of to consider its appeal.

Glyde Aims to Simplify Online Sales of Used Media

People whose old books, CDs, DVDs and video games are collecting dust on their shelves will soon have another way to resell them on the Web.

On Monday, Glyde, a start-up based in Palo Alto, Calif., plans to introduce a Web site intended to make it simple for people to buy and sell used media products.

The company, which will be challenging formidable giants like eBay and Amazon.com, is the brainchild of Simon Rothman, who worked at eBay from 1999 to 2005 and was the primary creator and executive in charge of its automotive site, eBay Motors.

Full article in the New York Times

Can the chains provide us with better small bookstores?

From the Shatzkin Files, a blog by publishing industry consultant Mike Shatzkin.

There is considerable concern among the trade publishing establishment about the future of brick-and-mortar stores. As well there should be. Retail stores provide the most efficient promotion opportunities for books: putting them in front of people poised to buy. They give clear signals about sales appeal by positioning and piles of stock of varying sizes; they make it possible to “look inside” of illustrated books in ways that no online presentation can match; they enable discovery through serendipity; and they put more different book choices in front of any person faster and more efficiently than any web page or smart phone screen possibly can.

But they’re troubled. Same store sales, or what the Brits call “like-for-like”, have been declining. That may be partly due to the recession, but it is also due to factors that won’t go away: shifts of sales to the Internet, to ebooks, and perhaps to substitutes in other media and the Web.

Full blog entry.

Amid Price War, Three Retailers Begin Rationing Books

Two weeks after an online book price war broke out among giant retailers, the three stores involved—Walmart, Amazon and Target—are limiting the number of copies their customers can buy.

The limits will stop other booksellers from scooping up cheap copies in large quantities and reselling them.

Full story in the Wall Street Journal

Not a Simple Price War -- It's a Fight Over What You Get to Read

What looks like a simple price war between Amazon, Target, and Walmart over a handful of bestsellers is symptomatic of a much deeper problem in the book business. The larger fight is really over what you get to read.
The price war began Oct 15 when Walmart.com dropped its prices drastically on several bestsellers. Amazon.com and Target.com quickly followed suit, and within a couple of days the prices were down to $8.99 and heading lower. At this point, these behemoths were clearly selling those books below cost and engaging in an illegal form of predatory pricing.

Read more at: The Huffington Post

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