Amazon.com

Dire Warning to Publishers: The End of Hardbacks

According to the French publishing group Hachette: Hardback books could be killed off if Amazon’s e-books and Google’s digital library force publishers to slash prices, warns Arnaud Nourry, Hachette's chief executive.

Mr Nourry said unilateral pricing by Google, Amazon and other e-book retailers such as Barnes & Noble could destroy publishers’ profits (not to mention what is happening to bookstores).

He said publishers were “very hostile” to Amazon’s pricing strategy – over which the online retailer failed to consult publishers – to charge $9.99 for all its e-books in the US. He also pointed to plans by Google to put millions of out-of-copyright books online for public use.

“On the one hand, you have millions of books for free where there is no longer an author to pay and, on the other hand, there are very recent books, bestsellers at $9.99, which means that all the rest will have to be sold at between zero and $9.99,” Mr Nourry said.

Mr Nourry’s comments come as analysts predict a growth spurt for the still-niche electronic reader market, with wireless devices from Sony, Plastic Logic and others due to compete with the Kindle.

Financial Times reports.

Chicago Area Bookstores Closing

Publishers Weekly reports on the recently purchased Crocodile Pie and other Chicago area bookstores closing.

Had enough of independent bookstores and other indie businesses closing? Want to save the remaining few? Tired of Amazon.com calling all the shots?

Check out these websites and do your part.

IndieBound
350 Project
New Rules Project

and if you're on facebook...become a fan:

IndieBound
350 Project
New Rules Project
Keep Independent Bookstores Around the World Thriving

Battle of the E-Readers

From Channel Web: Plastic Logic, the maker of Barnes & Noble's new e-reader said that the book retailer has no intention of challenging Amazon's widely popular Kindle device. (and what if they were? ...can/should Amazon have a monopoly on e-readers?)

The new device will be aimed at an entirely different audience, said Daren Benzi, vice president of business development at Plastic Logic, in an interview with Fox Business News /Battle of the E-Readers.

"We're actually targeting a different type of customer, the business professional, while Amazon has been targeting the leisure book reading customers," Benzi said. Holding up a model of the Plastic Logic e-reader Barnes & Noble will be selling, Benzi pointed out that the size of the device is larger than Amazon Kindle's DX model so that business executives can more easily read newspapers, magazines and other content.

It appears...we're being targeted.

Books vs. Kindle by way of High Fidelity: How will people know what you like?

After reading that Kindle made books worthless, one librarian wonders how the Kindle may affect social interactions and what to do with that extra space in your house.

Full pontification here

They're Going After Amazon.com

Amazon.com had better think up a better business model than cheating Uncle Sam and other nationalities out of their fair share of sales taxes.

Wall Street Journal reports: TOKYO (Dow Jones)--The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau told Amazon.com Inc.'s (AMZN) affiliated company Amazon.com International Sales to pay back taxes of $119 million, the Asahi Shimbun reported in its Sunday morning edition.

Amazon's Japanese affiliates, called Amazon Japan and Amazon Japan Logistics, are responsible for sales and logistics operations in Japan while Japanese customers make contracts of purchasing products with Amazon's affiliates in the U.S. Therefore those U.S. companies booked sales in the U.S. from their business in Japan.

And in the U.S., Hawaii has gotten the pink slip from Amazon (in addition to Rhode Island and North Carolina): Market Watch (via WSJ) reports: Amazon.com is ending relationships with its marketing affiliates in Hawaii to avoid collecting sales tax.

Amazon's Running from The Tax Man

Following closely on the heels of Amazon.com's decision to end its "business relationships" with marketing affiliates in North Carolina (Shelf Awareness, June 29, 2009), the company has made a similar move in Rhode Island.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon "sent an email to its Rhode Island affiliates on Monday saying that it was closing their accounts immediately." This was in response to a bill passed by the state legislature recently "that would force companies to collect sales taxes if they have online-marketing affiliates--businesses that get a sales commission by featuring links to outside e-commerce sites on their own Web sites--in the state."

On the same subject, an interesting piece from Wanda Jewell's blog entitled, "He’s Just Not That Into You: An Alternative for Ex-Amazon Affiliates".

(from the blog): "It’s like the morning after the prom, when in wrinkled dress and wilting corsage you realize they’re just not that into you. At least, not when they may have to collect millions in state sales tax that could help fix bridges, keep schools open and fund libraries at a time when your states are truly suffering. And they seemed so nice."

Jewell is the Executive Director of the Southern Independent Booksellers Association.

Kindle DRM Bites Users

Hypothetical situation.

You have a Kindle and you buy an e-book. How many times can you download that e-book? In other words can you download it to your Kindle once, but if you replace your Kindle can you download it again?

You don't know?

Well, turns out, Amazon doesn't either. And since the number of times that you can download varies from publisher to publisher and book to book, well, you can start to see the problem.

More from Gizmodo.

Amazon announces - Charge When Ship

Amazon has a new system for 3rd party sellers called "Charge When Ship". Buyers are not charged until the item is shipped and buyers will be able to get more info on Amazon about when their order is shipped. Here is the announcement from Amazon to 3rd party sellers.

Article at TechWag: Amazon adds charge when ship

Jeff Bezos: Kindle Books and Readers Are Separate Businesses

In the future, Amazon.com’s Kindle e-book reader will display more book formats beyond its own. And you should also expect to see Kindle books on a lot more devices.

That was the clear implication of comments that Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, made at a conference in New York Monday on disruptive business models.

Of course, Mr. Bezos didn’t release any details at the conference, which was sponsored by Wired magazine. (He’s just as secretive as Steve Jobs at Apple, but he laughs more.) Mr. Bezos, however, talked about the Kindle in a way he hasn’t before: He described the hardware business and the e-book store as separate.

Full story in the Bits blog at NYT.com

Sedaris Autographs Kindle (and Artificial Limb, etc)

The New York Times reports that during a reading at the Strand bookstore in Manhattan by David Sedaris, whose most recent book is “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” a man named Marty who had waited in the book-signing line presented him his Kindle for autographing. On the back of the Kindle, Mr. Sedaris, in mock(?) horror, wrote, “This bespells doom.” (The signed Kindle was photographed, but Marty's full name is unknown.)

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