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Amazon has three pretty powerful things going for them, and two are entirely their own doing.
Number one: Amazon is, by far, the most book-industry-focused company that is actually active in endeavors much larger than the book business.
Number two: Amazon executes.
Number three: Amazon is the runaway market leader in the only two segments of the book business that are growing — ebooks and the online purchasing of print — and they are cleverly leveraging the leadership position they have to make challenging them even more difficult in the future.
The Penguin move should be seen not as corporate verdict on libraries, but as a reaction to Amazon's entry into the library market. When Overdrive was distributing content to libraries on their own platform, the publishers were able to view Overdrive, and libraries in general, as a counterweight to Amazon. But the extension of Overdrive lending to the Kindle flipped libraries into the Amazon column. That's the best way to understand the Penguin decision, though you won't see them saying that.
The goal of leveling the playing field between brick-and-mortar retailers and online retailers came a step closer Wednesday with the introduction of the Marketplace Fairness Act by a bipartisan group of ten senators led by Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). If enacted, states would be able to collect the sales taxes they are owed under current law from out-of-state businesses, rather than rely on consumers to pay those taxes to the states.
“Amazon strongly supports enactment of the Enzi-Durbin-Alexander bill and will work with Congress, retailers, and the states to get this bi-partisan legislation passed,” added Paul Misener, Amazon v-p of global public policy. “It’s a win-win resolution.” Amazon has staunchly oppossed state-by-state tax initiatives, but said it would back a national policy.
And so, it begins.
Today, Amazon announced the Kindle Owners Lending Library.
Laura sent over a link to Will Amazon Kill Off Publishers?
Amazon is getting a lot of heat these days over its attempts to push its way into the hearts and minds of readers, writers and the larger book culture -- even comic books. Indeed, the news last week that Amazon would aggressively expand its publishing efforts by signing up authors has ruffled the feathers of many agents and publishers.
Will Amazon's plan shake up the book publishing industry as more writers have the option of a one-stop shop: agent, publisher and bookseller? Are publishers still needed?
Story about Amazon lockers in NYC. These lockers allow for packages to be delivered to a locker. Buyer is given a code to open the locker. I assume these are for people that do not have a good drop off location at their apartment.
See article at engadget:
MediaBistro reports: The venerable British Library is being criticized this week for a new suggested sales platform that it is currently testing. The online catalog for the British Library now includes an extra link on most book listings. In addition to request reserve, and checkout a title, patrons can now also find the book on Amazon.co.uk. If Amaozn doesn’t have the title then the page lists a “More titles to consider” link instead.
Naturally this has Amazon’s competitors up in arms. Johnny de Falbe, co-owner of London’s Sandoe bookshop, had this to say: “The British Library, a public institution, should not be offering this link to Amazon, which is not (last I heard) a public institution. And if the British Library, of all people, are not supporting British bookshops, and positively steering business away from independents, then why should anyone else have any faith, or interest, in independents?”
And he’s not alone. James Daunt, managing director of Waterstone’s, was not pleased with the development, saying: “It’s disappointing to say the least that a very British institution is driving readers away from local libraries and high street bookshops."
The British Library is on the record as saying that this was not a deliberate choice; it’s the default option for the platform offered by ExLibris, the company who built the British Library’s website.
Amazon made an exclusive tablet deal with DC, so Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million removed its graphic novels from their shelves.
Amazon's grip tightens on the entire book-publishing chain
Amazon's low-priced bestsellers and Kindle e-reader are famous for changing the book industry. What's not so well known is how deeply Amazon's tentacles reach into all parts of the industry, including its growing interest in inking deals with authors to publish some of the hit books Amazon sells.