THE EREADING BLOG

04

January

2017

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

The Future of Google Play® Books – As Predicted

Over at The Digital Reader, Nate Hoffelder takes a closer look at the looming possibility that Google Play® Books may never re-open to publishers.

I think this is highly likely. In fact, I expressed this opinion in various forums more than five years ago during much of the chaos surrounding the Google book scanning court case.

Nate does an outstanding job of looking at the various factors surrounding what I personally believe will be the ultimate failure of Google Play® Books.  It's well-worth the read.

For the record, I believe Google will eventually decide to sell their majority stake in Google Play® Books while retaining partial ownership. Time will tell.

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07

November

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Drone Delivery: Is It Going to Happen? Probably Not. Here’s Why…

LOGO-1-AmazonAn article on NBCNews.com asks whether drone delivery from companies like Amazon and Wal-Mart could really "take off" (see what they did there?).

The answer, in my opinion, is "no”.  And here’s why...

First, let me say that many of the points in the article mirror my own long-time views regarding the viability of drones as a delivery mechanism.  However, because there are so many different points being made in the article, it kind of misses a very fundamental and obvious fact about delivery drones: that they’re just a dumb idea....

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03

November

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Amazon Opens Pointless Physical Bookstore in Seattle…But Why?

LOGO-1-AmazonThe Seattle Times, and many other outlets, are reporting that Amazon is opening the company’s first-ever brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle.  But why? There are a few reasons, some fairly certain, others not so much.

The main reason, if you believe the news, is that they are using the Seattle location to test the validity of their market data in real-world conditions.  This is not mere speculation; they have proudly announced that the stores will utilize geo-centric purchasing data from Amazon.com to drive inventory stocking in the Seattle location.

The second reason is purely speculative.  And it’s not solely because of the company’s limitless thirst for market domination, although that's very likely a factor.  No, it’s probably because...

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20

October

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

JK Konrath Forgets a Bit of Google Books History

LOGO-1-Google_NewOver on JA Konrath's blog, he takes a swipe at the Authors Guild for their lawsuit against Google over the company's plan to scan every book ever published.  He also makes fun of some other lawsuits filed by the Authors Guild, and admittedly, those sound pretty dumb.  But when it comes to Google Books, Konrath is giving the world's biggest search engine company a pass they don't really deserve.

Konrath has apparently forgotten that during the genesis of the Google book scanning controversy, Google made it clear that they intended to offer the scanned books for sale through the Google eBookstore.  This included books that were considered "out of print" at the time and for which they had no permission from the...

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06

October

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Waterstones Removing Amazon Kindles from Stores…Finally

LOGO-1-TheBooksellerOver at The Bookseller, Lisa Campbell reports that U.K. bookchain Waterstones is removing the Amazon Kindle from their brick-and-mortar storefronts.  It's about time!  Having Kindles for sale in the U.K.'s largest chain is like having Folgers Kiosks at Starbucks here in the U.S.. 

Not a really brilliant move if you want to build your brand in the eyes of consumers.  Not to mention keep them from heading over--permanently--to your competitor.

It constantly surprises me how many book retailers have learned nothing from Borders and the consequences of...

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06

October

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Kobo Starts a Not-So-Revolutionary ‘Rewards’ Program

LOGO-1-KoboKobo's new point-based rewards system for ebook purchasing was recently announced, and it's...well, ordinary.  Not that there are too many ways to re-invent this now-familiar rewards system for retailers.  Still, it would have been nice to see something a little more inventive from one of the world's top ebook-only retailers.  If you haven't signed up for our free newsletter, you should do so now.  We have some unique and exciting plans for programs to reward our future customers at Ereading.com, eComicbooks.com, and our other integrated, reading-related retail sites.

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06

October

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Barnes & Noble’s Nook International Store Closing – A Dumb, Dumb Move

 LOGO-1-NookLet's talk a bit about short-sightedBarnes & Noble has announced that they are shuttering their international Nook ebook store.  Yet another example of how the world's second largest bookseller simply cannot get out of their own way.  Fortunately, these kinds of screwups leave the field open for competitors like Kobo...and us.  Ereading.com will be part of a fully-integrated eco-system devoted to books, reading, and publishing/distribution services.  How a company like Barnes & Noble, with billions in annual revenue, cannot get...

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06

October

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Kinokuniya Japanese Bookstore Apparently Run by…Well, You Decide

LOGO-1-KinokuniyaAccording to this article at Publishing Perspectives, someone at Kinokuniya, a prominent Japanese bookseller, has decided that the best way to beat Amazon in the print book market is to buy up the entire print run of a popular novel or book.  Apparently it never occured to anyone there that the publishers might simply print more; they certainly won't agree to limit their entire print run to one retailer, nor should they.

 

 

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06

October

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Publishers Raise Ebook Prices at Amazon, Revenue Drops. Big Surprise.

amazon_pngThe Wall Street Journal takes a look at how publishers raising their ebook prices has negatively affected revenue under the new Amazon contracts.


http://www.wsj.com/article_email/e-book-sales-weaken-amid-higher-prices-1441307826-lMyQjAxMTE1MzAxNDUwMjQ2Wj

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08

April

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Amazon’s Vulnerability to be Highlighted at London Book Fair Conference

Publishing-PerspectivesIn this Publishing Perspective article, Mark Piesing covers an upcoming speech at the London Book Fair Publishing for Digital Minds conference by Charles Arthur, former technology editor at the Guardian

The significant theme of Mr. Arthur’s speech, “Amazon: An Objective Case Study”, is that the online retailer is no longer as fearsome as it once seemed.  In fact, Mr. Arthur is now making the same case I have been for several years now: that Amazon is, in fact, not an especially profitable entity and far more vulnerable than people have suspected up to now.

I hope that when Mr. Arthur makes his speech, he also points out that much of Amazon’s assault on the traditional...

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