THE EREADING BLOG

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....

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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

Read More

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...

Read More

02

March

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

The (Severe) Limits of the Proprietary Kindle Format

LOGO-1-Good E ReaderThis interesting article on how to read Kindle books on non-Amazon devices almost inadvertently highlights a key problem with investing heavily in Amazon content.

Doing so places you in a walled garden you can only "escape" from (and take your content with you) if you're willing to break the law and illegally bypass the digital rights management on your Kindle ebooks.

That’s quite a wakeup call when you’ve invested hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in Amazon digital content.

Not only does this illustrate one of the many reasons DRM is bad, it also shows yet another example of how Amazon is not the "reader's friend".  By utilizing a proprietary format unlike any other in the industry, Kindle users are finding...

Read More

02

March

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Scribd Offers 10,000 Digital Comics to Subscribers

SCRIBED LOG-TBWhen I read this headline, my initial reaction was, "so what?"

Ever since ebook subscriptions were introduced I have asserted that they are not a money-making business model...except for the retailers offering the subscriptions, and to a somewhat lesser extent, the publishers themselves.  In fact, only self-published content creators with a solid fan base might make enough money to live on with the subscription model. 

As of right now that is a big "maybe". 

If recent accounts from top-earning authors on Kindle are to be believed, their income under Kindle Unlimited is taking a real beating.  Another recent story on Digital Book World examined the ebook subscription models of...

Read More

02

March

2015

By: Richard Starr

Categories:

Amazon Kindlescout to Begin Publishing Crowd-Sourced Titles

LOGO-1-Kindle ScoutAmazon is moving full-speed ahead with their plan to crowd-source at least part of the editorial and publishing process through their Kindlescout program.  Kindlescout is an interesting concept and is sure to appeal to some readers. The main concern readers and authors should have is whether this is another step toward Amazon's stated goal of essentially eliminating legacy publishing.  Not just as a competitor to their publishing initiatives, but as an overall business model. 

Contrary to some opinions, there is room for both the Amazon-type model and the legacy model.  That certain vocal parties won't acknowledge Amazon's intent should be problematic to anyone examining the current state of publishing.  No one is stopping any author from self-publishing on Amazon...

Read More