Amazon’s Losing Quarter

For the first time in four years, Amazon suffered a quarterly loss. Investors sent the stock price spinning in after-hours trading following Amazon’s disappointing third-quarter earnings report but it quickly recovered. 

By now, Amazon investors should know not to watch the quarter-to-quarter numbers as CEO and founder Jeff Bezos has made it clear that he’s in it for the long haul, not short-term gains. For basically as long as Amazon has been around it’s been focused on making investments at the expense of present earnings to win the future.

But let’s put this into perspective: Amazon had revenues of $13.81 billion in the quarter. That’s just about the same amount that the entire trade publishing industry in the U.S. had in 2011. First quarterly loss in four years sounds bad; the company is doing just fine.

Publishers Lunch: Media sales at the company grew at a slower pace than the rest of the e-tailer.

Read more.

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The rest of the day’s top news:

Random Penguin (DBW)
Rumors confirmed: Pearson and Bertelsmann have been in talks about a Penguin-Random House merger. There had been rumors of such talks reported in German and UK media. There has been a spike in financial activity in publishing in the past 18 months. Is this a trend that will continue?
Pay-as-You-Go E-Books (Techcrunch)
UK start-up ValoBox has launched an on-demand, browser-based e-book service with a handful of smaller publishers signed up for a pay-as-you-go e-commerce scheme that allows readers to buy chapters or specific pages of a book.
Bloomsbury E-Book Surge (DBW)
E-book revenue nearly doubled at UK-based publisher Bloomsbury; it still comprises only 10% of overall revenues at the company.

Apple Earnings Disappoint, Except for iPads (Pub Lunch)
For the first time in memory, Apple earnings did not dazzle Wall Street. Publishers rooting for the continued growth in tablets should be pleased: Apple moved another 14 million iPads in the third quarter.

iPad Mini > Other Seven-Inch Tablets (ZDNet)
If you had to choose between a Kindle Fire HD, Google Nexus 7 or iPad Mini at the low, low price of $0, which would you choose? And, that, folks, is your winning seven-inch tablet.
iMusti Expands into E-Books (DBW)
iMusti, an Indian-focused e-tailer of music and movies will now offer e-books, too.
Books in Browsers 2012 (Le Monde)
Early coverage of the Books in Browsers digital publishing conference happening in San Francisco right now. It’s in French (the article, not the conference). Don’t worry: We’ve got you covered with the Google Translate link.
Kindle App for Windows 8 (DBW)
Even though everyone already knew about it because it had been reviewed by Wall Street Journal tech-guru Walt Mossberg as buggy, Windows 8 has a Kindle app.
McGraw-Hill Ryerson Launches High School iBooks E-Textbooks (DBW)
With the blessing of government and administrators and despite student complaints, the textbook industry is plowing ahead with bringing more e-textbooks to market. McGraw-Hill Ryerson is bringing its high-school textbooks to the iPad.

Spooooooky: Literary Figure Costumes (Galley Cat)
Don’t know what to be for Halloween this weekend? How about a literary figure? Galley Cat links to several e-books that might provide inspiration.

Image credit: Annette Shaff /


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