Amazon Loses More Money, Investors Cheer

shutterstock_71030170Amazon posted its fourth-quarter and full-year results late yesterday: $21 billion in revenue for the quarter and $61 billion for the year.
Pretty astounding numbers. Also astounding: With all those billions running through it, the world’s largest ebook seller didn’t manage to keep much of it – it lost $39 million on the year.
In after-hours trading, Amazon shares were up nearly 10%. A business reporter from The Atlantic’s new business site QZ doesn’t quite understand why investors like Amazon. Perhaps they buy into founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’s long-term view on online retail, media and the Internet.
As for the ebook business, Bezos put it front and center in the Amazon earnings release, saying that it had grown 70% year-over-year and was now a multi-billion dollar concern. It wouldn’t be a stretch to figure that amazon took in $2 billion in ebook revenue in 2012; one wonders how much of that was profit, however.

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The rest of the day’s top news:
Amazon Building Advertising Business (Financial Times)
Amazon is starting to develop its advertising business, using more of the data it has on its customers to present them with attractive marketing messages. Sounds a lot like Google.
EBookFling up for Sale (DBW)
Do you know how to share your Kindle or Nook ebooks? For 100,000 people, eBookFling makes it easy; for founder George Burke, it’s been profitable – but now it’s up for sale so Burke can focus on his other book-related start-ups.
Ebooks in Bookstores Down Under (Courier Mail)
Bookstores in Australia are installing ebook kiosks and outfitting store clerks with iPads so they can order ebooks for patrons but it won’t save bookstores down under according to proprietors.
Three Book Social Media Epiphanies (Pub Perspectives)
One, word-of-mouth “energy” is at its peak during or immediately after a book is finished. Two, make it easy for people to buy your book through social media. Three, you’ll have to click through to read the third one.
FREE Webcasts: What Authors Want (DBW)
Authors have more power in publishing today than ever but what do they want? In this free webcast, we will discuss the results a survey of nearly 5,000 authors that we conducted along with Writer’s Digest. (Don’t want to wait? Pre-order the full report today.)
Barnes & Noble Still Doomed? (The Digital Reader)
Following a flurry of buzz about reports that Barnes & Noble will be downsizing to 500 or so stores in the next ten years, the company put out a statement putting the news into perspective. Did it allay fears in the industry about disappearing shelf space and a lack of retail strategy from its biggest bricks-and-mortar retailer? It did not.
Art Books Doing Okay, Not in E (Pub Trends)
One might think with downward price pressure on books across the board that the top end of consumer titles (expensive art books) would be suffering. Not so, say its principal publishers. That said, ebooks have decidedly not yet taken off in the category.
ICYMI: FREE Metadata Webacast (ePubDirect)
In case you missed the announcement earlier, check out this free webcast on metadata with one of today’s experts on the boring but important topic.
Recluse Turned Loose (Pub Lunch)
How much do you know about The Catcher in the Rye author JD Salinger? If you’re like nearly everyone, probably not much. Simon & Schuster will be giving you a chance to change that.

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