Before you get too excited, it’s not Goodreads, the leading book-focused social network with over 12 million members, though there has been speculation that this year Goodreads will begin to sell ebooks.
The Reading Room is now selling ebooks. The social network-slash-book-discovery site has about half-a-million members and is now selling ebooks with a catalog of about a half-a-million titles from over 180 publishers, including all of the major U.S. publishing houses.
The ebook retail space is still wide open to innovation and new competition. In the recent past, we’ve seen the launch of the long-anticipated Bookish, which intends to lure new readers to its site through content and partnerships, the upstart Zola, which is hinging its hopes on a network of book influencers and exclusive content, Bookateria, an ebook discovery project from Random House and Publishers Marketplace and, now, a social network selling ebooks.
While the former two intend on building relationships with readers from scratch, the latter two are just putting a store in where the readers already are (to be fair, Bookateria doesn’t sell ebooks at this point).
Which strategy do you think is more likely to succeed?
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Measuring Just How Sexy Fifty Shades Really Is (DBW)
How erotic is Fifty Shades of Grey compared with the average romance novel? Much moreso, it turns out, when you measure and graph it. Why does it matter? Because it’s changing both what books are being written and how they’re being sold.
Australia’s Booki.sh to End Ebook Retail Operation (The Next Web)
Australian browser-based reading and ebook retail platform Booki.sh will no longer sell ebooks after June. Users will continue to be able to access their libraries after the shut-down. Booki.sh was acquired by OverDrive to power its library reading platform in March 2012.
Barnes & Noble Nook Giveaway (DBW)
When it comes to the elusive free e-reader, txtr and Amazon seemed to be in the lead. But, no, it’s Barnes & Noble that strikes first, giving away its Nook Simple Touch e-reader with every purchase of a Nook HD+ tablet computer.
B&N Getting Desperate? (Forbes)
Is B&N getting desperate with the Nook giveaway? There is a recent example of another device manufacturer cutting prices severely after flopping in the marketplace, and that manufacturer, H-P, no longer sells tablet computers.
Reorg at HMH (PW)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has streamlined its children’s imprints. Related: Note from a senior HMH executive on the move.
Arab Publishers Association to Focus on Translation, Censorship (Ahram.org)
The Arab Publishers Association met for just its second annual conference. The organization’s focus this year will include publishing more translated works and dealing with censorship in some of the nations in which its members operate.
Teens “Snapping Back” to Print? (Pub Perspectives)
Young-adult books are exploding right now, with a sizable chunk being purchased and read as ebooks. But there is some evidence that teens are going back to print, to some extent.
Another Author Turned Publisher (DBW)
Children’s book author Babette Cole is launching her own ebook publishing company, following in the footsteps of so many other established authors.
African Writers Ready for the Ebook Revolution? (The Creative Penn)
The recent death of literary light Chinua Achebe, one of modern Africa’s most celebrated writers, gives an opportunity to contemplate the ebook revolution there. Nigerian writer Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima gives the lowdown on ebooks in Africa.
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