Until several years ago, physical bookstores were the No. 1 place consumers bought books. How things have changed.
As of 2012, nearly half of all book purchases (print and digital) were online – 44%, up from 39% a year earlier. In 2011, online eclipsed bricks-and-mortar in this category for the first time ever and the gap increased this year.
With the disappearance of Borders and the further erosion of Barnes & Noble, online retailers like Amazon were able to make gains overall in the past year.
What bookstore owners and those invested in their continued viability have to worry about isn’t the slow erosion of business; it’s the time when the infrastructure that supports physical bookstores is no longer legitimized by the level of commerce. Should that time come, it could mean some difficulties for many publishers.
Related: When Bookstore Distribution Collapses
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Is Amazon Asocial? (DBW)
When it comes to weaknesses, Amazon has few. One area where a competitor may be able to arise is social. Amazon has a lot of user-generated content but it’s not “social,” per se. So, what would a competitor need to do? Read more.
Apple/DOJ: Another Thing to Consider (Pub Lunch)
There are a few less-discussed stipulations in the DOJ’s stunning request of Judge Denise Cote when determining Apple’s punishment for colluding to fix the price of ebooks (all pending appeal, of course). For instance, should the Judge listen to the DOJ, the stipulation that retailers need to break even on a publisher’s business in total would go away. It could have a marked effect on the entire book marketplace. Read much more.
How to Create Open Source Ebooks (Opensource.com)
Creating high quality ebook files at small scale on your own isn’t hard if you have the right tools. This step-by-step guide tells you everything you need to know.
E-Textbooks: From the Horse’s Mouth (The Daily Beast)
A student at Hofstra University wants to use the digital versions of textbooks but there are so many roadblocks. Some professors don’t allow them. Some allow them but don’t allow technology with which to use them in the classroom. And, besides, they’re not always cheaper. Related: More data.
Amazon’s Newspaper Blueprint (BusinessWeek)
Jeff Bezos can apply some of the same lessons of Amazon’s rise to ebook dominance to the newspaper industry now that he owns the Washington Post. Interestingly, BusinessWeek paints Bezos as having ensured that ebook prices are close to print prices, a strategy that could be emulated with the Post.
Penguin Random House Launches Blog Community (Pub Perspectives)
Suvudu Universe is a new online community for science fiction and fantasy bloggers associated with Suvudu, a Random House site for fans of the genres. Bloggers will write about sci-fi and fantasy literature, films, games and more. Suvudu links back to the Random House online store, where readers can buy print books or be linked to third-party ebook retailers.
New Brazilian Ebook Subscription Service Launches, Crashes (The Digital Reader)
Oi, a new ebook subscription service that costs about $7.00 a month offers users the opportunity to read three ebooks at time. And it has 130 ebooks available. Consumers aren’t happy.
Simon & Schuster Makes Series of Promotions in Canada (DBW)
The company is beefing up its publishing operations in the great white North.
Every Businessperson a Publisher (NJ.com)
A self-published ebook is the new business card, declares NJ.com. In the future, everyone is a book publisher.
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