The Future of Physical Book Retail

766px-Libraries_in_the_Medieval_and_Renaissance_Periods_Figure_4As ebook sales continue to grow around the world – if not in the U.S. over the past few quarters – publishers need to look to the future of physical book retail to gauge business plans.

There are some bricks-and-mortar booksellers who are having success in the ebook era, some of whom are doing it by selling ebooks. Still, those who are succeeding are outnumbered by those who struggle (see story on France’s Chapitre below).

And what of libraries? According to publishing consultant and Digital Book World conference chair Mike Shatzkin, “there may not be much of a library market in 20 years,” so publishers should, “keep trying to sell to it; keep trying to use it” and keep watching it.


Related: More on the future of book retail at Digital Book World 2014. Full schedule.

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The rest of the day’s top news:


Big French Bookstore Chain Goes Down (Pub Lunch)
Chapitre, France’s second-largest bookstore chain, has filed for bankruptcy, the latest development in what has been a downward spiral for the concern.


Four Years After iPad: Taking Stock (DBW)
Four years ago, simultaneous with the first Digital Book World, Apple unveiled the iPad, a device that changed everything in the consumer electronics and content businesses. Four years later, the iPad is still driving change in the publishing business. More.


Amazon Loses Tax Battle in New York (PW)
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt Amazon and other online retailers a blow yesterday as it declined to hear a case Amazon appealed over whether it had to collect sales tax in New York.


Aussie Booksellers Fight Back Against Amazon (The Guardian)
One group of Australians not happy that Amazon has launched down under is booksellers. One outspoken bookseller has reinstated a policy of “Kindle amnesty,” inviting customers to trade in their Kindle models for an equivalent Kobo model, plus $50 toward buying Kobo ebooks.


Barnes & Noble Goes Low for Cyber Monday (DBW)
The bookstore chain sold its Nook Simple Touch GlowLight e-reader for $49.


Robo-Parent (DBW)
There have been ebooks that read to you for some time; now there is a device that reads along with kids reading physical picture books. It turns the pages, too.

Related: Find out the astounding proportion of kids who are reading ebooks today from fresh research at Launch Kids at Digital Book World 2014.


The Africa Ebook Opportunity (BBC)
Where is access to the Internet growing fastest around the world? Africa. While many on the continent still go without electricity, an increasing number now have access to digital content – and that means opportunity for publishers.


OverDrive Creates Kids Only Area (Good E Reader)
To help protect its younger readers from some of the objectionable content often found in the digital stacks, OverDrive has created a digital “reading room” just for kids.


Congress Takes Aim at Textbook Market (HuffPo)
A bill introduced in Congress this week would create a grant program for universities to create online textbooks that students and others could use free of charge.

Related: Peer into the future of digital education at Making Information Pay for Higher Education at Digital Book World 2014. More.

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