What Are Amazon’s Weaknesses?

shutterstock_123904054A brutal courtroom loss for Apple and a series of setbacks for Barnes & Noble begs the question by one digital book publishing commentator: Is Amazon invincible?
In the tech world as in the business world in general, things run on cycles. Rare is the company that stays on top forever.
With that in mind, where is Amazon less powerful? Where are there opportunities for competitors to make inroads into the book and ebook retail business that Amazon currently dominates in the U.S.?
One area may be social, which is one good reason Amazon acquired Goodreads. While Goodreads is thriving (see below), only time will tell how much the acquisition helps Amazon strengthen its market position.
Read more.


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The rest of the day’s top news: 
Goodreads Hits Big Milestone (DBW)
The leading book-focused social networking site Goodreads now has 20 million users, up from 10 million less than a year ago. That’s what you call momentum. Related: Goodreads Founder Otis Chandler on Discovery.
Ten Lessons From the Latest J.K. Rowling Flap (DBW)
As everyone now knows, The Cuckoo’s Calling is J.K. Rowling’s latest title, something that was supposed to be kept a secret. Now that the news is out and everyone but Rowling seems to be celebrating the financial windfall it’s creating, here are ten lessons we can all learn from the episode, including, you can’t trust lawyers. Read more.
Book Country Now Selling Ebooks (DBW)
Penguin Random House book workshopping and self-publishing platform Book Country will soon be selling ebooks by self-published authors.
Kobo Writing Life Enhanced (DBW)
Kobo’s self-publishing platform Writing Life has added a slate of new features, including new ebook production tools.
New Kobo E-Reader Out Soon (Good E Reader)
Kobo is reportedly going to have a new e-reading device on store shelves in the next month or so. Its latest, the Aura HD, won positive reviews and favorable comparisons with most other e-readers.
Kindle Touch Updated (The Digital Reader)
Amazon has made some minor enhancements to the software that runs on Kindle Touch devices.
Authoring Interactive Children’s Ebooks (DBW)
Making the transition from author and illustrator of children’s books to author and illustrator of interactive children’s ebooks is not easy – but Roxie Munro has managed to do it successfully. Here’s her story.
The Future of Bookstores (The Shatzkin Files)
According to publishing consultant and Digital Book World conference partner Mike Shatzkin, it’s smaller and fractured. Read much more.

Forget Algorithms (Shelf-Awareness)
Machines don’t sell books, people do (says a person).
Shorts Playbook (HuffPo)
Short-form ebook content is one of the hottest new formats. Here’s a play-by-play guide to publish one successfully from someone who has been studying the issue.


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