With publishers in the throes of the holiday season, where purchases can make or break the bottom line, some are experiencing critical issues with their biggest retail partner: Amazon. Supply chain hiccups have left the biggest titles from some publishers out-of-stock and unavailable for purchase at the all-important retailer.
Several publishers, wholesalers, and distributors spoke to PW, on the condition of anonymity, about how the situation is impacting their holiday season. Many said the problem is stemming from the fact that Amazon placed unusually large orders in October and November that it is now struggling to process.
“The whole industry is set up so that everything moves through the pipeline: if someone plugs it up, everything goes kablooie,” said one editor at a regional press.
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Can Crowd-Sourced Retailing Compete with Amazon? (Mike Shatzkin)
Although it has always seemed sensible for publishers to sell their books (and then ebooks) directly to end users, it has never looked to me like that could be a very big business. In the online environment, your favorite “store”—the one you’re loyal to and perhaps even have an investment in patronizing (which is how I’d characterize Amazon Prime)—is only a click away. So however you learn about a book (or anything else), it is very easy to switch over to your vendor of choice to make the purchase.
Big-Box Bookstores Don’t Have to Die (Slate)
While Barnes & Noble devolves from a bookstore into a thing store, Waterstones, the biggest bookstore chain in Britain, is plotting an entirely different course. In 2011, the company—choked with debt and facing the same existential threat from Amazon and ebooks as B&N—nearly declared bankruptcy. Today, however, Waterstones isn’t closing shops but opening a raft of them, both big-box (in suburban shopping centers) and pint-size (in train stations).
5 Predictions for Trade Publishing in 2016 (Pub Technology)
At the end of every year, it’s traditional for the CEO of Publishing Technology to dust off the crystal ball and look at what’s going to happen in publishing over the next twelve months. In previous years, we’ve predicted the rise of mobile reading and that the acid test for ebook subscription will come when the first “Netflix for books” service closes its doors, as Oyster did this autumn. So what does 2016 have in store for the world of trade publishing? Here are our predictions for next year’s publishing top trends.
How to Know If Your Book’s Cover Needs a Redesign (BookBub)
Potential readers need to be intrigued by a book’s cover to click through and check it out. Our testing has shown that a cover alone can account for a 30-percent difference. So if your cover design isn’t up to snuff, your book sales will suffer. But how can you know which of the covers in your backlist need to be redesigned? And how will you know if a new version of the cover will perform better?
Kindle Unlimited Pay Per Page for November (Chris McMullen)
November, 2015 marks the first month that Amazon KDP is paying different royalty amounts in different countries for KENP pages read. Here is the breakdown for November, 2015 by country.
Amazon Revising Rules on Product Reviews (Seattle Times)
Amazon is revising its product review system six weeks after The Seattle Times reported on activists posting reviews to push their political and social agendas. “We are taking a close look at our policies regarding activism reviews and are considering changes,” Amazon spokesman Tom Cook said in a statement.
PRH to Close My Independent Bookshop (Bookseller)
Penguin Random House has announced it will close its consumer book recommendation site, My Independent Bookshop, ahead of the launch of its new website next year. PRH launched My Independent Bookshop in May, 2014 as a social platform that allowed readers to set up “virtual bookshops,” where they could share their favorite reads and review books online. The site also encouraged users to buy books through Hive, the Gardners website that allows shoppers to buy books online and collect them from independent bookstores.
4 Pricing Hacks for Online Retailers (Econsultancy)
Pricing hacks are small tactics that can make big impacts on your e-commerce sales. If you’re a retailer, the idea of trying something new might warrant a bit of caution moving forward. Doing things the old way is safe, and you don’t have to worry about garnering unfavorable results. But the safe road isn’t always the right road, especially when it comes to pricing strategies for online retailers. Here’s why.
Odilo and Gardners Partner to Boost Library Offering (DBW)
ODILO, an ebook provider in Europe and Latin America, has partnered with Gardners, an independent wholesaler of English language products and content. With the addition of more than 650,000 titles from Gardners in January 2016, close to one million bestselling and popular titles will be available from ODILO to North American libraries.
Benetech Partners with NY Public Library (PR Newswire)
Benetech, provider of Bookshare, announced a new partnership with the New York Public Library to make more than 370,000 accessible ebooks free to their patrons with print disabilities.
Challenges of Translating Indigenous African Languages (Pub Perspectives)
Publishers have failed to translate many works to and from indigenous African languages for multiple reasons, from lack of financial interest to oral sounds which are untranslatable into print.