How dominant is Amazon becoming in online retail? More than four in 10 people turn to Amazon first when searching for products online, according to a survey commissioned by the e-commerce software startup BloomReach.
In a survey of 2,000 online shoppers in the U.S., 44 percent of respondents said they go directly to Amazon when looking to buy or research a product online. 34 percent use search engines like Google as first stops for product searches. And just 21 percent start an online shopping trip by searching on another retailer’s website, according to the survey.
For comparison’s sake, a 2012 Forrester Research study found that at that time, 30 percent of U.S. online shoppers started on Amazon and 13 percent started on search engines. The comparison isn’t perfect, because these were two surveys carried out by two different organizations with potentially different methodologies. But it wouldn’t be surprising if Amazon experienced such a market-share jump with the momentum it has.
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Apple ‘Own Worst Enemy,’ U.S. Antitrust Monitor Says in Report (Reuters)
Apple’s antitrust compliance program has improved, but the company continues to impede a court-appointed monitor overseeing the program, acting as “its own worst enemy,” the monitor told a federal judge in a report made public on Tuesday. Michael Bromwich, who was assigned to monitor Apple’s internal antitrust policies after U.S. District Judge Denise Cote found the company liable for conspiring to raise ebook prices, said Apple persisted in raising objections to his requests for information.
Bonnier Working on Subscription Ebook Service (Digital Reader)
With Oyster walking away and Scribd scaling back, it would be easy to assume that the future of streaming ebook services is Kindle Unlimited, but Bonnier would disagree. This publishing conglomerate has started developing a subscription ebook and audiobook service in its native Sweden. Bookbeat is not open the public yet, but it is described as a flat rate service like Scribd or KU that will let users read as much as they want.
Twitter’s Project Lightning Has Arrived (Re/code)
Just 24 hours after Jack Dorsey officially took over as the new CEO, Twitter is finally rolling out Project Lightning, the multimedia update it has aggressively pitched for months, to resuscitate growth and get Twitter back on track with Wall Street. In many ways, Lightning is Twitter’s most important product update ever. The new product, which Twitter is now calling Moments, allows for a group of tweets to be stitched together around a specific topic, such as the Super Bowl or a breaking news event. These Moments are curated by Twitter, or Twitter partners like BuzzFeed and the New York Times. Unlike your Twitter timeline, in which tweets are typically read in reverse chronological order, Moments are constructed in the same way you’d read a book, with a beginning, middle and end.
Big Stars, Cookbooks and Dominos at Frankfurt (Yahoo)
Author Salman Rushdie will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Frankfurt International Book Fair, which will feature a larger and more international culinary section than ever before, in addition to its usual roster of hot fiction and non-fiction titles and deals. Asia’s role as a literary hotspot will be highlighted at this year’s fair, which is spotlighting Indonesia as 2015 Guest of Honour. The country, which has seen sustained economic growth over the past 10 years, has a developing domestic book market and, as 40-50 percent of its published titles are translations—mainly English, Arabic, Chinese, Korean and Japanese—is the largest buyer of rights in Southeast Asia.
Pubslush Closes, Colborne Communications Founds PubLaunch (DBW)
Colborne Communications is parting ways with Pubslush and announcing the start of a new venture called PubLaunch, kicking off on February 1st, 2016. PubLaunch is a web-based company that connects industry professionals with writers while providing the crowdfunding services they need to get their projects published. Colborne announced its acquisition of Pubslush in August. The deal did not come to fruition, though, and Pubslush has announced that it will be closing its doors after a three-year run.
Amazon Expands One-Hour Deliveries in London (Bookseller)
Amazon has expanded its one-hour delivery service, Prime Now, to London postcodes by a factor of five. The expansion, predominantly across southwest London, follows the opening of a new Amazon delivery hub in Wimbledon. One-hour delivery is now available to Prime customers in Merton, Wandsworth and Sutton, while postcode eligibility for delivery within a two-hour window extends to Kingston, Sunbury and Croydon.
Waterstones Removes Amazon Kindles from Stores (Bookseller)
Waterstones is removing Amazon’s Kindle devices from many of it stores as sales “continue to be pitiful.” The company’s managing director, James Daunt, said there had been no sign of a “bounce” in Kindle sales, so the company was “taking the display space back” to use for physical books instead.
The Secret of Nigerian Book Sales (New Yorker)
At almost every Nigerian literary event the writer has attended, the topic of the country’s lack of reading culture has come up. The falling standard of education, increasing culture of materialism, poverty and online distractions are given as reasons for this alleged loss of interest. Abysmal sales at bookshops across the country are presented as evidence. For the past 11 years, Jemiyo Ariyo has worked as a salesperson at The Booksellers Limited, in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State. “Nigerians don’t take reading seriously,” she said, adding that she has observed a dramatic decrease in the sale of fiction.
Before You Launch Your Author Website (Jane Friedman)
An author website is a long-term investment in your publishing career. It should be something you own and control, and that grows with you from title to title. To accomplish that, publishing consultant Jane Friedman provides three ways to avoid long-term pain and suffering if you’re preparing to establish your first author website.
International Translation Day Highlights (Pub Perspectives)
Publishing Perspectives provides a recap of the speakers and discussions from International Translation Day, held last week. Engaging readers in the changing media landscape of the Internet age was the focus of the opening panel, and Jonathan Ruppin later said that of the 500 bestselling titles at Foyles so far this year, around 60 have been translated books, which he said goes to show that “if bookshops get behind translated books, there’s a huge market out there.”
The Classroom of the Future, 2015 (DBW)
The Frankfurt Book Fair announced that this year’s Classroom of the Future at the fair will be innovative and digital, and even more varied than in previous years, as the main spotlight will be on the “Schoolbook of the Future.” Studies have shown that 70 percent of schoolchildren prefer working with printed books. The advantages of digital teaching materials should not be underestimated, though. The Classroom of the Future will present a hybrid solution: pupils will be given a printed booklet (to keep) with invisible watermarks. Using a smartphone, they will then develop digital updates to the content.
Try Meditative Coloring to Help Ease Stress and Anxiety (LifeHacker)
Most of us know coloring as a childhood activity involving Crayons and an OCD-like urge to stay only within the lines. But coloring for adults may actually have stress-relieving effects, according to a small study. Here’s why you might want to give it a try.