Why the Amazon Question Is Also a Mobile One

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Not long after upgrading its search algorithm to give pride of place to mobile-optimized sites, Google develops a plan to add ‘buy’ buttons to certain search results appearing on mobile devices.

The move is reportedly aimed at stemming the tide of shoppers who get irritated trying to make purchases through retailers’ cumbersome mobile sites and wind up heading to their Amazon app instead.

As mobile use continues to build, particularly among millennials, many businesses fear surrendering their all-important customer relationships to e-tailers like Amazon that may have a leg up in the mobile marketplace.

For publishers still working to build those relationships in the first place, mobile is already a part of the equation—like it or not.

Much more.

Related: Mobile Strategies for Digital Publishing


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Google Tries Undercutting Amazon in the Cloud (GeekWire)
Google lowers prices on some of its cloud computing services by up to 30% in a bid to attract customers from the likes of Microsoft and Amazon. One observer anticipates Google’s cloud competitors will probably roll out competitive discounts of their own.
Related: Amazon Sends the Cloud to the Classroom

New Typeface for Google Play Books (9to5 Google)
Google Play Books debuts “Literata,” a new font designed for “long reads on all devices.” Literata came packaged with an update that went live earlier this month and replaces Droid Serif, the previous default. Here’s a look at the new typeface and the logic behind the design.
Related: Five Ebook Typography Tips

Kindle Unlimited Pool Swells, Payouts Not So Much (Pub Lunch)
Amazon adds to the fund from which it compensates authors who make their titles available on Kindle Unlimited, its subscription-based ebook platform, hitting a record $9.8 million for the month of April. But the average payout to authors for each borrow keeps toward the lower end of the spectrum we’ve seen since the program launched.

Barnes & Noble Discounts Nooks (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The bookseller launches a sale for the two latest models of its Nook tablets and a trade-in program for owners of older devices, leading some to speculate that those hardware lines aren’t selling as briskly as Barnes & Noble may have hoped.

Leadership Changes at Hachette UK (PW)
Orion Publishing Group CEO and Hachette UK Deputy CEO David Young will retire by the end of this year, with a number of executive-level appointments following in the wake of that news.

The Case for Iterative Publishing (Pub Perspectives)
Leanpub is hardly the first publishing start-up to invite readers behind the scenes in order to help shape the editorial process. But it may be one of the only such platforms to allow authors to share hundreds of iterations of a single project with readers before officially publishing it.

Saturn Media Completes Txtr Takeover (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The German media conglomerate finalizes its acquisition of the ebook retailer that went bankrupt early this year. Saturn Media Group folds txtr’s customers into one of its divisions called Juke Entertainment.

Ebooks Slow to Catch on in Japanese Libraries (Japan News)
Despite Japan’s robust ebook market relative to those of other Asian countries, ebooks aren’t being embraced by libraries, likely due in large part to pricing models that keep them out of reach of most institutions. That may begin to change now that the Japan-based Rakuten owns the library distributor OverDrive, which began expanding its content offering to Japanese readers this time last year.

Ebook Annotation Still Lacking? (Time)
One commentator argues that annotating is a central component of the reading process itself and says the user experience on that score is still wanting in ebooks. But this article only finds fault with Kindle’s annotation features and doesn’t acknowledge the slate of other such tools already on the market.

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