How Amazon Could Open ‘Profitable’ Retail Stores

How Amazon Could Open ‘Profitable’ Retail StoresA Wall Street Journal story has propelled a rumor that Amazon will open 400 or more stores in malls into industry discussion. Nobody really knows whether it is true and, as I write this, Amazon has not commented for the record.

If it is true, then I certainly am guilty of one wrong prediction. When Amazon opened their store in Seattle last year I figured it to be a one-off and a learning experience for them. I have always thought they’d steer clear of bricks-and-mortar for many reasons. One of those reasons, which made more sense when they were much smaller than they are now, is that their stock valuation was based on the fact that they are in future-oriented businesses, not stuck with the pre-internet limitations and cost structures of physical stores.

But, on the other hand, the network of distribution centers they have built could also be a great asset for a retail network. The WSJ story has spawned a subsequent explanation, or rumor, that they’re planning lots of stores, not just bookstores.

Much more.

Mike Shatzkin will interview Barnes & Noble’s new chief digital officer, Fred Argir, at Digital Book World 2016.

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5 Questions with Lorraine Shanley, President, MPI (DBW)
Lorraine Shanley is the president of Market Partners International, a consulting firm that specializes in traditional and digital publishing in the US and internationally. Her expertise includes market research, development and planning, multi-channel marketing, distribution and fulfillment, and executive search. At Digital Book World 2016, Shanley will be moderating a panel called “Finding the Talent Today to Build the Great Publishers of Tomorrow.” We recently spoke to Shanley about digital’s effect on children’s publishing, her experience working in different sectors of the industry, and what her DBW panel will focus on.

5 Steps to Creating a Great Audiobook (Jane Friedman)
Setting yourself up for success with audio will rely heavily on you, which is scary, I know. Don’t worry—we’ll get through this. If you can get your ducks lined up properly now, you’ll find it flows later on.

Organic Book Marketing (Chris McMullen)
I take a long-term approach to book marketing. My goal is to generate periodic sales over the course of several years. I’m more interested in how well the book sells years after its release than how well it sells when it makes its debut. Granted, a book often gets its best traffic in the beginning, so anything you might do to improve that could be a significant boost. But if you can get the book to sell consistently for years instead of tailing off, time can provide a huge boost of its own. That’s the potential of organic book marketing, if you can pull it off effectively.

Google’s ‘Future of the Book’ Cannot be Printed (Digital Reader)
For a little over a year now, Google has been working with London-based print book designers Visual Editions to develop new experimental concepts for the future of the book. Dubbed Editions at Play, the goal is to make books which “are actually digital. i.e. when the ‘book’ could not exist without the internet.”

Amid Lowered VAT on Ebooks, Italy Sees Print Sales Buoyed (Pub Perspectives)
Even amid shifting VAT rates on ebooks, Italy saw a rise in print sales in 2015 after a five-year decline, according to the latest data released by the Italian Publishers Association (AIE) and based on Nielsen services. Last year, the country’s print sales in traditional trade channels were up 0.7 percent over the previous year in AIE estimates, while the country’s total book sales—comprising ebooks and alternative trade channels such as museum shops, industry fairs and others—increased by 1.6 percent.

Germany’s Fixed-Price Laws Extended to Ebooks (Bookseller)
Germany’s fixed-price book laws are set to be extended to ebooks. The German cabinet announced February 3rd that the law, intended to promote diversity within the trade, should be extended to electronic books.

DK Launches Braille Series for Children (Bookseller)
DK, a division of Penguin Random House UK, will launch a series of braille books for children next month. The “DK Braille” series is the first of its kind for the publisher, which has created a range of non-fiction titles, ranging from board books to books for independent readers.


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