Amazon Steps Up Its Publishing Game While Kobo Throws In With Indie Bookstores

Amazon Steps Up Publishing Game, Kobo Throws In With Indie Bookstores

via PaidContent and Galleycat:

We've got two interesting items from the publishing realm--first up is Amazon, stepping up its publishing game by signing a deal with Ingram to distribute its eBooks to rivals like Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple. 

This would apply to the books Amazon is publishing under its own varying imprints, like Thomas & Mercer and 47North, not self-published material. Sites likes Barnes & Noble and Kobo, of course, don't have to carry the books, but they have the option to, if they want. 

So the big question is: Will they? Laura Hazard Owen at PaidContent hashes it out--check out what she has to say.  

Meanwhile, Kobo has announced a partnership with the American Booksellers Association to let independent bookstores sell eBooks and share in the profits. Indie bookstores already do this through Google, though that program is coming to an end soon--indie booksellers couldn't even clear the costs of the program dues.

Kobo will launch with 400 participating bookstores, and all of them will have access to Kobo's collection of nearly 3 million books. They're not the only players in this game, though. Startup company Zola is also looking to allow indie bookstores to sell eBooks for a cut of the profits. Lots of interesting stuff happening in the bookselling world. 

What do you think about Amazon extending its reach? 

And would you buy your eBooks through an indie bookstore?

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GaryP's picture
GaryP from Denver is reading a bit of this and that August 30, 2012 - 7:34am

As the previous owner of an indie bookstore (we're in the process of closing down right now), I can tell you that consumers do not think "indie bookstore" and ebooks. We offered Google ebooks, and only sold one or two a month to our current customer base. No one outside of our customer base bought any.

Why? I would imagine it's because the majority of consumers don't think about it. When they purchase books online, they think Amazon, B&N, or possibly some other, larger, online presence than the bookstore they have (or had) down the street. They just assumed they couldn't get ebooks from us. 

The other downside for indies is the ability to have a web presence that looks and feels like the experience they get from Amazon. When selling Google ebooks we could NOT tie into the Google search functions. Consumers had to know what they wanted to buy (i.e., they had to take the extra step to search Google ebooks on Google) and then come to our website to make the purchase. Obviously the majority of our customers wouldn't do that. They didn't want the hassle of, what, four maybe five extra clicks of the mouse to purchse from us.


Did you know you can order paper books from your local indies and get them within four or five business days WITHOUT SHIPPING COSTS?

EVERY SINGLE DAY when we asked, "Would you  like us to order that for you?" (if we didn't have it in stock), we got the reply along the lines: "Oh, that's okay, I'll just order from Amazon." As if that's something we wanted to hear. Only customers who understood that supporting local indie shops is the only way to keep local indie shops around, bought from us. People bemoan the fact that local indies are dying. It's quite simple: don't buy from Amazon. Don't buy from B&N. People like the idea of local indies, they just don't think about what it means to support them.

So if you have a local indie and want them to be around tomorrow, order your books from them or don't be surprised when they close.

"But I don't have a local indie near me so I have to buy from Amazon." It's called the fucking Internet ... find an indie bookshop's website that sells ebooks in another fucking state and fucking order from them.

Only YOU can prevent the death of indie bookstores. Find one ANYWHERE IN YOUR COUNTRY and support it.