Capn Design

Amazon Source and the Future of Bookstores

Amazon has introduced a new program for booksellers which lets them purchase Kindles at a 6% discount and earn 10% on any ebook purchased over the next 2 years. If you put the numbers aside, this appears to be Amazon’s attempt at letting booksellers focus on what they do best: recommend books and create a space for book lovers.

Imagine a bookstore that only sold beautiful objects, coffee, and advice. I’m sure they’d host book clubs and have author events. Amazon can’t replicate any of these things very well over the internet—they try hard to do advice, but recommendation software is still an unsolved problem—so they leave it to independents.

If there was a way for a bookstore to make enough money selling these things, then everyone wins. It seems like Source is just a point in a long conversation; it’s imperfect but it’s pushing us closer to an answer.

[via kottke]