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.
Posted August 28, 2012
This post is for David Jacobs and all baseball lovers. It is a quote from The Marriage Plot, a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides. Enjoy.
“You know what paradise means?” he asked.
“It doesn’t mean ‘paradise’?”
“It means ‘walled garden.’ From the Arabic. That’s what a baseball stadium is. Especially Fenway. A walled garden. Look how green it is! It’s so soothing to just sit here and look at the field.”
It made me smile.
Kindle to Support Lending
This will be a differentiator between eBook services down the road. Movies are a social experience, so sharing is not quite as important. Also, we’re trending towards a subscription-based cloud model. Microsoft tried sharing with the Zune and it was the one thing people loved, so I am hoping we’ll see something here. For books, it’s going to be an issue. People tend to read them once and pass them on, so I’m curious to see how this progresses.
[Later] this year, we will be introducing lending for Kindle, a new feature that lets you loan your Kindle books to other Kindle device or Kindle app users. Each book can be lent once for a loan period of 14-days and the lender cannot read the book during the loan period. Additionally, not all e-books will be lendable - this is solely up to the publisher or rights holder, who determines which titles are enabled for lending.
I can only lend it once for 14 days? Lame, but I guess it’s a start.
Posted September 22, 2010
Ideo considers three aspects of the digital book’s future. It’s a nicely done video and it takes some features I looked at in my Multi-Layered iPad talk to a whole new world (a dazzling place, for you and me). Below is the video and some interesting points about each of the interfaces.
- It provides a view into what your friends and other important people think about the content you’re reading.
- I like how easy it is to scan through a book and find passages that are important. These would be a great research tool.
- Showing debates that started from a particular passage is interesting. It’d be nice if you could actually respond to the discussion inside the app. Bringing in outside content is a great start, but no one has built a reader that lets you discuss the media inside the app.
- It’s designed to show you what your colleagues, or social network, are reading.
- In theory, you can have a discussion about something inside the app, but you’re not actually reading the app here (I think), so it’s still not a direct link between consuming and creating.
- It turns the written word into a game.
- For example, if you’re in the right location or if you tap on your device with a secret code. It sounds like CondÃ© Naste and Activate’s Gourmet Live might be the first real app to attempt this.
- The idea of contributing to a story is pretty cool. I’d love to see my friend’s version of a particular passage or see a photo of my own house instead of a generic one when I’m reading a scary story.
Spying on How We Read
Paul Lamere comes up with some great lists Amazon could create with data about reading status in Kindle. Some examples:
Most Abandoned - the books and/or authors that are most frequently left unfinished. What book is the most abandoned book of all time?
Read Speed - which books/authors/genres have the lowest word-per-minute average reading rate? Do readers of Glenn Beck read faster or slower than readers of Jon Stewart?
The Ask, by Sam Lipsyte
Sam is a funny guy and wrote a book I quite enjoyed (The Subject Steve). This is his newest book and it’s out March 2nd. You can read the first 20 pages at GQ. [via VSL]
Watch the trailer for this new book from Andrew Zuckerman. Yes, a trailer for a book. It comes with a 60 minute video of all of the interviews in the book. Buy it. (Warning: Autoplay) [via Monscope]
The Awesome Three-Piece Book Jacket for Michael Chabon's Maps and Legends
Yes, this was everywhere a month or so ago, but I'm in clear-all-tabs mode.