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Industry News: Amazon’s Dive Into the Retail Pool

February 11, 2012

Amazon to pilot brick-and-mortar store (but not for books)

Previously, on As Amazon Turns, Barnes & Noble and some other stores refused to sell titles from Amazon’s hardcopy imprints. This week…

Amazon has announced plans to enter brick-and-mortar retail sales. The initial store, to be based in Seattle, won’t be as big as your typical Barnes & Noble, and it’ll concentrate on pricier items, such as computer tablets. The first store is a pilot to test the viability of opening s chain of stores across the country, and it’s expected to be open in time for holiday shopping. The intent of the store may be to sell Kindles and Kindle accessories.

At this point, this store is not an attempt by Amazon to get back at bookstores that won’t sell Amazon’s books in their stores. It’s an overall pilot to test whether the Amazon brand works in a mall. If the idea works, though, test-marketing a book store may be in the cards down the road, but that’s just personal conjecture.

Penguin Cuts off OverDrive and, for now, Libraries

Penguin Books, which only offers backlist e-books to libraries, is terminating its contract with OverDrive, the company that sells e-books to libraries. As of yesterday, it will no longer offer e-books or audio books to libraries. Penguin is negotiating to allow libraries to continue to offer the e-books they have, but with modified terms. For instance, if you want a Penguin e-book for your reader, you’ll have to download it to computer, then transfer it to your e-reader. The move is unlikely to be permanent, as Penguin is negotiating with other suppliers to pick up library e-book services.

Librarians aren’t fond of the move. A librarian in California has posted a sign in Google Docs that librarians can use to notify Penguin and other publishers that they aren’t fond of the move.

Canadian Firm Joins Amazon Boycott, eh?

Okay, so like, if you’re in the Great White North and you want to buy one of, like, JA Konrath’s books in Indigo Books and Music, take off! You can’t do it, eh! Indigo has joined Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, as well as American independent bookstores in denying shelf space to Amazon imprints because of Amazon’s push to exclusivity for its e-book products. In essence, the bookstores are saying if they can’t sell the e-book, they won’t sell the hardcopy.

2 Comments
  1. February 11, 2012 9:21 am

    wasn’t the Indies action prompted by Amazon’s urging Kindle-owners to scout out titles at a B&M store – then buy online?

  2. Chris Hamilton permalink
    February 11, 2012 7:15 pm

    That was part of it. Honestly, after blasting Amazon a couple times in the past week, I wanted to back off a little.

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