Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How Amusing, Barnes & Noble Is Now Amazon's Biggest Publishing Problem

Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall, Contributor
I write about business and technology.
10/27/2013- Forbes

Well how’s that for a bit of the boot on the other foot then? It turns out that the biggest roadblock in the way of Amazon’s publishing ambitions is Barnes & Noble NE +1.26%. This is after Amazon has bulldozed its way through the book retailing industry and taken huge bites out of the e-book one. But it turns out that to launch best selling general interest titles it still pays to have bookshop exposure. And that’s just the thing that Amazon doesn’t have (obviously) and which Barnes & Noble isn’t willing to give them.

The basic point is that in order to get such a general interest title going you really need it to be on those front tables in the bookstore. Sure, you can work with the recommendation algorithms on Amazon (or other sites of course) so that you can alert known sci-fi readers to some new sci-fi and so on. But for a book that you’re trying to get hundreds of thousands to millions to read on a general subject this just doesn’t work. Because it’s general interest of course, not something specific that you can use big data techniques to find out who would likely buy it.
The problem here is that Barnes and Noble has said that it simply will not stock any titles from Amazon’s publishing arm.


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