A perfect e-bookstore? "Maybe each one of us"

Image - iStockphoto: DYashkin
Image – iStockphoto: DYashkin

“To build our own vision of ebook nirvana”… It’s not that Chris Kubica and his “perfect e-bookstore” associates didn’t know the task was difficult.

“There are key things that ‘walled garden’ for-profit ebook sellers will never willingly give us,” he told me during our #PorterMeets interview.

…But then:

A strange thing happened: we pulled back. We second-guessed. We found ourselves in a dark wood. How can we compete with the Amazons of the world? The challenge seemed insurmountable.

Chris Kubica
Chris Kubica

Rather than leading to “an actionable specification that we could fund and build,” Kubica writes, “we found ourselves focused on finding one thing — just one — that Amazon’s walled garden doesn’t do really, really well.”

Seemingly overwhelmed by the scope of what they’d attempted, the group, as Kubica seems to describe it, had become daunted by the scale of its effort.

Ultimately, we found that perhaps the best way to get traction against a dominant player like Amazon is not to build something equally titanic, but to build something wee, something human. Grassroots. Peer-to-peer. Something simple. Distributed. Democratic. Something that will turn the focus back to art and away from commerce and shareholders. Connection. Emotion. Humanity. Maybe each one of us should be a bookstore?

Here, then, in fact, is an intriguing vision.

Read the full article at TheFutureBook

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By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

The FutureBook: A perfect e-bookstore? “Maybe each one of us”

Read the full post at: The Bookseller’s The FutureBook



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2 thoughts on “A perfect e-bookstore? "Maybe each one of us"

  1. There are a few questions I’d want to throw into the mix.

    1. Why is it, after 20 years of incredibly brilliant and rapacious efforts, does Amazon only have a 50% market share of the US trade book market?

    2. What factors are influencing the other 50% of the transactions?

    3. From a customer POV, there are things that Amazon does very well and not. What are they? What are the opportunities? The old SWOT analysis can come in handy. “Discovery” might go in the “Weakness” box. “Community” might also go in there too, along with “Curation.” There’s also the very intangible “Feel Good”; some shoppers almost confess guilty in buying at Amazon but complain that there aren’t other good alternatives. One would probably have to explore via a customer survey want that “Feel Good” is and isn’t and how well Amazon provides it.

    1. All good questions, Peter, thanks.

      I think (1) and (2), while great to ask, probably cannot be answered, at least readily and especially without the sales data that would indicate where sales patterns weren’t what Amazon might have wished and what might be impacting them so that, as you say, they don’t have complete control of the market.

      And as for (3), the group seems to have done a lot of analysis and thought along just these lines in its two days. We have some new insights on this coming in, and I’ll have a piece out later today at Thought Catalog on it.

      Many thanks!

      On Twitter @Porter_Anderson

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