Tag Archives: sales

Amazon’s Next Big Thing: A Store?

Amazon is likely the largest and most successful retailer that doesn’t exist in a physical sense…until now…maybe.

According to this article by the Huffington Post, Amazon is planning to open its first store. The store would be located in its city of origin — Seattle, Washington — and could open in the next few months.

There have been rumors about Amazon opening a store for years, but now the popular book-selling and Kindle-creating web site could really use the help. As the article mentions, Amazon is facing fierce competition from Barnes and Noble, with its Nook and its decision not to sell Amazon-published book in any of its stores. Not to mention, not having an Amazon “brick and mortar” store makes it difficult to repair Kindles — unlike, say, the Apple Store, with its ability to easily repair iPads.

No specific design plan has been announced yet. But with the popularity of the site, I could see the store opening and quickly becoming a nationwide phenomenon that will likely spread at a rapid rate.

What do you think?

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Archie Comics Makes Bold Digital Move

Just as e-books are rapidly growing in popularity, so are digital sales of comic books. Just last week, Archie Comics became the first to offer digital copies of its comic books on the company’s Facebook page.

According to this article by Huffington Post, it’s the largest publisher to add their Facebook fans to their digital sales plan. Archie Comics will work with Graphicly to provide the digital copies. Archie is now being touted as one of the more forward thinking comic book companies. This digital move is considered a bold one.

Archie Comics already offers digital copies of its new comic books to readers the day the comics are released. The company’s Archie Comics app has been downloaded 4 million times. They’re also the first to offer Spanish-speaking copies of their comic books. Co-CEO Jon Goldwater explains toHuffPo why this move is such a big deal.

Facebook has been a huge source of fan interaction, feedback and energy. The ability to merge that with our significant digital output is really a no-brainer. No company with our level of reach on Facebook has done this. It’s in the numbers. Having the chance to make our Facebook page a place for fans to not only learn about the company’s news and initiatives but also to sample our titles and build a collection right on Facebook. It’s really a major move toward connecting the potential reader to the product. We make it easy and hopefully create a new, lasting part of our fanbase.

Goldwater explains that once you like the Archie Facebook page, you can click “Comics” and start reading the first few pages of a title. If you’re so inclined, you have the option to purchase the comic book. It seems like a relatively simple process. It blows my mind how little I know about the comic book world, but it IS kind of amazing to imagine a world where you can log onto Facebook and buy whatever digital copy of a book or comic book you want — instead of having to go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Showdown: Barnes and Noble vs. Amazon

Now that Amazon has a growing book publishing industry, authors will have to choose between selling their books on Amazon or in Barnes and Noble and other bookstores across the country. One thing’s for sure; they can’t have it both ways.

Last week, Barnes and Noble released a statement, saying it would not sell Amazon-published books in its stores. According to this article by The New York Times, the decision is the latest punch in the battle between B&N and Amazon. B&N’s chief merchandising officer, Jaime Carey explains the reasoning behind the decision.

“Our decision is based on Amazon’s continued push for exclusivity with publishers, agents and the authors they represent. These exclusives have prohibited us from offering certain e-books to our customers. Their actions have undermined the industry as a whole and have prevented millions of customers from having access to content. It’s clear to us that Amazon has proven they would not be a good publishing partner to Barnes & Noble as they continue to pull content off the market for their own self interest.”

Yikes; it’s clear that the tension between the two biggest booksellers in the country has been growing for quite some time.

Barnes and Noble will still sell Amazon-published books on its web site, but not all of them.

This move by Barnes and Noble may be smarter than it seems. Choosing not to sell Amazon’s books might seem like the company is limiting itself. On the other hand, a good number of authors will inevitably choose not to have Amazon publish their books if it means Barnes and Noble won’t sell them. That being said, it will be interesting to see how many books Amazon winds up publishing in 2012.

*Sidenote: Amazon’s latest publishing move is a book by country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.

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Hunger Games Movie Marketing Boosts Book Sales

People are getting hungry for The Hunger Games (See what I did there?) The movie version of the bestselling book is still two months away from debuting in theaters, but the hype has convinced people to crack open the book.

According to this article by The New York Times, circulation of the series — including The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay — has more than doubled since the summer. That’s when production on the first movie began. At that point, only 9.6 million book in the series were in circulation in the U.S. But now, that number has climbed to about 23 million copies.

With help from the movie’s production company, Lionsgate, people are getting excited, as Brooks Barnes and Julie Bosman explain.

Tim Palen, the studio’s chief marketing officer, started adding kindling soon after, slowly doling out images of the characters — including Jennifer Lawrence as the young heroine, Katniss Everdeen — and sneak-peek film footage to MTV…The first full-length trailer made its debut on Nov. 18 (with “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1”), igniting Facebook and the blogosphere.

Scholastic officials say this isn’t all Lionsgate’s gates doing. The holiday gift-giving season and word-of-mouth also contributed to the spike in sales. Either way, there’s still more to come. Scholastic will release special movie tie-in version of the books February 3rd, which is sure to improve sales further.

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Book Sales Soar During Holiday Season

This holiday season, there were two factors that had bookstore owners concerned: the popularity of e-books and a poor economy. Most expected abysmal sales of print books.

But according to this article by the New York Times, they were wrong. Book sales are up this year from last year. In most cases, stores have seen a 10-30% rise in sales, and that includes independent bookstores and Barnes and Noble.

The closing of Borders likely had something to do with it. Or as I like to think, maybe people are better appreciating physical books now that e-books are taking over. But while November and December sales are up, bookstore owners are concerned about what the dull post-holiday season will bring, as this one explains in the article.

Sales are up 15 percent from last year at Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon, Wis., the store’s owner, Lanora Hurley, said, speculating that she may have been helped by the closing of a Borders store about seven miles away.

“We’re just going gangbusters and having a great time,” Ms. Hurley said, adding cautiously that she was concerned that it would not last. “I have to say, I’m worried about January. Everybody’s going to open their electronic device for Christmas.”

Hurley has a point. As much as people purchase books this year, they’re also purchasing e-readers. But I think this is all working toward a better future for the book industry. It certainly proves that the industry is alive and well. And apparently entering a new age.

It seems that this year’s holiday bestsellers aren’t fiction books. Nonfiction is leading the way with the Steve Jobs biography, memoirs by the likes of Diane Keaton and Gabrielle Giffords, and political books.

Of course, this is a somewhat natural holiday shopping spike. But could it also mean the Renaissance of the book?

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