About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The retail front

So let's see what's happening this week in the world of e-books and retailing.

Borders officially launched its e-book store today and has new low prices on the Sony Reader in their e-reader department, which is also charging forward and looking toward the opening of in-store AreaE sections in stores next month where people can play with the Sony, Kobo and Alutek devices, promises of more to come. Their goal, expressed in this news release, is to gain a 17% market share in e-books.

And now here's an article from Publishers Weekly, reporting on a Barnes & Noble investor conference presentation. An article in the print edition of PW this week further elaborates, saying B&N claims a 20% share of the e-book market currently compared to a 17% share of print books, that they now sell 80% of their Nooks in retail stores vs. internet, and that currently print retail accounts for 90% of book sales but will drop to under 70% by 2014. Even though they see brick and mortar sales diminishing, the current economic situation is allowing them to renew leases at lower rents, so they don't expect to close more than 35ish stores over the next few years.

They also think e-books will be great, opening up sales of more books to more people just like mass market paperbacks did 50 and 60 years ago. I'd like to think they're correct, but as I discussed a bit back B&N is very optimistic about a lot of things right now because management is trying to preserve itself against a corporate raider.

And the other bit of news from Publishers Weekly is that Books a Million has quietly started its e-book store.

Well, it's all very exciting and interesting to watch.

And in closing here is a review of the Kobo from the wonderful Jessica Strider, who helps make World's Biggest Bookstore a must on any trip to Toronto, and made me very jealous with her recent vacation reports.