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Other posts by Joe Wikert

Can You Force a Customer to Buy Print Instead of E?
July 19, 2012 | 8:59 am

Joe wikert Thats the question I kept asking myself as I read a report called The Impact of Ebook Distribution on Print Sales: Analysis of a Natural Experiment by Jeff Hu and Mike Smith. Youll notice that the report was originally written a couple of years ago but I believe the results would be the same today. Back in 2010 there was some debate about whether a publisher could maximize revenue by delaying the release of an ebook. So just as paperback release follows hardback release the thinking was the ebooks release should come out after the print book so that customers would have...

A Better Lending Library Model
July 9, 2012 | 10:05 am

Wikert I wrote earlier about what I dont like about Amazons Kindle Owners Lending Library program (think pay-for-performance) and a recent interview I did with Logos CEO Bob Pritchett helped crystalize where this model is (hopefully) heading. First of all, I now figure Amazon could just leave the flat fee mode in place for those publishers who are OK with it. Obviously there are some smaller publishers who feel they dont need pay-for-performance and theyre happy with the flat fees Amazon offered. But since the service is missing content from so many other publishers Amazon needs to start thinking about other options...

We Should Open an eBookstore
June 25, 2012 | 12:49 pm

Joe wikert Crazy idea, right? And by 'we' I mean, 'publishers.' Big Six. Little guys. Everyone in between. What if we all got together and created an ebookstore? Assuming the DoJ wouldnt rule it out as another misguided case of collusion, I think this would be a terrific idea. The thinking here was partially inspired by this interesting post from Valoboxs Oli Brooks. Oli talks about creating an API where customer purchase data is shared. The goal is for someone to buy once, read anywhere. I love the concept but I question whether a retailer like Amazon would ever support it by exposing...

Reading Reinvented
June 12, 2012 | 8:49 am

Citia  I realize thats a pretty bold headline. How many times has someone proclaimed that reading has been reinvented by product X or platform Y? Too many to count, Im sure. So what makes things different this time? Thats up to you to decide, of course, but I believe the approach Semi-Linear is taking with their Citia iPad app is game-changing. In the past Ive tried to articulate a vision for what I called 'layered content' (see here and here, for example). An important attribute of layered content is that the reader can quickly dip in and out of it, only drilling down...

B&N Desperately Needs To Become a Technology Company
May 29, 2012 | 10:29 am

Joe wikert Competition is always a good thing, right? In today's marketplace B&N is the company best positioned  to compete with Amazon for #1 in ebook sales. The problem is B&N still operates like a brick-and-mortar retailer while Amazon is a technology company to the very core. Some have suggested that Microsoft's investment in B&N will help them make the transition to becoming a technology company. If spinning off the Nook business is what it takes for B&N to start thinking more like Apple, Google and Amazon then let's hope they do it soon. As the owner of a Nook with GlowLight it's painfully obvious that...

Why advertising could become Amazon’s knockout punch
May 21, 2012 | 12:33 pm

Joe wikert It all started harmlessly enough with Amazon's Kindle with Special Offers. That's the cheaper Kindle that displays ads when the device is in sleep mode or at the bottom of the screen when paging through the owner's catalog of books. It is very unobtrusive and, since it lowered the price of the device, has made that Kindle an extremely popular device. Now there are rumors that Amazon is selling ad space on the Kindle Fire's welcome screen. That sounds pretty reasonable too as it's a simple way for Amazon to drive a bit of additional income that's pure profit for them. Given that...

B&Ns Nook with GlowLight: Why I Still Use an eInk eReader
May 7, 2012 | 10:48 am

Joe wikert My new eInk reader, B&Ns Nook with GlowLight, arrived last Thursday. I'm winding down my use of a Kindle Touch and wanted to move to another ebook retailers platform going forward. This, of course, is a major headache since I've already bought dozens of DRM-protected ebooks from Amazon. I figure I'll read the last couple I bought on my Kindle and all future purchases will be from B&N...until some other device catches my eye. :-) So what do I think of the Nook with GlowLight? Its just like my Kindle Touch, but with a built-in light. That pretty much sums it...

What if DRM Goes Away?
April 24, 2012 | 9:13 am

Joe wikert TOC Latin America was held last Friday in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires. Kat Meyer, my OReilly colleague, and Holger Volland did a terrific job producing the event. As is so often the case with great conferences, part of the value is spending time with speakers and other attendees in between sessions and at dinner gatherings Last Thursday night I was fortunate enough to have dinner with Kat, Holger and a number of other TOC Latin America speakers. We discussed a number of interesting topics but my favorite one was asking each person this question: What happens if DRM goes...

Disappointed by Google
April 9, 2012 | 1:33 pm

Joe wikert Last week Google announced plans to wind down the reseller component of their eBook service. As Google put it, the program "has not gained the traction that we hoped it would", so they're pulling the plug next January. Like any well-focused company, Google is smart to reinvest in successful products and kill ones that aren't working. I don't question Google's decision to end the reseller program but I do question whether they invested enough to give it a chance. Google seems to have a corporate philosphy of planting a product seed and assuming others will embrace it and help it bloom....

B&Ns Nook Platform is Rough Around the Edges
March 19, 2012 | 1:37 pm

Wikert Now that I've abandoned Amazon I need to find an alternate ebook retailer. Even though I'm switching platforms I have no desire to buy someone else's dedicated e-reader. My plan is to do more reading on my new Asus Android tablet. B&N was my first choice but my initial results have been very disappointing. The Nook ebook buying experience is similar to Amazon with two exceptions: the number of customer reviews and topic subcategories. Most reports indicate B&N has no more than half the ebook market share that Amazon does. That translates into considerably fewer customer reviews for most titles on...

Thoughts on eBook Pricing
March 13, 2012 | 8:51 am

Joe wikert With all the buzz about the agency model, the Justice Department, allegations of collusion, etc., I figure the time is right for a post about ebook pricing. Here are some quick thoughts as both a consumer and a publisher: Eliminating waste is always a good thing -- Walmart has mastered this for years. They squeeze every bit of waste out of the supply chain and generally end up with the lowest prices. I'm a frequent Walmart customer and I greatly appreciate this. In fact, the only people who don't like this are (a) other retailers who can't match those prices...

Barnes & Noble: Its Time to Disrupt the Industry!
January 30, 2012 | 10:00 am

Joe wikert Three articles have sparked my thinking on this post. The are: The Charlie Stross piece entitled Cutting their own throats, Joseph Esposito's insightful post on How B&N Can Take a Bite Out of Amazon, and The New York Times article, The Bookstore's Last Stand Stross talks about how the publishing industry has allowed Amazon to use DRM as a tool against itself. Esposito suggests "B&N needs an MCI solution" while the Times piece encourages B&N to have a sense of urgency in avoiding the same fate as Borders. Rolling all of these together I have a radical, three-step suggestion for William Lynch, CEO...