Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kindle News - Amazon gets 20% of global visitors, what it may mean; how some small bookstores do well; Amazon's NY publishing arm gets Ferriss; theft of Mona Lisa 100 yrs ago

The following isn't a book, but I just read the FT Magazine article, "Who stole the Mona Lisa?" by Simon Kuper, written for the 100th anniversary of the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre.  It's a fascinating read in many ways, and I thought that other Kindle readers interested in art, or mystery, or history might enjoy it as much as I did.  The photo used here is of the missing Mona Lisa at the Louvre. :-).

  Kindle-Edition blog subscribers can click on the link and be taken (slowly) to the article after you say OK to turning on Wireless to get it.
 When there, press Menu button and select "Article Mode" and you'll get a nicely formatted version of it.  Then press the 'Back' button on the Kindle (UK: K3) to get back to the blog.  Once there, press Menu botton again and select "Wireless Off" to save the battery...

Back to Kindle News, etc.
Amazon visited by 20% of global Internet users in June
comScore reported the other day that Amazon sites were visited by 1 in 5 global Internet users in June, reaching the largest global audience (of the companies studied), with more than 282 million visitors that month, or 20.4% of the worldwide internet population.

  Other top brands included in the study were eBay (16.2%), China's Corporation (11.3% reach), Worldwide Sites (9.7% reach) and Japan's Rakuten Inc. (4.2% reach).
  Go to the article to read more of the analysis, as it involves 5 other large companies also, including Walmart.

In connection with comScore's findings
eWeek's article on Amazon, and the tablet-content/media ecosystem it's been building, uses comScore's findings to do some extremely optimistic projections.  Using comScore's 282 million visitors stat for June, eWeek writes:
'If even 10 percent of those nearly 300 million visitors purchase an Amazon tablet later this year and through 2012, that would be 30 million tablets sold, or equal [to] Apple's iPad user base as it currently stands.
[Andrys here: 10%, even through 2012, is just way high, from the random visitors interested in ALL kinds of Amazon products.]
Assuming the iPad enjoys a strong holiday sales push this year, and that Apple launches the iPad 3 in early 2012 as rumored, the company might have 45 million tablets sold in 6 months. That would put Amazon's Android tablet within striking distance of the iPad's marketshare.

Of course, Amazon has to deliver a product these Internet users will want to purchase, so there are lot of mitigating factors to this scenario. But an Amazon tablet is almost certainly better off than Honeycomb tablets with fragmented content support systems. '

Some small, independent bookstores survive while some large ones don't
The Herald-News (a Chicago Sun-Times publication) has refreshing news about what some independent bookstores have done to not only retain their customers but increase them in this digital world.  It includes personal service, expertise, special events and author drop-ins -- real-world activities and human-interaction which Internet stores can't provide except via alpha-characters on the screen.

Amazon's publishing arm in New York signs up Timothy Ferriss
The Guardian (UK) reported, on the 17th, that Amazon made "its first major acquisition for its publishing imprint by snapping up the rights to" Timothy Ferris' new book, The 4-Hour Chef, which will be published in print, digital and audio formats next April.  His previous books were published by Random House's imprint, Crown, but Ferriss said "My readers are migrating irreversibly into digital and it made perfect sense to work with Amazon to try to redefine what is possible.  I could not be more excited about what we're doing."

Jeff Belle, VP of Amazon Publishing said that "There are a number of high-profile authors who reach out to us regularly" at least to see how their sales could be improved.

Publishers understandably aren't going to be ecstatic about this.  HarperCollins UK's chief executive, Victoria Barnsley, said, on Radio 4's World at One, that Amazon's increasing power on the global scene is a concern, adding that "We call them frenemies..." while fretting that Amazon is "getting close to being in a sort of a monopolistic situation" (in the place of older monopolies, I guess).  "They control over 90% of the physical online market in the UK and over 70% of the ebook market..."

 The article points out that ten writers have sold more than a million copies of their books through the Kindle Store and that, as we've seen in the news the last week, "Janet Evanovich and Kathryn Stockett are the latest authors to do so, and the others include Stieg Larsson, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Charlaine Harris, Lee Child, Suzanne Collins, Michael Connelly and John Locke.

  Stockett, now riding high with The Help, which has over 4,000 customer reviews with an average 4.6 stars and a film version that just opened in the U.S., is the first debut novelist in the million-plus group.

For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
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Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's)   K3 Special ($114)   K3-3G Special ($139)   DX Graphite

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  1. That 10% isn't just way high, if Amazon introduces that tablet like they introduced the Kindle it'll not even be available to more than half their users for the first several years as it'll be marketed first to the US exclusively, adding Canada and Mexico after a year or so, and other countries progressively after that.

    So they'd have to get at least 20% of the users who're being offered the product to buy it, and a lot of those users (at least among the group who're potential customers for a tablet, which many won't be) will already have one or two other tablets.
    It'd have to be really special to achieve that kind of market penetration, something I don't see happening given as to how similar all other tablets are (form factor, technology, price, weight, capabilities are all almost identical).

  2. jw,
    Very true! You know that even if people can get the tablet(s), the vaunted streaming of Amazon media is not going to be global the first year, at least.

    One interesting thing, there are more people with e-readers than with tablets, so there is a crowd out there.

    They have been trained to believe the iPad is the only worthwhile model, though, but Amazon does have a chance to change that perception. So a lot is riding on the very first one.

    If it IS only the 7", the timing is sort of wrong.

    While tablets seem pretty much the same, what sets Amazon apart from them is that Amzn comes with ready content-rich material and Amazon can give all kinds of special $access to Amzn tablet buyers. Convenience and discounts.

    Also, support. But those projected numbers are, as you explain, over the top.


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