What happens when the distribution and retail of books shifts online, and one player begins to dominate? At the PublishingNext conference held in Goa last week concerns were raised about this shift, and panelists from the UK in particular pointed out the dangers of a power shift. This is important, particularly given the impending launch of Amazon, and the reportedly staggering growth of Flipkart.com in India; one panelist said that Flipkart sold as many books as the Crossword bookstore in 2010, and it is growing faster. Some notes from what was said about online bookstores at the conference: - Shift In Power Balance: James Bridle, a director at Bookkake, said that Amazon has been slowly eating its way up the value chain, especially because it comes with a huge amount of power and knowledge. Being a digital store gives Amazon an incredible amount of information on readers and users. "Publishers have some data, but we really don't get anything from them. We know so little about when people are reading. Through the Kindle, Amazon knows how people are reading, and it affects how they recommend books to people. They're changing the format of books themselves. They noticed that a lot of people weren't finishing books - we've all secretly know about, but don't say it - so they launched Amazon Singles, dedicated to shorter books. - Barnes & Noble vs Amazon: This understanding of the selling and reading of the books can be beneficial to publishers, but it also gives Amazon…
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