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With Bookish, Publishers Compete with Amazon for Direct Sales

May 10, 2011

Tags: e-books, bookish, book publishing

Three publishers (Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Hachette), frustrated that few book buyers visit their company sites, have created Bookish.com, hoping it will become a destination for readers the way Pitchfork.com is for music lovers and IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Netflix are for films -- where site visitors can read recommendations, reviews, and recommendations from other readers and can buy books from the site or other retailers--reports Julie Bosman (
Publishers Make a Plan: A ‘One Stop’ Book Site
, NY Times, 5-6-11). She doesn't mention Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble . The Bookish staff will select books from 14 or more publishers.

Mike Shatzkin (whose column consistently offers invaluable insights into the changing world of publishing) puts this development in perspective in The old publishing value chain got twisted a bit last week (The Shatzkin Files, 5-3-11). "Bookish, which will be the 'new digital destination for readers'... promises to use content and software tools to promote discussion and discovery around books and to answer the reader’s question: 'what book should I read next?' ... Bookish is trying to straddle the same fence that Google, and, to a lesser extent, Kobo are: being an ally of existing retailers while selling direct to consumers itself. What they’re suggesting they’ll do is reminiscent of Copia and Goodreads and Library Thing...The hunch here is that if any one of these three big publishers had gone aggressively into direct sales, they would have risked serious retaliation from both of their two biggest customers: Amazon and Barnes & Noble."

Learn more about the future of books and e-books at the
Publishers Launch Conferences @ BEA: eBooks Go Global
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at Javits Center
9:00 – 5:00