Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

02/29/2012

The Publishing Industry Should Create a One World E-Book Alliance – You Know Why?


Amazon 'Netting" Publishing Industry

To fight Amazon from taking complete control of the publishing industry. This could possibly turn out to be a harsh dictatorship.

Anytime you have one business with too much control of their market bad things just naturally result, if history is any indicator.

Amazon is a good company NOW, don’t get me wrong, with great innovation and customer service; but, this could (and I believe would) change if  the big ‘A’ is allowed to gobble up the majority of the publishing market. It would be bad for society (readers) and other publishing peripherals such as publishers, bookstores, libraries, etc. 

By preventing this bulldozing of the publishing industry, I believe, would actually save Amazon from itself  — as well as improve the overall structure of the publishing industry as a whole (more competition, better pricing, more diverse offerings, better opportunities through varied choices, etc., etc.) 

Here is an educated, international view from Javier Celaya offered in Publishing Perspectives:

How to Counter Amazon: Create a One World E-Book Alliance

The aeronautical industry, once dominated by Boeing, managed to develop Airbus. The publishing industry should aspire to create its own “cultural Airbus.”
 
During my presentation earlier this month at the If Book Then conference in Milan, I proposed that European publishers create a joint platformto compete against Amazon. Although I admire Amazon for its culture of innovation and superb customer service, I do not consider it beneficial either for society (readers) or any of the entities involved in the book industry (publishers, bookstores, libraries, etc.) to allow one company to take on such a leading position in the cultural world and be able to determine its future at its own whim. A diverse variety of online bookstores would guarantee more competition, resulting in better services and a broader range of content for all readers.
 
Although the creation of a joint venture is not an easy task, I am pleased to see that my suggestion was not taken as entirely ludicrous. Last week, the main Spanish financial daily – Expansión – published an article announcing that Grupo Planeta, Telefónica and Bertelsmannare planning to create a common platform to counteract Amazon’s growing leadership position. In the event of any potential criticism by those who tend to disapprove of risky ventures, I take this opportunity to express my support for this strategic decision since these three companies will undoubtedly be confronted with a remarkable challenge.
 
Amazon is an excellent company with almost 20 years’ experience in electronic business, an admirable customer service policy, and an enviable corporate ethos of persistent innovation. Offering a competitive alternative to Amazon will not be easy, although it will not be an impossible one either. Other industries, such as the aeronautical industry, which was once dominated by Boeing, managed to develop the Airbus consortium. The publishing industry can also aspire to create its own “cultural Airbus.”

To achieve this ambitious goal, European publishers and international online retailers should consider the following key factors:

Aggregating content, financial and human resources offers a competitive advantage

In the analog era, companies reached the top singly; in the new era of social participation, leadership is achieved through business collaboration. As I mentioned during the conference in Milan, aggregating content, financial and human resources on the Internet is essential in order to compete in the new digital economy. The sum of content and services of an Airbus type consortium will prompt economies of scale which will become their main competitive weapon.

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