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Amazon’s Growing Share of the Institutional Market - Joseph J. Esposito at Digital Book World 2014


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Amazon’s Growing Share of the Institutional Market

Joseph J. Esposito has had a long career in publishing as a top executive (Simon & Schuster, Random House, and as CEO at Encyclopedia Britannica) and, for the past two decades, as a consultant with many clients in scholarly and academic publishing. Esposito has found that many libraries are using Amazon as a principal source for book acquisitions, even though most publishers are not really aware of their active role in this marketplace. Esposito will make the case that Amazon is an important player in this market, not just with the consumer customer base that is seen as their greatest strength.

Published in: Education, Technology
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Amazon’s Growing Share of the Institutional Market - Joseph J. Esposito at Digital Book World 2014

  1. 1. Amazon’s Black Hole for Data Joseph J. Esposito Digital Book World 2014
  2. 2. The “Hawking Radiation” Project • Metaphor from astrophysics: information that escapes from a “black hole” • Amazon is notoriously secretive • Some of the information it releases is misleading • The fawning media compound Amazon’s reticence • How to find indirect ways to get data about Amazon?
  3. 3. Strategies • Work with defined subset of books (university press titles) • Interview U. press directors • Interview wholesalers • Interview librarians (from 4-year colleges) • Blog about findings to garner comments and additional information
  4. 4. Interesting Data Points • A French-language U. press site receives onehalf of sales from outside France: • Many American press note increasing feedback from overseas readers • All U. presses report declining sales through B&T • All presses report sharply rising sales through Amazon for print
  5. 5. It appears that Amazon . . . • . . . is quietly taking a growing share of the international market • . . . is becoming a significant distributor to libraries • . . . is increasingly competing with B&T and Ingram • And all this is for print only
  6. 6. A Supply-chain Paradox: Case Study • • • • A publisher ships books to (say) B&T A library orders a book from Amazon Amazon orders the book from B&T B&T drop-ships the book to the library in an Amazon box • Librarians say they order from Amazon instead of B&T because the service is better!!!
  7. 7. Speculations • Amazon’s market share may be even larger than generally assumed • Market share in libraries is unknown; some estimates put it at 10% or higher • (Currently working on a grant application to research this with an extensive library survey) • Likelihood Amazon will develop strategy to migrate this print market share to digital, perhaps through acquisition
  8. 8. Contact Information • • • • • Joseph J. Esposito @josephjesposito +Joseph Esposito