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AAUP 2014: An Online Bookstore for Scholarly Books

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Collaborating on an Online
Bookstore for Scholarly Books
Joseph J. Esposito
AAUP Annual Conference
June 2014

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Topics
• Background on project
• Why another online bookstore?
• What would it look like?
• The place of print
• The issue...

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Background
• Feasibility study funded by Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation several years ago
• Model located for French universi...

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AAUP 2014: An Online Bookstore for Scholarly Books

  1. 1. Collaborating on an Online Bookstore for Scholarly Books Joseph J. Esposito AAUP Annual Conference June 2014
  2. 2. Topics • Background on project • Why another online bookstore? • What would it look like? • The place of print • The issue of architecture • The Amazon factor • Roadmap • How to get this done
  3. 3. Background • Feasibility study funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation several years ago • Model located for French university presses: http://lcdpu/fr • Researched Amazon’s use of vendors • Basic understanding of necessary infrastructure is now in hand • A project in search of a sponsor
  4. 4. The Rationale • More is better • Disturbing consolidation in industry • The “Amazon problem” • Global reach • Infrastructure becoming more accessible • Opportunity to gather customer data • Publisher control of presentation of books
  5. 5. UP Bookstore, v. 1.0 • Web catalog of all AAUP member publications • Print and digital books fulfilled through site • Publisher-controlled metadata • Apps for mobile devices • Subject-area community development • User data shared with publishers
  6. 6. Why Print? • Still the biggest market • Easy fulfillment through Ingram or B&T (no need for the site ever to “touch” a book) • No need to get publisher permission for site inclusion (if Ingram or B&T are customers)
  7. 7. Platform Architecture • Requires sophistication • Store must be “skinnable,” allowing for multiple sites with different brands • Subject-area sites • Option to skin selected titles for individual press sites • Lure customers to site, but also bring site to customers (contextual marketing)
  8. 8. What about Amazon? • Best partner/difficult partner • Could retaliate • Will remain superior in tech and customer programs • New bookstore complements Amazon; does not compete head to head (hence the need for contextual marketing) • Could make Amazon more aware of scholarly publishing issues
  9. 9. Roadmap • Begin with basic bookstore online • Extend to mobile platforms • Provide skinning opportunities • Insinuate into different distribution channels, e.g., library OPACs • Invite other academic publishers in • Compile course adoption database • Ongoing business development
  10. 10. How to Get Started • Need sponsors • Need vision • Need CLEAR, DIRECT, AND SWIFT decision- making process • Need to seek funding • Appointment of Executive Director
  11. 11. Contact Information • Joseph J. Esposito • espositoj@gmail.com • @josephjesposito • +Joseph Esposito

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