New Zealand’s publishers can learn from Amazon’s advice to UK indie publishers — if you ever want to see the Kindle here, get digitising.
Amazon executive Genevieve Kunst was addressing delegates to the UK Independent Publishers Group conference. The thrust of what she had to say was that there was no planned date at this stage for Amazon to launch its Kindle into the UK market and before it would do so, it needed to see a critical mass of ebooks available. In this article from The Bookseller, she said:
“We launched in the US with 90,000 e-books available – we waited until we had reached a critical mass. We want to be able to offer an equally good selection if the Kindle is ever to come into the UK.”Kunst added the current catalogue of available e-books was “not robust” and as a result it would be “hard to encourage people to buy devices”.
In conversation with The Bookseller after the event, she said: “In general, UK publishers should be digitising content. The most important thing is making sure we have the best customer offering possible, and the best user experience.
Amazon’s focus on the user experience is one of the distinguishing features of its foray into ebooks (and, indeed, its sale of paper books online). It’s the sort of focus that leads even the likes of long-time usability guru Jakob Nielsen to give it the thumbs up in this review.
Meanwhile, Sony is filling the vacuum by launching its reader into new markets. Following its UK launch late last year in a deal with the Waterstones book chain, it launches into Germany March 11 and Switzerland on April 3.