B&N shrugs at eBooks and Walks Away

The ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of the eBook reading community continues apace with the announcement by Barnes & Noble (B&N) that it has surrendered and given up pretending to be a technology provider.

Now, forgive me but I have never thought of B&N as a technology provider. I thought it was a bookshop that sold technology just as Amazon is an online store that sells technology. They both have their own kit to flog as well as products supplied by other people and companies. The fact that the article also accuses the company have having a poor website makes me wonder quite who was paying this particular piper. But I have no idea and my opinions are just that: mine and mere opinion.

Amazon currently enjoys about 75% of the eBook market in terms of sales of eBooks themselves. Apple’s iBookstore comes second and the rest are/were way down the field. Is the death of the Nook-as-we-know-it good or bad? Well, if I owned one I’d be concerned how long the gizmo was going to be supported and what level of access to new eBooks I’d have. But I don’t own one. I own a tablet and use apps to access electronic book stores so I’m not beholden to any one of them for my kit.

As a writer I am even more neutral and nonplussed: I’ll follow the money. I don’t think Amazon is good or bad as an eBook sales platform because to me that is all it is. Right now I drive traffic to existing sales platforms like Amazon Kindle and the iBookstore but I would be just as happy – if not more so – if this website became my primary sales platform. Why? I’d receive more revenue for the same product and cost to the consumer. Whoever owns the sales conduit takes a cut of the profit before the writer gets to dip their beak in the trough.

Would you support me if I started selling my books direct in Kindle or ePub formats here? I’ll follow the money. Really.

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