Monday, June 18, 2012

Independent U.K. booksellers look for eBook options

The Bookseller reports on a meeting held by the U.K.'s Booksellers Association last week, where members heard from three eBook vendors: Kobo, Hive and Anobii. Kobo is proposing that independent booksellers link to Kobo's site, and Kobo will give them a cut of every eBook sold from then on, whether they purchase inside the bookseller's physical store or directly from Kobo. However, Kobo already has a distribution agreement with WHSmith, and Kobo VP Michael Tamblyn said that it would be "quite difficult" for independents to get a cut of transactions from Kobo readers sold by WHSmith. In other words, existing Kobo owners would have to purchase a second Kobo eReader or install a second software eReader on their PC or tablet (which would likely wipe out their existing library of WHSmith eBooks.)

Anobii CEO Matteo Berlucchi proposed a "classic affiliate" model where booksellers would get a commission on each sale made through their links to the Anobii website. Neither Anobii nor Kobo publicly stated what their commission rate for sales through independent booksellers would be.

Gardners' development manager Julie Howkins said that the company plans to launch a new Hive eReader app in the next two weeks for PCs, iOS and Android devices. The company is also endorsing the GoTab range of eReaders and tablets from Yarvik. Booksellers will only get a 5% commission from Hive on eBook sales, but Howkins told The Bookseller that the company's commission model is "under review."
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