Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Amazon urges indies to digitise
09.03.09 Catherine Neilan writing in The Bookseller

Amazon’s Genevieve Kunst has urged “all publishers” to get digitising if the UK is “ever” to see the launch of the Kindle device.
Speaking at the close of this year’s IPG Conference, Kunst, senior vendor manager for digital text, said she “would love to see IPG members get involved” by those who have distribution rights for the US creating e-books for the American market. It would be a “quick and easy way of getting into the US market,” Kunst said.

She reiterated that there was “no date” for a UK launch yet, stressing her appearance at the conference was only “to introduce the device”, which was positively received when it was passed among the attending publishers.
But Kunst explained: “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.

We have 245,000 books available in the US, and are working every day with publishers around the world to grow that catalogue – if publishers have the rights to sell in the US, we would welcome their participation. The more that publishers digitise in the UK, the better it is for everybody.”

Kunst commended the “other players” that had already launched in the UK - namely the Sony eReader and iRex iLiad - “because it means ebooks are getting traction and people are excited about it – customers are getting more familiar with e-books as format and more publishers are starting to digitise”.
She added: “Publishers should not be afraid of digitisation. It is a great way to ensure that they realise the full potential of their content.”

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