elizabethmccoy ([personal profile] elizabethmccoy) wrote2013-04-07 10:04 am

Kobo could steal a march on B&N...

(Just posted this as a comment to http://dearauthor.com/features/letters-of-opinion/to-save-indies-publishers-need-to-reconsider-drm/)

One brick and mortar store admits that he doesn’t know why his customers would buy ebooks through him.

1: Desire to support a resource/establishment they enjoy.

2: This is the reason they should do it (and in mass numbers!), that I bet no one's enabling technologically: that the customers can voluntarily let the bookstore access which ebooks they buy (and have not returned!), and give them a steep-to-good discount on the matching physbook. Yeah, so they may be buying for Aunt Edna, Uncle Rodger, and Cousin Lee; they're in the store, buying physbooks; just make sure the discount is better than break-even. ( Likewise, if the store is allowed to keep records of physical books bought at their bookstore, offering a smaller discount on the matching ebook encourages people to do all their physbook shopping there, as well, rather than on "the 'Zon.")

B&N is perfectly positioned to offer this sort of service to its members and isn't doing it. (If they're not keeping the purchase data from membership card discounts in their stores, they're... seriously not thinking.) Neither is Amazon; they're doing that Select thing instead. Kobo is partnered with indie bookstores already? Hopefully Kobo will realize how they can offer a service that can offer lock-in to both their e-store and their affiliated bookstores -- even without DRM.

(Heck, if they'll do the "buy a physbook at any affiliated store, using your Kobo Membership data, and get an e-book discount"... That would certainly encourage shopping at affiliated bookstores for split-format buyers like myself, and if the Kobo Membership data will quietly give the ebook's affiliate fee to the store that sold the physbook, even if the ebook purchase is made through Kobo's main site... Stars know, I get physical books gleefully, zip through my Read Right Now purchases, then wind up wanting to read something in the bathroom and having... my phone or my iPad, with my physical Read Later purchases downstairs in the To Be Read pile. Or I finish one and am away from home. Oops. Now, imagine I could get on Kobo's website, access my list of bought physbooks, and click "buy ebook" for the one that intrigues me, with a discount...)