I saw an interesting news story this week in the New York Times on a retailer in the US that is refusing to stock the Amazon Kindle. The reason? Because customers are coming into stores, asking questions about the Kindle, getting expert advice from the in-store sales team, then walking away without purchasing and ordering online - usually direct from Amazon.
In the digital future, it's not just about a physical book or even a plain text ebook which is what we have now. There have already been some tentative experiments in apps and enhanced ebooks but there is clearly a desire to see more of a push into developing a customer experience and not just providing a physical read.
The volume of self-published authors, otherwise known as independent, that continue to outsell Big Six books on Amazon's Kindle store is pretty surprising. Less so has been Amazon's decision to operate its own imprints, ensnaring some of those successful indies into formal, mutually beneficial publishing deals.