News Column

Richard Gorman Predicts Success for Amazon's Used E-Book Market

Feb 14 2013 12:00AM

Marketwire

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NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/14/13 -- Ever since the emergence of the e-book, cynics and skeptics have wondered if digital reading will one day spell the end of traditional books -- or at least, of conventional publishers and old-fashioned booksellers. E-book purveyors, meanwhile, have sought to make the electronic reading experience as true to traditional reading as possible. Now, Amazon.com has announced a major step forward -- a marketplace through which readers can sell secondhand copies of their e-books. Amazon has already been awarded the patents necessary to make this used e-book market a reality -- and the news of Amazon's latest advances has earned the attention of Richard Gorman.

Gorman, a long-time digital marketing and e-commerce professional, is also a champion of Amazon.com, and, in a new statement to the press, he predicts that this new e-book marketplace will become a success. "For many readers -- especially those who devour books voraciously, and thus end up spending a great deal of money on new editions -- the chance to browse secondhand bookstores, and perhaps sell well-worn volumes, is a major part of the reading experience," Gorman says, in his press statement. "Of course, it is impossible for the e-book market to precisely emulate this time-honored tradition, but Amazon is making a big step in the right direction."

Gorman goes on to note that there are some inherent virtues to Amazon's secondhand e-book idea. "What makes this different from a traditional used bookstore is just the obvious fact that you are not dealing with physical assets here," he affirms. "Your old books may become dog-eared and bent, simply through the wear and tear that come with reading them. That is not true with e-books, however -- and indeed, a used e-book is not going to be any different than a brand new one, in that regard."

The Amazon.com secondhand e-book market will essentially allow e-book owners to sell their licenses to other readers, presumably at a discounted rate. Though the specifics of the Amazon plan are not yet known, Gorman suggests that the Amazon business model will likely mirror the company's current secondhand sale offerings. "Amazon will effectively act as an intermediary, most likely, facilitating transactions as one client sells his e-book license to another."

From a technological standpoint, this is not a big innovation on Amazon's part; indeed, there are already "lending" features available, not just to Kindle readers but to Nook users, as well. When a book is loaned, it disappears from one user's e-reader for a set number of days, and returns when the borrowing party is done reading.

Also important to note is the fact that at least one other company has had Amazon's big idea. A company called ReDigi, which launched a year and a half ago, effectively allows e-book users to transfer their licenses to others. ReDigi has stated that its methodology is different from what Amazon is proposing, but initial reports seem to indicate that the just-awarded Amazon patent will essentially give Amazon a monopoly on the secondhand e-book business.

Gorman notes that, while the ReDigi technology may be impressive, it will probably matter very little in the long run. "The bottom line is that Amazon carries immense clout, simply as a brand," Gorman opines. "When most consumers think of books, and especially of e-books, they are usually thinking of Amazon.com. The same will likely hold true of the secondhand e-book market, whenever Amazon commences with this activity in earnest. My prediction is that, once Amazon sets up its used e-book platform, it will almost immediately become the service of its kind."

An outspoken pundit on all matters related to digital commerce, Richard Gorman can also be found on Google+.

ABOUT:

Richard Gorman is a trailblazer in the digital marketing industry, and he is perhaps best known for his pioneering work in direct response advertising -- work that is on vivid display at his own Direct Response marketing blog. At the Direct Response blog, Gorman gives away countless thousands of dollars in trade secrets and insider information. Additionally, he is a technology pundit and a social media enthusiast. Gorman opines and makes predictions on matters related to social networking, search engines, online commerce, and more.



Source: Marketwire


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