When I broke the news on Monday that US publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt might have signed an agency deal with Amazon, I said that I didn't think it had happened _yet_, and I advised that this story was worth watching.
It looks like I was right on both accounts.
Authors and publishers have been selling books on Facebook for over six years now by setting up shops with 3rd-party services, and now Facebook wants to get into the act.
Buzzfeed reports that Facebook has finally woken up to the idea that commerce is possible any place where people congregate:
The company is building out shops within Facebook Pages, essentially mini e-commerce sites that give businesses a chance to set up second homes within its walls. The shops are still in the testing phase, but some already feature "buy" buttons that allow the entire shopping experience to occur within Facebook
It was originally billed as "Earth's Biggest Bookstore" and featured over one million titles. Twenty years later it boasts over 270m active accounts and claimsto have more than 2m third-party vendors selling millions of products through the marketplace platform. In that time it has been both lauded and vilified, most recently over corporation tax and staff working conditions but Amazon is quite clearly one of the biggest success stories of online commerce. So what has been its lasting impact? Can it maintain this growth or have we seen the best of it?
Authors United, the ABA, and other associations wrote letters to the DOJ, concerned that Amazon is controlling book prices.
Five years after Amazon secretly asked regulators to investigate leading publishers - a case that ended up reinforcing the e-commerce company's clout - groups representing thousands of authors, agents and independent booksellers are asking the United States Department of Justice to examine Amazon for antitrust violations.
Perhaps stealing a page from Amazon, which often promotes policies that would benefit it by talking about what customers want, the groups said their concerns were more about freedom of expression and a healthy culture than about themselves.
Amazon updated its review policy to limit authors’ friends from sharing biased reviews, but it may limit fans from posting reviews too.
Amazon Mexico has finally launched its full retail operations and a print bookstore . Previously it had offered just Kindle e-books through a store that opened in 2013.
There's no telling what took them so long to open in Mexico. After all, isn't Mexico, with its population of 120 million people, one one of the most desirable markets in the world?
Still, the market is rather young and nascent. A report from Forrester suggests that Mexico's online market will hit $5.5 billion by 2018, with some 18 million online buyers.
Apple may be trying to keep the spotlight on its latest foray into the streaming-music business, but it is also still trying to clean up the mess caused by its ham-handed entry into an earlier market: book publishing. A federal court on Tuesday rejected the company's appeal of an earlier ruling that found it guilty of orchestrating a conspiracy with the major book publishers, in what the court said was a successful attempt to artificially inflate the price of e-books.