Friday, September 14, 2007

World's Greatest Bookstore?

The ‘world greatest ebookstore’ has been announced. Is it Amazon, Google Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo or any of the usual suspects? No it has been announced by the Athens based Floras Group. Are these major players in the global book trade? The answer that they own Greek's third biggest bookselling chain, have 12 bookshops and revenues of 10 million EUR. Seems a tall order. So what are they doing that is so special that they will succeed where others havn’t and on a global marketplace where their brand is unknown.

They plan to create a global network of wholesalers and booksellers in 60 countries around the world, with access to more than 30m titles. The reality is that there isn’t 30 million digital ebooks available today! Today they claim 8 million titles from 8 countries but this includes China and their def, but will that provide the consumer with any added any value added differential? Floras aims to have one exclusive partner per country and each will only supply books produced in their territory, sowhy have a global infrastructure if it is to be restricted by territory. It is true that the current demographic landscape of the world is transient and multicultural, incorporating millions of migrants, but is that enough to sustain global demand of what is often indigenous product that is today in a physical format?

Like many of the announcements that appear almost daily it is interesting to think about but it is difficult to see this going anywhere fast.

News or noise? Noise.