DISTRIBUTION & MARKETING PLAN
One interesting aspect of distribution channels occurs when a retailer, in this case, Amazon, integrates backward with the intent of attracting suppliers (authors with brand names) and the expectation of utilizing other outlets (traditional bookstores) for full distribution of its products. In this example, the largest traditional bookstore chain, which also has a significant online business, has decided not to stock Amazon’s products in the hope of discouraging authors from signing publication contracts with Amazon. Effective distribution channels call for vertical cooperation, here among authors and their agents, publishers, and retail outlets. But vertical integration invites conflicts. The battle between Amazon and Barnes & Noble deserves further attention.
Review the followings articles related to recent developments in book retailing (Use the university online library search engine on TLC homepage to find the articles):
Trachtenberg, J. A. (2014, Feb 27). Corporate news: Barnes & noble posts profit as digital device sales tumble. Wall Street Journal.
Gelles, D. (2014, Feb 22). Barnes & noble receives conditional offer. New York Times.
Krug, N. (2012, Oct 31). Amazon books getting no shelf space. The Washington Post.
Herther, N. K. (2012). THE E BOOK WARS amazon versus the rest. Searcher, 20(4), 20-23,26-30.
Turner, K. (2012, Feb 05). Independent retailers turn page on business. McClatchy – Tribune Business News.
Develop a report in terms of the following guidelines based on the articles listed above and other supplemental articles. A well-written report should have a brief introduction, headings or subheadings, and a brief concluding comment. Note that you should use some keywords as headings or subheadings such as “Facts Recap,” instead of a sentence or a question.
1.Briefly review the facts on the battle between Amazon and Barnes & Noble reported in the articles.
2.Was Amazon wise to get into publishing in addition to its very strong position in retailing new and used books? Explain your answer.
3.If you were a popular author of children’s fiction (with a successful past relationship with a traditional publisher) and your agent (another member of the book publishing channel) asked you whether to approach Amazon regarding the publication of your latest project, what would you say? Why?
4.Would it matter if you were working on your first book and had no previous relationship with an editor or publisher? If yes, why would this make a difference?
5.Considering traditional and contemporary distribution channels, and with the continuing decline of its e-book sales, how would you recommend Barnes & Noble compete with Amazon in the future? Do you think acquisition is a feasible solution for Barnes & Noble? Why?