walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Amazon sells a lot of ebooks, according to a startup/vc reporter at the NYT

Why would anyone assign a person doing startups and venture capital coverage to Amazon? In 2010? Does this make sense? Hello?

Oh, wait. It's the middle of July. Poor Ms. Miller was the person who isn't currently on vacation, presumably, and she sure as hell doesn't have anything on her beat happening. Whatever.

Here's the dippy quote in this coverage:

"Mike Shatzkin, founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, which advises book publishers on digital change...The big surprise, Mr. Shatzkin said, was that the day came during the first period that the Kindle faced a serious competitive threat. The Apple iPad, which started sales in April" (grammar weirdness purely introduced by me attempting to summarize).

Why does Shatzkin think that the first "period" (does he mean quarter?) that Kindle faced a serious competitive threat was Q2 2010? Is he being gratuitously mean to the Nook (and poor Sony!)? Or did he just get sucked into the iPad: e-book killer meme? I'm betting the latter. Never mind that a whole lot of iPad lovers have already decided that it really is better to download the kindle app on the iPad. Apple is clearly fighting this: I get frequent questions on the iPad of whether I want to download the ibooks app yet or not. I haven't figured out how to turn it off.

But Ms. Miller is not relying solely on Mr. Shatzkin to come up with The Goofiness:

"Amazon is being helped by an explosion in e-book sales across the board. According to the Association of American Publishers, e-book sales have quadrupled this year through May."

The causality arrow on the helping is not supported by the evidence. What evidence there is (Amazon's rate is higher than across the industry as a whole) would tend to indicate that Amazon selling e-books is floating e-book adoption across the industry -- not the other way around. But here's the best bit:

"But, except for the free uncopyrighted books, Kindle owners must buy or download content via Amazon. “Every time they sell a Kindle, they lock up a customer,” Mr. Shatzkin said."

Oh come on. That is the Opposite of True. I've bought a bunch of stuff from the Baen store. Really, people. This is the New York Times. I know it is July. But who is minding the store over there? And are they stoned?
Tags: e-book coverage
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