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Can Anyone Beat Amazon? (BookShout’s Unique Approach)


Let’s be completely honest with one another—no one is going to beat Amazon at the current game of retailing and selling eBooks. They’re really good at it. Their traditional retail strategy is strong, their platform is vast, and the user experience is solid.

But we can change the game. And the rules. We can disrupt them by empowering content creators and other distribution platforms.

The biggest conceptual difference is that BookShout was designed to serve its partners while Amazon was conceived to dominate its partners.

Amazon’s biggest weakness is its lack of transparency and cooperation. It’s baked into their overall strategy. They want to control all the user data, sales prices, and information that allows them to resell a user on an ebook, flat screen TV, or a box of Kleenex. They own the user and they have built a massive database on users purchases, patterns, and preferences. And every time a new user looks at a page or buys a GI Joe, their engine becomes increasingly smarter. The only thing a creator gets from this interaction is a check. And in terms of publishers and independent authors, it makes them dependent on the ecosystem.Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 1.34.10 PM

But what if authors could get sales data and remarket to their growing tribe? What if publishers could have transparency into how many people are previewing books, buying books, and how they are reading them? What if tech and media companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, The New York Times, and others could integrate digital ebook offerings into their current sites? In other words, what if Amazon provided their software and platform as a service so that others could control their own future?

This is what Bookshout is doing. Our recent partnerships with HarperCollins, American Express, General Mills, Facebook and others are just iterative steps in this direction. We are providing one centralized reading platform—the BookShout cloud-based reader which works on iOS, Android, and the web—and users arrive through millions of potential doors. They may get an eBook in their Happy Meal at McDonalds. They may buy it via text from the next TED conference. They may get it as part of their paid premium package on LinkedIn. Our software is a service, and if a partner doesn’t have access to the content they need, we can provide it via our partnerships with thousands of publishers. We are a comprehensive end-to-end reading platform that provides partners access to sales, marketing, and promotional tools while also granting transparency and data.

It is cost prohibitive for most retailers and organizations to build their own reading platforms. And it is not a good experience for users. No one wants to have fifty reading apps on their device. Instead of fracturing publishing and distribution even more, BookShout has created a centralized reading platform that allows users to purchase and attain content from various sources and read it on one place. Some partners bundle eBooks with their product as we did with Frito Lays. Some partners link to BookShout for roughly 3x the revenue and data as we did with Dr. Phil. And some partners integrate via our API for a seamless buying and reading experience as we did with HarperCollins.

The only place we compete directly with Amazon is on the actual reading experience. Our business strategy is very different, but we do compete on how a user reads and experiences an eBook. And this is very important to us. We want to continue to innovate so that users can truly enjoy reading a book, which is why we have a speed reader, data on daily reading habits, the ability to invite friends, export notes, and more.

We want you—the author, retailer, brand, tech company, publisher, and media company—to control your own future by providing as many platform and reading options as possible. We want you to be creative and build new subscription niches, bundle eBooks with learning and development, sell digital bits and bites through social channels, and aggregate large audiences. And you have our commitment that we will continue to incentivize a partnership model by allowing our friends to make more revenue, gather data, and have transparency.

The digital eBook and content game is far from over. In fact, with only about a quarter of people reading eBooks, it has just begun. So join us as we continue to build an ecosystem and platform that serves everyone well.

Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to serve you. Please feel free to reach out to us if we can help.