Sunday, 12 February 2012

Amazon review

Amazon article review
Metro free newspaper – Friday 9th February 2012
In Fridays (9th February) edition of the Metro (free newspaper) there was an article featuring the rumour of Amazon’s move from a solely online presence to the high street, with its first shop soon to be trialling out in Seattle. The store is described as a ‘boutique’, probably with a similar mind-set to the Apple stores that have opened where customers can go and play with its products before they purchase them. The article goes on to say that the move ‘could be inspired by the success of the Apple stores’. The only observation I’ve made is that Apple has a wide range of electronic products to offer whereas, to my knowledge at least, Amazon only have the Kindle ‘e-reader’.
However, later in the article brand analyst Imogen Power states ‘I think it’s going to be a retail experience rather than a traditional shop. It will be interesting if they use it for promoting new authors, book themed events and concerts – I think it will be that kind of space’. Of course by utilising Imogen’s statement it would be logical to assume that by promoting new authors this will mean promoting new books. Although the e-readers allow one outlet for these new books surely they will sell their paper and original form too? At the moment an author cannot sign an e-reader, can they? Of course if this were to happen it would also mean a new lease of life for illustrators. With the printed word now moving online and the collapse of many bookstores this injection is just what illustrators need to see that there is still life in the old dog. The cycle would have come full circle with the original opening of book store to sell printed books then moving online and eventually coming back to the high street where they first started.
Although buying books online to read on the e-reader does still requires the cover to be illustrated a lot of the authenticity is lost through the pixilation of the image as is the tactility. Buying a book usually means having the thing right there in your hands, something you can hold and touch and feel whereas online they are just images. Does this mean then that the cover will play a bigger part in somebody’s decision of buying a book or a lesser part? For example if there is just an image to look at and things such as the paper quality and size of the book are not contributing factors to the decision will this mean that there needs to be more emphasis on what is on the cover to do the selling work for the author? And does that mean that illustration will have to move with these changes too with the added pressures that this brings? The need for contemporary and different illustrations will be even more in demand as the tactility is lost.
Will these potentially new Amazon stores then, change this online purchasing? I guess it will have to be another case of watch this space…

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