This is an interesting article (found via @victoriastrauss on Twitter). I should already have knocked off working for the day, but I want to address this.
The article states that most ebook sales seem to be concentrated on bestsellers, not on the so-called long tail. The short version is that online sellers don’t market like works very well, while a physical store surrounds you with impulse buys.
Now, I know there are plenty of folks out there who impulse buy ebooks all the time, but so far the numbers seem to indicated that people buying online aren’t just snapping up books they’ve never heard of.
That’s my experience with online book buying, anyway. I use Amazon.com to buy things I already want, but I usually add them to my cart and buy them later, when shipping costs are reduced and my associate’s credit comes in.
With a physical store, I have this sense that I shouldn’t walk out without a new book. Even walking by one is like passing up on wonderland; there’s a physical yearning there that Amazon.com doesn’t provide.
Anyway, it’s an interesting point. How could the marketing be better?