I was in my local Barnes and Noble on Sunday and I bought two books. Both of them from Amazon, online, using my iPhone while standing in the isles.
Of course I felt bad. I learned about these two books thanks to Barnes and Noble. They ought to have made the sale.
The problem was, I wanted both books in Kindle form and Barnes and Noble couldn’t help me there.
Still, it’s clear they ought to be getting a finder’s fee. As should booker reviewers, websites, magazines and other players in the stream. And it doesn’t have to be much to add up.
If Barnes and Noble were getting .25 for every book they brought to America’s attention, it would be a pretty penny.
Here’s the thing: Amazon is now engaged in a dangerous game of “winner take all.” It must see that it’s time to give BN a finder’s fee when I make my purchase. Because this bookstore created value. It instructed me in my possibilities. And it deserves to harvest this value.
Yes, Amazon tries to do this. I continue to be impressed by how badly it does it. There is no substitute for browsing, and nothing browses better than a bookstore.