Amazon Rakes In More Cash, And Spends It Wisely

Amazon announced its Q2 results yesterday, and the growth was stunning – net sales were up 51% on 2010, topping out at $9.91bn for the three month period ending June 30. Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that “low prices, expanding selection, fast delivery and innovation are driving the fastest growth we’ve seen in over a decade.” He also noted that the Kindle 3G with Special Offers (priced at $139) quickly became their bestselling Kindle. As usual, no exact numbers were given. Those deep pockets just keep getting deeper. But what are they doing with the money? Despite this staggering growth, profits are down 8% on the same period last year. Why? Some of the details from Amazon’s press release Read More…

An International Challenge to Amazon? From Spain?

Those of us here in Europe have long been puzzled by Amazon’s go-slow international policy. I live in Stockholm, a wealthy city with a population that seems to be fond of their gadgets. Fancy laptops are everywhere, iPhones are ubiquitous, and iPads are becoming popular, despite high taxes and relative cost. I have friends in Amsterdam, Warsaw, Munich, Prague, and Dublin who say the same thing. Only in London have Kindles started to make an appearance. In Europe, the Kindle has only been officially launched in the UK and, just over a month ago, Germany. There, the Kindle is 50% more expensive than in the US. Plus, they haven’t bothered to translate the menus or instructions from English.

You Can Go Your Own Way: European Publishers Double Down On America's Mistakes

I had promised that this blog will have more of an international focus, and that hasn’t been the case to date.  My excuse is that most of the companies and events driving change have been American, and the US is far ahead of the world in terms of e-reader and e-book adoption rates. And it’s where the rest of the world is headed at greater or lesser speeds. At this point we have covered a lot of the basics, so it’s time to take a little trip around Europe to see what’s going on in some of the larger book markets.