A very boring BookExpo ends, Amazon missed an opportunity


BookExpo, the US industry largest annual trade exhibition ended last month in Los Angeles without a clear strategy to revive the industry.

The book industry which is going through troubling times lacks a clear strategy to move forward, with the advent and popularisation of new technologies like the Kindle and the internet challenging the traditional ways of publishing it is forcing the industry to evolve and adapt to change.

Simon & Schuster CEO and President Carolyn Reidy said about the event: “It was quite, very quite”, in fact the entire even lacked interest in the absence of a “buzz book”. Amazon could have been that “buzz book” or should I say “buzz e-book”, in fact the event lacked such interest that the highlight of the event was a pop concert by Prince.

Amazon was praised throughout the whole event with its Kindle reading device, however since Kindle e-books only account for 6% of total book sales it was hardly exciting anyone, having a bigger stage at BookExpo could have increased e-book exposure as a viable alternative to traditional books and as a way of kick starting the industry back into gear. Perhaps Jeff Bezos could have delivered the keynote address instead of the Prince pop concert.

However popular novelist Ray Bradbury expressed some reservations about e-books saying: “There is no future for e-books because they are not books.”

Should Amazon Kindle have had a prominent position at the BookExpo in LA to promote the use of e-books and e-book readers?