Godin’s lessons from book retailing

Give Seth Godin credit–he’s one biz guru who’s always brimming with reactions to new developments in the business world. Here he offers some insights drawn from the book industry’s current pricing convulsions, specifically looking at Kindle ebook sales (and don’t mistake that the big problems our industry has with ebooks have to do with pricing, pure and simple) and big-box loss-leader pricing. But are Godin’s insights based in real information, or mere surmise?

I have two questions re Godin’s two comments here:

1. Does he have any access to actual Amazon sales data re Kindle users and buying patterns? My understanding is that such info is pretty hard to come by. Or is this just anecdotal?

2. Is Godin aware that when retailers buy books from publishers, they can return unsold copies for full credit? That makes using books for loss-leaders a lot less costly than using products retailers can’t return to manufacturers.

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