DISTRIBUTION & MARKETING PLAN
One interesting aspect of distribution channels occurs when a retailer, in this case, Amazon, integrates backward with the intent of attracting suppliers (authors with brand names) and the expectation of utilizing other outlets (traditional bookstores) for full distribution of its products. In this example, the largest traditional bookstore chain, which also has a significant online business, has decided not to stock Amazon’s products in the hope of discouraging authors from signing publication contracts with Amazon. Effective distribution channels call for vertical cooperation, here among authors and their agents, publishers, and retail outlets. But vertical integration invites conflicts. The battle between Amazon and Barnes & Noble deserves further attention.
Review the followings articles related to recent developments in book retailing (Use the university online library search engine on TLC homepage to find the articles):
Gelles, D. (2014, Feb 22). Barnes & noble receives conditional offer. New York Times.
Krug, N. (2012, Oct 31). Amazon books getting no shelf space. The Washington Post.
Herther, N. K. (2012). THE E BOOK WARS amazon versus the rest. Searcher, 20(4), 20-23,26-30.
Streitfeld, D. (2014). Feed the beast (or else). The New York Times, pp. 1.
Trachtenberg, J. A. (2013). Barnes & noble pulls back after losses in tablet wars. Wall Street Journal. Europe.
Turner, K. (2012, Feb 05). Independent retailers turn page on business. McClatchy – Tribune Business News.
Develop a report in terms of the following guidelines based on the articles listed above and other supplemental articles. A well-written report should have a brief introduction, headings or subheadings, and a brief concluding comment. Note that you should use some keywords as headings or subheadings such as “Facts Recap,” instead of a sentence or a question.
1. Briefly review the facts on the battle between Amazon and Barnes & Noble reported in the articles.
2. Was Amazon wise to get into publishing in addition to its very strong position in retailing new and used books? Explain your answer.
3. If you were a popular author of children’s fiction (with a successful past relationship with a traditional publisher) and your agent (another member of the book publishing channel) asked you whether to approach Amazon regarding the publication of your latest project, what would you say? Why?
4. Would it matter if you were working on your first book and had no previous relationship with an editor or publisher? If yes, why would this make a difference?
5. Considering traditional and contemporary distribution channels, and with the continuing decline of its e-book sales, how would you recommend Barnes & Noble compete with Amazon in the future? Do you think acquisition is a feasible solution for Barnes & Noble? Why?
Assignment Expectations Regarding Your References and Defense of Your Positions
Write clearly, simply and logically. Your paper should be 750-1,000 words long, excluding title pages and references, but quality of writing is more important than length. Use double-spaced, black Verdana or Times Roman font in 12 pt. type size.
Back up your positions or opinions with references to the required reading found in the Module 1-4 Backgrounds and Ongoing Useful Resources. In using those references, demonstrate your understanding of the concepts presented. Rather than grading on how much information you find, emphasis will be on the defense of the positions you take on the issues. Also remember that:
1. The “why” is more important than the “what.”
2. The defense of your positions on the issues is more important than the positions you take.
Do not repeat or quote definitions. Your use of the required reading to support your opinions (that is, contentions or positions) should demonstrate that you understand the concepts presented. ??Do not include definitions or summaries of the readings or simply describe what the company did. Instead, your responses to the questions should be analytical and should demonstrate that (a) you understand the principles from the background reading and (b) you can apply them to this particular case. Vague, general answers will not earn a good grade.
Avoid redundancy and general statements such as “All organizations exist to make a profit.” Make every sentence count.
Paraphrase the facts using your own words and ideas, employing quotes sparingly. Quotes, if absolutely necessary, should rarely exceed five words.
When writing an academically oriented paper, you will uncover many facts about the product. If you paraphrase the facts, cite the sources in your text and link those citations to references at the end of the paper.
Here are some guidelines on how to conduct information search and build critical thinking skills.
Emerald Group Publishing. (n.d.). Searching for Information. Retrieved from https://www.emeraldinsight.com/learning/study_skills/skills/searching.htm
Emerald Group Publishing. (n.d.). Developing Critical Thinking. Retrieved from https://www.emeraldinsight.com/learning/study_skills/skills/critical_thinking.htm
Guidelines for handling quoted and paraphrased material are found at:
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Academic Writing. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/2/
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/1/
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Avoiding Plagiarism. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/1/
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