Sunday, December 6, 2009

Questions for Jeffrey P. Bezos [Amazon CEO]; New York Times, 12/6/09

Deborah Solomon, New York Times; Questions for Jeffrey P. Bezos [Amazon CEO]:

[Solomon:] "Barnes & Noble claims on its Web site that the Nook has several advantages over the Kindle — for one thing, a Nook book can be lent to friends. You can forward the text to another user.

[Bezos:] The current thing being talked about is extremely limited. You can lend to one friend. One time. You can’t pick two friends, not even serially, so once you’ve loaned one book to one friend, that’s it.

[Solomon:] You have to pick just one person? What are you saying? It’s like “Sophie’s Choice”?

[Bezos:] It is “Sophie’s Choice.” Very nicely done...

[Solomon:] Of all the books that Amazon sells, what percentage are digital books?

[Bezos:] For every 100 copies of a physical book we sell, where we have the Kindle edition, we will sell 48 copies of the Kindle edition. It won’t be too long before we’re selling more electronic books than we are physical books. It’s astonishing.

[Solomon:] How quickly are paper books migrating into their digital equivalents?

[Bezos:] When we launched Kindle two years ago, it was 90,000 titles, and today it’s more than 350,000. We’re adding thousands of titles every week. Our vision is every book ever printed in every language, all available within 60 seconds.

[Solomon:] But so much is missing. I see the so-called Kindle store doesn’t carry “The Catcher in the Rye” or “Franny and Zooey.” Is that because J. D. Salinger has declined to authorize digital editions of his books?

[Bezos:] You’d have to ask him...

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