Are Specialty E-bookstores the Way Forward for E-books?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

ciando logo

By Edward Nawotka

Today’s lead story looks at the partnership between, Germany’s leading e-bookstore, and Deutsche Telekom, Germany’s leading telecoms company, for the launch of — a new e-bookstore that incorporates many of Ciando’s 35,000 titles, but under new branding.

Ciando’s CEO Dr. Werner-Christian Guggemos says it’s all about the target audience: “BooksOn clearly addresses a younger audience. When it comes to the content side, BooksOn focuses on fiction and entertaining e-books.”

There’s an argument to be made that the survival of bookselling depends on specialization. As the big box store becomes less and less tenable — for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that sales of bestsellers are migrating from hardcover format to electronic downloads — the only types of stores that can survive in the long term may be those that cater to a niche audience. Specialty stores, be they children’s or mystery, romance or feminist, had been in decline over the past two decades, but they may be ready for a resurgence.

Should the same strategy to apply to those looking to sell e-books? Browsing the Kindle bookstore, it can be difficult to find what you are looking for until you drill further and further into categories and subcategories to happen up a book of your interest. Small, exclusive, highly curated e-bookstores would remedy this. You already see successful examples with stores such as or, which caters specifically to servicemen and women, or sci-fi specialist site

So the question is: Are specialty e-bookstores the way forward for e-books?

Let us know what you think in the comments below or via Twitter using #ppdiscuss.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.