Like an hour and a half ago I wrote about Amazon’s Matchbook program. I got to talking to a guy I work with and in like two minutes we had a business plan that I think would have been incredible for B&N, publishers, reader, and authors alike.
What if when you went into B&N the books had a sticker or something like that, “ask your B&N cashier about the ebook!”? Some call to action thing like that. When you check out, the cashier asks if you want to buy the ebook for an additional whatever (which would vary by the author/publisher’s recommendation, in some cases it could even be free). If you do, they click their button and either on the receipt or in an email or with a code, who knows, they give you the download code for the ebook. Maybe they even integrated it straight into your nook!
The publisher gets a print and ebook sale, author gets additional royalties, the bookstore finally figures out how to sell ebooks straight from the store. It eliminates the showroom problem they’ve been running into, increases sales for everyone, and the reader benefits the most. This wouldn’t even have to be restricted to B&N. Indies could do this all over the place with the proper support from publishers or distributors.
Now, I’m sure there are tons of additional variables and problems I haven’t considered, including scenarios where, due to crappy contracts, and author would possibly make less money this way. But if two guys can talk about it for two minutes and come up with a nifty idea, could these multi-billion dollar corporations have not come up with something?