While Hachette and Amazon slug out the terms of their latest agreement, HarperCollins continues to quietly, steadily develop a publishing and bookselling strategy that inoculates it from the worst of over-dependency on ‘The Everything Store’. Earlier this month HarperCollins announced that it would launch its own ecommerce operations on HarperCollins.com to sell books and eBooks directly to consumers. The new HarperCollins ecommerce site is live in the US and will soon cross over to other territories.
The fact that HarperCollins is explicitly putting more faith into developing a direct to consumer (D2C) business model is interesting though not very surprising in itself. Many other publishers on both sides of the Atlantic sell books through their websites, though the fact that none of them release sales figures suggest that it is not a major sales channel. Indeed a cursory examination of where publisher websites rank on Alexa.com is instructive: HarperCollins.com is ranked 12,709th out of all US websites for web traffic, whereas the struggling Barnes & Noble is 296th.
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