Good news Target lovers! (Yes, that was pronounced tar-zhay.) Thanks to the latest partnership between txtr and ReaderLink, you can add ebooks to the shopping megastore’s convenient approach to shopping online. And Target isn’t the only big box retailer getting in on the ebook action. Walmart, Walgreens, Kohl’s, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, and Costco are just a few of the other sites you can visit to shop for ebooks and, well, everything else.
Shoppers can already find ReaderLink-distributed print books on the shelves of these retail one-stop-shops, but this new partnership will allow grocery stores, mass merchants, and warehouse clubs to offer ebooks via their websites. The partnership will “enable U.S. consumers to buy from any of the ReaderLink powered ebook stores and read all books from a single cloudbased personal library- all of your ebooks in one single vault.” And soon you will be able to read your ebook on a new ereader or tablet that the txtr/ReaderLink partnership plans on developing and selling through these same stores.
The partnership between txtr and ReaderLink could provide an alternative to the ebook behemoths, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. ReaderLink and txtr say that they are looking to create another alternative for consumers, one that will be a “virtual federation” for non-trade and independent booksellers.
What does this mean for those of us in publishing? All signs point toward new ideas about book packaging, product placement, and spokesperson deals. Because the outlets the txtr/ReaderLink partnership targets offer a variety of non-book products, new options are opening for connecting books to other goods (and people). On Target’s website looking for new curtains? Why don’t you also buy this handy home design book appropriately displayed to help you redecorate? How convenient! Now a spatula can sell a cookbook – and a cookbook can sell a spatula. Might be interesting.