These are the contemporaneous notes I posted during Amazon Sr VP Kindle Russ Grandinetti’s just-concluded presentation at Digital Book World. Grandinetti was interviewed on stage by Mike Shatzkin, chair of the conference and founder and CEO of The Idea Logical Company, and by Michael Cader, founder of Publishers Lunch.
It was a substantive conversation lasting about a half hour, and the audience appeared to be listening very carefully. These folks are mainly from the publishing business, and sentiment in the room tends toward a mix of suspicion, fear, and perhaps loathing of Amazon. Nonetheless, there was a polite ripple of applause lasting maybe five seconds at the end of the panel. Grandinetti exited quickly, stage right, for another meeting, and I believe he’s flying back to Seattle today after flying all the way here to New York this morning.
In my opinion, it was a good use of his time, to present his views about publishing to an influential audience of publishing folk. I’m biased, of course, but I think anyone tuning into this discussion would have realized that Amazon’s top Kindle guy knows the book business pretty well and has not yet accepted that we’ve reached the end of changes and disruption in publishing. As Amazon execs up to and including Jeff Bezos like to say when someone presses for information about what’s ahead, “Stay tuned.”
NOTE – These posts appear in reverse chronological order, so begin at the bottom to read them in sequence.