April 4th 2011 the Norwegian ebook service Bokskya (lit. “The Book Cloud”) was launched. The service was intended as a national industry-wide standard infrastructure for the distribution of ebooks to consumers. Initiated by the largest Norwegian publishers and a wide array of booksellers, Bokskya formed part of a double strategy, or what I will term the Janus strategy: 1) A defense of existing market positions and an attempt to transfer competitive advantages from traditional print publishing to ebook publishing, and 2) An attempt to create a bulwark to fend off competition from international ebook providers Amazon, Apple and Google. However, Bokskya met with criticism from several directions and had to face competition from a rival ebook service, Emviem, which attracted several small and medium-sized publishers. The paper examines both intended and realized strategies and ultimately goes on to suggest a set of strategic dimensions to explain the case of Bokskya, while also having broad relevance to contemporary book industry challenges. The paper is part of an on-going Ph.D. research project on the Norwegian book industry and the digital strategies of Norwegian publishers facing international competition.
|Keywords:||Digital Publishing, Ebooks, Publishing Industry, Book Industry, Publishing Strategy, Internationalization, Globalization|
PhD Student, Department of Media and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
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