However, as Jon (@jonhildrew) and I were discussing on twitter last night, while Amazon might find it attractive to feel that taking control of what readers see of others' choices (and locating them online in the walled garden of the Kindle store), this loses something important – for both the marketer and the consumer.
On the one hand, losing the widespread real-world window into what others are doing should significantly reduce our ability to see what is popular and how things are shifting reduce the spread of new and different titles and authors – real world influence being more powerful than online. For marketers for this kind of thing, this is going to make it harder to launch new and unfamiliar titles, authors and genres. Much more focus will need to be paid to POS and promotional deals.
On the other hand, for once, the people who buy books are also going to lose out as much as the marketers. For a long time now, covers have been part of our experience of books and turned them into social objects.
And as signals to be transmitted (intentionally or otherwise) and received and read instinctively. It reminds me of part of what we lost when music went from vinyl to tape (and then to mp3s)
Can't we find a way to bake-in this kind of stuff as Apple have done?
Imagine a football crowd without the scarves and replica shirts….