Just posted to the web: video of a must-see presentation by Michael Tamblyn, VP Content, Sales and Merchandising at the ebook bookseller Kobo.
Titled "Lessons Learned from Shortcovers and Kobo: A Year in the Life of the What and How of Selling eBooks," it's clear, funny and surprising.
If you want to know what's current, it's all here: the identity of the author who beats Stephenie Meyer in downloads every single day, the sales and pricing curves, even the database issues.
Better yet, Tamblyn explains how Kobo got to where it is, describing honestly the company's occasional missteps and changes in direction. The theme that emerges is Kobo's obsessive desire to understand readers.
Although Tamblyn doesn't reopen the argument about agency pricing -- he seems to have moved on to making it work -- the entire presentation strikes me as support for the notion that retailers do a better job than publishers of making the final sale to readers.