Embracing the BA's digital task force

<p>There are a few things worth knowing about the <a href="http://www.booksellers.org.uk/doc/">BA's Embracing the Digital Age</a> report.<br />
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It doesn't mention the word <a href="http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&amp;ned=us&amp;q=kindle&amp;btnG=Searc... once [though an e-book device owned and controlled by the world's only truly global bookseller would seem to me to be something worth noting]. <br />
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There is one reference to <a href="http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&amp;ned=us&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=google&a..., it reads: &quot;We believe that there are sufficient signs already from the International Digital Publishers Forum (IDPF) figures, from publisher activity in the UK and USA, with increasing signs of similar activity in other countries, from Amazon, Sony, Google,&nbsp; etc, to suggest that a prudent course of action is to prepare for the sale of digital content now.&quot;<br />
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Google, lest we forget, is in the <a href="http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&amp;ned=us&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=google... of digitising the world's book content</a>.<br />
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Amazon, the world's largest digital bookseller, gets five mentions, but only two of any real significance. My favourite being: &quot;Booksellers, whether chains or independents, need to create their own response to&nbsp; customer-facing web developments from Amazon and others, one that they can afford and which expresses the character of the bookshop.&quot;<br />
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There is no reference to the <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/blogs//43641-shifting-the-power-in-booksell... Book Machine</a>, the print on demand device reportedly <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/47174-espresso-edges-closer-to-uk.html... to the UK next year</a>. In fact the phrase &quot;print on demand&quot; only appears twice in the 31-page report (four-times if you include the glossary).<br />
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My favourite bits are:<br />
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&quot;There are two fundamentals to the development of the digital market in the general book trade: agreement on new standards and extensions to the existing trade infrastructure.&quot;<br />
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&quot;Standards are the door to the full digital future. At present, that door is hardly open. How quickly that future becomes available to any of us depends upon how quickly agreement is reached on what those standards are.&quot;<br />
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<a href="/documents/EMBRACING THE DIGITAL AGE.pdf">The full report is available here as a PDF</a>. My colleague Graeme Neill has a <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/in-depth/feature/49109-digital-duties.html"... detailed analysis of the findings here</a>.</p>
<p>My overall impression is that many of the scenarios the report raises as fears are already here; while many of its recommendations have already been implemented&mdash;and not just by Amazon. If the report had been published five years ago it might have been visionary.</p>
<p>As this week's Leader column in <i>The Bookseller</i> says, &quot;So progress please, BA, and quickly&nbsp; . . . because the future has already happened.&quot;</p>