Barnes & Noble Inc.
In the middle of yet another disappointing earnings report Thursday, Barnes & Noble announced that it's terminating the strategic partnership it formed with Microsoft in 2012. That partnership had combined Barnes & Noble's Nook and college businesses into a division called Nook Media, into which Microsoft invested $300 million. According to the company:
Such termination will allow the Company to continue its rationalization of the NOOK Digital business and enhances Barnes & Noble's operational and strategic flexibility. The termination also relieves Microsoft of any obligation to continue to fund support and other payments
Instead of competing head on with Amazon this Black Friday, Barnes & Noble is looking to offer something that the online retailer can't. The bookstore announced today that come this weekend, it will sell 500,000 signed copies of the latest works from 100 prominent authors. On the nonfiction side, authors include George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Malcolm Gladwell, Neil Patrick Harris, and Amy Poehler. In fiction, Dan Brown, Jodi Picoult, and Donna Tartt are among those taking part. Barnes & Noble says the effort has been in the works for more than half a year
The bookseller Barnes & Noble today introduced a holiday promotion that brings print and eBooks together for holiday shoppers. B&N Sync Up! allows book buyers to purchase one or more paperback editions from a curated selection of titles at any of the Barnes & Noble 650 store locations, then purchase the same title as a NOOK Book digital edition for $4.99.
The real value of the program is that the buyer can either enjoy both copies, or they can gift them to their friends or family.
With Kindle, Downpour.com, Audible, OverDrive, and Audiobooks.com, there's no shortage of audiobooks for Android, but B&n thinks there's room for one more. Barnes & Noble's here again, gone again digital audiobook dept abruptly returned from hiatus this week. B&N has released a new Nook Audiobook app in Google Play yesterday. (There's no similar app in iTunes.)
The app is described as being a beta release, and it is still rough around the edges, but the big news today is that B&N is back in the digital audiobook market.
Like a played-out fiction series, Barnes & Noble's (BKS) quarterly reports are starting to get predictable -- and depressing. Its latest, which came out on Tuesday, was another stinker. Revenue slipped 7 percent to $1.24 billion, lower than analysts were forecasting. The stock opened higher on the report as a result of the superstore chain's loss clocking in smaller than expected, but a loss is still a loss.
The fading Nook business is a major reason for shrinking sales at Barnes & Noble, but it's hardly the only trouble spot.
he recent news of the opening of an independent bookstore on Manhattan's Upper West Side was greeted with surprise and delight, since a neighborhood once flush with such stores had become a retail book desert. The opening coincides with the relocation of the Bank Street Bookstore near Columbia University, leading the New York Times to declare, "Print is not dead yet - at least not on the Upper West Side." Two stores don't constitute a trend, but they do point to a quiet revival of independent bookselling in the United States. They also underscore
Shares of Barnes & Noble, which also reported a smaller-than-expected loss, rose as much as 4.3 percent to a two-year high of $24.40 in early trading.
Barnes & Noble's retail core comparable store sales, excluding its Nook digital unit and college bookstores, fell 0.4 percent in the first quarter ended Aug. 2.
Analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix were expecting same-store sales to decline 2 percent.
Many saw Print On Demand (POD) as the ultimate 'just in time' production solution to book publishing, which would wipe out all the inefficiencies of the 'just in case' approach that plagues the book supply chain. So why didn't it happen, or did it happen for some and not for others? Is there a new dawn, or just a new set of people who have been sold a pup and not looked hard at the facts?
Today we read that Barnes and Noble are installing Espresso Book Machines in three of their stores
Once hailed as the future of the book industry, print on demand has a solid niche in said industry but lately it seems to be treading water. Whenever we read of potential steps forward like Books-a-Million or B&N installing Espresso Book Machines in their stores, the great news is cancelled out by similar pilots falling through. I am happy to report today that Barnes & Noble is starting a pilot program in three of its stores, but the good news is tempered by by the news that Kodak's partnership with OnDemandBooks has collapsed.
Barnes & Noble will be unveiling their new Nook hardware on Wednesday morning in NYC, but I won't be there. Instead, I plan to be out in front of my local B&N store at 9am tomorrow, waiting for it to open. My inside sources at B&N have told me that the new stock has already been delivered to stores. The in-store demos are going to be reset Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, in time for the new hardware to be sold when the stores open.