Finance

Amazon to open European publishing arm
November 30, 2012

 Not content with threatening high street bookshops and disrupting the traditional publishing model with its Kindle e-readers, the web giant has written to authors’ agents to announce its attack on another link in the chain.

From early next year, Amazon Publishing in Europe will compete to sign up English language authors from the firm’s base in Luxembourg. The new unit will be led by Vicky Griffith, who currently runs Amazon’s publishing efforts on the US West Coast.


Byliner, Atavist push forward with ebook subscriptions
November 30, 2012

Byliner and Atavist, two publishers that focus on e-singles (digital longform journalism), are experimenting with online subscriptions. While the programs are still in early stages, they could serve as models for other publishers who want to try the same thing.
Byliner Plus

The San Francisco-based Byliner publishes fiction and nonfiction e-singles it calls “Byliner Originals,” from authors like Margaret Atwood, Amy Tan and Jon Krakauer. It sells them through ebook retailers like Kindle, Nook and Apple, usually for $1.99 or $2.99.

B&N: Nook sales 'doubled' over Black Friday weekend
November 29, 2012

Ah, two can play this game! There's a lot of noise in the news feed today about Barnes & Noble's earnings report (share price down, but down significantly less compared to last year, retail sales flat, Nook sales up). But what's "interesting" (read: annoying, for journalists anyway) is that B&N is playing the same game Amazon plays with Kindle sales: Nook sales "doubled" over Black Friday weekend. But how many units does that represent? B&N's not telling.

—Brian Howard

How Mergermania Is Destroying Book Publishing
November 29, 2012

The recently announced merger of Penguin and Random House, which is owned by Bertelsmann in Germany, sent shock waves throughout Western publishing circles. This new leviathan will publish a quarter of all books appearing in English, with annual sales of close to $4 billion, yet it is being treated by The New York Times and other media as a routine and perhaps even beneficial development.

Cyber Monday E-Commerce Spend Was $1.465B, Biggest Day Ever In U.S.; Home Clickers Bought The Most: ComScore
November 28, 2012

Led by sales on sites from Apple to Zappos and back to Amazon again, consumers put any questions they may have had about the state of the economy to one side, and they spent like crazy.

This past weekend, the first of the holiday shopping season, has already been breaking records for consumer online spend. Today comScore announced one more: Cyber Monday raked in $1.465 billion in online sales, making it the heaviest-spending day in U.S. e-commerce history. It was second only to this year’s Black Friday sales, which topped $1 billion.

 

The Digital Edge in Retail
November 26, 2012

Today is Cyber Monday, the day when experts suggest that more than a billion dollars will be spent online as people purchase gifts for the holiday season.  This fact coupled with an interesting but not particularly revealing article “Death by a Billion Clicks”  by Michael Copland on Best Buy in Wired Magazine raises the question:

What are the digital edges available to incumbent retailers?

A digital edge is the combination of digital technology with the physical world to create new sources of customer value and company revenue.

Scholastic Slumps 20% on Gloomier 2013 View
November 23, 2012

Shares of Scholastic (SCHL) plummeted more than 20% Wednesday morning as the children’s book publisher’s sharply dimmed 2013 earnings outlook spooked Wall Street.

Citing shrinking sales of higher-margin products and uncertainty caused by the fiscal cliff, Scholastic warned late Tuesday it now anticipates posting EPS from continuing operations of $1.40 to $1.60 for 2013, well off its earlier projection of $2.20 to $2.50.

Even the optimistic end of the new range would badly miss expectations on Wall Street for full-year EPS of $2.27.

First We Had Random Penguin. Could HarperSchuster be next?
November 20, 2012

On the heels of the announced Penguin/Random House merger, Laura Hazard Owen at PaidContent has a piece about preliminary talks between HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. HC parent company News Corp,  was reportedly ready to make a cash bid to acquire Penguin once its talks with Random House became public.

While Random Penguin was a meme goldmine, HarperSchuster doesn't seem quite as hashtag friendly.

With the vaunted "Big 6" set to become a "Big 5" and possibly a "Big 4", we expect someone, somewhere to report rumors of talks between Hachette and Macmillan in 3…2…1…

—Brian Howard

Barnes & Noble Is Shutting Down E-Book Pioneers Fictionwise.com, eReader.com and eBookwise
November 16, 2012

Barnes & Noble is shutting down Fictionwise, a company running several eBook websites, including Fictionwise.com, eReader.com, and eBookwise.com. Although the move shouldn’t be all that surprising in a world of Amazon Kindles, iBookstores, and of course, B&N’s own Nook library, it’s worth a tip of our hat to these sites that laid the groundwork for the digital e-reading revolution.


Fictionwise, launched in 2000 and was acquired by B&N in March 2009 for $15.7 million, as the company planned its move into the ebooks space with the Nook tablet and accompanying bookstore. B

Barnes & Noble's Lynch on Nook Sales, Outlook [VIDEO]
November 13, 2012

William Lynch, chief executive officer at Barnes & Noble Inc., talks about the company's performance, outlook for the industry and the Nook tablet. Lynch speaks with Nicole Lapin on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop."

Click through for the video.