What would become of an independent Nook?
February 27, 2013

While predicting doom for Nook, as our columnist Michael Weinstein put it, has become the favored pastime of the book and tech press of late, it’s hard not to read the news of B&N Chairman Leonard S. Riggio’s bid to purchase the chain’s retail stores and take them private—leaving the company’s foundering Nook division to fend for itself—as the beginning of the end for the little e-reader that could. (Or maybe it’s the end of the end for the little e-reader that couldn’t quite.)

Barnes & Noble Stores Seen Topping Market Value: Real M&A
February 26, 2013

For Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) founder Leonard Riggio to take his bookstores private, he may need to write a check for more than the entire company’s market value.

Riggio said yesterday that he will offer to buy the retail stores and website of the New York-based company he started more than 40 years ago, leaving shareholders with Barnes & Noble’s college book and Nook e-reader businesses. The retail chain alone is worth about $1 billion, according to the average of four analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg…

Indie bookstores sue Amazon, big-6 publishers for using DRM to create monopoly on ebooks
February 20, 2013

Three independent bookstores have filed a class action suit against Amazon and all of the big-six publishers, alleging that the proprietary digital rights management tools Amazon uses on ebooks serve to create a monopoly. The indies say publisher contracts calling for the use of this DRM, which like most forms of DRM prohibits readers from copying ebooks or reading them on non-authorized devices, restrain ebook sales and that Amazon “has unlawfully monopolized or attempted to monopolize the market for ebooks in the United States.”

Choose your own adventure: Authors turn to Kickstarter to fund their stories
February 18, 2013

Game designer Mike Selinker had a dream back in 1995—to bring his puzzle solving fantasy adventure, a book called The Maze of Games, to market.

No one he knew thought he could sell it, so Selinker put his manuscript in the proverbial drawer for eighteen years. Then he decided to try Kickstarter.

Four and half hours after his campaign launched, he met his campaign goal of $16,000, and to date has attracted 1,600 backers and raised more than $100,000.

The real story behind the Penguin – Random House merger
February 15, 2013

Despite being one of the most important publishing and cultural stories of our lifetime, the news that the Department of Justice had approved the merger of Random House and Penguin yesterday would have been easy to miss. You’d have to do a search to find the New York Times story about it, for example, even though publishing is one of New York’s biggest industries. The Wall Street Journal report was similarly perfunctory, back pages stuff. Even PaidContent, which usually has the most insightful and detailed reportage…

Penguin and Random House merger moves one step closer, as the US Department of Justice gives its approval
February 14, 2013

We’ve known for some time that publishing behemoths Penguin and Random House were to merge, thus creating  a truly colossal book publisher. Well, that deal has been given one more seal of approval, with the US Department Of Justice giving the greenlight to the deal.

Random House’s parent company – German mass media corporation Bertelsmann – and Pearson confirmed the go-ahead earlier today, with the DoJ officially closing its regulatory investigation, with no conditions stipulated.

Nook's death spiral and Kindle's triumph
February 14, 2013

Companies very rarely warn twice in 40 days about the same problem. When it happens, it usually indicates that something so unexpected is taking place that executives just cannot wrap their minds around it. One example is HTC’s string of warnings last winter when its Android success story suddenly unraveled. Another is Barnes & Noble (BKS) and its Nook warnings on January 2nd and February 13th.

Impelsys Introduces eBook Ordering System for Libraries
February 14, 2013

Impelsys, a global leader in providing electronic content delivery solutions, today announced the commercial launch of a new title acquisitions system for libraries that enables library staff to order eBooks for their collections directly from participating publishers. Impelsys' new eBook Ordering System was developed in partnership with Douglas County Libraries (DCL), a seven-branch public library system in Douglas County, Colorado. The eBook acquisition dashboard was beta tested by DCL's professional staff and system modifications were made prior to commercial launch this week.

The Revolution Starts Now… Or Does It: Digital vs. Print "either/or" or "both/all"?
February 11, 2013

Steve Earle wrote: “The revolution starts now / when you rise above your fear / And tear the walls around you down / The revolution starts here.”

Thankfully, time has finally brought us companies (big and small) that are re-thinking traditional content distribution business models. They’ve done this based on shifting technologies, shifting culture, sinking economies, new demands, and have begun creating new approaches. There are many out there, I wanted to mention a few examples.

Amazon Wants to Get Into the Used E-Book Business—Or Bury It
February 8, 2013

There is no such thing as a dog-eared e-book — each copy is forever perfect. But a new Amazon patent could go a long way toward making the digital media in our lives a lot more like the physical version.

Last week, Amazon patented a way to sell “used” e-books, music, videos, apps and other “digital objects.” The marketplace described in the patent would let such exchanges take place by cutting off the seller’s access to a piece of digital content once the buyer paid.