HMV makes a profit from Waterstone's, as losses deepen
December 19, 2011

The HMV Group made a profit of 11.5m from the sale of book chain Waterstone's, but the fillip did not prevent the CD and DVD retailer sinking further into the mire with operating losses for the six months to end-October up 25% to 30.4m after sales fell 18%. Total sales were 364.9m, down 17.6% on 2010 (442.7m). Like for like sales for the first half were down 11.6%, compared with a 15.5% drop in 2010. HMV sold Waterstone's to Alexander Mamut for 53m in June, and also sold HMV Canada at the same time. The trading loss from these

If Amazon's Kindle Fire is so hot, why is it still in stock?
December 19, 2011

In a note to clients issued Monday, Hudson Square Research's Daniel Ernst reported on the results of a pre-holiday scouting trip he took to retail stores in New York and Connecticut over the weekend -- only a handful of shopping days before Christmas -- where he found "floor traffic up materially, but lines at checkout short."

Demand for tablet computers was strong, he wrote, with Apple's (AAPL) iPad maintaining its lead. Amazon's (AMZN) tablet sales, however, were a mystery.

Grand scale publishing cock-ups, or why I turned to self publishing
December 18, 2011

My first fiasco happened years ago with a London publishing house. My draft manuscript was accepted at a time when literary production was conducted over glasses of sherry and lunches fortified with Bordeaux. I was immediately attracted to the civilised, genteel culture of the industry. I was flattered that my work was being carefully cosseted by a team of editors and art directors, honing typefaces and imagery - naturally, between more sherry sessions - leaving me believing it was a pity the rest of the world didn't operate the same way.

Stop Treating $9.99 As The Magic E-Book Price
December 16, 2011

$9.99 is often treated as a magic price—the cost of a New York Times bestseller on Kindle back in the good old days, before big-six publishers adopted agency pricing models and ended Amazon’s discounting of their books. However, for a variety of reasons, few readers ever had the chance to buy those $9.99 e-books—in large part because e-readers themselves were so expensive. From yesterday’s Wall Street Journal : When Inc. introduced its first Kindle e-reader back in November 2007, the $9.99 digital best seller was a key selling point. Today, the price of a

Scholastic profit up 11% on education tech sales
December 15, 2011

Scholastic Corp.'s top-line results have been choppy in recent quarters, as revenue from educational publishing declined. The company has been spending heavily to invest in new technology such as e-books. To fund its digital growth, the company said this year it plans to reduce other costs and declared a voluntary retirement program. Chief Executive Richard Robinson said Thursday that the company is on track with its cost-cutting goals. For the quarter ended Nov. 30, Scholastic reported a profit of $82.8 million, or $2.60 a share, up from $74.9 million, or $2.14 a share, a

Will publishers kill Amazon's golden goose?
December 15, 2011

COMMENTARY: Amazon (AMNZ), which usually doesn't get too specific about details of its sales, apparently felt the need to crow about the Kindle. The company claims to have sold 1 million a week for the past three weeks. It's hot news, fueled in no small part by the Kindle Fire tablet. But while Amazon congratulates itself and tries to intimidate would-be competitors, publishers are potentially pouring cold water on the retailer's ardor. E-book prices are rising, according to a Wall Street Journal report. And that could come back to hurt Amazon, as well as Barnes & Noble (BKS), as

Hachette Book Group Renews Distribution Contract with Chronicle
December 14, 2011

Hachette Book Group (HBG) announced that they have renewed their distribution services agreement with San Francisco based Chronicle Books. Since January 2008, HBG has provided fulfillment and distribution services into the United States trade market to Chronicle Books and their clients, which include Moleskine.

A Closer Look At Apple's Role In The E-book 'Conspiracy'
December 12, 2011

In the mushrooming controversy over e-books, it’s easy to understand the publishers’ motives. But what about Apple? ( NSDQ: AAPL ) Did the company want to raise book prices in order to protect its iPad and blunt the rise of Amazon? These questions will...

[NYT] European E-Book Sales Hampered by Tax Structure
December 1, 2011

Across most of Europe, e-books are taxed at full national value-added rates, which reach 25 percent in Sweden, Denmark, Hungary and other countries. Printed books, benefiting from an industry lobby, are taxed at a fraction of the full rates — and not at all in Britain.

It seems, Mr. Seaman said, that the value-added tax gap “discourages traditional publishers from innovating by effectively subsidizing them not to.”

The Drum: eReading giants Rakuten, Kobo team up for eBooks and eReaders
November 9, 2011

Rakuten, the Toronto based eCommerce company, has announced that it intends to purchase Kobo—an eReading specialist—in a deal valued at $315m.

Kobo had become an increasingly potent competitor to Rakuten in recent years, launching a range of innovative eReaders and a wide range of eReading apps into the eBook marketplace.