The Wall Street Journal
The returns are in on sales for Amazon and Barnes & Noble from the holiday sales period. Remember that “surge” that I mentioned in my last blog? Like the song says “it ain’t necessarily so.”
On the one hand, Amazon had its biggest holiday season ever, with the Kindle Fire being its number one product—specifically the “#1 best-selling, most gifted and most wished for product."
Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble sales were down almost across the board—in stores, on-line and sales of Nook. Revenues were down 12.6% from the previous year. The good news is that sales of digital content were up 13.1%, “indicating that at least those who own Nooks are using them to buy content.” While B&N would not specifically break out Nook sales they did say that after Black Friday sales “fell short of expectations for the balance of holiday.”
“Half a decade into the e-book revolution …,” Nicholas Carr writes, “the prognosis for traditional books is suddenly looking brighter. Hardcover books are displaying surprising resiliency. The growth in e-book sales is slowing markedly. And purchases of e-readers are actually shrinking, as consumers opt instead for multipurpose tablets. It may be that e-books, rather than replacing printed books, will ultimately serve a role more like that of audio books—a complement to traditional reading, not a substitute.”
Who ever said the best way to read a textbook was from the start to finish?
At the Consumer Electronics Show Monday night McGraw-Hill Education MHP -0.51%, a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies, will demonstrate its new adaptive e-book for students dubbed “SmartBook,” which promises to “break the centuries-old tradition of books as linear experience.”
Macmillan, the last of the major publishers still fighting the U.S. Justice Department over antitrust charges, says it has renegotiated its e-book deals with retailers to allow some discounting.
In an open letter posted on his book-publishing company's website Wednesday afternoon, MacmillanChief Executive John Sargent said the firm is still committed to fighting the antitrust case brought by the Justice Department involving allegations that Macmillan and four other publishers plus Apple Inc. (AAPL) conspired to raise e-book prices.
Self-help guru Tim Ferriss may have had a troubled start with his latest book, The 4-Hour Chef, but now it’s flying off the shelves. The book in question has gone from being boycotted by Barnes and Noble to becoming the first BitTorrent bestseller.
Here’s the story. The book is published by Amazon Publishing, which signed the back in August 2011. As a result, Barnes and Noble, as well as a few other brick and mortar booksellers, declared that they will not carry the book, as part of their battle with Amazon…
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…
Have you been following the "Drunk Nate Silver" Twitter meme? Well, vanishing buy button or not, here's news that's bound to make Mr. Silver—the NYT blogger/statistician who predicted the election results witih uncanny accuarcy— intoxicated… with cash:
"On Amazon.com, sales for [Silver's book] The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t were up 850% the day after the U.S. election, according to CNNMoney. By Thursday, it was #2 on the site’s U.S. best seller list and #8 in Canada."
Then again, the odds are good that he predicted, that, too. —Brian Howard
Despite its almost mythical dominance in book retailing, Amazon has struggled mightily to crack the publishing business. While it sells millions of copies of other publishers’ books, Amazon can’t quite seem to get its own books off the ground and onto the bestseller charts, according to a recent Wall Street Journal piece that examined the online retailer’s publishing woes.
Case in point: Penny Marshall’s memoir, “My Mother Was Nuts.”
We caught up with Geoff Smart, coauthor of another New York Times Bestseller “Who: The A Method for Hiring,” and Tanya Hall, Director of Marketing and Business Development for Greenleaf Book Group, to chat about about the launch strategy behind the new bestseller, "Leadocracy."
When the news of the Department of Justice’s antitrust suit against Apple and five of the nation’s largest book publishers became public earlier this spring, it took many by surprise. The suit accused Apple and the publishers of illegally colluding to resist Amazon’s aggressive strategy of pricing many new and bestselling books at $9.99 — well below the prices charged for hardcover copies and below what many in the industry say it costs to produce those volumes. The popular conception of an antitrust suit involves the government going after…