Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch went on Bloomberg TV to tell everyone that, actually, Barnes & Noble is doing well.
Sales in the first quarter at the company’s retail stores were up, profits were up. Each of the new Nook tablets can compete with their competitors (read: Amazon and Apple). And the company, through its expansion into toys and games retail and its Nook business, is planning for the future.
As for the present, “we’re actually the only place in the U.S. to get a broad assortment of books,” Lynch said.
He believes that at a sub-$1 billion market cap the company is undervalued. We’ll soon know more: B&N announces its second-quarter earnings on Nov. 29.
The whole theme of the interview was that Barnes & Noble is misunderstood by Wall Street. But what about Grub Street? For publishers it’s not really about how the company is valued but that it continues to be a going concern. With physical books continuing to be the majority of those sold and bricks-and-mortar stores the largest single channel for book sales, the company should be viable for the foreseeable future. The problem for Barnes & Noble might be that the future is getting less foreseeable all the time.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Digital 20% of Revenue at Hachette (DBW)
The company has had 59 ebook best-sellers so far this year. Meanwhile, at Random House, economic conditions make it hard to predict future performance, the company said in its earnings release.
Digital Education Space Heating up (DBW)
A deal between Wiley and TED Talks is only the latest in a slew that puts the spotlight on the digital education/e-textbook industry.
Children’s Digital: Trends, Strategies and Tactics (DBW)
Children’s digital publishing has turned a corner this year, registering huge month-over-month revenue gains versus 2011. From established powerhouses like Scholastic to start-ups like RR Kidz, the children’s digital publishing industry is as vibrant as ever.
Apple Patents Animated Page Turning (The Register)
Apple has patented the animation of page turning on screens. Two questions. Is that even possible? (Apparently.) And, do readers really like that page-turning animation?
Utica College Adopts ‘Risk Free’ Ebook Borrowing Tech (Campus Technology)
EBSCO Publishing is offering an ebook borrowing program where libraries aren’t charged for ebooks until patrons borrow them. EBSCO currently has 350,000 ebooks and audio books in the system. Utica College is a new customer.
Which E-Reading Device Is Right For You (Pub Trends)
Can’t be bothered to read all those pesky iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook HD, etc reviews? Here’s a visual guide to help you decide which e-reading device is right for you.
Publishing Industry Dying? (New York Times)
Where a New York Times reporter uses the death of the publishing industry as a premise to discuss the Penguin-Random House merger. Not bad context for that story; unfortunately, it’s, at best, a gross oversimplification. At worst, it’s patently wrong. Anyway, the article itself says that the companies are trying to use size to survive.
You Don’t Know Agile (BrettSandusky.com)
Macmillan New Ventures product manager Brett Sandusky says that you don’t know agile. “You” being the publishing industry in this case. There’s nothing agile about how publishing should be conducted he says.
11 Years of Marketplace (Pub Lunch)
Publishers Marketplace has been around for “11 lucky years.” Congratulations to our friends and partners!
Had Enough Ether? (Pub Perspectives)
Publishing industry gadfly Porter Anderson, known for his weekly recaps of all the action in the biz called Writing on the Ether, is expanding. There will now be two weekly Ethers – the new one hosted at Publishing Perspectives and directed toward authors.