Nook Tanking?

Barnes & Noble had a disappointing earnings announcement yesterday in which the Nook’s mounting losses shared the stage with Fifty Shades of Grey which buoyed the overall business.

After losing $51 million in the first quarter of 2012, Nook went one better and lost $57 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Amid the poor report and growing losses, there has been speculation that the Nook has fallen off a cliff.

The reasons? Problems selling e-readers, dropping prices on the devices, delays launching internationally and slowing of the growth of e-book sales.

Not exactly inspiring stuff for investors, who sent the stock down nearly 4% yesterday to under $12 – way off the company’s $26 52-week high following the Microsoft/Nook deal announcement and just a few dollars above the 52-week low.


A Solution to B&N’s International Problem (Forbes)
Barnes & Noble is late to the international game, with competitors Amazon and Kobo taking the lead. But there is one way B&N can catch up.

New UK Start-up Wants to Put E-Books on Shelves (DBW)
Manchester, UK-based Boxette puts e-book files on USB flash drives and sells them in DVD-like cases resembling books. They come with all relevant file formats and a 24-page illustrated guide to the author. They aren’t yet available for sale in stores but could be soon.

Random House Joins UK Online Library Project (The Bookseller)
Joanna Trollope and P.G. Wodehouse are just some of the Random House authors that will now be available through Bloomsbury’s Public Library Online, a service that makes books available to library members online through library websites.

A New Way to Sell Digital Comics (Pub Perspectives)
Los Angeles-based digital comics start-up Thrillbent plans “to use digital publishing to draw in new readers in a way that spinner racks in convenience stores did in the past.” The company estimates that 40,000 readers a month are currently buying their titles.

Another Non-Book-Publisher Makes (Grill) Mark (DBW)
It’s officially a trend: Everyone is getting into the e-book game. Weber, the Palatine Ill.-maker of grills and grilling products, is releasing its best-selling cookbook Time to Grill: Get In. Get Out. Get Grilling by Jamie Purviance as an e-book. Interesting news, but will digital cookbooks take off?

St. Martin’s Acquires “Anything He Wants.” Next Fifty Shades? (The Hollywood Reporter)
The acquisition of the self-published, serialized story by Sara Fawkes was inspired by the 20 million copies of Fifty Shades of Grey that Random House reportedly sold. The book has been published in installments and St. Martin’s will publish the fifth and final installment as an e-book in September with the print version to follow.

Books, the Remix (The Guardian)
In the future, readers might remix and re-publish books the way music fans remix and post songs online by their favorite artists. Publishers and authors should embrace it, said writer China Miéville.

In Cloud News: Amazon Launches Glacier (DBW)
Amazon’s new service is for companies that want to store huge amounts of data but not access it very often.

New, Digital-First Publisher Aims to Make you a Francophile (DBW)
Le French Book will be bringing French classics to English speakers for the first time – and digital first.

Inheritance Enhanced (PW)
Random House will publish an enhanced e-book of the fourth and final installment of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series. It will be priced at $13.99 and include video commentary from the author, new artwork, an additional scene in the text and other enhanced features.

Amazon Election Heat Map (Amazon)
One book, two book, red book, blue book. Apparently, books can be democrats or republicans, according to Amazon’s election heat map, which assigns books a political leaning and measures how many of each kind are being read in each state. Is your state red or blue when it comes to what it’s reading? How about what you’re reading?

3 thoughts on “Nook Tanking?

  1. Rayne Hall

    >After losing $51 million in the first quarter of 2012, Nook went one better and lost $57 million in the first quarter of 2013.<

    Uh? Am I missing something? Is this time travel, science fiction, or a game of Predict-What-Will-Happen next year? Maybe I'm thick, but I can't understand how the author of this article can say how much money B&N lost in the first quarter of 2013.

    1. Jeremy Greenfield Post author

      I know it makes little sense, but Barnes & Noble’s fiscal year (how it does it accounts for its finances and manages its business) does not match the calendar year. Because of the way the company measures it and accepted accounting rules, Barnes & Noble FISCAL year 2013 began in April and ended on July 28.

      Different businesses have different fiscal years for different reasons. Many of them follow the calendar year. Many start on July 1 (so, off from the calendar year by six months). Some adjust their calendars to the cycles of their businesses, which is what I suspect Barnes & Noble has done.

      So, the numbers from yesterday come from Barnes & Noble’s first quarter of 2013. Weird, but true!

  2. Edward Woodward

    Interesting that you filed this under \Industry News\ and not \Editorial\ or \Speculation.\ Your facts, all two of them, are correct. Your editorializing is boring and takes away from those facts.

    The facts from your article:
    $57M loss in Q1 FY13, up from $52M loss in Q1 FY12**
    After Reported Earnings BN stock dropped 4% to $11.87.
    **(It should be noted that this number represents sales of the NOOK only and does not represent numbers from the NOOK segment.)

    Two lines. Twenty one words, not counting my clarification. Neat sweet and to the point. Everything else you put in that article is opinion. Did you bother to read the report? Or the transcript of the call? Some much more info in there than these two little numbers.



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