Another Disappointment for Barnes & Noble

Despite high hopes for the holiday season, sales fell short at the nation’s largest bricks-and-mortar bookseller. Not only did they fall short of expectations but they also failed to measure up to last year.

B&N’s retail segment was down nearly 9% versus last year. That’s the bad news. The very bad news is that its Nook Media segment was down nearly 13% versus last year. According to Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch on an investor call in Nov., rising digital content sales at Nook are to lift the company to great heights in 2013. Not a good start.

Solid supposition: Pearson must be disappointed in its $90 million investment in the company last week.

Mysterious fact: Despite the poor news, investors didn’t punish the Barnes & Noble stock price. It closed down just 2% and was up during parts of the day.

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The rest of the day’s top news:

A Rock and a Hard Place (ZDNet)
Are ebook sales hurting Barnes & Noble’s core business as well as its growing digital business?

Dystel: Agents Who Won’t Adapt Won’t Last (DBW)
In a wide-ranging interview with literary agent Jane Dystel, recently famous for engineering a spate of seven-figure deals for indie authors, she opens up about how she finds talent, the biggest upcoming challenges to agents and how agents who don’t adapt to the new realities of the business won’t be in it much longer.

BuzzFeed’s First Ebook (GalleyCat)
BuzzFeed is the latest of many non-book-publishing media companies to enter the ebook game. American Express Publishing launched a series of books with Vook in Dec.

Safari Makes ‘Technology Asset’ Acquisition (DBW)
Safari Books Online, the digital subscription service aimed mostly at the technical set, has acquired PubFactory, a digital content production shop of about 30 people, from interactive agency RDW Group.

China a Bad Prospect for Publishing? (Pub Perspectives)
Shrewd local players, and social, governmental and economic barriers may mean that China isn’t a great opportunity for Western publishers.

F+W Names New COO (DBW)
DBW Parent F+W Media has named its chief financial officer Jim Ogle to the position of chief operating officer as well.

Baker & Taylor Beefs up Axis 360 (DBW)
A new partnership with SirsiDynix will allow Baker & Taylor to deliver more kinds of digital content seamlessly to library patrons.

New Year’s Resolutions for the Publishing Industry (Forbes)
Publishers, agents, authors and more should take up these readymade New Year’s resolutions.


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