Commentary: Is Barnes & Noble Management Accepting Reality?

shutterstock_74987257It’s been a strange week for Barnes & Noble.
 
The company released another disappointing earnings report in which the bleeding at Nook looks as bad as ever. At the same time, the company seemingly abandoned its plans to split to the disappointment of Wall Street (see below).
 
To top it all off, the company conducted a bizarre earnings call in which its management seemed to ignore the reality of the company’s situation. Its new priority? To sell more content. That should fix things.
 
According to one commentator, the company’s unwillingness to accept facts and talk about change “is disappointing.”
 
Read more.
 
 


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The rest of the day’s top news:

 
What B&N Should Do (The Street)
While it may be a little too late following yesterday’s announcement that Barnes & Noble chairman chairman Len Riggio will no longer be seeking to acquire the retail segment of the company, investors still want to see the company split. Nook is described as an “albatross” around the neck of the retail division. Funny how one of the reasons for last year’s financial maneuvers creating the Nook Media joint venture was to unlock the value of Nook from the slow-growth business of bricks-and-mortar retail. How quickly things change.
 
Bowker Sells Data Unit to Nielsen (DBW)
Nielsen has acquired Bowker’s business intelligence unit and will pair it with its own book data offerings. Meanwhile, Bowker will continue to run its ISBN business, self-publishing services business and other units.
 
Getting Straight on Digital Assets (DBW)
Asset management and distribution need to be separate at publishing houses and often they’re not. Using asset distribution systems to manage assets is all well and good until it comes time to repurpose content – that’s when the headaches begin.
 
Related: Learn the best systems and methods to manage all your assets at the Digital Book World Marketing + Publishing Services Conference & Expo.
 
Quebec to Fix the Prices of Books? (PW)
Quebec’s publishers are supporting a move for the province to pass new laws fixing the prices of ebooks and print books to protect local bookstores.
 
HarperCollins Seeks Book Fans Through TV and Web (DBW)
A new partnership with the Discovery Channel will help television and Web consumers to find out what kind of mystery readers they are. And HarperCollins will be building a new audience for its wares.
 
Coursesmart Launches E-Textbook Subscription Service (DBW)
For $200 a year, students can fill six bookshelf slots from a selection of 40,000 titles with the new service. The company estimates that students generally spend about $1,200 a year on textbooks and course materials.
 
Why One Author Won’t Self-Publish…Yet (Miss Snark’s First Victim)
Distribution and author loyalty are two reasons this anonymous author cites. Dovetails with what we now know about self-publishing authors.
 
Related: What Hybrid Authors Want

Amazon Launches Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in Japan (The Digital Reader)
The company quietly made the move without an announcement though did inform authors through the KDP support forum of the new revenue opportunity.

 
Publishers Missing the Video Bus? (Pub Perspectives)
A massive YouTube Festival in London was full of energy and excitement for do-it-yourselfers who have built massive followings on the video network. But where were the publishers? Not there to take advantage of new potential readers. Related: What can publishers do to take advantage of this trend?
 
Author Tells All (BookBaby)
Author Susan Wingate leans on social media heavily to promote her books. She works ten-to-12 hours a day on her work but only 30-to-90
minutes writing.
 

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Image Credit: image via Shutterstock
 

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