While Apple grabbed the headlines as the main recipient of punishment following the Department of Justice’s ebook price-fixing legal actions, Barnes & Noble might be the company that suffers the most.
When Apple hit the ebook scene with agency pricing, it helped Barnes & Noble build market share and profits for its fledgling ebook business – to the tune of a reported 25% of the marketplace.
In the year that agency went away, Nook has struggled significantly and showed record losses: almost $500 million in 2013 as compared with under $300 million in losses the year prior.
While Nook can’t blame falling device sales on the disappearance of agency pricing, the move that turned droves of profitable content sales (a 30% margin on best-selling ebooks) into ones that may not be profitable at all couldn’t have helped.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Free Nook Content Giveaway in the UK (WSJ)
UK readers are being given free ebooks and magazines when they download the Nook reading app for iOS and Android. This is another example of Nook moving toward a third-party device content distribution strategy – a strategy that it said this week was misunderstood by observers.
DRM Falsely Accused (GigaOm)
Overzealous application of digital rights management by ebook retailers (Google, in this case) is being blamed for deleting a user’s digital bookshelf. However, a glitch in Google Play is the culprit this time around.
Make Your Kids Read Ebooks (CSMonitor)
When they have movies, apps and games available to them, how do you get children to read? Give them ebooks, says one parenting expert.
Related: The ABCs of Kids and Ebooks
Wait! Not So Fast, Parents! (Telegraph)
Before you get your kids hooked on ebooks, you might want to monitor what they’re reading: One UK parent found her 13-year-old daughter reading an ebook about how to get famous from making a sex video and actively discussing logistics with a friend. The parent is calling for a push for objectionable content labeling and perhaps censorship for ebooks.
Random House Children’s Audio Books Now on LeapFrog (DBW)
The LeapFrog children’s content platform now has more with the addition of children’s audio books from Random House.
New Library Ebook Start-up Atingo (Pub Perspectives)
Atingo, a new start-up from Swedish publishing services provider Publit promises to help publishers and libraries build more effective ebook lending relationships.
Another Tool for Authors (Good E Reader)
Smashwords has launched a tool that helps authors publish Q&As about themselves. You don’t have to be a published Smashwords author to use it.
Using Facebook to Build Readership (BookBaby)
Do Facebook ads help sell books and gain readers? Only one way to find out: testing.
New Way to Design Book Covers (GalleyCat)
Build ‘em with public domain images.
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