Rumor: Barnes & Noble to Rethink Digital Strategy
According to “a person familiar with Barnes & Noble’s strategy,” the company is considering moving away from the device business and toward building its ebook and digital content business in partnership with other device manufacturers, the New York Times reported.
Read: Nook no more?
Aside from that it’s hard to imagine a meaningful digital business for Barnes & Noble without the Nook (or some other flagship device), a company spokesperson told Digital Book World last night that B&N has no intention of discontinuing the Nook.
The device has a lot of momentum on its side from a corporate perspective: It has received nearly $700 million in investments from blue chip companies in the space over the past year (Microsoft and Pearson); Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch told investors in Nov. that the Nook business was the company’s future and would scale in 2013; and it generally represents hope for the future for a company that was considered by some dead on the vine when Amazon started building its Kindle business.
Problem? Nook sales are sagging even as its competitors are benefitting from a tablet device boom.
Related: The Crazy Plan to Save Barnes & Noble; Barnes & Noble’s Big Problem and What to Do About It
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Riggio to Take B&N Private? (Reuters)
Barnes & Noble company chairman (and its largest shareholder with about 30% of the company) Len Riggio may be mulling a buyout of the Barnes & Noble retail stores with the intention of splitting them from Nook and the college bookstore business and taking them private.
One Idea to Save Illustrated Ebook Publishers: Gamification (DBW)
It’s working for children’s ebooks and it works for adults who jog – so why wouldn’t it work for digital cookbooks and other illustrated digital content?
Hachette’s New Digital Imprint (paidContent)
Hachette unit Little, Brown UK is launching a new digital-only imprint called Blackfriars that will focus on literary fiction. Until now, most digital-only imprints have focused on genre fiction.
Macmillan to Start Library Lending March 1 (Pub Lunch)
Macmillan will begin making 1,200 back-list titles from its Minotaur division available to libraries on March 1. The company announced it would make the move in late Jan., leaving Simon & Schuster standing alone as the last big publisher without a large-scale ebooks-to-libraries business.
ABA’s ‘Support’ for Indie Bookstores’ Antitrust Lawsuit (Pub Lunch)
The American Booksellers Association “shares the concerns of the plaintiff booksellers” in their lawsuit against Amazon and six of the largest U.S. publishers but doesn’t go so far as to support the lawsuit itself. Meanwhile, Hachette has denounced the lawsuit.
Boring but Important: Obama’s Open Access Order (PW)
The Obama Administration has issued a policy memo calling for federal agencies to develop plans to increase public access to published research materials funded with government dollars.
One Regret When It Comes to Self-Publishing (Newbie’s Guide to Publishing)
Romance author Ann Voss Perterson has one regret when it comes to her decision to stop writing for Harlequin and self-publish her next novel, a thriller: That she didn’t do it sooner. Another hybrid author turns away from traditional publishing. Learn more about hybrid authors and what they want.
Death of the Free Ebook? (The Digital Reader)
Amazon has announced new rules for its affiliate sites that should limit how they promote free ebooks: The new rules have heavy penalties for websites that rely mostly on free ebook promotion as part of their business models.
Fake Best-Seller: The Story Behind the Story (Leapfrogging)
This blogger/author got an unexpected call from a Wall Street Journal reporter; unfortunately, it wasn’t about his new book but about how it spiked onto the best-seller list and then just disappeared. You’ve probably read the story in WSJ. Now read the story behind the story.
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