Six Ways Barnes & Noble Can Save Itself

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shutterstock_99472151Publishing industry observers rooting for the continued solvency of the nation’s largest bookstore chain are probably concerned that Barnes & Noble is struggling to grow its Nook device and ebook business while its physical bookstore business shrinks.
 
Nook is supposed to be the company’s white knight, but it’s floundering right now.
 
At least one industry observer and book lover hasn’t given up, Scott Shui, who has launched the website savebarnesandnoble.com (slightly unsafe for work, depending on where you work). The site is based on an earlier effort, saveborders.com, where we found over a dozen suggestions to save the now-defunct chain. According to Shui, who we spoke with over Twitter, the Borders solutions still apply.
 
We listed our six favorite – and the most applicable. Here’s one to whet your appetite: “Management will be required to work shifts at different stores on a monthly basis to obtain in person employee and customer feedback.”
 
Sound crazy? Well, as they say in the movies, it’s crazy enough that it might just work. Read the rest here.
 
Related: Barnes & Noble’s Biggest Problem and a Solution


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The rest of the day’s top news: 

Five Slightly Unexpected Tips for Self-Published Authors to Find Success (DBW)
So much of what you hear and read about self-publishing is common sense or things you’ve heard before. Here are five tips for self-published authors (really any authors) that could help them find success that you may not have heard before.
 
‘Radical’ Agents (AppNewser)
Agent (and DBW Expert Blogger) Jason Allen Ashlock imagines a new kind of agent: “radical mediator agent.” This new kind of agent is more like a business development executive rather than a salesperson, he said.

Smashwords Hits 200,000 Titles (DBW)
In the past eight months, self-publishing platform Smashwords has added about 10,000 new titles a month. Related: Smashwords CEO Mark Coker on Indie Authors Becoming Great Publishers.  

Bowker Partners With DCL to Offer Ebook Services to Authors, Small Publishers (DBW)
This is actually a lot more interesting and impactful than the headline suggests. Let’s spell it out: Many self-published authors and small presses come to Bowker’s website to buy ISBNs; they have a lot of questions about ebooks and often want to find a partner to convert and create the things. A new partnership will put New York-based DCL in front of those authors and publishers at just the right time.
 
Vook Partners to Offer Book Trailer Services (DBW)
Like other publishing platforms (and publishers), Vook is adding services for authors to entice them to use it versus one of its competitors. This time, it’s book trailer services from new partner Authro.
 
All About ReDigi (PW)
It’s been a busy few months for the little start-up that wants to bring America a used digital content marketplace (ebooks, mp3s, etc.). It’s currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Capitol Records, which challenges its model and technology as copyright infringing. And, more recently, it’s facing a challenge from the other side – Amazon has won a patent to create a marketplace for used digital content.
 
Inkling’s Habitat Launch, Part II (DBW)
As a schmaltzy event in New York earlier this week, Inkling launched its Habitat interactive content creation tool to the public. It also announced a new pricing model, some new partners and more. If this sounds like something you’ve heard before, it’s because it is a lot like something you’ve heard before. Related: Kno Launches Free E-Textbook Conversion and Enhancement Platform.

McGraw-Hill Education Books Big Loss (Pub Lunch)
Unit, which is being sold to private-equity firm Apollo Global Management, lost $406 million in the fourth quarter and $239 million for the year. Related: McGraw-Hill Launches Continuing Education for Educators.
 
Your iPad in the Bathroom (The Digital Reader)
This is real: A toilet paper stand that also holds your iPad. This could spell the end of the bathroom magazine rack (or bookshelf). Is nothing in the realm of reading sacred?!

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Image Credit: Barnes & Noble image via <a href="ValeStock / Shutterstock.com

Jeremy Greenfield

About Jeremy Greenfield

Jeremy Greenfield is the editorial director of Digital Book World. Opinions presented here are his own. Read more of his work here.

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