What the Nook Debacle Teaches Us

shutterstock_137126969Whether you like it or not, it’s now an app world and we just live in it. That’s the lesson digital publishing consultant Kristen McLean derives from last week’s big news: the terrible earnings report from Barnes & Noble – led by poor performance by Nook and the discontinuation of Nook’s standalone tablet program.
According to several studies McLean cites: Mobile connectivity use is on the rise in the U.S. and worldwide; more of that time is spent with apps than ever before; and younger Americans have already transitioned much of their ebook buying from e-readers to apps.
Perhaps Barnes & Noble executives were reading the same tea leaves when they developed their new strategy for the company – to eschew building devices that house apps and instead focus on the apps themselves.
As for the larger company – which some have suggested should split – McLean thinks it will be around five years hence, adding, “I also believe the market share for every book retail channel will be radically retooled.”
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Tablet Spending on the Rise (DBW)
When 2013 is said and done, $72 billion will have been spent on tablet devices and half of that in North America.
Digital Precipitates the Return of the Book Club (DBW)
New digital technologies are making is possible for some book publishers to return to their roots (and some to set down new ones): The book club is back.
Disney Sells Hyperion to Hachette (DBW)
As trade consolidation continues, one of the deals that had been whispered about happened late last week: Disney has sold the entire Hyperion adult list to Hachette. When it comes to books, the entertainment behemoth will now focus on developing properties related to its many TV shows.
Robot Teacher (Good E Reader)
New learning technology is employing facial reading software so that digital reading devices can react to students’ facial expressions as they learn. This will help the technology teach students by understanding them better.
Another New Publisher (Good E Reader)
This time it’s the video game developer Capcom, which has produced its first ebook. Related: Novel Way to Sell Ebooks – in a Video Game.
Ebooks in Libraries (Good E Reader)
At the American Library Association conference in Chicago this weekend, Maureen Sullivan, president of the ALA, repeatedly requested that publishers sell libraries ebooks at a reasonable price. Related: Ebooks Continue to Be Focus of Libraries | When Libraries Become Retailers.
Library Platform Wars: Ingram (DBW)
The massive content distribution company has expanded its catalog of books available for purchase by librarians by more than 50,000 titles.
It’s Official: News Corp Is Alive (NewsCorp)
On Friday afternoon, News Corp officially became its own company, led by HarperCollins and Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
How Much Do We Read? (Pub Perspectives)
This infographic will give you insight into per capita hours reading a week. No big surprise, the U.S. ranked relatively low among the countries surveyed.

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