Nook on the Brink?

shutterstock_172286900Barnes & Noble’s ailing Nook digital content and device business turned a corner this quarter – whether it was a wrong turn depends on who you ask.

If you’re an investor, you see that losses have been cut from $50-to-$60 million every quarter to just $4.5 million, which is a really positive development when it comes to turning Nook into a viable business.

If you’re an ebook publisher or author, you see $70 million in revenue, down more than 50% from the same quarter last year, which indicates far fewer ebooks sold.

Nook was once nearly a billion-dollar business. More.

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Barnes & Noble Narrows Losses (DBW)
Barnes & Noble had a strong first quarter, besting analyst expectations. The company in part credited Amazon’s dispute with Hachette for its performance.

The Rise and Fall of Nook (DBW)
Looking at Nook financial performance since 2011, we can see how the company grew and is now shrinking – but finally cutting losses, too. Charts.

New iPhone Best-Ever for Digital Reading (DBW)
The two new iPhone models have bigger screens, sharper resolution and longer battery life, which adds up to an overall better reading experience.

Apple Squandering Opportunity? (Forbes)
There was no mention in yesterday’s iPhone presentation of ebooks or iBooks – and this at a time when the whole world is watching, its competitors are having issues and it released the best iPhones for reading yet.

Rakuten Takes Big Step Into U.S. Market (DBW)
The Kobo parent is spending $1 billion to get a larger foothold in the U.S. It has acquired Ebates, a cash-back shopping platform.

New No. 1 (DBW)
There’s a new No. 1 ebook best-seller this week after months of the same two titles sharing the distinction. No, it’s not from a different publisher. Top-25 best-selling ebooks.

Trade Sales Down at Wiley (Pub Lunch)
Both ebook and print sales declined at Wiley’s remaining trade publishing division.

ePubDirect Expands (DBW)
The ebook distributor has new offices and has made new hires in the U.S. to generate new business here.

Penguin Random House Closes Online Teen Book Community (The Bookseller)
In shutting down Spinebreakers, a teen books-focused community that had generated 10,000 to 15,000 visits a month, Penguin Random House said that it would focus on going where readers already were.

Three More Steps to Overcoming Social Media Writer’s Block (DBW)
Publisher, marketer, editor, author, agent, librarian, et al – many of us have to be on social media as part of our professional lives, but sometimes you run out of things to say. Part one of this article gave you three tips to overcoming social media writer’s block. Here are three more.
Related: Top Three Social Media Marketing Tactics for Authors and Publishers

Twitter Tests Buy Buttons (The Digital Reader)
Twitter is testing “buy” buttons with a limited number of users on mobile devices. In the not-too-distant future, you could be selling (or buying) ebooks through Twitter.

Scholastic Dances With Usher (DBW)
The world’s largest children’s publisher is hooking up with song and dance superstar Usher on a literacy webcast. A free ebook with some of the best literacy-focused literature is part of the initiative.

Classic Inspiration (DBW)
A new digital children’s publishing start-up takes classical music as the inspiration for much of its content.

E-Readers: Dead or Alive? (Beyond the Book)
If you have a few minutes at lunch, give this discussion about the future of digital reading devices and, in particular, dedicated e-readers.

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