The book and music retailer said sales fell again in its most recent quarter. It also reported a bigger loss than last year—and more red ink than what analysts were expecting.
Perhaps most alarmingly, Barnes & Noble’s long-term debt tripled from a year ago to $192 million. The company has only $13.4 million in cash—down from $32 million a year ago.
Shares of Barnes & Noble plunged more than 20 percent on the news and are now down nearly 40 percent this year.
Amazon has revolutionized retail. And it all started with books and CDs. (Remember them?)
Barnes & Noble’s efforts to keep up with Amazon have mostly been in vain. The company said online sales actually fell 22 percent in its most recent quarter after it launched a new website that had some notable glitches.
And the company’s Nook e-reader—a competitor to Amazon’s Kindle—has been a huge flop. Nook sales (which include digital books as well as the devices) plunged nearly 32 percent from a year ago.
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Digital Book World Conference + Expo, March 7-9, N.Y. (DBW)
The 7th Annual Digital Book World Conference + Expo (DBW) returns to New York, March 7 – 9, 2016 at the New York Hilton Midtown. DBW 16 is the premier event (@DigiBookWorld – #DBW16) for book publishers and content providers of all sizes and business models who plan to thrive through and beyond publishing’s digital transformation. Registration and program details are available at digitalbookworldconference.com (the best early-bird rates expire Dec. 15).
Barnes & Noble Wants to Be More Than Just Books (NY Times)
Ron Boire, who took the helm as chief executive of Barnes & Noble in September, still seems to have a soft spot for physical books. Walking through the first floor of a Barnes & Noble store in Union Square in Manhattan recently, Mr. Boire couldn’t help himself from reflexively straightening the jagged piles of books on the display tables so that the spines lined up neatly.
Amazon Wants Its Own Trucking Fleet (Re/code)
Amazon goes to great lengths to get packages into customers’ hands as quickly as possible—even if it means employing drones. Those efforts will now include putting thousands of Amazon-branded trucks on the road. The ever-ambitious online retailer planned to announce on Friday morning that it had purchased “thousands” of trailers—the part of a tractor-trailer that stores the cargo—to make sure it had the shipping capacity to move products on time as its North American business continues its rapid growth.
Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves (NY Times)
Perhaps the strongest case for a household full of print books came from a 2014 study published in the sociology journal Social Forces. Researchers measured the impact of the size of home libraries on the reading level of 15-year-old students across 42 nations, controlling for wealth, parents’ education and occupations, gender and the country’s gross national product.
What’s Wrong with Amazon’s Retail Store (Business Insider)
One thing about Amazon’s new store is unlike all other retail locations: no prices are listed on any items for sale. Instead, Amazon forces customers to look up prices on its app or at an in-store scanner. Personally, I found it too time-consuming and annoying to have to walk around holding my phone in my hand instead of being able to page through potential books I wanted to purchase.
The Keys to Publishing Success (Huffington Post)
Getting your book published is no longer a “wait-and-hope” proposition. There are so many ways to get published today that no author has to go through the process of submitting a proposal (non-fiction) or a full manuscript (fiction) to literary agents and endure the agonizing wait to see if it’s accepted by them and then wait some more for the agent to make a deal with a publisher.
2015 Smashwords Survey Reveals Insights to Help Authors (Smashwords)
Welcome to the fourth annual 2015 Smashwords Survey. As long time followers of the Smashwords Survey know, we examine real sales data to extract potential insights about best practices that give indie authors and publishers incremental advantages in the marketplace. You want to reach more readers. This Survey might help.
Understanding the Doublings (Seth Godin)
If you seek to please 90 percent of your potential customers, all you need to do is the usual thing. To please half the remaining potential market, you’re going to need to work at least twice as hard. And to please the next half, twice as hard again. It’s Zeno’s paradox, an endless road to getting to the end.