Barnes & Noble Spins off College Division

Barnes & Noble Nook college bookstoresThe bookseller announced yesterday it will separate its retail and ebook businesses from its college books business, with plans to set the latter up as a standalone education company by the end of August.

That raises the question of whether Barnes & Noble’s plans for Nook Media have changed.

While the company has said it intends to find a buyer later this year, Publishers Lunch reports that “some investors interpret [yesterday’s news] as meaning Nook is no longer fit for sale.”

As for an independent Barnes & Noble Education, CEO Michael Huseby foresees it becoming “an industry-leading, pure-play public company with more flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities in the growing educational services markets.”


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How Authors Can Build Content Communities (DBW)
Many authors amass an enormous amount of research, draft material and ancillary content that doesn’t wind up in their finished book projects. Much of it can be repurposed for building interest and engagement among readers in a way that not only serves a marketing function but informs authors’ editorial process as well.

How Do Authors Get Paid? (Metro)
Canadian authors have pushed back against a proposal that would let the Toronto public library system buy used books from patrons, arguing it would undercut authors and publishers. Metro assesses that claim based on how authors typically earn income today. Similarly, Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest arrived at a useful model for evaluating the relative risks, investments and rewards that govern the publishing process and authors’ decisions in the digital age.
Related: Author and Researcher Dana Beth Weinberg on Key Findings—Free Podcast

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Records Loss in Trade Division (PW)
Net income for 2014 in the publisher’s trade division was down $2.9 million from the previous year, when it pulled in $6.5 million, after experiencing fewer runaway hits.

Wattpad Launches Erotica App (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The storytelling platform rolls out an iOS app called “After Dark,” offering curated erotic fanfiction by Wattpad authors. Wattpad also adds a dedicated Romance profile to its website, where readers can find recommended content in that genre.

Amazon Hires Former White House Press Secretary (Politico)
Jay Carney will join Amazon as SVP for Worldwide Corporate Affairs, reporting directly to CEO Jeff Bezos. Since leaving the White House Carney has served as a political analyst for CNN.

The Latest Resources for Ebook Developers (Medium)
Leading ebook developer Laura Brady rounds up the top educational and training resources for ebook production professionals on the market today.
Related: Laura Brady on Fixed-Layout Ebook Production

More Erotic Fanfiction Heads to Hollywood (Guardian)
Riding the Fifty Shades of Grey wave as far as it will go, the film industry reportedly has a new crop of movies based on erotic fanfiction already in the works. Here’s a sneak peak.

A Closer Look at Author-Agent Partnerships (HuffPost)
In one industry insider’s take, the digital landscape is putting the squeeze on authors and agents alike. “Agents work harder to keep their authors relevant while they search out new opportunities. Authors are asked to do more than ever before to keep their work before readers while still being creative and emerging as businesspeople.” That’s the qualitative view; here’s a quantitative one.
Related: How Authors Balance Risks and Rewards

Five Hundred Years of Paperbacks (NYT)
Paperbacks may not have really taken off as a popular format until the postwar years in the U.S. and UK, but many of their features first emerged at the hands of a Renaissance Venetian printer called Aldus Manutius. The organizer of a new exhibition of those works in New York says, “It’s become a cliché to call them the forerunners of the Penguin Classics.”

Header image: Susan Montgomery /


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