Nook

Barnes & Noble reports loss again as Nook sales plunge

25 June 2015

From Reuters:

Barnes & Noble Inc reported a fall in sales for the fourth consecutive quarter as demand for the company’s Nook tablets continued to fall and customers stayed away from its brick-and-mortar bookstores.

Shares of Barnes & Noble were down 3 percent at $25.55 in morning trading.

Stiff competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc and a shift toward reading e-books on devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and tablets has hurt sales at Barnes & Noble’s bookstores.

Barnes & Noble invested hundreds of millions of dollars in its own device, the Nook tablet, which it launched in 2009 to give itself a fighting chance against Amazon.

Though the Nook initially met with success, demand fell rapidly, resulting in a sales decline at the division that has lasted for more than two years.

Nook sales fell 40 percent to $52.4 million in the fourth quarter ended May 2.

. . . .

To focus more on its core bookstore business, Barnes & Noble in February abandoned a plan to spin off a combination of its Nook business and its profitable and fast-growing college books unit. The company said it would spin off the college books unit by August, but keep its Nook tablets and e-book business.

The company said on Thursday it expects full-year 2016 core comparable sales, which exclude sales under the Nook digital division, to grow 1 percent due to likely improvement in its physical books business.

Link to the rest at Reuters and thanks to Nirmala for the tip.

PG suspects the spin-off plan went nowhere because nobody wanted to take the Nook business.

Barnes & Noble’s Galaxy Tab 4 Nook Tablets Were a Holiday Flop

11 January 2015

From Android Headlines:

When it comes to a good story, the path of the Barnes & Noble e-reader, the Nook, has not been a happy one…though somewhat interesting.  The holiday season was not exactly a merry one as sales plummeted 55.4-percent compared to 2013’s holiday shopping period.  Hardware, accessories and digital content were all down for the season – device and accessories sales were down by 67.9-percent and digital content were down 25-percent.

It has been a real struggle for Barnes & Noble when it comes to Amazon’s Kindle e-readers, not to mention the Apple, Samsung and Google’s Nexus tablets on which anybody can read a book by downloading an app.

. . . .

Why Barnes & Noble’s sales were down could be due to a number of things – did the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook make it too easy for purchasers to read books via other readers on the same tablet.  Were the sales of Android tablets down overall this holiday season?  Without exact sales figures for their entire line, it might be that the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook sold the expected amount, but their other e-ink reader, the Nook Glowlight – with no update during 2014 – could not hold off the upgraded and lower priced line of Amazon’s Kindles.

Link to the rest at Android Headlines

Nook Results Could Jeopardize Barnes & Noble Split-Up Plan

9 January 2015

From The Wall Street Journal:

Barnes & Noble Inc. ’s consumer stores enjoyed an upbeat holiday period, but poor results at the Nook digital business potentially complicate plans to split that division off into a separate public company with the college bookstore group.

Nook revenue, which consists of digital devices, e-books and accessories, fell 55% to $56 million for the nine weeks ended Jan. 3, compared with the same period a year ago. Device and accessories sales sank 68% to $28.5 million, while digital content sales declined 25% to $27.4 million.

The downbeat results could make it difficult for Barnes & Noble to complete the Nook separation, planned by the end of August, some analysts said, because it will be hard to convince investors the business has a future.

The decline in digital content sales suggested Nook owners were “abandoning” the Nook e-bookstore, said James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research. “Otherwise, you’d have seen stabilizing digital content sales,” he said.

. . . .

John Tinker, an analyst with the Maxim Group, said the Nook losses are so bad that Barnes & Noble may not be able to move forward with the split. Selling off the Nook business to a third party buyer, he said, could be equally challenging.

“There is still value but it’s a lot harder now with these numbers,” he said.

. . . .

Mitchell Klipper, chief executive of the Barnes & Noble retail group, said the results showed that “people are coming back to physical books and want to be in bookstores. Traffic is moving in the right direction.” Mr. Klipper cited gifts and educational toys and games as two particularly strong categories.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire)

Barnes & Noble Buys Back Nook Stake From Pearson

30 December 2014

From The New York Times:

Barnes & Noble said on Tuesday that it had reached an agreementto buy back Pearson’s stake in the booksellers’s struggling e-book business, Nook Media, for nearly $28 million.

The company said that it would pay $13.75 million in cash and 602,927 shares of Barnes & Noble’s common stock. The move follows an exit by Microsoft from Nook earlier this month. Barnes & Noble bought out the software giant’s stake for about $120 million.

. . . .

 The company is planning to split into companies, one with Nook and its college bookstores and another consisting of the retail stores and website, by the end of August.

Link to the rest at The New York Times

Wal-Mart Should Buy Barnes & Noble’s Struggling Nook Division

5 December 2014

From The Street:

Since his promotion to CEO of Barnes & Noble  in January 2014, Michael Huseby has been preparing the struggling Nook digital media division for sale, but so far no suitors have shown themselves. Huseby should look no further than the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores .

Wal-Mart has been steadily investing in and growing its digital businesses and needs to find more ways to compete with Amazon. While Nook has been failing since 2012, it still has underlying assets — a catalog of millions of e-books, thousands of relationships with publishers and suppliers, and a robust self-publishing services business — that would be valuable for a company interested in investing in e-books and would be hard to build from scratch.

. . . .

“It is definitely a good idea if Wal-Mart cares about being in the book business or the digital media business long term,” said book publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin. “If that’s a priority for them, acquiring Nook would probably be the cheapest way to ensconce themselves in the game.”

With Nook, Barnes & Noble was once solidly the No. 2 e-book retailer in the U.S., behind Amazon, with a reported 25% market share to Amazon’s 65%. That was in 2012, when Nook revenues eclipsed $900 million and then-CEO William Lynch charted a course to reach $1 billion in annual revenue.

The plan involved Nook continuing to sell more Nook devices in the growing tablet business, as well as selling more e-books on those devices and increasing digital content sales across the board.

Neither of those things happened.

. . . .

What’s next for Nook?

Barnes & Noble has said that spinning off Nook as a separate public company is also an option to exit the business. With a consistent track record of losses and declining revenues, it’s not a very good one.

Instead, Barnes & Noble should sell Nook to Wal-Mart.

According to one source who did not want to be named, the big retailer is exploring entering the e-book business. Buying Nook would be an easy and inexpensive way for the company to do so. Wal-Mart declined to comment.

Like many Amazon competitors, Wal-Mart has been trying to expand in digital. It expects its e-commerce sales in 2015 to increase to $12.5 billion after accelerating its digital investments to between $1.2 and $1.5 billion, up from $1 billion in 2014.

While $12.5 billion is nothing to sneeze at, it’s a fraction of Amazon’s projected 2015 revenue, which will eclipse $100 billion. And it’s less than 3% of Wal-Mart’s $473 billion in sales in 2014, which are expected to grow 2% to 4% in 2015.

A Wal-Mart spokesperson said that funds for digital acquisitions would not come from its capital expenditures on digital expansion and pointed out that the company has made 14 e-commerce acquisitions in the past several years.

“We are open to acquisitions if they fit into our enterprise strategy,” the spokesperson said, via email.

Nook “is a nice fit with Wal-Mart’s print book business,” said James McQuivey, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester focused on the book publishing industry. “They could probably also get it for a decent price.”

To be sure, there are significant risks. In the U.K., retailers Tesco and Sainsbury both launched e-book businesses, but Amazon still has about 90% of the market.

Link to the rest at The Street

PG says if Big Publishing thinks Amazon is tough when negotiating contracts with suppliers, they’ll gain some perspective on that subject should Wal-Mart enter the ebook business.

Barnes & Noble, Microsoft End Nook Pact

4 December 2014

From The Wall Street Journal:

Barnes & Noble Inc. said it has terminated its commercial agreement for its Nook e-reader with Microsoft Corp. , a move it said provides a clearer path toward the impending split of its business.

The bookstore retailer bought out Microsoft’s preferred interest in Nook for about $120 million in cash and stock, freeing Microsoft from further investments in the business.

Barnes & Noble, struggling to adapt as book buyers migrated to online retailers like Amazon.com Inc., said Thursday that it expects the planned split of its Nook Media unit from its retail stores to occur by the end of August, behind its initial projection for a separation by March.

The company also reported a much weaker-than-expected profit for its November quarter, helping push its shares down about 8% premarket.

Microsoft invested in Nook in 2012, pledging more than $600 million to help prop up Barnes & Noble’s digital-reading business.

. . . .

For its second quarter ended Nov. 1, the Nook segment’s revenue fell 41% to $63.9 million, while digital content sales fell 21% to $45.2 million. Device sales fell 64% from a year earlier, though cost-cutting helped stem the division’s loss in the quarter.

Sales at the company’s retail unit, meanwhile, fell 3.6% in the quarter, due partly to store closures.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire)

Barnes & Noble jumps into print-on-demand

12 November 2014

From Geekwire:

In a move to pick up more self-publishing clients, Barnes & Noble has launched Nook Press Print, a new print-on-demand service for independent authors looking to take their manuscripts into the physical world.

Users can pick from a variety of materials and formats, including hardcover and softcover books, in a number of different sizes. Authors can get their texts published in full color or black and white, and select different paper materials.

. . . .

It’s a move to attract people to Barnes & Noble’s publishing platforms at a time when the bookstore chain is feeling increasingly challenged by Amazon. The company plans to break off the Nook division into a separate company, and is now outsourcing the production of its latest tablet to Samsung.

Amazon already offers print-on-demand services through two of its subsidiaries: Booksurge and CreateSpace, which offer similar options to those offered by Nook Press Print. The Seattle-based retailer’s existing ecosystem of self-published authors is a lucrative business for the company: there have been a number of hit books which started as self-published titles on Amazon, like “The Martian,” which exploded in popularity and was recently got picked up for a film deal.

Link to the rest at Geekwire and thanks to Shelton for the tip.

Here’s the link to Barnes & Noble’s announcement

If PG were running Nook, he would have spent money on major improvements to the website instead of POD. Being able to list and sell POD books on the Nook website won’t do much good if potential readers can’t find them.

[Update] You can’t list and sell your POD books on the Nook website. You’ll have to go to another POD service if you want to do that.

Then there are the add-on packages that begin at $999 and immediately caused PG to think of Author Solutions.

Why NOT self-publish exclusively through Amazon?

20 September 2014

From TeleRead:

Essentially, Amazon provides a number of added benefits and incentives to writers who publish exclusively via Amazon either temporarily or continually: free giveaway days, or inclusion in e-book subscription services such as the Kindle Owners Lending Library or Kindle Unlimited that pay a fee per checkout, for example. Amazon has allowed some top-selling authors, including Howey, to try the service out temporarily withoutgoing exclusive to see how the numbers stack up.

After a couple of months, Howey reports that the readership gains he’s seen from Kindle Unlimited “more than covered the readership I gain from the iBookstore, Nook, and Kobo combined.” He might be earning slightly less money, he writes, but gets considerably more fans out of it.

. . . .

I’d love to see some decent competitors to Amazon spring up, but at the moment, nobody really seems to be even trying to compete. Apple locks its books into one specific platform—and what’s more, it even requires writers to use that platform only if they want to upload their books directly rather than via an intermediary!

. . . .

Sony’s thrown in the towel. Barnes & Noble’s just taken a major step backward in consumer-friendliness. Kobo…well, the most I can say about Kobo is that I haven’t heard about them doing anything overtly stupid lately, but I haven’t heard about them doing anything especially smart lately either.

. . . .

The only answer I can come up with is to try to keep limits on Amazon’s power by supporting its competition. But is that really Howey’s job? Why should he be obligated to support a bunch of lackluster companies who don’t even seem to be interested in trying to compete themselves?

Link to the rest at TeleRead

B&N Removes Download Buttons from Website, Stranding Millions of Customers’ eBooks

19 September 2014

From The Digital Reader:

Reports are coming in from multiple sources today that Barnes & Noble is locking down the Nook platform.

Nook customers on MobileRead Forums and on B&N’s own support forums are reporting that the download buttons for their Nook ebook purchases are no longer present in the My Nook section of the B&N website. These buttons enabled readers to download a copy of their ebook and transfer said ebook to another app or device. (While B&N is known for having mutant DRM, there are a number of apps that support it.)

Many of the reports echo this post from MobileRead:

I have a Sony, Kobo, and Nexus tablet, but not a Nook. I have purchased books from B&N in the past (mostly due to some good sale prices) and they have the books I purchased from Fictionwise there (I think it was Fictionwise. It was one of the multitude of now closed stores anyway).

It seems they have suddenly removed the “download” option from all of the books in my library.

Link to the rest at The Digital Reader and thanks to Christopher for the tip.

The Bookseller to preview indie titles

18 September 2014

From The Bookseller:

The Bookseller is to preview self-published titles from October, and has partnered with US bookseller Barnes & Noble to exclusively include Nook Press titles in the section through to April 2015. The new preview will give independent authors the chance to showcase their work and recognises the role of non-traditional channels to publication.

The “Independent Author Preview” will feature around 10 titles each month, from a selection exclusively supplied to The Bookseller by Nook Press, B&N’s self-publishing platform. The new preview will sit alongsideThe Bookseller’s respected previews, including New Titles, and Paperback Preview.

. . . .

The Bookseller editor Philip Jones said: “Our goal here is to discover the best new books published independently and made available to customers in the UK and we’re thrilled to have partnered with Nook Press. This is a new spin on what we have been doing for more than a 100 years, and recognises that some of the best new writing now comes through non-traditional channels. The Bookseller’s job remains the same, however, to shout about these books and bring them to the attention of our audience.”

. . . .

“We also encourage self-published authors who are not yet on our platform to sign up today to be considered for this great opportunity and discover all of the great promotions available to Nook Press authors.”

Link to the rest at The Bookseller and thanks to Diana for the tip.

Next Page »