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Print 15 comment(s) - last by Joz.. on Feb 2 at 12:04 PM

Barnes & Noble is the last large retail bookstore

The traditional print publication business in both magazine and book form is hurting today after decades of dominance. As more and more consumers go to the web for digital publications rather than buying print versions of the same publications, it is becoming a challenge for book publishers to continue to remain profitable.
 
Many traditional publishers point to Amazon and the company's line of Kindle eReaders as one of the main reasons for the decline of the traditional book publishing industry. That same publishing industry is circling around Barnes & Noble even though it is also in the digital book publishing business and offers the Nook e-reader line.
 
As a large bookseller, much of the fate of the traditional publishing industry goes along with the fate of Barnes & Noble and its retail stores. According to the New York Times, when Barnes & Noble originally started working on the Nook e-reader program it had to bring the reader to market in six months from start to finish.
 
The Nook line has started to take some the business away from Amazon’s Kindle eReaders, which is good news for traditional print industry. Part of the reason this is good news is that Barnes & Noble has found how to lure readers that would normally buy digital publications online into the store. Much of the reason these consumers will come to the retail location to buy a digital book is because Barnes & Noble offers free connectivity in the stores.
 
That is a good thing for the traditional book publisher because many of the people that go into the retail locations with their digital devices will browse through print books and often end up buying a book. Yet another reason why traditional publishers want book shoppers to come into retail stores even if they intend by a digital book is that a huge amount sales for publishers are backlist titles, which are older books that may not be available in digital form. By coming into the retail store the shoppers are exposed to more of these older books making up anywhere from 30% to 50% of the average large traditional publisher's book sales.
 
“For all publishers, it’s really important that brick-and-mortar retailers survive,” said David Shanks, the chief executive of the Penguin Group USA. “Not only are they key to keeping our physical book business thriving, there is also the carry-on effect of the display of a book that contributes to selling e-books and audio books. The more visibility a book has, the more inclined a reader is to make a purchase.”
 
In short, as goes the fate of Barnes & Noble, so goes the fate of the traditional publishing industry according to some in the industry. Amazon has gone even further recently. Not only is it taking away sales of traditional print books with the sale of digital titles, but Amazon is also now directly competing with traditional publishers by offering authors direct digital publication of their books. Amazon has already signed some notable authors for its digital direct book-publishing arm including Timothy Ferriss and James Franco.
 
Barnes & Noble is set to try expanding into Europe as well. The company is expected to launch its line of eReaders in Europe and the first store to sell them is expected to be Waterstones in Britain.
 
The New York Times reports that Barnes & Noble is set to release its fifth e-reader device the spring. There are no hard details about the device and we don't know if it's going to be a larger screen e-reader, or perhaps a smaller screen device to target low-end market. 

Source: NYT



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RE: Just bought the iPad
By Amedean on 1/30/2012 12:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
I do too, but I am honest when I say that it is going the way of the music store because I would just hang around and buy coffee but not any books.

The same was true about the music store, hangin around not buying anything means there is no money. I doubt these stores will stay open for charity or novelty.


RE: Just bought the iPad
By tng on 1/30/2012 1:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would just hang around and buy coffee but not any books.
Yeah, noticed that allot of people do that. B&N wanted to create that "Starbucks" atmosphere in their stores and they have succeeded.

The problem now is that people I see will go in on a night or weekend and sit at one of the many tables and chairs and read a book. Why should you buy it if you can just read it there and return it to the shelf? Far cheaper for them but bad for B&N...


RE: Just bought the iPad
By nafhan on 1/30/2012 1:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why should you buy it if you can just read it there and return it to the shelf? Far cheaper for them but bad for B&N.
Except that a latte costs about the same as most magazines and probably has a better profit margin. If those "cheapskates" buy 1 or 2 cups of overpriced coffee, B&N is probably doing OK. Also, I think retailers get some money back from distributors for the stuff that doesn't sell.


RE: Just bought the iPad
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 5:31:23 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I do too, but I am honest when I say that it is going the way of the music store because I would just hang around and buy coffee but not any books.

The same was true about the music store, hangin around not buying anything means there is no money. I doubt these stores will stay open for charity or novelty.

Hi Amedean, noticed we have had some differences of view on the ACTA piece...

That said, I always welcome some different perspective. If you're willing to be civil, I welcome you to shoot me an email so we can chat off-site about future articles.

I appreciate your opinion, even if it may be different than mine. I hope to hear back from you!!


RE: Just bought the iPad
By Joz on 2/2/2012 12:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
If you'll notice, I said that I do buy books there quite often. Not as much as I would like, but for a broke college student...


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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