Barnes & Noble warns investors to expect more bad Nook news – It is possible that B&N’s transformation from book store to something completely different will happen before the end of 2013. B&N has delayed giving its quarterly fiscal reports until February 28. B&N has gone on to warn investors that the losses in 2013 will likely exceed those that took place in 2012. Every segment of B&N appears to be losing money at this point from the retail to the Nook segment.
The latter has to be most disconcerting given that the technology side is supposed to save them. But B&N has lacked one of the biggest drivers of tablet sales. Content. Yes, there are books and some magazines, but tablet users want movies and music and B&N provides little access to either other than through streaming. Using a forked Android base and not allowing users access to Google Marketplace has been a huge mistake. Not implementing Windows 8 on its devices given the percentage stake now owned by Microsoft is another mistake.
B&N is providing no compelling reason to buy the Nook tablets over the Amazon Kindle Fire or the Google Nexus tablets even though the hardware specifications for the Nook might be better than both. Further, B&N seems wholly unprepared to provide the tech support necessary when selling tech devices.
If you recall, the number one customer support issue for All Romance is DRM, even though DRM books represent a tiny fraction of books sold at ARE. Since the launch of the Nooks, B&Ns customer service related to ebooks and ebook devices have frustrated and stymied users. Several people report to me that they do not buy ebooks at B&N despite loving their nooks. That’s a real problem for B&N. One of the many that they face to stay relevant in the book market. paidContent
DOJ Signs Off on Random-Penguin Merger – The DOJ has approved the merger of Random House and Penguin. The two ranked 1st and 8th in the world revenues for publishing companies although Penguin’s rank was included as a division of Pearson. Pearson is essentially bifurcating its business into trade and education segments with the trade portion being engulfed in the soon to be merged corporation that will marry Random House and Penguin together.
Bertelsmann, the parent of RH, will own 53% of the company and Penguin will own 47% of the company. The original plans to merge came to light last winter and the companies indicated that the editorial staffs were not likely to be affected and the two houses would continue to operate as separate units for acquisitions but that there were in house efficiencies to be gained through merging, supposedly through warehousing, delivery, fulfillment and the like. The Digital Reader
Roald Dahl was a real-life James Bond style spy, new book reveals – In a new biography it is revealed that children’s author Roald Dahl slept with maybe hundreds of upper middle class and wealthy US women in an effort to spy for the British. Nice. Telegraph
NAL Hopes For ‘Fifty Shades’ Audience; Acquires Steamy Fan Fiction Trilogy ‘The Submissive’ – The shark has been jumped over, jettisoned into space, exploded into a million pieces and it is now crashing into earth, sprinkling the publishing world like salt on Carthage. NAL has purchased The Submissive, a trilogy of Twilight fan fiction written by someone going by the pen name “TARA SUE ME” (It really should be Stephanie Sue Me, but whatever). Not to be outdone, S&S has purchased Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger and Redheaded Girl series, also Twilight fan fiction. I wonder if Stephenie Meyer and Hachette would have liked to have investigated licensing of fan fiction works? Deadline.com