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Wednesday News: Swiss watch found; B&N discontinues Nook Tablet

Nook Tablet Sale

At the earnings call today, B&N admitted that it was discontinuing the production of Nook Tablets. It would continue to sell the Nook Simple Touch (a device that has had disappointing sales) and its biggest seller, the Nook Glo. Nook lost a lot of money. Revenue was down 34% compared to last year, not only from lowered hardware sales but also from content sales.

“Digital content sales increased 16.2 percent for the full year, however, they decreased 8.9 percent for the fourth quarter due in part to the device sales shortfall as well as the comparison to the The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey trilogies a year ago.”

Honestly, I would not expect to see any innovations from B&N on the eink side. It will likely continue to sell basic eink devices until such time as Nook Media can be offloaded. B&N will continue to sell the Nook Tablet through the holiday season (but why would you want a device that they aren’t going to continue to support and upgrade?)

Retail revenues were down 10 percent, some due to lower Nook unit sales. Ugh all around. One thing is for sure, Simon & Schuster isn’t going to see any uptick in books stocked unless it starts to pony up some coop money. B&N desperately needs major publisher support. paidContent

This article, however, suggests that a 50-50 split in e-book royalty must be the future for publisher and author contracts. Currently it is 25% off the net and actual  royalty dollars can increase or decrease based upon the net received by publishers.  I’ve often thought the “net” is the worst term in the royalty contract but no one seems to be too concerned about that, focusing primarily on the percentage figure.  

 Under agency pricing, 25% off the net generally was about 17% off the cover price.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Sheryl Nantus
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 09:04:07

    My first ebook reader was the original Nook device and I upgraded to the Simple Touch when they offered a trade-in. It’s nice as a back-up device but when I had a chance to grab a basic Nook Tablet (no longer for sale) for $99 last Black Friday I jumped at it. The prices have never gone so low and I figured it couldn’t be that bad an investment.

    From what I understand the Nooks can be “rooted” to become an Android-based tablet. I have *no* knowledge about such computer things but it’s an option for those of us who want to keep using them after/if B&N drops support.

    I do wonder what’ll happen with all the ebooks sold, etc…

    Interesting times, indeed.

  2. Liz H.
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 09:27:35

    @Jane- What do you think about the future of the B&N e-inks? Those going on sale at all? If they’re eliminated, what e-ink options remain?

  3. SusanS
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 10:17:56

    I bought a Nook Color a few years ago when libraries were not yet set up to lend out books via Kindle. I have been very disappointed in the selection of free and low price books, and recently bought a refurbished Kindle. The Nook now sits on my bedside table gathering dust.

  4. Jane
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 10:21:52

    @Liz H.: My guess is that they will continue to sell the nook glo without much change until such time as it doesn’t break even. It’s their best selling unit and so long as they don’t lose money on the glo (like they have with the tablet and the simple touch) then I think they’ll continue to support it.

  5. mari
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 10:34:36

    Well I have a Nook tablet HD and I like it a lot. Since they opened it up to the Google Play Store, its became my go to device.Too bad they didn’t do that to begin with. My question is, with Barnes & Noble discontinuing this device,what should I buy instead? Any recs for tablet devices? Thanks..

  6. Elaine
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 10:45:39

    I am happy that they might allow me to use my Kindle or iPad during but feel that the day they start allowing cell phone use on planes in flight is the day that I stop flying. It is bad enough to have trips to stores, restaurants, and other public spaces spoiled due to listening to one-sided conversations, but it would be absolutely maddening in a plane.

  7. Isobel Carr
    Jun 26, 2013 @ 10:51:38

    At this point, perhaps the Big 6 (Big 5?) should consider opening their own cooperative books stores? Or maybe they should buy B&N? I don’t know, but it seems like something has to happen or we’re just not going to HAVE any book stores left. Already in downtown San Francisco all I have within walking distance of my office is City Lights. And that’s great if I want the latest litfic or a book of poetry, not so great if I want genre fiction of any kind.

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