Barnes And Noble

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Barnes and Noble has been experiencing a dramatic executive shuffle in the last few years.  Not only has the Nations largest bookseller replaced the CEO of the entire company, but the entire Nook division has seen every single key person leave. Today, B&N has announced that Mitchell Klipper, Chief Executive Officer of the Retail Group, will retire by May.  The Company said it has begun a search to fill Mr. Klipper’s position and that he will help with the selection of the new Retail CEO and in the transition process.

Klipper has been working for Barnes and Noble for over 28 years and previously acted as the company’s operating chief and chief financial officer. Before taking over as retail CEO, he oversaw the company’s development segment, which is responsible for its real estate operations.

Over the cost of his vast history with the company he picked new locations for bookstores, oversaw construction and design for more than 600 Barnes Noble’s superstores in the US.

Barnes and Noble reported during a recent earnings report that booksales will will be flat this year, which is better than the projected decline they made late last year.

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Barnes and Noble has just announced that their holiday sales for e-readers, tablets and e-Books did not meet expectations. Customers expressed trepidation about the booksellers new line of Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook  devices and did not purchase them in droves like B&N had hoped.

The NOOK segment (including digital content, devices and accessories), had sales of $56 million for the nine-week holiday period, decreasing 55.4% as compared to a year ago.  Device and accessories sales were $28.5 million, a decrease of 67.9% from a year ago.  Digital content sales were $27.4 million, a decline of 25.0% compared to a year ago.

Print books once again were the savior of Barnes and Noble, even though digital did not live up to expectations. The Retail segment, which consists of the Barnes & Noble bookstores had sales of $1.1 billion, increasing 0.2% over the prior year.  Sales benefited from the continued stabilization of physical book sales and growth in the educational toys and games and gift departments.

I for one am very disappointed that Nook e-Books and e-reader sales continue to tank for the company. It is very hard to compete against the Kindle Voyage and Kobo H20 which sold in record numbers all December long. It also helped that many industry news and review websites gushed over these two devices and did not really hype any of B&N consumer electronics.

I would recommend if Barnes and Noble released a new e-reader in 2015 they should push it out at the end of October, in order to take advantage of all the positive press going into the holiday season. The last e-reader they issued, the Nook Glowlight came out at the beginning of 2014 and lost momentum towards the end of the year.

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Barnes and Noble tends to go through phases where they are total in stealth mode about whats happening in the Nook division. The last time they had anything to say was in November when they launched Nook Audiobooks and before that, they really hyped up the two Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablets. How are hardware sales doing and how many people are listening to audiobooks? Nobody seems to know, and this is the type of information that appeases shareholders and makes for a good headline. So whats next for Nook? Today, we take a look back at their most notable achievements of 2014 and project what the company will be doing in 2015.

Barnes and Noble did not release any new e-ink based readers in 2014, but did issue the Nook Glowlight in late November 2013. This was their second iteration of a reader that included a front-lit display. It was polished and refined, but did not sell in the type of numbers that the Nook Simple Touch experienced.

Instead of e-readers, the largest bookseller in the US decided to go the tablet route. In the past, they did everything in-house through their California research and development center. This time around, they decided to just outsource the entire hardware design to Samsung, which merely gave them the 7 and 10 inch Galaxy Tab 4th generation tablets. Barnes and Noble simply used a stock version of Android and ported over a few of their customized Android apps. This included an online bookstore, e-reader app, app store and various customization options.

Many customers expressed disappointment in their latest line of Nook tablets, citing the resolution was worse than the previous generation and it lost most of the Nook charm.

Barnes and Noble really shook up their executive group in 2014. The company got a new CEO, former president, Michael Huseby, who replaced William Lynch. Jim Hilt, head of global e-book sales, digital products director Jamie Iannone and VP of digital products Bill Saperstein all departed in early 2014. Towards the end of the year Theresa Horner the VP, Digital Content at Barnes & Noble has left the company and was replaced by Doug Carlson, CMO and EVP of Digital Content.

Barnes and Noble have been bringing in a number of people from outside the traditional book-selling industry, such as former Zinio executives Doug Carlson and Jeanniey Mullen. The main intention behind these and many other great new hires is to bring in fresh ideas. The previous Nook regime had all been there forever, before Nook even launched. Most of them were not very tech savvy and were basically thrust into new roles. The brand was really solid at first, but somehow lost their way in 2013, as apathy and boardroom politics affected the brand.

Towards the end of 2014, Barnes and Noble wanted to solidify more control over the future of the Nook brand. The bookseller plans on spinning off the Nook business from book-selling in late 2015. In order to lay down the framework they had to buy out Microsoft and academic publisher Pearson’s stake in Nook Media.

What does Barnes and Noble have planned for 2015? The company intends on releasing a new e-reader. I have heard reports that intend on making it very modern, and use a capacitive touchscreen display with a new version of e-paper from e Ink. Likely, they will not release any new tablets, as they tend to do it in two year cycles.

Barnes and Noble is at a crossroads with their digital distribution system and has hard choices to make in 2015. They spent a fortune developing their own app ecosystem and luring developers to use their own custom SDK to include their apps on the Nook App Store. A few years ago, they decided that they had to form a relationship with Google, in order to have Google Play available on their complete line of tablets. This effectively relegated the Nook store to play second fiddle to Google. The same thing is occurring with Nook Video, they simply don’t have the necessary team in place to really make it a viable alternative to Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Instant Video.

Nook also has to figure out about what they want with Nook Press, their self-publishing platform. This service is not promoted very well at all, and has literary zero presence at most of the big events that center around publishing, like Book Expo America and Romance Writers of America. The platform has a whole does not even appear on the top 89 sites commonly used by indie authors.

Nook Press has a lot of potential. The synergy that can be blended between the physical bookstore and the digital is something Amazon, Kobo or Smashwords can’t match. Not only does Nook Press need an evangelist to promote the platform globally, but also needs to lay down framework that gets the bestselling indie novels inside their bookstores and promote it. As soon as they manage to do that, they will generate and cultivate a new breed of writer that wants to sell both traditionally and digitally.

I think spinning off the Nook division from the traditional book selling business would be a good move. It would create separation on the executive level, you would have the digital people and the bookstores in totally different camps. This would allow Nook to create their own company culture and have more freedom to take calculated risks. I also think that more executives and brilliant minds from the tech industry would be more likely to consider working at Nook, if it were purely digital and whose sole intention is to be a priority, not a diversion.

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When Barnes and Noble started experiencing close to $1.2 billion in loses in their Nook Media division, they started to get companies to invest. Microsoft contributed $300 million and educational publisher Pearson kicked in $89 million. In early December the bookseller bought back their shares from Microsoft and today, B&N repurchased the 5% equity investment from Pearson for $28 million dollars in cash and stock.

Barnes and Noble is now free to charter their own path, without having to be accountable to 3rd party investors. Although they are still responsible to their shareholders, as part of being a publicly traded company, they are free to determine their own direction.

Earlier in the year, the largest bookseller in the US expressed their interest about spinning off the Nook division into its own autonomous entity. This is poised to occur in August 2015 and should increase the overall profitability of the consumer and college bookstores, which tend to be huge money earners.  It is yet unknown whether or not anyone will step forward and purchase Nook, or if Barnes and Noble will commit themselves to e-Books and e-readers for the foreseeable future.

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Barnes and Noble announced at a recent earnings call that they have ended their partnership with Microsoft. The nations largest bookseller will pay Microsoft $120 million in cash and stock.

In 2012 Microsoft invested $300 million for a 17.6% stake in Barnes and Noble, to aid the ailing Nook division. The initial plan was to assist the bookseller in spinning off the Nook from the bookstore chain into two separate entities. Microsoft also wanted to integrate the Nook reading app into all Windows 8 devices and provide a valid eBook experience on Windows phones.

Barnes & Noble said Thursday that its split with Microsoft would provide “a clearer path” to split the two businesses, which it said could take place by the end of August 2015.

During a conference call with investors, Michael P. Huseby, Barnes & Noble’s chief executive, said that ending the company’s partnership with Microsoft would help clear the way for the split, and possibly invite new Nook partners. “This transaction gives us the flexibility to bring in a substantial partner in Nook,” he said. Who exactly that partner is, or what they could bring to the table, remains to be seen.

Barnes and Noble is trying to re-energize the company by axing most of the executive team that has been been with Nook from the very beginning. They are also trying to solve the consistent string of financial loses by closing under performing stores and have turned to Samsung to design and manufacture the Nook hardware, instead of doing it internally.

Traditionally Barnes and Noble has not been doing that well during the nine week holiday season and has been offering a smorgasbord of promotions. To draw in book lovers and shoppers for Black Friday, Barnes & Noble stocked up on 500,000 signed copies from 100 prominent authors. The bookseller has also launched a Nook Trade in program that will give a $30 credit on a new Samsung 4 Nook tablet in exchange for the Nook 1st generation, Nook Color or Nook Tablet. Finally they have launched a specific Christmas Store in the US and UK to provide reading recommendations and holiday gift ideas.

Categories : Bookselling, E-Book News
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Barnes and Noble has unveiled a new program for their United Kingdom online Nook bookstore. It primarily focuses on the curation and editorial aspect of book discovery, ensuring that you will find your next big great read quickly.

The Nook Online Christmas Shop features curated book lists and great offers to help customers discover the best books for the Christmas season. The site features a special Christmas sale, with prices starting as low as 59p on a wide range of select popular books, as well a list of the NOOK Editor’s Choice of the Best 100 Books of 2014.

“Christmas is a busy time for everyone so this year we really focused on making the NOOK Christmas Shop the only place readers need to visit to find all of the best books at fantastic value,” said Colin Eustace, General Manager, Barnes & Noble S.à.r.l. “We’re also thrilled to head into this Christmas shopping season with our critically acclaimed new NOOK GlowLight eReader, which will make the perfect present for everyone in the family and is available at a great value of only £89 at our retail partners nationwide.”

Check out the full press release below, it has six different lists of some really great books. I have read at least 15 of them, so you could likely by five at random and feel amazing.

Categories : E-Book News
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Serious readers have their favorite fiction or non-fiction authors and getting their autograph can be tremendously fulfilling. If you don’t live in a major urban center the prospects of getting something signed is challenging to say the least. Barnes and Noble, the largest bookseller in the US is undertaking a massive new initiative this upcoming Black Friday, by offering over 500,000 signed titles by 100 authors.

Starting November 28th, the bookseller will offer 500,000 signed editions from more than 100 of today’s biggest authors, with a selection of 100 being available in every Barnes & Noble store nationwide beginning on Black Friday. An impressive group of leading authors including Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Amy Poehler, Donna Tartt, George W. Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jeff Kinney, Joel Osteen, Mario Batali, Mo Willems, Rick Riordan, Rick Yancey, Rainbow Rowell and many more personally signed thousands of copies of their books as part of this unique campaign to deliver meaningful gifts to Barnes & Noble customers.

Barnes & Noble has been planning this program for the last seven months, as getting this many autographs can be fairly daunting.  Some authors went beyond their signature to personalize the books, with Mo Willems, bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator of popular children’s books (Pigeon series, Elephant & Piggie series, Knuffle Bunny series) drawing the head of his popular Pigeon character in his signed editions. Brandon Stanton, author of last year’s runaway hit Humans of New York, included an illustration of a dinosaur in what he referred to as his special “dino” edition of all of the copies he signed. All signed editions will be featured on a special front-of-store display when customers walk through the doors of their local Barnes & Noble on Black Friday.

Want to see exactly what books will be available? Check out the press release below, it lists every title and who autographed it.


Categories : Bookselling
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Nov
19

B&N Nook Glowlight Now $99

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The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight is the only e-Ink based reader the bookseller is currently marketing. It normally costs $119.99, but starting November 21st, it will be discounted to $99.99 and this price point seems to be locked in stone for the rest of the year.

Barnes and Noble is also having a “Discovery Week” sale this weekend where lots of things are being discounted store wide in order to get a jump start on buying gifts for the holidays. In a limited time promotion from November 21 to November 23rd the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK devices have new low prices. You can pickup the seven inch version for $149.99 (after a $50 instant rebate) or purchase the 10.1 inch variant for $249.99 (after a $100 instant rebate).

Categories : e-Reader News
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Barnes and Noble has quietly been building a large catalog of digital newspapers and magazines for their Nook line of e-readers and tablets. In order to glean more market share, the largest bookseller in the US has just partnered with Overdrive to make available content from the Nook Newsstand to libraries.

NOOK Newsstand features the largest digital collection of the top 100 bestselling U.S. magazines, available for both digital subscriptions and single copy sales, and a vast collection of newspapers and magazines from around the world. A huge selection of that content will be available for readers to check out for free from their local library. The new partnership between OverDrive and NOOK Newsstand will enable readers to access popular magazines and newspapers in the same manner, and on the same website, as they discover and borrow OverDrive eBooks, audiobooks and streaming video. Libraries will be able to purchase concurrent access to all selected publications.

Library patrons can check out these digital magazines and newspapers with a valid library card and read them through their NOOK account via a NOOK tablet device or Free NOOK Reading App available for a multitude of smartphones and tablets. Customers who download NOOK Newsstand content through their local library always have access to the free in-store support and expertise provided by the booksellers at Barnes & Noble’s more than 650 bookstores across the U.S.

“NOOK Newsstand is one of the leading providers of digital magazines and newspapers and this new partnership with OverDrive is another example of our commitment to delivering great content to all readers,” said Jonathan Shar, Vice President and General Manager of Emerging Digital Content at NOOK Media LLC. “OverDrive is the foremost supplier of eBooks to libraries and we are thrilled to partner with them to offer library patrons the opportunity to access our award-winning content and reading technology.”

“The new digital service for periodicals will provide readers the ability to read digital magazines and newspapers with a best-in-class user experience,” said David Burleigh, Director of Marketing & Communication at OverDrive. “Your library card, a NOOK Account, and an Internet connection are all you need to enjoy visually stunning magazines and familiar newspaper layouts on almost all tablets and smartphones.”

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Barnes and Noble has just released their latest quarterly figures and things are looking fairly bleak. The NOOK segment (including digital content, devices and accessories) had revenues of $70 million for the quarter, decreasing 54.3% from a year ago. Device and accessories sales were $18 million for the quarter, a decrease of 78.6% from a year ago, due to lower unit selling volume. Digital content sales were $52 million for the quarter, a decline of 24.2% compared to a year ago, due primarily to lower device unit sales.

One of the big reasons why Nook has declined so much over the last few months was primarily due to the summer months and people not making big investments in technology. Things may pickup for the seminal holiday season with he release of the brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablet.

Barnes and Noble is continuing its quest to officially separate the Nook division from their core bookstore business. This would make it easier for for an eventual sale. In a statement they said “In an effort to optimize the structure of the separation, the Company has been exploring various options and is in discussions with its NOOK Media partners to potentially restructure existing agreements; and with potential third-party partners. Such discussions could affect the structure and timing of the separation.”

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Meet Stella, the fiercest and feistiest of the Angry Birds (and quite possibly the prettiest). Together with her closest friends: Dahlia, Poppy, Willow, and Luca, she will battle her used-to-be BFF, Gale –the Bad Princess who now has Minion Pigs at her disposal! Set on Golden Island in the Big Tree, Stella joins a long list of Angry Birds-themed games (with my favourite so far being Angry Birds Star Wars).

With a starring cast full of female protagonists, Angry Birds Stella looks to be a colourful and charismatic addition to the franchise. Gameplay should be familiar, with the requisite slingshot weaponry pitting good guys against dopey hog servants –which is just what we find comforting (and entertaining).

Angry Birds Stella will be available this upcoming September 4, 2014, but for those of you near to a Barnes and Noble, you can give the game a test-drive on one of their in-store Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablets beginning this Friday, August 29, 2014. Moves like this might be what keep brick and mortar style stores alive in this growing eCommerce age, with consumers looking for compelling reasons to actually step foot on a retail floor.

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Barnes and Noble has just launched a brand new tablet in conjunction with Samsung. It costs $179 with a $20 mail in rebate, but the bookseller is hyping the fact you get an extra $200 worth of free content. What free stuff are they actually giving out?

When you pick up a new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook you get three free eBooks. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, The Wanderer by Sharon Creech and I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.

Customers can also pick 4 digital magazines from a pool of 12 for a free two week trial. There is a ton of great content, including Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated, and US Weekly. Back issues are also available for your selected magazines at no extra cost.

Nook Video is giving free content to the hit HBO Series Veep, Hannibal, and Orphan Black.

New Barnes and Noble customers are also automatically given $5.00 in free credit when they buy the new tablet, giving them the ability to either get an eBook for free or use the money to subsidize a new mainstream bestseller.

Barnes and Noble is really hyping the free content as a way to lure existing customers to upgrade and offer a big incentive to new people looking for a tablet billed as an e-reader.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Barnes and Noble is having a press event on August the 20th and will be formally unveiling the new tablet they have co-developed with Samsung. In order to create some buzz the Nations largest bookseller has done something radically different from other product launches, hype.

B&N has borrowed a page out of Amazons playbook and created a new online commercial that features hardcore readers gushing over the new tablet. The essence of the video is looking at the reactions of first time users. This enhances the expectation that the software powering the Nooks will be radically different than anything seen before.


Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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