In an attempt to resuscitate its failing e-reader division, Barnes & Noble has decided to split into two companies.
According to Mashable, the company will separate the division for its Nook e-readers into a separate company by the end of the first quarter of 2015. Barnes & Noble CEO Michael Huseby released this statement:
“We believe we are now in a better position to begin in earnest those steps necessary to accomplish a separation of NOOK Media and Barnes & Noble Retail. We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are capitalized and operated separately.”
Basically, this means he hopes the separate Nook company will be more flexible on its own and therefore acquire more partnerships or even new owners. Microsoft, for example, could theoretically purchase the company. But branching off may have little to no impact on the Nook company. It’s been struggling for years, and has continued to decline in sales revenue, as other e-readers and phone apps compete in the digital market.
Guess we’ll have to wait at least another six months to see what happens.
Imagine if there were a subscription program like Netflix, but for e-books. Well, luckily there is.
According to The New York Times, publisher HarperCollins has recently struck a deal with the web site, Scribd, which is already used for sharing documents and books. Consumers can pay a flat fee each month to the site to access a large number of e-books.
The site, Oysterbooks.com, already has a similar program, offering access to more than 100,000 e-books for $9.95 a month, but it hasn’t gained much popularity.
The owners of Scribd hope the site will have more success, but so far, HarperCollins is the only major publisher that signed up. Smaller publishers like Rosetta Books, Workman and Sourcebooks have also signed up.
So readers still have more options for books when they go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble’s web site. However, a Netflix-life program for e-books seems like a pretty simple, but brilliant idea. But I only see it becoming successful with readers that consume many, many books each month. Otherwise, it doesn’t seem worth it to me.
Expanding the digital library on your Kindle just got a whole lot cheaper. Amazon announced a new service this week called Kindle Matchbook.
According to Entertainment Weekly, people looking to buy e-books for their Kindle that they’ve already bought in print can now do it through Amazon for a discounted price. Amazon Matchbook applies to any print book a customer has bought from Amazon since 1995, when Amazon first started. Matchbook will allow customers to check their purchase history to see what they’ve bought and buy the books in e-book form for $2.99 (some are even free), rather than paying full-price for the books they already own.
The program is set to launch next month. Amazon spokespeople say it will have 10,000 e-books available for discounted prices.
On a personal note, I think this is a great idea. I’ve always thought it was bad business to have to buy two copies of the same book if you want it on your e-reader. I wondering how long it will take for Barnes & Noble to come up with a similar plan for its Nook?
Barnes and Noble is now joining in with fellow competitors, Amazon and Apple, in the world of self-publishing.
According to Slash Gear, B&N is launching NOOK Press, a rebranded version of B&N’s old PubIt! platform. NOOK Press will allow independent authors to publish their books and make them available ebooks, costing between 99 cents and $199. The books will be available on the Barnes and Noble web site and in the Nook Book Store.
However, B&N will take a percentage of teh sales: 30% of books that cost less than $9.99 and 60% of books that cost more than $9.99. Sounds steep, but apparently Amazon and Apple have similar rates, as Craig Lloyd explains.
[,,,] it’s right up there with Amazon’s 30% and 65% cut that they take from authors with their Kindle Direct Publishing platform. Plus, Apple takes the same 30% cut Apple from iBooks Author.
Right now, NOOK Press is only available in the U.S., but it’s expected to become available in the UK as well. So independent authors….hop on board!