Tag Archives: Nook

Amazon’s Next Big Thing: A Store?

Amazon is likely the largest and most successful retailer that doesn’t exist in a physical sense…until now…maybe.

According to this article by the Huffington Post, Amazon is planning to open its first store. The store would be located in its city of origin — Seattle, Washington — and could open in the next few months.

There have been rumors about Amazon opening a store for years, but now the popular book-selling and Kindle-creating web site could really use the help. As the article mentions, Amazon is facing fierce competition from Barnes and Noble, with its Nook and its decision not to sell Amazon-published book in any of its stores. Not to mention, not having an Amazon “brick and mortar” store makes it difficult to repair Kindles — unlike, say, the Apple Store, with its ability to easily repair iPads.

No specific design plan has been announced yet. But with the popularity of the site, I could see the store opening and quickly becoming a nationwide phenomenon that will likely spread at a rapid rate.

What do you think?

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Children’s Book Parody Has Us Saying ‘Goodnight’ To Electronics

Try to think back to some of the books you read growing up. There was Green Eggs and Ham, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Runaway Bunny, and of course Goodnight Moon. But Goodnight Moon will never be the same.

The book has gotten an update, thanks to children’s author David Milgrim. Milgrim recently published a new, modernized version of the famous children’s book. It’s called Goodnight iPad. According to this article by The New York Times, Milgrim — who cleverly wrote the book under the pseudonym, Ann Droyd — says it’s a satirical look at the way electronics have changed the way we live our lives. He explains.

“The thing that really inspired me about the idea was my fascination with how much things have changed since the world depicted in ‘Goodnight Moon,’ ” Mr. Milgrim said. “Our homes are really nothing like that anymore. The contrast between that quiet book and our noisy, buzzing lives seemed ripe for exploration and humor.”

The book was released in October 2011, and more than 120,000 have been published so far. It’s a sleeper hit, and I’m not surprised. What a smart, funny way to freshen up an old classic. What do you guys think?
Get Goodnight iPad in hardcover for just $10.

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Nook Considers Spinoff, Stock Tumbles

Investors are on edge after Barnes and Noble announced last week it was considering spinning off its Nook business.

Nook has been a beacon of hope for the company, whose physical book sales are otherwise plummeting, much like Borders before it went under. But according to this article by The Street, Barnes and Noble officials are hoping that a spinoff would allow the Nook to expand further, both nationally and internationally. B&N CEO William Lynch explains.

“We see substantial value in what we’ve built with our Nook business in only two years, and we believe it’s the right time to investigate our options to unlock that value,” said CEO William Lynch. “In Nook, we’ve established one of the world’s best retail platforms for the sale of digital copyright content. We have a large and growing installed base of millions of satisfied customers buying digital content from us, and we have a Nook business that’s growing rapidly year-over-year and should be approximately $1.5 billion in comparable sales this fiscal year. Between continued projected growth in the U.S., and the opportunity for Nook internationally in the next 12 months, we expect the business to continue to scale rapidly for the foreseeable future.”

The company says there’s no guarantee that the Nook will branch off from B&N and won’t say anything further until a decision is made.

That being said, stocks plummeted when the news broke, which does not bode well should Barnes and Noble decide to spin off the Nook.

As far as  I’m concerned, the Nook will do well no matter where it sells or who owns it. But it’s a matter of how it will affect B&N. Should it spin off, B&N might suffer the same fate Borders did, and that would be a huge loss for readers everywhere.

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Book Sales Soar During Holiday Season

This holiday season, there were two factors that had bookstore owners concerned: the popularity of e-books and a poor economy. Most expected abysmal sales of print books.

But according to this article by the New York Times, they were wrong. Book sales are up this year from last year. In most cases, stores have seen a 10-30% rise in sales, and that includes independent bookstores and Barnes and Noble.

The closing of Borders likely had something to do with it. Or as I like to think, maybe people are better appreciating physical books now that e-books are taking over. But while November and December sales are up, bookstore owners are concerned about what the dull post-holiday season will bring, as this one explains in the article.

Sales are up 15 percent from last year at Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon, Wis., the store’s owner, Lanora Hurley, said, speculating that she may have been helped by the closing of a Borders store about seven miles away.

“We’re just going gangbusters and having a great time,” Ms. Hurley said, adding cautiously that she was concerned that it would not last. “I have to say, I’m worried about January. Everybody’s going to open their electronic device for Christmas.”

Hurley has a point. As much as people purchase books this year, they’re also purchasing e-readers. But I think this is all working toward a better future for the book industry. It certainly proves that the industry is alive and well. And apparently entering a new age.

It seems that this year’s holiday bestsellers aren’t fiction books. Nonfiction is leading the way with the Steve Jobs biography, memoirs by the likes of Diane Keaton and Gabrielle Giffords, and political books.

Of course, this is a somewhat natural holiday shopping spike. But could it also mean the Renaissance of the book?

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Books-A-Million to Take Over Borders Storefronts

In the past, the ongoing bookstore battle always featured the same two players: Borders and Barnes and Noble. Now that Borders has closed its doors, a new storefront will be filling in: Books-A-Million.

According to this article by the L.A. Times, the Alabama-based chain is set to replace 14 of the Borders storefronts throughout the country, including those located in Wisconsin, Iowa, and South Dakota.

In all honesty, it doesn’t sound as though Books-A-Million will be all that different from what Borders did and what Barnes and Noble is still doing. According to this article by the Rapid City Journal, it will still be the home to a number of books, a line of e-books for the Nook, and it will have a coffee shop inside, called Joe Muggs.

It’s good to hear that the Border storefronts won’t go to waste completely. But I do wonder how Books-A-Million will be able to withstand the economic hardship that Borders suffered. If it’s the same thing as Borders was, how does it stand to profit? I’m also curious to know if more Books-A-Million stores will open down the road, if it does well.

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Good News for Kindle Could Be Bad News for Nook

The Amazon Kindle is the most popular, bestselling e-reader out there. But the Nook always had one up on the Kindle — library access. Until now.

Amazon announced Wednesday that people would now be able to download library books to their Kindles. They’re a little late to the game, since the Nook, Sony’s Reader, and other e-readers had already been offering the same service. But the deal will inevitably increase popularity and revenue for Amazon and libraries nationwide.

According to this article by The New York Times, the deal means that publishers are concerned more people will borrow e-books than buy them.

But another point that goes unmentioned here is what Kindle will now do to business for other e-readers.

When my boyfriend wanted to get me an e-reader, he was back and forth about whether to purchase the Kindle or the Nook. He knows I’m a library girl, so he went with the Nook. Later, one of my friends told me she was jealous of me for having gotten the Nook — while she had the Kindle — for the sole reason that I could download library books. The library aspect was a selling factor for the Nook, and now it’s lost that.

We’ve seen such a change in the book industry and publishing over the years as e-books have grown in popularity. But it looks like we’re in for another major change — complete domination by Kindle.

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Like Radio, Books Aren’t Going Anywhere

In the 1950’s, when television entered the market, the industry feared radio would become a thing of the past. Sixty years later, we’re still listening, and those worry warts are smiling. And it seems the same thing is happening with books.

Though the public is generally more inclined to turn on the tube than pick up a book, it seems books are actually growing in popularity, according to a new survey by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group.

According to this article by the New York Times, a recent study shows the publishing industry has expanded since as recently as 2008. Numbers are up in all categories — including trade, academic, and professional books. Researchers say that may be due to the rise in adult students who have returned to school to increase their marketability and find jobs in a struggling economy. Another reason for the increase? As Julie Bosman explains: e-books.

Sales of trade books grew 5.8 percent to $13.9 billion, fueled partly by e-books, the report said. Juvenile books, which include the current young-adult craze for paranormal and dystopian fiction, grew 6.6 percent over three years.

One of the strongest growth areas was adult fiction, which had a revenue increase of 8.8 percent over three years.

E-books were another bright spot, thanks to the proliferation and declining cost of e-reading devices like the Nook by Barnes & Noble and Amazon’s Kindle, and the rush by publishers to digitize older books.

The end of the article, however, touches on a few notable drops, like hardcover trade books. Overall, it’s nice to see that not only is the publishing industry doing well, but improving! As a book lover, it gives me all kinds of warm and fuzzies to know that books will keep on keeping on.

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Borders is a Bust

All sales are final. As of tomorrow, Borders Bookstore is officially a bust. The once-popular chain will begin closing its remaining 400 stores nationwide, not only emptying shelves, but eliminating 11,000 jobs as well.

This comes after months of bankruptcy and failed attempts to sell and resurrect itself. So where did Borders go wrong?

1. The obvious reason; we are entering the digital world of paperless-ness. In fact, we are already in it. As online [book] shopping, e-readers, and tablets become more popular, the desire to buy a physical book is null and void.

2. As this WSJ article explains, other products in the store were beginning to hide the books altogether. As we all know, bookstores aren’t really just bookstores anymore. They’re fully equipped entertainment outlets, selling CDs, DVDs, and magazines. But once you start shielding the core of the store behind other products, the focus becomes unclear, as Matthew Dolan explains in his article:

Customers began to notice what made Borders distinctive was also disappearing. In Store No. 1, there are still books galore. But to reach them, customers must navigate through aisles of toys, stuffed animals, greeting cards, gift bags, compact discs and DVDs.

3. Barnes and Noble is better. I’ve always been a B&N girl myself. It may be the Starbucks cafe in each store. It might be the layout and look of the store. There’s also a good chance it’s the growth the company has seen after taking on the Nook, which is far more popular than Borders’ Kobo. Either way, it’s the number one bookstore nationwide, and Borders just couldn’t top it.

Whatever the reason, it’s sad to see such a staple leave the industry and say goodbye to thousands of employees, as well. What I’m wondering is, is there something Borders could have done to improve and save itself? What do you think?

***Here is another WSJ article that explains more about the financial struggle of Borders.

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