Round up #90: B&N hit with big NOOK loss, e-books “more worthless than used toilet paper”

Round up #90: B&N hit with big NOOK loss, e-books “more worthless than used toilet paper”

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Words that are only worth the paper they’re written on

You don’t often hear an author say that their words are worthless.

Yet, that’s just what award-winning author Joan Brady told the Telegraph.

Oh, let me clarify that: they are only worthless if you buy them as an e-book. 😉

E-books are for porn but real books with survive, says award-winning author

I have to praise the author for honesty, as told to James Hall in the above Telegraph article.

The article makes it very clear: the only value of an e-book is in selling it. Reading the words afterwards? Who cares?

Now, if you buy the book in paper, that’s different. Then, you have something you can show off…you know, like a Rolex watch.

Really…that was the analogy.

I’m going to recommend that you read the article…there are some statements in there that just made my head spin. If you comment on them, I’ll respond, but I don’t want to take too much away from the Telegraph.

I will point out one thing, though.

Brady is quoted as saying:

“They [publishers] will have to up their game by producing books worth keeping for their content, books with better bindings and paper that doesn’t turn yellow in less than a year…”

That ties exactly into what I’ve been saying about turning books back into luxury items, and selling new novels (of a higher quality of manufacturing) for fifty dollars.

However, I disagree with so many other things this article says, it kind of makes me doubt myself on that one. 😉 Just kidding…I still think it’s a reasonable scenario, and I guess in some ways we are saying the same things…but we do not agree about Stephen Hawking!

Thanks to Talli Rolland for the alert on this story in The Writers Guide to E-Publishing, where I am a rotating columnist:

BN: Hardware’s a hard sale

Barnes & Noble just announced its fiscal year 2012 results:

Press Release

There are some good things in there: digital content (e-books, e-newsstand, and apps) sales were up 119% year-to-year.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the headline:

FT: Barnes & Noble ereader sales fall

Reuters:Barnes & Noble sales light on Nook returns

Yep…Barnes & Noble says:

“Device sales declined during the fourth quarter due to higher third-party channel partner returns, lower selling volume and lower average selling prices.  In order to optimize the supply chain for new products, the company took back NOOK Simple Touch inventory following the previously announced holiday sales shortfall. “

That could just be shifting emphases…maybe the future just looked so bright (so to speak) for the NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight (announced mid-April…the measurement period ended April 28) that they took a bunch of returns in preparation for a bunch more sales.


They also cite lower selling prices (that’s not going to change), and lower sales volume.

That’s not good.

Oh, well…maybe Joan Brady won’t have to worry about you reading her books on a NOOK. 😉

B&N’s stock dropped, but has climbed a lot of the way back:

Steven Windwalker’s letter to the Department of Justice

Steven Windwalker, of the Kindle Nation blog, has published a lengthy letter the blogger has written to the DoJ on the Agency Model case:

Kindle Nation Daily’s Letter to the Department of Justice in the DOJ eBook Price-Fixing Lawsuit Against Apple and Five Publishers

Stephen Windwalker and I would both be interested to hear what you think about it…

Amazon may be the master of several domains…

Thanks to a reader who gave me the heads-up on this

Forbes article

about Amazon spending millions of dollars to apply to Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for 76 (!) new internet domains. Those are those things that come after a website…you know, like .org and .com. That doesn’t mean that Amazon automatically gets them, but they applied for:

  • .amazon
  • .app
  • .audible
  • .author
  • .aws (Amazon Web Services)
  • .book
  • .bot
  • .box
  • .buy
  • .call
  • .circle
  • .cloud
  • .coupon
  • .deal
  • .dev
  • .drive
  • .fast
  • .fire
  • .free
  • .game
  • .got
  • .group
  • .hot
  • .imdb (they own the popular movie/TV reference site)
  • .jot
  • .joy
  • .kids
  • .kindle
  • .like
  • .mail (interesting…)
  • .map
  • .mobile
  • .moi (French for “me”…they do have a French site)
  • .movie
  • .music
  • .news
  • .now
  • .pay
  • .pin
  • .play
  • .prime
  • .read
  • .room
  • .safe
  • .save
  • .search
  • .secure
  • .shop
  • .show
  • .silk (their web browser)
  • .smile (as on their boxes)
  • .song
  • .spot
  • .store
  • .talk
  • .tunes
  • .tushu
  • .video
  • .wanggou
  • .wow
  • .yamaxun
  • .you
  • .yun
  • .zappos (they own it)
  • .zero
  • .アマゾン
  • .クラウド
  • .ストア
  • .セール
  • .ファッション
  • .ポイント
  • .亚马逊
  • .家電
  • .書籍
  • .通販
  • .食品

I took those from this list:

Reveal Day 13 June 2012 – New gTLD Applied-For Strings

I mostly typed it, but I did copy and paste some of the non-English words…which show the international nature of Amazon’s vision.

Barnes & Noble didn’t apply for any, I think.

Amazon opens app store for European development: Fire to follow?

In this

Press Release

Amazon announced that they are planning an appstore for Europe for this summer. That could mean that the Fire will go international soon, although that might also require deals with music and video content providers to be really effective.

Where will the apps be available?

” United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, with plans for further global expansion in the near future.”

Free Continuing Medical Education summaries

Audi0-Digest, a leading publisher of works connected with Continuing Medical Education (many of the people with whom I work need to get CME credits every year) has made 17 summaries available for free in the Kindle store:

I know the name may make it seem like these are audio files, but they aren’t. 🙂 They are, however, text-to-speech enabled (at least the ones I’ve checked).

I’m snapping these up, myself.

As always, these books may not be free everywhere in the world, and may not be free for long. Check the price before clicking or tapping that buy button!

Well, busy day! Feel free to comment on any of these…

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.


6 Responses to “Round up #90: B&N hit with big NOOK loss, e-books “more worthless than used toilet paper””

  1. Tom Semple Says:

    B&N: the 119% increase in ‘digital content’ sounds pretty good, but Amazon has almost certainly fared much better than that, given the new stores in Europe, and increased AppStore, magazine, MP3 and AIV sales with the launch of Fire. B&N doesn’t have an ‘international’ story to tell yet, and Google, Kobo and Amazon are all months ahead of them.

    I don’t think the GlowLight edition of NST is going to change their trajectory much. It’s only available in B&N stores/web now and WalMart/Target etc may have more returns for them in store. It seems people like the little shiny colored tablets and everybody who wanted an eink device has one (or in my case half a dozen…).

    BTW I was able to purchase a Kindle Touch 3G+Wifi at WalMart last week for $109.99 (‘every day low price’). Not all the stores will have them in stock, but I’m really glad I snagged one (my KT wifi-only is now on loan to a family member). It is really nice to have all the web-powered reading features (download, wikipedia, translate, share, report content error) available more or less everywhere.

    Also, the ‘Audio Digest in the Kindle store’ link didn’t work for me. I searched for “Audio-Digest” (with quotes) and it returned 817 items. 16 of these titles are free, the rest are $.99 (or ‘free’ via KLL). They appear to be DRM free (Simultaneous device usage: unlimited). There’s a web link for an offer of a ‘free iPad’ with purchase of a subscription for $1347. Wonder if Amazon knows about this…

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      Yep, that 119% increase could be due in large part to increased offerings, not necessarily increased profit. Add a hundred apps, and your sales will likely go up…but not necessarily the profit.

      Let me check that link. Update: strange, I did what I normally do to link and tried it again this morning: didn’t work. I’ve put in a different format of link, and it seems to work…thanks for pointing that out!

      What you describe is correct: there are only about sixteen (I think they said 17) of those summaries that are free…and now that I’ve looked at one, they are really more content summaries than I expected. A tad disappointed, actually…

      Edited to add: the NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLite is going to lose it’s competitive advantage when Amazon releases a reflective device with a front light, which I think will be soon.

  2. Edward Boyhan Says:

    At the end of the day when the eBook transition is complete, I think print will devolve into: research library collections of “significant” documents (like the US constitution e.g.), “true” collectibles a la Sotheby’s et al (think Shakespeare first folios e.g.), and interior design/decorator “collectibles” — these latter will have fancy leather bindings with gold leaf lettering on the cover, etc. I suppose stores like the Strand in NYC will be around for a generation or two … :lol

    On TLDs: this is just the start of a process of vetting the applications — it will be 12-18 months before any new TLDs appear — there are lots of competing applications for the same TLD. One irony: .amazon is one of the contested names :grin.

    Later this year the UN is going to make an attempt to take over internet governance from ICANN and others — not sure how that will play out — not even sure that the UN could get effective control upon winning the vote, if the US refuses to go along …but if successful, then all this new TLD stuff is probably out the window.

    If the new TLDs come to pass, they have the potential to fundamentally and radically change how we think about and use the internet going forward.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      For those who don’t know: TLD = Top Level Domain. Those are those letters after the period in a website: .com (commercial); .org (organization…usually a non-profit); .gov (government), and so on. Many countries have their own abbreviations, which has been a boon for Tuvalu. Their TLD is .tv, which they have licensed to many people. When you see something that is or the like (I just made that one up), Tuvalu has gotten some money for that. 🙂

  3. Ana Says:

    The link for “Audio Digest in the Kindle store” is not working. Amazon states: it is not a functioning page on our site. Always enjoy reading your blog, thank you.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Ana!

      Thanks for letting me know! I always appreciate it when people take the time to let me know about those kinds of things.

      I used the technique I usually use, but it failed again this morning. I’ve done something different that should work for you.

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